1st semester as a grad student is done!

Holy moly, so much has happened to me as the Spring 2021 semester came to a close.

Our Feminist Future(s) Hackathon

“We want to call work what is work so that eventually we might rediscover what is love”

Silvia Federci

I learned the above quote as I’m volunteering for the Our Feminist Future(s) hackathon. This quote served as a reminder for myself that “going through the motions” isn’t really healthy.

Sidenote: I had a bad habit of overworking myself to the point where I had no passion for anything. Fortunately, I’ve gotten better about it and made time for myself to relax and decompress. The time off made me more productive (and healthy!) in the long run.

As a Tech Support volunteer, I’ve been helping the organizers with documenting the event, initializing and creating a shared document directory of community generated resources, and other technical needs such as help with Discord.

In addition, I just want to say that it makes me so happy to see so many people of different genders coming together and working on cool projects. I look forward to seeing all the teams create at the end of this month!

Summer Personal Interests

After the semester ended, I decide to take some time for myself and I feel great! 😀

I’ve been exploring my personal interests like Machine Learning. I’m learning it through Coursera.

I’m also reading The Code Book by Simon Singh. I started reading it in high school, but I never finished it.

Furthermore, I’m taking the time to relearning Tagalog and Kapampangan. I realize that I haven’t used either of the languages at all (well, besides talking to my mom hehe) during my time in Iowa. But I was also never fluent to begin with. I feel like I need to connect back to my Filipino roots, and now is a good time to get to it!

Zombies, Papers, Agile, Python, and R for the Summer

Currently reading Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain by Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek. I just started, and I enjoy the book so far! Although, I feel like I need to read/watch all the zombie books/movies that are mentioned so I can appreciate the book more haha.

In addition to that, I’m gonna be reading a lot of research papers ~

In one of my research groups, we’ve recently implemented the Agile methodology to run our meetings and to guide ourselves in conducting research.

I thought it was pretty cool hearing, like, micro-updates from everyone in the group. We used the following guidelines to say our updates (thanks Dr. Shannin Moody!):

  1. give a very brief update about what you’re working on at the moment.  This is NOT big picture – it is today/this week.  
  2. State what your goals are for the week – keep it feasible and reasonable.
  3. State how you will expect to accomplish those goals.
  4. Any barriers you’re experiencing with your goals and whether/how the lab can help out. 
Scrum goals for the week

Furthermore, I’ll be diving into Python and R to aid with wrangling data and performing statistics for the lab.

In-Person Commencement at Petco Park

Wow, I can’t believe that an in-person commencement will actually happen. It’s kind of a bummer that it won’t be at San Diego State University (SDSU), but I’m thankful that the school has organized it to be at Petco Park! Can’t wait to walk the stage.

Inspired by SDSU Alumna

Speaking of SDSU – I want to take a moment to talk about someone that has inspired me!

I’m inspired by Page Finn Doherty. I found out about her through a LinkedIn post that shared an article about her. Then I got a chance to listen to her podcast from Twitter. Listening to Doherty speak, made me realize that venture capital and STEM are alike, in the fact that both fields are lacking in diverse representation.

Overall, I thought it was really cool that someone close to my age (and a fellow woman of STEM!) is doing awesome things to increase diversity, especially among underrepresented populations.

In Conclusion…

After typing all this, I realize that I’m doing a lot of stuff for the summer lol. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing stressful work though. I guess there really is some truth to that quote “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

(Note to self: I need to clean up my website (reorganize categories/tags and update the front page to make it look extra sexy/have more examples of my current work. And update my CV/resume.)

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