Friday, November 15, 2013

Looking Back

When I started Geek Groupies back in 2008, I had no idea where I would be just five short years later. Back then, I didn't have much faith in my ability to persevere through adversity.  Heck, even the name of the blog "Geek Groupies" indicates that I felt like more of an observer on the geek world than part of it myself.  Now, here I am, a computer science instructor at the University of Oregon, and the Executive Director of Thinkersmith, a non-profit that teaches computer science to people as a creative art form.
Looking back over my previous posts, it's amusing to see what little bumps and discoveries I had in the beginning.  It's also sad to see that the biggest lags in posts came during times when I was experiencing so much growth.  I wish I had taken the opportunity to document my personal journey, rather than neglecting to share information during my days of stress and deadlines.  I'd like to think that this will inspire me to write more now, but knowing how difficult eighty hour weeks have been, I find it hard to imagine that I'll put off bed for thirty more minutes to record a thought or two.  Even still, now that the seed has been planted, I believe I'll make an effort.

A quick note about the present. Thinkersmith has taken off, almost faster than I can keep up.  I have team members now, and some of those team members even manage other team members!  We still do camps, classes, and workshops locally, but we have also developed a curriculum that others can use anywhere in the world (some of those lessons have even been translated into other languages by government agencies!)

Our curriculum was so well received that Thinkersmith was asked to join in the task of developing a K-8 computer science curriculum intended to be distributed worldwide by 2014 at no cost to schools! Of course we said yes.  The better part of my Sept/Oct/Nov was dedicated to this feat, and we're starting to see the finished result of months of trial and toil.

There's so much more to share, but I'm going to have to do it bit by bit.  If you're interested in what goes in to starting an international phenomenon, stay tuned!

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