Catastrophe Rising

"I'll carry your world"

Month: February 2017

CAPWIC 2017

I’m sorry that I’ve been scarce on here lately. I’ve been having trouble balancing my two jobs, school, and extra-curricular activities and my blog has suffered as a result. I’ll try to be better at updating from now on.

Anyway, If you’ve kept up with me on twitter, you’ll know that I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. for CAPWIC 2017 which is conference that caters to women in computing from the high school level to the professional level.

One of the cemeteries on the campus

Day 1

I woke up at 6 am with the intention of leaving at around 7:30. I left myself that amount of time because I was driving two of my friends up as well. Although we got a bit of a later start (and the drive was over 4 hours), we made it in into Georgetown just in time. As we emerged from the dark parking garage, we were totally awed at our surroundings. Not only was the campus beautiful but it was also warm (around 75°F or 24°C) and I was surprised to find that a couple of trees on the campus had bloomed, despite the fact that it’s late February and it’s supposed to be freezing.

One of the first views we saw as we exited the parking garage

After the initial keynote, we had a snack (where I found out that coconut isn’t as evil as I thought it was) and proceeded to some talks.

The first talk was about resume and I got some helpful tips (and later implemented them). The second talk was done by some representatives at APT who gave us some tips on technical interviews and even walked through one with us. I definitely feel better prepared for that aspect of getting a job.

The third talk was about juggling work life and maintaining your sanity. I really liked this one because the women was someone who highly involved in the political aspect of Computer and Information Science, having worked with Obama Administration and (to her dismay) the Trump Administration. She reminded us that we don’t have to be Superwomen and do everything.

After that there was the career fair where I met some great recruiters from different companies. When they mentioned web development, I freaked out a bit and I told them about my experience and that I was looking for an internship. Although I got a lot of free stuff from the companies, my most valuable items are the business cards because those are the keys to contacting the recruiters for follow ups and further information.

When we had our fill of the career fair, my companions and I went outside and enjoyed the afternoon. We marveled at the scenery and architecture of the campus. I couldn’t have been more grateful to be there.

One of the classroom buildings

 

Me…it was late afternoon and I was exhausted

Soon it was time for dinner where I had a little something but I ended up ordering pizza to the hotel we stayed at.

Speaking of which, the hotel we stayed was really nice. I remember feeling extremely out of place was pulled my little Nissan up to the main entrance and behind a nice expensive car. But it was all good. I checked in and sent my companions up ahead of me while I parked my car.

We spent the remainder of the evening working on homework, talking, and listening to homework. I crashed at around midnight but my friends crashed later than that.

My iPhone doesn’t do this view justice but looking across the Potomac and into Arlington

Day 2

After waking up a full hour before my friends, we caught an Uber back to Georgetown. One of my friends was doing a flash talk so I attended the event in order to show my support. She did hers on firewalls and security and I really enjoyed it. Some other talks included data exploration, artificial intelligence, and other topics.

After that, we proceed to lunch and we were given the opportunity to relax for a bit. After that, my companions and I split up as I wanted to listen to a presentation on how to get involved in undergrad research. I then proceed to attend a workshop on Git/Git hub which was very informative.

After that, we attended a short closing ceremony before wrapping up our little adventure and heading home.

 

Overall…

I really enjoyed the experience! I got to meet a bunch of different people and learn a bunch of different things. It was also really cool that I had my friends with to share the experience. I will definitely try and attend the conference next year.

Also, I saw DC in a new light. Growing up, I’ve always lived near the city and most of my grade school field trips involved visiting the city. But I think this trip made me see it like someone without that background.

Until next time, stay awesome.

 

On Love

Valentine’s Day is coming up and while that day will be pretty uneventful for me, I do feel like bringing up the topic because of the mystery it holds for some people.

1)comic courtesy of Left Unattended Comics

 

I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m not seeing anyone that has the potential to become my boyfriend. I’ve had flirts in the past and I have straight up told anyone that I deemed worthy of my love how I felt about them. But still, I’ve never been in a committed, long term relationship. So there are a lot of things about love that are a mystery to me.

I’m a child of divorce. My parents separated when I was 3 and made it final when I was 5 so I lived in a one parent household for most of my childhood. I never saw my mom and dad do romantic things. I never saw them go on dates or tell each other how much they meant to one another. So my early ideas of love came from whatever Disney movies I watched (which were a ton) or whatever televisions shows my little self was interested in. As a result, I got some pretty unrealistic expectations about love.

