About People’s Interactions

I liked how my Wednesday’s meetup went. I only regret that I didn’t put enough time into advertising, and there were not many people attending. The talk was brilliant. It was new Bruce’s talk “Democratization of Databases,” where he talks about opensource products and how their development is different from commercial products. 

Our discussion ended up being rather political; that’s why I am not posting it on my professional blog.

But you know, I think it was very appropriate. There are times when you have to be political, times when you can’t enclose yourself in your professional world. And now is that kind of time. 

On another note, I started to assemble my team of volunteers. And now, when I started, I do not know how I lived without any help! I felt so good when people responded to my call. When they started to reach out telling me that they want to help, to give back. One of the people who reached out told me: I want to compensate for all these times when I would just come and sit in the corner, listen to the talks, eat pizza and go back home. 

I can see now how many things we didn’t do to give us more publicity. Interestingly, when I talk to other people about giving their enterprise more publicity, I name all these things I didn’t do myself :). I hope that by the time of the next meetup, things will start to look different.

This week was very intense. I had many things going on at work, and I also had to talk to many people for a very long time :). I can’t recall this level of interactions I was involved in since the pre-pandemic times. I am tired, but I also feel very good. I feel empowered by people’s responses. 

Acting Like A Leader

I am listening to “Atomic Habits,” a well-knowing book, mostly building on the “Power of Habit,” which I read a long time ago and really liked. 

As it often happens, you notice the closest ideas to what you are thinking about at the moment. This time, it was the well-known idea of “if you want to become something, act as if you already are.” To be precise, in the book, the author rephrases it like “do not say: I want to run a marathon, say: I want to become a runner.”

The reason I paid attention to this statement is the conversation I had on Friday. Among other things, I was asked about “things that work” with the Chicago PUG. While answering that question, I started to list all the things I usually mention when people ask me, “How did I build it.” I talked about having specific dates, announcing meetups early, starting on time, engaging the audience, coaching the first-time zoom speakers. And I ended my answer with one simple statement: I am a community leader, people are looking up at me, and I felt the responsibility to act.

And that is the most important reason that Chicago PUG is running regular meetups, one of the very few PostgreSQL meetups regularly running during the pandemic. 

I vividly remember how I felt a year ago. I had to make difficult choices, and at that time, I was very unsure of what is the right thing to do, and I was questioning myself and my actions, and the situation was changing not by days but by hours. 

First, I announced the change of speaker. Then, I announced the rescheduling. And two weeks later, I announced going virtual. I opted to be a first zoom speaker because I knew it could be a very miserable experience (and it was). But the important thing was that we were able to continue our activities and the PUG members responded with great attendance. 

I am very proud of all of us, and I hope that later this year, we will be able to switch to the hybrid meetups:)

Beautiful Moments – Saturday

It’s Sunday night, and a new work week ahead. I spent many hours of this weekend writing, and it seems like there was no weekend at all. But then I remember many happy moment of the past two days , and I thinking – it was a good weekend!

I biked to the Farmers’ Market Saturday morning
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Today’s Activities: Clinic Escort and More Local Protests

As I mentioned in that post, this week, we resumed the clinic escorting. We had to complete zoom training about our new procedures and sign the waiver regarding the new risks related to the pandemic. 

I was glad to be back; it is great to feel that you can do something useful and meaningful. 

It was relatively quiet; there were just a few antis, and they left about 11 AM. I was hoping to meet up with Igor, but since a new protest, the largest so far was unfolding, there were no CTA services to the Loop, and the bridges were up again. Everybody was upset about the bridges, and it didn’t look like it was really necessary, but whatever.

Metra looked much better than the other two times I took it to the city during the quarantine. There were more people on board, but unfortunately, not all of them were wearing masks. The conductors are still not around, so nobody is enforcing the face covering. 

As I realized that I am not going to meet with Igor, I took the 12-30 train and was able to attend a Palatine protest, organized by NWSOFA/Indivisible. It was very well organized, with lots of invited speakers and with all our elected and not elected official speaking. I decided to play safe and stood further away, which unfortunately meant that I could not hear everything. 

What was encouraging that through the whole course of the rally, the passing cars were honking non-stop (including the big trucks:))

I am walking towards the Volunteer Plaza

Distancing

Local Protests

Today, Palatine had its first Racial Justice rally, the second one is planned for Saturday. I learned about it a couple of hours before it was going to start, but I figured out I can do it.

Through the past week, I’ve said multiple times how important these days is not to be silent. Yes, we are a small village, just about 80,000 people. And yes, it may seem like it does not matter; we are away from the city and away from the real battle. But I find it essential that my neighbors of different languages and colors walked out together to say NO to racism.

We were standing at the corner of Palatine Road and Quentine, the Riemer Reservoir is a public property, that’s why we could be there without any permission. Police was notified and had it’s presence
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I Have to Share That:)

Somebody on our local nextdoor.com forum wanted to have some fun, I guess, or just test the neighborhood, and posted a survey: Should schools in America teach Arabic numerals as part of the curriculum? answers: Yes! No! No opinion.

I know it is hard to believe (especially since our school district, both Elementary and HS, are known for providing excellent education), but … at the time I checked, about 20% responded “No!” some with the comments “we are in America”, and 9% had “no opinion”.

And they were not joking!!!(It was clear from the subsequent comments). The post is already removed, so I do not know the final count ๐Ÿ™‚

The First Trip to The Farmer’s Market

The Palatine Farmers market started its season lost Friday, and I didn’t even know! So this Saturday, I was determined to go. I thought that it would be a great idea to bike there, but we had a frost last night! Most likely, the last frost of the season, but cold enough for lots of my impatiences to die. It was not deadly for humans, for sure, but it made a ride unpleasant. So for today, I took a car to the train station and then walked to the market.

It was such a pleasure to see familiar faces, even when in masks and six feet apart. And even more so, to hear that people recognize me, even when my face is covered with a mask and sunglasses.

I bought some micro-greens from my farmers.

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Increasing the Distance

Our Park District came up with a very creative way to keep the residents active during the lockdown. At the beginning of April, they launched a virtual competition, “Increasing the distance.”


The distance is minimal, but I know that many people stopped moving entirely, so it is important to get them out and moving, even if it would be for a mile a day.

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