Catastrophe Rising

"I'll carry your world"

Category: Travel

Sanctuary

 

It is not the trail we conquer but ourselves

On Tuesday, I used my first day off in 2 weeks to do my first solo hike on the Appalachian Trail. I was going back and forth about bringing my dogs along with me for an added sense of safety and also so I would at least have some sort of companion with me. But after thinking it over, I decided that bringing my rambunctious Lab-Mix and my Goldie would be too much. So alone it was.

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) spans 2,200 miles (3,541 km) through the mountains and wilderness of the eastern U.S. and I’ve grown up living less than 2 hours from the trail. I’ve always been in awe of it. I’ve always admired the hundreds of thru hikers that have completed the entire trail in one go and just the sense of community it offers makes it a total sanctuary for me.

So after a stressful couple of weeks both at work and with people, a hike on the A.T. was a must for me. I thought about doing a 9 mile out and back hike but after thinking it over, I decided it would be too much me at this point, given my physical state and how I’m not as fit as I could be. So I did a 3 mile hike instead.

It took me less than an hour to get to the overlook and since it was the middle of a Tuesday, there was no one there except me. It was actually really nice though. The weather was gorgeous and there was a nice breeze blowing.

I actually didn’t feel the loneliness at all when I was on the hike. I found out that I actually enjoy hiking a lot more when I’m by myself because I don’t have to keep up with any companions (I tend to be really slow when it comes to hiking) and I could stop whenever I needed to in order to catch my breath. My goal was to reach the overlook without taking any long breaks and I was able to achieve it.

Anyway, stupid me didn’t get a picture of the overlook (because I was too busy enjoying it) but I did take a video. Also, since I was alone, I experimented with my iPhone’s timer in order to get some shots of myself and they came out really cool, unique, and candid. I’ll leave you with those. Until next time!

 

 

Month in Review: April

The view from the venue where my fraternity’s banquet was held

I’ll apologize again for being inconsistent with my blogging. But if you’re in college or if you’ve ever been in college, you’ll know that April is absolutely insane for students, and this April was no exception. I’ve nearly grown tired of my Spotify playlist from the countless hours I’ve had it on as background noise while I study.

Even though exam week technically doesn’t start until tomorrow, my exam week is in full swing, having just finished my 2nd exam. The first was for a gen ed class and the second was for an online software testing class. I’m insanely happy to have those two behind and I’ll be even more thrilled when I finish my last exam on Wednesday.

Cross-Country Road Trip

I’ve had this idea for a while now and I’m starting to get more serious about it. Having done some research and looked up some travel times, I’ve decided I’d like to do a road trip to California. It’s been a dream of mine to go there and see the sights and set my feet into the Pacific Ocean, which is the last major U.S. body of water that I want to see (except for maybe the Arctic Ocean in Alaska). After doing the math and some calculations, I found that I could easily reach Southern California in 4 days from my college town and there are plenty of sights and stops a long the way. I don’t have to spend a fortune either, since I could hit up camp sites (I can pitch a tent in about 5 minutes), hostels, or if worse comes to worse, a Wal-Mart parking lot.

I was hoping that I might be able to do it this summer but I don’t think I’ll have the funds for it. So I’ll shoot for either winter break or right after graduation next summer.

But enough of that, here’s my summary of the month.

My highlights from this month were:

  • Getting to go to my fraternity’s banquet 1)Although the general rule is that fraternities are for boys and sororities are for girls, there are a few organizations that are co-ed like the one I’m in.
  • Getting to go home for Easter and see my family

My lows from this month were:

  • The amount of work I’ve had to face at my jobs and at school
  • Getting more rejections from internships

That’s ok, because I accomplished:

  • I did my first technical interview with a company that does programs to help kids learn how to code
  • I got an A on the longest paper I’ve ever written for college
  • I continue to get passing grades on all of my work for school
  • I got elected as the recording secretary of my fraternity for next school year
  • I’ve already done 2 out of my 5 exams

