The family side
I spent the week of January 15th in Providence, RI with a group known as Lullabot learning the ins and outs of Drupal. I've been working with Drupal for a while now, about 2 years in fact, and had learned quite a lot on my own by reading the Drupal Handbook and hacking the core (which really is a no-no, but a great way to learn). When my buddy Dave told me about the workshop Lullabot was having, I looked into it and convinced Shawn to get work to pay for it and let me go for the whole week. Since my Aunt and Uncle live near Providence, I asked them if I could stay with them and it just so happened that the week was filled with birthdays! Two of my cousins and my Uncle's birthdays were that week. What luck! Carmen and Frank were more then happy to have me up for a week and I was so glad to get to spend some time with them. I lived with them for a summer when I was 17 and I've missed them ever since.
The technical side
The Lullabot workshops, however were the real reason for the trip (since work was sending me) and I was not disappointed in that fact at all. They were fantastic! I knew quite a bit about Drupal when I arrived, but soon learned how much I really didn't know. I like to compare it to a huge puzzle that I had been putting together all by myself, not really knowing where all the pieces went, but I was getting them together on my own yet out of order. These workshops really helped to put the pieces I was missing into place and really helped fill out the whole picture. I learned in that one week what I had been missing and felt as though I crammed two months of learning on my own, into one week. My brain was soaking up the information like a sponge and it felt great! I wanted more and by the end of the week I felt like crying, knowing that I would have to leave and would not be able to maintain the rate of information absorption I was getting. I felt inspired, awed, and humbled by the amount of knowledge the Lullabots bestowed upon us, knowing that there was even more that could just not be taught with the time that we had. My only real consolation in that, was the fact that Drupal is open source and these were the people that had put enough time and effort into the creation of Drupal that they actually felt like they had an ownership in it. Maybe ownership si not the right word, but more like the feeling a parent might have towards a child, a very bright, intelligent, and well liked child. And with that realization, came the revelation that I too could have that as well! But it would take much time, effort and learning before that could ever be me. Now, I'm not one for New Years resolutions, and yes I know it's already the end of January, but I submit to you now my New Years Revolution: I will contribute to the Drupal community as much as possible this coming year and will hopefully find that piece of mind in knowing that I've contributed to the greater good in a project that affects so many geeks lives. And I say geek with the utmost admiration and respect, because not only do I categorize myself as one, but because so many of the people I've come to respect categorize themselves as one as well.