Catastrophe Rising

"I'll carry your world"

Month: January 2017

Month in Review: January

The first month is 2016 is almost done and the year is off to a really great start for me. I can’t believe how fast this month has gone. My classes are all going well and my semester is off to a great start. I can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been. Let’s hope February has the same outcome.

My Highlights from the Month were:

  • Starting the Spring Semester
  • Getting to start my new job as a department tutor
  • Coming back to Radford and seeing all of my friends again
  • Snow! ❄️
  • Being elected to my fraternity’s judicial board
  • Feeling the love from everyone in my life, whether online or in person 💖

Some Lows from the Month were:

  • Dealing with periods of boredom during Winter Break
  • Having to deal with Radford’s winter
  • Having to find a new host for Catastrophe Rising
  • Watching as Donald Trump became my new President
    • And watching him ban refugees from the United States

That’s OK because I accomplished:

  • Good grades on all my assignments thus far
  • I published Catastrophe Rising’s third theme
    • The blog reached a new high for the amount of comments on one post 💬
  • Spending less time on Facebook and not having it be the last thing I look at before bed
    • More on this later
  • I joined my school’s Cyber Defense Club 💻

My Activities from the Month include:

  • Picking back up the anime Naruto and starting Season 3
  • I finished Cress by Marissa Meyer (loved the ending! can’t wait to read the 4th book)
  • I started Lost on the Appalachian Trail by Kyle Rohrig
    • It chronicles a young man’s journey on a trail that runs for Georgia to Maine
    • Really enjoying it so far, the guy’s personality is great – highly recommend!
  • I watched My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke
    • This brings the number of Studio Ghibli Movies I’ve seen to

Next Month, I’m looking forward to:

  • CAPWiC on February 24th and 25th
  • Going home for my brother’s 18th birthday 🎉
  • Getting paid in a couple weeks

Next Month, I hope to accomplish:

  • Achieving good grades on upcoming exams
  • Moving forward with finding an internship for the summer
  • Learning more and more about Cyber Security

Finally, a Song from this Month:

 

I’ll try and post again in a week or so. Stay awesome!

A Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

I’ve been inspired by bloggers like Pauline and Georgie and their letters to their younger selves and I thought I would do something similar. When I was 13 (about 7 years ago), I was going through a very hard, awkward time and I ran to my computer for support. As a result, I got into web design. I was hung up over a boy and life was just…crazy.

 

Buddy in the Blizzard of 2010, taken almost 7 years ago

 

Dear Cassidy,

Boy, do I have a lot to say to you. I’ll try my best to stay organized, but you know, we’ve never been good at that.

First off, I’m going to say this. Forget about the boy with the shaggy blonde hair that currently holds your heart. No one at that age has their shit together, especially 13-year-olds. You can’t expect anything to last at that age so save yourself the trouble, pretty please. You’ll only regret it later.

Your curiosity for computers is growing, keep it up. Because you’re going to major in it and it’s going to challenging but it’ll be awesome. You’re already learning stuff that you won’t see until your second year of college

You’re really insecure about yourself and that’s ok. You’ll learn to see how amazing and awe-inspiring you truly are and you’ll eventually be comfortable with the person you are.

You want to fit in with the popular crowd but honestly, you’re waisting your time. Think if it like this: you and all of your classmates are a bag of trail mix. You have the pretzels, the nuts, the M&Ms, etc. This popular crowd that you’re tying be a part of: they’re a bunch of nuts. You are a pretzel and no matter how much you try to convince the nuts that you’re a nut too, you won’t magically become a nut. You’re a pretzel and although you might be overwhelmed by the amount of nuts in your bag or trail mix, you need to embrace your inner pretzel.

To put it in simplest terms, no matter how many shirts you wear from Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Fitch, and the like, you’re still going to be Cassidy. Nothing you do will change that. So it is better to just embrace the fact that you’re different and not waste your time changing yourself so that you can gain approval from others. Like Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true”.

You like to read and that’s good. Never underestimate the power of a good book. Especially at your age. A lot of times you’ll look to them to feel less alone and you’ll find lots of information about how to go about this crazy thing called life.

You’re looking to the future in order to find the relief that you need, to know that everything’s going to be ok. And it will be. You’re going to go through a lot of hard times in the next couple of years. You’re going to cry a ton. But on the other side of it, you’ll be stronger. Just hang in there.

