Reflectiondump (Jan-Feb)


I've been struggling lately with what to do with this blog. Firstly, because a lot more modern blogging platforms have cropped up lately, with better social media/community capabilities, I've been toying with the idea of moving around a bit, eg to Medium. However, I am also just too lazy and this place represents too much of a convenient and valuable history for me to let go of right now.

Other than that though, because of all its history, this blog actually tends to be more of an 'everything' blog -- so it kind of serves every purpose and therefore no real purpose. But despite that, I still try to find time to update once a month at the very least. Lately though, I've been struggling -- because of time restraints, college not giving me enough time to think about what to write, etc. Furthermore, I've met a lot of people over the last few years who did not know me when this blog existed, so I am becoming more conscious of pushing my updates to my Facebook page. However, I really shouldn't be bothered by this because when I set out to make this blog, it was supposed to be a place for me to dump my thoughts for me and me only. But then, I wondered why I was even pushing updates to my Facebook page if it was only purely for me. So, I'll admit that it's kind of nice to have your thoughts heard/read by others, even if it's scary at times. 

Okay so I guess since I literally haven't done any reflection since the beginning of the year and now I have some time to be somewhat introspective (spring break! my last classes were yesterday), I supposed I can do a run down for myself of landmark things I did so far this year so at least I'll be able to put things in history relative to each other later on when I am (more) senile...

1. Went on super fun time NZ adventures with AP. I think I worked my camera hard this summer, I had to clear it 3 times and I think I produced a lot of at least semi-good shots. I kind of wish I had a big place to put prints of them
2. Went to Dry & Tea for a haircut and super pampering tea experience (It was mega expensive... but it's kind of a luxurious I-want-to-spoil-myself-today thing I guess)
3. Freaked out about having to renew my passport 2 days before flying out
4. Realizing my passport actually expires in 2016 and not in 2015
5. Came back to campus and tried to sort out my classes. Settled on CS161 Operating Systems, REL57 Faith and Authenticity (ie Existentialism), SPU19 The Energetic Universe (ie I never go to class and google for answers on all the readings), and SOC189 Social Movements in East Asia (just for fun and interests sake)
6. Go to the gym twice or three times a week at the beginning of semester
7. Chugging along with school -chug-chug-chug-chug-
8. Consequently have no more time to go to the gym 2-3 times a week
9. Plan AAA retreat and initiAAAtion for the new board members at Jong's house. Set off fire alarm and get complaint from 3am-on-weekdays-viola-playing neighbor on a Friday night.
10. Hack@Brown -- hang out with Jessica, get cute teddy bears and make a snapchat hack that has since stopped working because a) the API no longer works and b) my Microsoft Azure free trial ended
11. Cooked lunch for and with Drew Faust! I was in charge of the carrot cake and made the menus ^_^ Everything worked out way better than expected haha, she's a very nice lady. Also I like gravlox a lot.
12. My watch died that day, so I had to order a new one off Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised because I accidentally bought one on sale (I just thought it looked nice for a good price, but when I went back to the page later the price was way higher :O).
13. Help photograph HMUN on the weekend of Valentines day and blizzard. Blown away by the creamy power of Arthut's Gary Fong. AP makes me my favourite froyo at Pinkberry and pays for it even while questioning my taste. If that's not love idk what is ♥
14. ECAASU! Put snapchat hack to use for a 2 day conference. Meet cool new friends from around the East Coast.
15. I question why I am reading the Bible and questioning the source of law/justice. I feel like REL57 is making me more religious.
16. Cheng joins our CS161 group because there are an odd number of people in the class! We buy 10lb of gummy bears between the 3 of us.
17. I meet a friend of Victor Wu's from high school who is taking CS50x. I am amused trying to explain CS jargon and concepts to someone with only a Criminal Justice background. Highlights include "what is the difference between linux and python" and "where do I put the codes". Sometimes it's easy to forget how much of a bubble we live in, so I really enjoyed this interaction as something to remind me of that
18. Cheng leaves our CS161 group because someone drops the class! Cheng we miss you come back
19. Do portraiture workshop with Stephen Coit, a Lowell alum. I am so out of practice.
20. Registered for SIGGRAPH 2015 in LA! Still need to buy tickets though. I'm not volunteering this year, so it was a big spend, but I hope I'll be able to go to more talks that I'm interested in this year since I won't have to cover shifts.
21. Sleep schedule gets destroyed by CS161 due dates. I sink into a shell of my former self.
22. Write a paper about Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor somehow while I am a shell of my former self. I do not know how this is accomplished.
23. Coffeehouse! I really enjoyed the performances this year, and having Jocelyn there helping with photos really made it easier on me so I was a lot less stressed compared to last year haha. I was actually able to enjoy taking photos and editing them afterward :) And we recorded everything and people were happy too, which was awesome ^_^
24. Finished the video for NCRC for HCURA, which I was commissioned to do at the beginning of semester. I was super slack with this due to classes getting in the way, but I'm glad it's finally done haha.
25. Last week of school has been more lax, allowing me to recover a bit and also focus on getting a place to live in for the summer. Decided to live with Rakeem and Jacob Kim, and also AP if he gets a job in the Bay Area
26. Housing day! 9am section tho, + midterm. Didn't do much celebrating, except I drew some mini personified houses after I was freed for fun.
27. About to head out tomorrow to New York for another spring break with the Pongs!

Other (ir?)relevant things I have been doing outside of my immediate life:

I am making my way slowly through Peter Thiel's Zero to One. He makes a lot of points that are sometimes difficult to accept based on our cultural understanding of the world (eg. we shouldn't try to help out building out third world infrastructure, instead we should focus on efficientizing what we have already -- reason being if the third world were to require the same resources as the first world, everything would collapse?). Though he articulates this in a much more convincing way, I don't have the book on me right now. I need to go back to reading this lol. I am also biased because I think the concept of paying college kids 100k to drop out is stupid and fuels (whether directly or indirectly) the stream of useless social media apps being thrown in VC's faces, but that's just me.

Been trying to keep up with Fresh Off The Boat, but have missed many weeks because of forgetting/busy with CS161.

This beautiful yellow beast caught my eye while scrolling through Geneva car show photos *__*

I have been following the Ellen Pao lawsuit on Re/Code. Note that as an individual I am very much undecided on where I sit in terms of opinions about gender in SV, nonetheless has been interesting to follow.

I was disappointed that there was no continuation of the Cicada 3301 puzzle this year, perhaps because the 2014 puzzle was never resolved? I really enjoy reading through them, esp because I'm way too dumb to figure any of it out lol. Perhaps a fixation with the mysterious?

Blep. I guess I'm just going to leave this here without plugging it on Facebook because it seems too egotistical. Maybe I will only share articles/reviews/writings from now on on there.