Those unrealistic expectations caused me a ton of heart break in grade school. And I’m not just exaggerating. Every single time I threw myself out there, I got hurt.  And it frustrated me because I had no idea what I was doing wrong or why no one returned the feelings.

Eventually, I kind of gave up. I resigned myself to being a crazy dog lady for the rest of life. I figured that love would find me eventually but I wasn’t going to turn myself into an emotional wreck while looking for it.

Fast forward to today. I’m working 2 jobs, taking 15 credits, and I’m involved with a co-ed fraternity a long with a couple other clubs related to my major. I don’t really have time to be involved with someone. I find myself fantasizing about it now and then because half of me is a hopeless romantic, but in a time of my life where everyone is hooking up, I really would like something that will last.

I have a few guy friends that I enjoy hanging out with. I do get somewhat annoyed when someone inquires if I’m romantically involved with them. I don’t blame their curiousness but I hate the stereotype that’s associated with seeing a girl and a guy together.

Anyway, I have a friend who came over to my place the other night and we talked for a while. We talked about life and I ranted to him about a rude group of people that I served earlier that week. But somehow our conversation turned to past relationships and we ended up expressing our views on love. We both had pessimistic views on it but I was/am more…I guess hopeful about it. I’m still hopeful that there’s someone out there with whom I’m meant to spend the rest of my life with.

The next day, while I replayed our conversation in my head, I thought back to some of the questions I had asked my dad. I asked him how he knew my mom (and then later my step-mom) was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He told he knew when he couldn’t picture his life without her. He also brought up this quote:

Love is friendship caught fire

I like to believe it. It kind of matches up with something I saw on Pinterest that said if the person is truly meant to be your sole mate, you won’t feel any agitation, anxiety, etc. The lack of those feelings match perfectly with friendship.

My point is, I guess people will believe what they will about love. I guess no theory is right or wrong but completely dependent on what a person believes in.

What are your philosophies on love? 

References   [ + ]

1. comic courtesy of Left Unattended Comics

Timeless Thoughts: My Childhood Dog

 

I’ve seen a lot of my blogger friends partake in this and but I’ve never had a chance to do it before now. This is a link-up hosted by Tara and Georgie. You can click the picture to go to the link-up.
February 17 will mark 1 year since my childhood dog, Buddy passed away. So I figured I’d reflect on some of the amazing times I had with him.

 

 

I was 9 years old when my dad surprised me with him for my birthday. My 9 year old self had been wanting a dog for a long time. On a May day, I entered my backyard where my party was held and I saw a small brown puppy sniffing around. I walked up to him and start petting him, wondering whose dog it was. I ask my dad the question and he broke the news: the puppy was mine.

 

I was a huge a fan of the Air Bud movies (which depict a Golden Retriever playing different sports) and so I decided to name him Buddy.
9 year old me holding 8 week old Buddy the day after my party

It was a learning process for all of us (my dad, my little brother and I) but we educated ourselves and we got used to having a dog around.

 

It was really surprising how he just sort of fit in with us. Like he was the missing puzzle piece that made our family complete.

 

He followed us everywhere. Whether it was a simple trip to the bank or a long vacation, if where we going allowed it, he would follow. It made everything better and he certainly liked the free treats from the bank and the new smells that came with new destinations.

13 year old me and 10 year old William (younger brother) on the shores of Lake Erie
As my teen years hit me, he was there for the bad times. Whenever I would come home from a bad day at school, my dad would let him loose as I started down the driveway and he run to me with such a happy look on his face. It never failed to make me feel better.

 

There were many times when he followed me home on my bike as we went from the neighborhood elementary school to home. It was so cool because we would both get the exercise and I loved having a sidekick.

 

He was a huge source of unconditional love for me on the days when I really needed it. If It felt bad about myself, Buddy would remind me that I was good for something.

 

Last year, as I drove home after hearing the news (and for William’s 17th birthday), in between songs, I said somberly: “I miss you, Buddy”. The song that played next was Parachutes by Coldplay and it was like Buddy was sending me a message that he would always be there for me.
“In a haze, a stormy haze, I’ll be round, I’ll be loving you always, always “
~Parachutes by Coldplay
After that, I decided I would take the unconditional love he gave me and give it to others, especially when they need it.

 

But now when I think of Buddy, I think of him as my “everglow” as reference to the song Everglow by Coldplay. He left me a light that I’m determined to give to others.