If you haven’t read our May 2020 family update, give it a read!
This year has been quite a tumultuous one, as we’ve all lived through the many world changing events that have occurred, many of which are still on-going.
Dylan and Ashton
The boys turned 9 years old in September, and they’re currently in 3rd grade. For Ashton and Dylan, the biggest change for them school wise, was shifting to a “distance learning” model. Monday-Thursday, they meet with their class for “morning meeting”, which spans 30-60 minutes over Google Meet. During these sessions, they get to engage with their teacher and their school mates.
The rest of the day is spent in self paced study and learning, although they do get a curriculum to follow, with the teacher releasing new assignments and activities to complete every morning (on Canvas). Occasionally the assignments aren’t available for the boys when they try to start school at the butt crack of dawn, immediately after they wake up at 7AM.
Thankfully, the boys have both done well with this new learning model and have excelled in their class. We do miss the in person socialization and they miss their friends at the elementary school that they would typically see at lunch and recess. Tera and I look forward to the end of this pandemic and to sending them back to in person schooling.
The shift has led to them becoming proficient in typing, and learning a wide variety of new apps, programs, and computer navigation skills (on Chromebooks), which I’m happy about.
In terms of interests, Roblox and Legos are definitely the boys most beloved activities. They play Roblox just about every day on their “teampads” (Fire HD tablets) and they usually use their “TV time” to watch YouTube videos of gamers playing and talking through games.
This year Tera has spent most of her time helping the kids with online school, reading books, cooking, doing yoga, meditation and taking walks to help keep sane during the pandemic. The latest book she loved is “The Pale Faced Lie”, a true story by David Crow.
She’s also taken on the job of cutting everyone’s hair in the house, while Wes has taken on the duty of hair colorist for Tera. haha.
We can’t wait to get back to enjoying live concerts, hanging out with friends, going out to our favorite restaurants and traveling, once things go back to more normal. Luckily in 2019 we traveled more than we ever had in previous years. We are grateful for our good health, Wes’ job that he loves and for the extra time we get to spend together as a family.
In May, I took on a new role leading the Platform Engineering team at Pluralsight. Our team builds libraries, tools, and systems that enables our fellow product teams to be more productive. We work with many different languages, frameworks, and tools and we are always innovating and learning new things. I love this work and I am very grateful to have a phenomenal team of Software, DevOps, and Product people that I get to spend my days with.
Separately from my full-time employment, I am also a Pluralsight Author. This year, I was able to help launch the new Cloud Labs product, authoring roughly a dozen Cloud Labs that cover both AWS and Azure! You can see some of these labs after logging into the app.pluralsight.com Skills Product on my Author Profile.
In October, I spoke at the Big Mountain Data & Dev conference, with my talk, Scrape the Web for Fun & Nonprofit with Python. Have a look if you’re interested in learning some Python with me!
This year, I also launched a mentorship program where I am mentoring and advising Computer Science students and folks who are aspiring to enter the tech industry. I appreciate the opportunity to help uplift others, serve as a resource, and I am excited to see my mentees continue to succeed.
Well, that’s all for now. We miss you all and hope to spend much more time with friends, family, and colleagues in the coming year. We wish you good health, both mentally and physically, and hope that 2021 is a much better year for us all.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2021!