I haven’t abandoned this project

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but I haven’t forgotten about nor abandoned this website project. Taking the time to write out a new post remains to be an enjoyable activity for me, so I do not see myself stopping. My lack of posting stems from a few different areas. I’ve been busy with job hunting, Fredo from ALPS was visiting for close to a week, and mostly, I just haven’t had a good idea what to write about. I have lists for ideas, but sometimes they just don’t do the trick.

I do like transparency. Like, for-reals transparency. One thing I’ve recently learned is that companies can not only say they value transparency, but they actually actively work on being and remaining transparent. It’s quite refreshing to see this in practice, after working somewhere for three years that can only say they value transparency and are transparent in theory. I’m not sure if this is due to a huge cultural difference between Seattle and Chicago, if I’ve been in a tech bubble the last three years while everyone around me kept making great strides towards transparency, or if I just ended up somewhere with an unhealthy view of what transparency should be.

Interviewing itself is crazy stressful. You want to make sure you’re saying all the right things, but there’s a careful balance between what you think you should say and what you’re actually saying. Some see interviewing as a game to be played. I prefer to be open and honest about who I am, what I want, and where I want to go. I realize that I’m not a typical candidate, so finding that “next thing” can be a bit of a challenge. For me, interviewing is gaining the confidence that if I’m interviewing with a place and it doesn’t work out, hopefully I’ve learned something about myself, which I can take home, digest, and continue to grow from.

I’m still on my path of continual self improvement, and my goal daily is to be a better person than I was yesterday. It doesn’t have to be a huge improvement, either. For example, I was reading Vox Sentences from March 21st, and I noticed that, rather than slaves, Vox chose to use the term “enslaved people”. At first, I didn’t notice the difference. As I kept reading about Tamara Lanier and her battle with Harvard to reclaim profits made off of her ancestors, the difference between “slave” and “enslaved person” hit me. Slave is the other, the not human. Calling former slaves enslaved people or persons does what slave alone cannot: it forcibly returns the humanity to something we think of that should not have any humanity to it.

Along my path to continual self improvement, one thing I have been working on through the recent years is changing my personal dictionary to stop removing the humanity from language aimed at the other. This has in turn changed my opinions on how we treat criminals and criminal justice in our country. Often, when someone does something we do not approve of, our first act is to strip that person of their humanity to create them as the other. Oh, that criminal? What an animal. Subhuman.

I have been actively fighting against how I was raised to no longer see other humans as the other, nor to make them the other. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not! And now, as I have my daily scrum with myself, I ask myself the three questions:

  1. What did I do yesterday to work towards my self improvement?
  2. What am I doing today to work towards my self improvement?
  3. What roadblocks or challenges will I face today in reaching this goal, and how do I overcome them?

On March 21st, I realized that by using the term enslaved person over the now watered down term slave (let’s be honest here, people use this term all too loosely when comparing their life to the hardships the enslaved people who built this nation had to go through) is exactly the kind of ideas I want and need in order to be a better person. I might not be a Scrum Master by professional trade – YET – but that shouldn’t stop me from using scrum theory in my daily life to be a better person.

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