I also…

  • Finished the final arc of Sailor Moon
    • It was good series overall and I’ll definitely be rewatching it
  • Watched Mobile Fighter G Gundam
    • I remember seeing this anime as a kid, which prompted me to go and watch
  • started Gundam Seed
    • Another one I remember seeing from my childhood
  • Started rewatching Wolf’s Rain
    • I watched this when I was 14 but never saw it dubbed
  • Watched the anime movie Your Name
    • This movie messed me up so much that I didn’t know whether I was laughing or crying at the end

Next month, I’m looking forward to:

  • Finishing my junior year and going home
  • Memorial Day weekend
  • My 21st birthday on the 29th 🎉🥂
  • Going on a few small adventures

Next month, I hope to accomplish:

  • Obtaining a job of some sort for the summer
  • Learning more and more knowledge so I can pass the Network+ exam2)I’ve decided I want to obtain a certification before I graduate
  • Starting on a new theme for this site

Finally, a song a from this month:

I’d love to hear how everyone’s month was. Hope you guys have an amazing May!

References   [ + ]

1. Although the general rule is that fraternities are for boys and sororities are for girls, there are a few organizations that are co-ed like the one I’m in.
2. I’ve decided I want to obtain a certification before I graduate

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.

 

Cassidy Currently: 6th Edition

 

I’m very sorry that I’ve been negligent with posting lately. But unfortunately, I had to worry about finals and other project deadlines that were fast approaching. Here’s what my life has been like lately.

 

I Finished the Fall Semester!

 

I’m definitely relieved that the semester is finally over. And while I’m glad that I’ve grown stronger from the challenges I faced, it’ll be nice to have a month long break where I don’t have to worry about much. I’m still waiting on my final grades for my classes but I think I’ll be ok.

 

Being done with finals didn’t go without some celebration. I did some drinking and hung out with my friends, which was awesome.

 

I Drove Home Solo

 

With the fall semester over with, Radford tends to turn into a ghost town during breaks. And with Christmas and New Years coming up, it was only necessary to drive the four hours home.

 

I really enjoy doing the trip solo because it gives me time to think and reflect and catch my breath. I love hanging with my friends and all but sometimes it gets stressful to be around them. So I really savor the long drive where there’s nothing but me, the radio, and the interstate.

 

This time, I didn’t run into much traffic, which was a huge relief. 😆 Though a tractor trailer did almost run me off the road and I had to beep my horn to let him know that I was there and not keen about getting into an accident. 😒

 

I Saw My Friend’s Band Play at the Local Coffee Shop

 

This past Saturday, I decided to drag my roommate out the local coffee shop for their monthly Open Mic Night. This month, I was especially excited to go because of the Christmas festivities.

 

While we were there, I ran into my friend who’s band was signed up to play. I was excited because I had seen pictures of him and his band on Facebook and I was curious about what their is like.

 

They ended up playing a couple of alternative rock songs with friend playing the bass guitar. Their song was interesting because they asked the audience for two words that they could use to make up a song on the spot. Those two words ended up being “steroids” and “papayas” and the resulting song was interesting to say the least.

😝😂

 

I Started Learning Ruby

 

I had always been curious about the programming language, especially after reading that it was used in aspects of Web Development. And after Nancy suggested that I learn it to get ahead, I decided to start. And I am loving it so far.

 

I found this really cool site called The New Boston that I was initially referred to by my professor in order to get help with building my game. And when I looked there, I found that are tutorials for basically every aspect in computer science, from different programming languages to app development and networking and everything in between. So I decided to go to their tutorial from Ruby and I’ve been following it in my spare time.

 

If you’re wanting to try and expand your knowledge on web development or anything else computer science related, I definitely suggest visiting the site and watching the tutorials.

 

I Started on a new Theme for Catastrophe Rising

 

While I’m really proud of the this theme because it was first one 6 years, I think it’s definitely time for a change. So while I was at school, I constructed the header images that I’ll be using in the new theme (keep an eye out on twitter for a sneak peek!). I haven’t started the coding yet but I plan on doing so very soon.

