I'll be out in Mountain View, California this summer as I intern at Google. I'm so excited to be a Noogler, but there's a lot to get done between then and now. I start my move on Wednesday, so wish me luck!
Grad school has been the start of that stage of life when I'm noticing time slip through my fingers. As a result, I have a hard time remembering to keep up with my hobbies. I love improv and stand-up comedy but I haven't done anything with it since January. I love making things, especially drawing, sewing, and home design. However, I have lost count of the projects that I've started and not quite finished. I've gotten better about finding time for games, but one thing I have almost stopped completely is reading for fun. In hopes of fixing this and a few of my other hobby problems, I have composed my reading list for 2016.
This video is awesome and fun and funny for a number of reasons. First, it's a really clever way to show that Ariana Grande can do music impressions so well that the audience didn't believe it was her at first (did anybody else notice the "wait, what?" in the audience's silence?). Second, all of the side jokes were awesome (I love this season of SNL so much). But more than anything, what if music streaming worked like that? I know that it's not the point of the sketch, but what else would be true if this scenario was true for all of the internet?
What if content providing services needed people to sit around and watch the levels for individual products? Like security guards watching the cameras for one room at a time. I can't help but image a warehouse full of people checking the rates of the different types of things searched for on Google. How're spellchecking searches going? We're losing power on the "facts about celebrities" search stream! Quick! Is Kevin Spacey married and how many movies has Tina Fey made? No time for that! We need to start taking pictures for people to put in their presentation slides! Or how would Amazon handle this reality? They don't need to stream
I am so tired. I don't even know how to describe it. Just drained. Last week was the 19th annual ACM conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) in San Francisco. This was an exciting and rewarding week for a number of reasons. I got to visit San Francisco for the first time. I got to hang out with all of the awesome people I met at last year’s CSCW. I got to present for the first time at an academic conference. I got to ride on a cart through LAX passing all the other grumpy travelers! What a time of splendor! But I didn't fully realize how hard I pushed myself last week, until now, when I'm still tired. I'm actually limiting this blog post specifically because I can barely, barely, type coherent sentences. So I'm putting forth a list of wellness TODO's to help myself re-energize and get back on track.
Actually, it turns out that was a boring, over-share-y list. Instead, I'll remind myself of some more generic motivation/jet-lag/hangover tips, since that seems the best combination of my symptoms.
I’ve been called on sort of short notice to present the work from the YouthTube paper for CSCW 2016. That’s taken up a lot of my nervous energy, so I thought perhaps this week’s blog should go to some good tips that I’ve collected for myself as I get ready for my first conference presentation.
I'm taking a class on experiential learning, and last week we were supposed to muse about how we learn and what makes us learn best. This was tough for me for the nerdiest, most disappointing reason. I'm just a good student. It's not really surprising, because I'm a PhD student and I think we all have a reputation for being especially good students (why else would we choose more academia?). But I think I'm acquiring a reputation as an especially studenty student. Lana and I have started joking about me as somebody that just does everything to be a good student, and a student of everything. Like I carefully plan my lunches because I'm a good student. I always ask Lana to coffee because I'm a good student. I raise my hand at meetings where we can just start talking because I"m a good student...When I write about it, it sounds less funny but I promise it makes nervous undergrads laugh and that's a representative enough sampling for me. Anyway, I've realized that I might have had an especially early start as a student. I documented some of my toddler antics and I wonder if other grad students had similar stories.
Honestly, I think that the most important part of my learning style is that I just didn’t know when to quit. I was an obnoxious learner as a toddler and kept it up so long that I didn’t really have a choice but to keep going. Just before I was old enough to start kindergarten I decided on my own that I needed to be studious and learn the important things, like addition and subtraction, all the flags of the world, and all of the origins of the letters of the alphabet. Essentially, I just picked things out of Dictionaries and Encyclopedias and decided I needed to copy them all down. You would think that my parents had in some way pushed me to do that. Except, they were actually just annoyed that I was always walking off with the house’s reference books. I just thought I was an important little scribe, doing important things. I also remember as a four year old asking my parents what they remembered about themselves when they were four. My parents told me that they didn’t really remember anything before they were five. I was terrified to think that someday I wouldn’t remember what was currently more than my entire life, so I set to periodically remembering “important” memories of my early childhood. I still remember some of them, because it’s become instinctive for those memories to percolate up in my mind during quiet times or related events. Mostly I remember different times fell, some fantasy realities I dreamed up and decided were real (later debunked), a couple of moments I was especially delighted with the world, and a good number of times that I would have been thinking “you’ve got to be efing kidding me” had I known the words. I loved remembering. I loved learning. I loved working. I wasn't afraid of a big task (26 letters is a lot for a four year old!). And that's pretty much why I think I ended up in grad school.
So we can chalk it up as a rookie mistake, but I got too excited about my t-shirt idea for the Student Volunteers at CHI 2016. The logo is really cool this year, and, more importantly, very easy to recreate on PowerPoint.
As soon as that logo was out I thought, "Yes. The shirts have to be like that. Indeed." so around November I crafted up this design.
I was so proud! Look at this art! Wouldn't anybody feel like an awesome super hero wearing a shirt with this emblem on it?
Well, after showing off to a few people in my lab, somebody pointed out that black shirts aren't ideal for SV's who want to be easily spotted in the large crowds. So I quick switched to a green shirt version, and even that came out awesome.
HOWEVER, apparently, in the original email explaining that the t-shirt contest was starting, they said the design had to be all one color. I get it, monochrome designs are way cheaper to print, and I should have actually read the directions. I'm grateful that I had the chance to throw together a rule-following option, but how is anything going to compare to these? So maybe this is what blogs are for.
Ugh! I said I was going to finish a good blog post and then I didn't. I guess that means that until this blog climbs higher up my priority list, I will have to make it almost a speed typing exercise. It's really hard to get over that transition of posting to post into posting things that people should actually read.
When I was a teenager on Twitter, I was very conscious of what I was posting and the fact that it would be public and sit on the internet forever. I still tweeted sometimes, and I still think those are funny tweets. Well, at least good for memories. Idk. You be the judge. ... Actually, I think on that medium, I've probably let my quality standards drop, since it's really fun to chirp along with whatever hashtag games and conversations are popular. Live tweeting is really more fun to do than to see.
I know that micro-blogging is supposed to be easier and more carefree than regular blogging, but how does it seem so much easier? When I share tweets I usually wish that I had more space to fill out the joke and to clarify my feelings. Maybe I should start transitioning those to blogs? Or should that still be on a micro-blogging site? This isn't for tumblr... Is blogging complicated because I'm not old enough to have ever had a LiveJournal? Mysteries of the Universe, I guess...
This week I thought of at least three blog posts about my life and experiences and things that I want to share. I'm pretty content with the ideas, but I can't seem to find the moments in the week to fully develop a message that would present them. I understand that it doesn't pay off to worry and perfect every post, but the argument that blogging is a good way to just practice writing is hard for me to swallow. Mostly because I'm already pretty comfortable with keeping a journal and writing for myself. I don't have a problem finding times to practice writing, but there becomes a weird fog that falls over my thought process when what I'm writing is supposed to be for a public space. Yet, something makes me feel like I should still be blogging. I'm not sure for what or whom, but I have to keep trying and I'll figure it out on the way. My goal for next week is to finish one of those blogs before next Sunday. We'll see how I do.