Fresh Challenges (Boxing, languages, victory at Philly Geek Awards, book update, what’s next?)

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Thomas here. If you’re reading this in Philly, which is where I’m updating from, then it’s not a sunny day. Rather than let it “rain on my parade”, I have decided to focus on all the welcome challenges in my life recently.

Lately I have felt quite the desire to introduce more novelty into my life, to challenge myself in unfamiliar ways. My sense is that I’m aiming to shake up my own life, a greater drive for myself to be an agent of change within my life just now.

While I am not one to sit back, not one to be satisfied with minimal effort, there can exist a feeling of increasing stillness if only well-known/familiar challenges are ever taken.


So, on that note, I have decided to incorporate a bit of freshness back into my life:

-I have just come back from my first lesson in a new boxing class.

I have taken a number of martial arts classes over the years (capoeira, ninjutsu, taekkyeon, and fencing), regular cardio and lifting, and even yoga (although much less frequently for yoga now). Yet I have had the sense lately that if someone on the street were to take a swing at me, I would not be as prepared for it as I could be. The martial arts I have learned from have taught me valuable techniques and insights, which have both given me greater confidence and a sense of how I can handle myself if needed, but what if somebody somewhere just wanted to punch me? What if I had to go punch for punch with someone? This missing piece of my self-defense AND the great workout of a fast-paced class have motivated me to challenge myself by picking up boxing. Let’s see how it goes!
In addition to these boxing classes, I met with a personal trainer twice to shake up both my cardio and lifting workouts as they had been stuck in a bit of a rut. Not bad, but I could do them in my sleep. As such, it was time for a revitalization. πŸ™‚



-Lindsey and I are teaching one another Spanish and Korean, respectively. We thought this made a lot of sense as I have been wanting to learn Spanish given how my favorite joke about my speaking Korean goes like this, back to when I was looking for work:
Interviewer: (looks over my CV) “Oh! You speak Korean… Do you speak Spanish?”

So, this past weekend we taught one another a few items briefly from each of our second-languages, half of the time her teaching me Spanish and the other half my teaching her Korean.

For me, given the increasing prevalence of Spanish (even in Philadelphia, a city which has not had much compared to the other major cities I have visited), I may only benefit from understanding more of it. Also, many of my ESL students have been SFL (Spanish as a First Language, an imaginary term I just made up on the spot here) speakers. Knowing enough Spanish could help me communicate particular ideas with them, as wanted or needed.

For Lindsey, she can prepare for the time we will be spending in Seoul come next year. While English is everywhere there, she will likely feel more enabled by speaking Korean. She also has this chance to speak with me in a language fewer people around us are likely to understand, say if we are out and want to communicate privately. πŸ™‚

For each of us, it never hurts to keep fresh with our respective second languages, such as by communicating more in them via teaching one another. Win-win-win for all of it.


What about freshness for ME.mory?:

-ME.mory won at the Philly Geek Awards for “Dev Product of the Year”! It was quite a swanky affair.

Nick is holding a second trophy in this photo as JBS won for “Multimedia Project of the Year”, given their efforts on “Curiosity 180 – Let’s Talk About It!”. Great job!

Book Update: I have since reviewed the entirety of Part One, and after that entered in all changes desired at this point for it. Part One has since been sent out to select people for them to provide commentary and feedback on how it may be enhanced. I am now in the same process for Part Two, while these people have the chance to come back to me with what they think. I will likely have passed along Part Two to them by the time of the next post here.


What’s next?:

1) The new platform for ME.mory has a new programmer added to it to speed up its development.

2) A feature which I’m glad to see soon is how a draft system has been added so that as users write their entries they are saved in the event of an accidental phone death or whatever else. This may mean that there will be no concern at all over navigating away from ME.mory while making an entry.

3) I may well be attending an event at “Venturef0rth” (a collaborative workspace located at 417 N. 8th St., here in Philadelphia) on 9/14. If so, then I may share thoughts about it in the next post.


OK. What a long post! I’m done. Cheers!