Zach LeBar

Personal ramblings on a wide array of topics. "But, you know,
I could be wrong."

The Retreat

— Putting everything on pause

In early March my wife and I drove to MontrĂ©al. We had an Airbnb booked for 6 days in a corner of the city we’d been to before. Things would be familiar, but not too familiar. Despite it almost being Spring, the weather was cold and, well, Canadian. The day we arrived, 3 inches of snow had just fallen.

It was perfect.

We’d been planning this trip since late last year. We wanted to go somewhere out of our normal routine and put the rest of our life on pause. We were going to hunker down and figure out what we wanted 2017 to be like.

Shifting Plans

It all worked out even better than we could’ve hoped.

In the days leading up to the trip I received some offers that opened up new and exciting possibilities. We thought we’d be discussing personal endeavors, side projects, and the small businesses we wanted to start this year. Instead we found ourselves staring at a whole new set of things. It was exciting, thrilling, and a bit scary.

About a month later, and I can say that things have been going really well. I’ve shuffled around my schedule and taken on some new freelance work. To do so I’ve cut back a bit on some of the in-house design and development work I was doing before. But perhaps the most interesting change is that I’ve become a mentor at Bloc.

Not Simply Teaching, Mentoring

I think the word choice is important here. I’m not a “teacher” at Bloc. I’m a mentor. My role is to help my students achieve their goals, but I’m not the sole place they come for instruction. The curriculum is self-paced, and encourages the student to do a lot of reading, testing, and learning on their own. I think my fellow designers and developers out there would agree that while none of us got to where we are on our own, we’ve all had to maintain our curiosity and keep learning as our industries shift and change. The way Bloc works, it encourages students to learn those skills.

Quieter, But Not Silent

The down side to all this is it means things might be a bit quieter here than I’d like. Roving Thoughts was initially a big part of my plans for 2017 and I still have a lot I want to write about. Who knows, I might end up blogging more than I think. There’s some design and development topics at the top of my mind I’d like to discuss*.

Even if I get quieter, I’ll try not to go completely silent folks.

*: For example, how this site is built. It’s not WordPress like some of y’all might expect. I got a bit more creative and tried something different. I’m pretty happy with it. My plan is to put together both a tutorial of how the site is built along well as an explanation of why it’s built that way.