Shortly after my last blogging session, I went to the ARG training. That class that Stephen lead was one of the best classes I have ever been in. I find myself to be an insightful person, and this class helped give me answers about people that I’d been searching for. Here are some things that I’ve learned:
- “Not yet” instead of failure. I have found this strategy helpful myself. I’ve been getting used to “getting back up again” after failure, but it was a long and arduous process that I had to go through.
- Hierarchical — How close are you with your boss? I’ve experienced being on the same level with teachers since elementary school. I often struggle in classes, but if my professor knows me, and knows that I’m working hard and trying, they are more likely to give me second chances.
- Effects of assertiveness/dominance in group dynamic. I think most, if not all people, have experienced this if they work in groups. I find myself on both sides of the spectrum: I can give direction, or I can follow what other people are saying. In the latter, I usually assume that “diffusion of responsibility.” If it’s their problem, why should I feel like I can contribute to the group? I wonder if that’s the reason why most inefficient group projects result in one person doing all the work.
- Stereotype threat. This was probably the most profound example that I learned. If people feel like they’re being marginalized, they may try to work even harder to fight the stereotype. That stress takes up their concentration and they do worse at the task. I’ve learned, that especially when I’m competing, I have to forget my weaknesses and the stress over beating my competitor. I would just have to be the best I can possibly be, and that would be my best effort.
I experienced most of these examples before in my life, but learning them in a classroom environment was so fulfilling. I could only ask for more lessons like this.The project meeting that followed was productive, as we set out some work to do for our project.
Afterwards, we went on a tour of State Gym. It wasn’t as big as the campus rec at UH, but they have some great facilities and resources. I need to figure out when I can go there.
On Saturday, we went to work on bikes at Val’s. I got the impression, that most, if not all interns, had a great time there. I was the first person to choose a bike. I felt weird riding it at first, because I hadn’t done so in years. I soon got accustomed and I’m hoping to use it to move around campus. Lucas and I worked together to make a storage device to store Val’s many tires and wheels. We were basically just given one large and one small pallets to use. I think we worked together well. We used both of our ideas to create the final design, and we both contributed to the building. It’s nice to find out that my building skills actually came to be helpful here in Iowa.
Later on Saturday evening, Andrew took some interns to Summerfest at Campustown. We came just at the end of the kids festivities, so we saw the results of the cutest dog competition (Winston, the champion is pictured below). I also saw three baby goats that were sleeping next to each other, and I thought that was very cute. The root beer floats that were being handed out were an added bonus. We got dinner at Fuzzy’s, a Tex-Mex place (but is it Tex-Mex if it’s not in Texas?). I liked the food there, and I think I will definitely return to Campustown to check out more of the other food recommendations.
Sunday’s schedule was very fluid, as I did not have anything set planned for the day. I watched Dr. Kelly’s XR lecture, and although some of the findings were things that I learned before, I did learn more on the second round of watching it. My roommate, and also project fellow, Vrinda, discussed with me some ideas for experiments that we would share with the group. I’ll save those details for my notes, until we decide to go forward with one.
I arrived early for today’s C++ class, and I was nervous. I didn’t know how to code, and when the instructor asked people to raise their hands if they had, almost all the interns did. I felt like I was asking questions that would seem so obvious to the other interns. I got over those fears, and the class went along fine. I tried my best not to fall behind, and I seemed to keep up with the content, which wasn’t too much. He did say that we would be learning at a very fast pace, so I have to be able to learn quickly. I will spend the rest of this hour trying to nail down some basic concepts.