Don’t forget to remember the little things. Although this shaggy blonde boy is breaking your heart, remember that you still have friends. Love them for as long as you can and don’t let them go. I wish I could say that those friendships will last into college, but they don’t.

One last piece of advice: although you may want to escape into cyberspace and never come out, don’t. You’ll learn later on that the world isn’t in a computer but  out there (*gestures outside window*) waiting for you. You’ll live a lot more in the real world than on the internet.

Give Buddy a kiss for me (because he’s gone now) and hug those friends for me, too.

Love,

~Cass

 

Stray Dogs and False Alarms

I’m back in my college town and I have been loving it so far. My first two days of classes are over and I think it’s going to be a great semester.

As I suspected, I hated getting up for my 8 am. When my alarm went off, I let off an audible groan before realizing that it was the start of a new semester and that I would also be starting my new tutoring job. My first class was Database 1 and I learned that the class will involve learning SQL which is pretty exciting. I know basically nothing at this point and I’m excited to learn about it.

After the class let out, I saw that I had a couple of minutes before I had to go to my job (which was right downstairs), so I stopped by my former Web Programming professor’s office and said hello. I told him about Sass/SCSS and he was really impressed and excited. Hopefully he finds it easier to deal with than regular CSS.

My first day on the job went really well. I was really nervous at first but once I was able to successfully help out some students, I felt a lot better. I don’t know why I was nervous in the first place since the material was so basic (they were writing a Hello World program in Java). I’m looking forward to working tomorrow.

This morning I was startled when my Marketing professor asked me about my Mac in the middle of the lecture. He revealed himself to be a technology geek and I could see why two of my fraternity brothers recommended that take the course with him.

The rest of my classes were business as usual. This week is what we call “Syllabus week” so we’re not getting too heavily into things at the moment.

A Wayward Border Collie

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr day, so my school didn’t have classes. I used that day to run a few errands, meet up with friends, and start work for my classes.

While I was on the way to the grocery to pick up some much needed food items, I saw an unsupervised Border Collie on the side of the road. The road was a busy one and a main artery in and out of town so I decided to turn back and try to see if I could coax the dog to my car. I ended up parking in a church parking lot by a yellow curve (which is off limits to parking). I started running down the street so I could catch up with it.

Unfortunately, it ran into the woods before I could get within 5 feet of it. I figured that it would be ok and that it would find its way home because of the breed’s reputation for being smart.

The next day, someone posted on my university’s Facebook page, saying their Lab had run off with it and that it was believed that the dog is a stray.

I really wish I could have taken that dog off the streets and I don’t regret going after it (even though I probably embarrassed myself 😆). If one of my dogs had been that situation, I would’ve wanted someone to take action, especially since the dog could’ve been hit by a car.

Campus Shooting….or not

Yesterday afternoon, as I was doing school work in my apartment, I received an email from the university alert system, saying that shots had been fired on campus and the suspect was in custody. The email was followed by text messages and phone calls with the same message. I was shocked. I was also thankful the police had acted quickly and I was hoping that everyone was ok.

Though the subject of the email said the that shooting had occurred on campus, the contents said that shooting took place off campus. So that left me feeling confused.

I turned on the news and the anchors relayed the information that the shooting, thankfully, took place off campus in the area on the opposite side from where I live. And subject had only shot himself. So that was great news that no one was hurt and that police were taking care of everything.

Anyway, I still have lots of things I need to do so that’s it for now. Hope everyone enjoys their week!

Cassidy Currently: 7th Edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while and so I’ve decided to go ahead and do my first one of 2017. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Prepping for the Spring Semester

My winter break is winding down and I’ll be heading back to school the day after tomorrow (Sunday). Classes don’t start until Tuesday but I’d rather get the 4 hour drive over with so that way I’ll have some free time to catch up with my friends, making sure my Mac is able to connect to the university WiFi, etc.

I’ve really enjoyed being at home and all but I haven’t had much to do and it’s been driving me nuts. I’ll be really glad to finally get on a fixed schedule again.

I’m not looking forward to having an 8 am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays (especially with it being winter). I guess I’ll have to start back with developing a taste for coffee again. ☕️

I don’t know how it is for universities that aren’t in the United States but for most of the schools I know, we have a site extension (usually developed by a third-party) where we can access material for our classes, turn in assignments, see our grades, etc. I’ve been checking the site every day this week to see if my Spring Semester classes will come up so that way I can try to get a feel for my classes. That and one of them is online so I’d love to be able to do some work for it.

