Category Archives: personal

Stop Following the Script

How a guy blindly following bad advice unwittingly led to harassment, manipulation, and me questioning my safety.

It began innocently enough: A classmate read my first Medium post and messaged me on Facebook to discuss it. It soon devolved into a debate about the women’s rights movement as a whole, rather than just the aspects I had discussed in my post. This debate spanned several days. I felt as though we were having the same argument over and over, and he eventually said he believed the women’s rights movement was “overblown” and that the glass ceiling was not really an issue.

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Time Constraints and the Bare Minimum

On the last night of finals week this past spring quarter, I was exhausted from finishing exams and still grading my students’ programming assignments. I couldn’t fall asleep because my mind didn’t want to forget what I was feeling by the next morning, so I had to write it all out in a journal (on paper! whoa!) before I could finally stop thinking about it. I neglected transcribing this until now, half out of embarrassment and half because it’s something I still change my mind about. Here it is, (mostly) unedited.

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Reasons Why I Didn’t Consider Studying Computer Science

I didn’t want to study computer science when I came to college. The idea seemed downright frightening before I took an introductory class on a whim midway through freshman year. I don’t think my experience is unique — so many people avoid computer science out of fear only to realize that they almost missed out on something wonderful. There are so many ways misconceptions and myths about computer science unnecessarily discourage people from trying out this field. By explaining some of my own doubts and misconceptions, I hope this will provide a window into the minds of those of us who are or were afraid of computer science. Continue reading

Overhead

In high school, I did a lot of community service through Key Club, an international service organization. I felt vaguely uncomfortable seeing how much money we spent on frivolous things like t-shirts, thunder sticks, and spirit events like going to Six Flags. We raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities, but I always wondered about how much more money we could give if we just stopped buying spirit gear.

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Impressions

I’m going to describe something that I have felt over and over since I started college. I think we’ve all experienced it at one point or another: that feeling of inadequacy and intimidation upon seeing a peer’s work and feeling stunned because it seems so far beyond our capacities. It’s especially present in computer science because everyone is at a different level of experience and because we, as a group, keep obsessing over the “child prodigy” archetype. I look at a friend’s project and feel overwhelmed because it looks so beautiful and advanced and I have no idea how I would have done it. I look at another friend’s resume and see that it lists twenty different programming languages — meanwhile I only feel vaguely comfortable with three (Java, C++, C, amirite). Everyone around me knows so much about topics that I don’t know about and I feel like I won’t ever catch up.

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