 

 

That’s all I have for now. Let me know what you guys have been up to lately!

 

 

Cassidy Currently: 5th edition

 

Hello! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated so I’m going to go ahead and brief you on some of the things that have been going on in my crazy life.

 

I got sick…AGAIN

 

Yes unfortunately I was struck with some kind of weird bacterial infection. I’m better now but it was still terrible to have something slow me down again. 🤒

 

It started off with me getting aches and chills and fatigue. And later on a fever and a relentless cough. There was even some vomiting. I finally caved and had my roommate drive me to student health where they tested me for the flu (it came back negative) and prescribed me some antibiotics and heavy duty cough medicine.

 

Unfortunately, I had deal with the side affects from the medicine which involved me feeling dizzy and fatigued.

 

Thankfully, it didn’t take long after that to get over it.

 

I picked my classes for the Spring Semester…

 

With my fall semester coming to a close in about 3 weeks, it was time for me to plan for next semester. And I’m really excited about my classes. I’ll be taking three IT classes, including Intro to Security, Database 1, and Software Testing. I’m also taking Intro to Statistics and Principles of Marketing. I got all the good teachers for those classes so I’m hoping for a successful Spring Semester.

 

I’ve been hard at work on my school projects

 

If you recall from previous blog posts, I mentioned that I have a game to work on before the end of the semester. Well as of today, I’ve got my main character to jump and move around so I’m really happy about that. I plan to make as much progress as possible, especially since its due in a week. 💻

 

I’ve also been working on my live data project. My professor allowed us to choose whichever type of data we wanted and after some deliberation, I decided to go ahead and due Washington DC metro train arrival predictions. I’m almost done with it, with just a bit of tweeking needed.

 

I drove home and started Thanksgiving Break

 

With Thanksgiving being in a few days, it was natural for schools to let off on Friday so that students could go home and be with their families. So I left Radford (which is in southern Virginia) to go to my home in Northern Virginia.

 

Unfortunately, since it was a major travel day, I ran into a lot of traffic on the way home. It was so bad that I probably uttered the phrase “I hate people” more than 20 times. 😝 It ended up taking me an hour and a half longer than normal to get home. Luckily it wasn’t just me in my car. I had a friend that was meeting his family in my hometown and needed a ride. And I enjoyed the conversations that we had. It made the traffic less aggravating.

 

And annoying as it was, I was thankful that I was not in one of the vehicles that had been in an accident that caused the traffic.

 

I took a walk in the woods

 

The day after I arrived home, my family and I decided to go hiking with our Golden Retriever, since it was unseasonably warm.

 

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My dog Deedee and I

 

It was really nice to just get out of the house and so some exploring.

 

Crossing a creek
Crossing a creek

 

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We eventually arrived at a waterfall that was really pretty.

 

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It started to cloud up as we headed back to the cars and it got really windy. It was really cool the way the wind blew the leaves around.

 

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It started to rain soon after but luckily, we were already headed home.

 

In other news…

 

I’m still watching Vampire Knight and I’m almost done with it. I also started watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, after a friend of mine cosplayed one of the characters. I’m only 6 episodes in but I really like it so far and I can see that it’s going to be one of my favorites.

 

The U.S. Election…

Before I go, I wanted to talk briefly about the U.S. election and my stance on it. If you’re wondering, I didn’t vote for Trump. My state also didn’t put their electoral college votes toward Trump. And yet he still won and now hate crimes involving racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny are all on the rise as a result. I did everything in my power to stop such a thing from happening but unfortunately, it was not enough. But I will not change my beliefs based on those of my future President and Vice-President. I will not stoop so low to hate on those who did nothing to deserve it.

 

The results of the election do not change my beliefs as person or the things that I value.

 

If you’re outside the U.S., please don’t let the results of the election change your view on us, because I promise that not all of us see things the way that Trump does.

 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and to those who don’t, have a great week! 🦃