CAPWiC Plans

I’m involved with a couple of organizations at my school, one which is the Women in Computing club. My friend (and the club President) got me into it last semester since she knew I was an I.T. major and we’re both in the same fraternity. It’s been really cool to branch out and get to know more girls in similar majors and it’s really given me a sense of community as far as being part of the I.T. Department.

Well, before we left for break, my friend brought it to the club’s attention about an upcoming conference in February called CAPWiC. It’s a conference that happens each year that brings together all the women and girls in computing from around Virginia and Maryland. This year, it’s meeting in Washington, D.C. and after thinking it over, I’ve decided to go!

This will be my first time going to a computing conference and I’m very excited to meet other people and go to workshops and make connections.

Learning Sass/SCSS

It’s not secret that I want to learn as much about web development as possible, and after looking through job listings, I found that a lot of employers (at least in the U.S.) prefer that web developers have skills involving Sass/SCSS. So of course, I decided to watch some tutorials and learn about it.

And after spending some time coding with it, I really like it. I find it makes CSS a lot easier to deal with and saves a lot aggravation. I don’t like that it requires a compiler but a lot of good IDE’s (WebStorm, etc.) have one built in.

I’ll definitely use it for future CSS endeavors.

Effective Time Wasting

So what I have been doing with all of the free time, besides learning new coding languages? Well I’ve been Redditing, watching anime, etc.

I recently discovered how awesome Reddit is. It’s really cool how you can chime in with your opinion and have no one know who you are (except for a user name). I’ve mainly been lurking on Ask Reddit but I’m branching out to other sections as well.

As for anime, lately I’ve been watching Naruto and Death Note, both of which I’ve started and stopped over the past six months. Naruto has been better for days when I’ve head enough of the gloominess that comes with Death Note.

 

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I hope you guys had a good week!

Hidden in the Shadows

First of all, I just want to thank all of my readers for all their love and support, as well their advice and feedback. It means a lot. 💖

In the 6 months since I’ve come back to blogging, I’ve found a lot of love an acceptance from people I’ve never even met. And it’s really cool. I wish I saw this acceptance more in the real world.

Anyway, there is something about me that I want my devoted readers to know. I have a…I guess you could call it a condition or ailment or whatever where I don’t eat all of the things that a person usually eats. And since I’ve probably baffled you, I’m going to elaborate a bit.

When I was really young (I was probably around 3), I got sick. My dad thinks it was from a fast food hamburger (which is why I can’t stand beef). Before that, everything was fine. I was developing my taste for food as normal. But then I got so sick, that I ended up in the hospital and I was feeling really bad and I was just hating every minute of it (I don’t remember much but what I do remember was not good). After that, my eating was pretty much ruined.

I tried to get back on track as far as developing tastes for things but every time I would try something, I would get nauseous, a lot of times gagging the food back up (It still happens from time to time). My dad tried everything to solve this problem but to no avail.

It was really hard when I was younger because I was so afraid of trying foods that were new to me. But as I’ve grown older, the fear has eased a bit, thankfully. And my condition is only as big of deal as me simply being extremely picky.

So what do I eat? Well, I love chicken but I only eat it certain ways (fried). I love fries. I love pizza. I eat pork occasionally. I’ll do fried fish from time to time. I love most fruits (I’m still getting used to the texture of strawberries 🍓). I love sugary foods (donuts, cookies, etc.). I love certain types of bread (biscuits, garlic bread). I’ll eat cereal and granola bars.

But other than the foods listed above, I don’t eat anything else.

This is something that I kind of hate about myself, even though I can’t exactly help it. I hate it because it makes more different from my friends and that every time I go out, I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to find something I’ll eat and I don’t want to make my friends uncomfortable if I get sick from trying something.

I’ve avoid the possibility of going abroad for long periods of time because of this issue. There’s nothing I would love more than to spend a semester studying in some far away place like England or Australia but I’m so afraid that I’ll have trouble eating while I’m there.

But like I said, it’s getting better, little by little. My progress isn’t as fast as I would like it to be but I’m a lot better than what I used to be. I think when I finally have a steady job and my career is stable, I’ll start going to a therapist or some professional who can help me more. I think as long as I’m determined to improve, I’ll get better.

Side note: I’ve add some links to some of the resources I’ve used to help develop this site, including a link to The New Boston where you can find lots of different coding tutorials.

See you next time!