This is the first summer in three years that I haven’t had to move offices. Nonetheless, this summer has its own disruptive events that have made planning difficult.
Two summers ago, I moved from Grinnell to Walla Walla. I remember that as a surprisingly productive summer. It was neatly divided into Pre-Move, Move, and Post-Move, because with the move my life completely changed.
Before the move, I had three big goals: 1) to run a workshop on concepts of leadership, which I had committed to do before accepting the job at Whitman; 2) to write the annual report for my first (and only) year as Director of the Wilson Program in Leadership and Enterprise; 3) to hand over my new software development courses to my colleague Sam Rebelsky who would be teaching them next. I also needed to pack my office and lab.
From my perspective, the move took about two weeks. We hired full-service movers, and my husband Brooks held down the fort at home. I took a day off to help clean between the movers leaving and our flight, but that was really all the time I took off in Grinnell. After we arrived in Walla Walla, I took over and spend a couple of weeks mostly unpacking.
After the move, I focused on new things: Settling into my new office (a project unto itself), preparing the advertisement for the other two CS positions, preparing for classes, New Faculty Orientation. I did not write the SIGCSE paper I had planned on Grinnell’s new software development course—and I fear that moment has now long passed—but I did find a new co-author for a book chapter proposal, now completed and in press. I also made time to read, doodle, and daydream.
What I failed to plan for was vacation, since Brooks used up all his vacation time moving. We decided to take Thanksgiving that year for ourselves (a quiet trip to Coeur d’Alene) and also spent a week in Hawaii over the January break.
Last summer, both my first office on the second floor and my new office on the first floor were under construction. Moreover, the elevator was out of service for the entire summer. This meant that I packed up most of my belongings at the beginning of the summer and didn’t move into my new office until days before classes started, which was stressful to say the least. I sometimes worked out of my denuded office on the second floor, though it was often too dusty or noisy. Most often I worked from home.
Though my work was peripatetic, I had clearly defined projects and goals:
- My summer research project with Emma Twersky ’10 concluded with a technical report that was ready to revise into a conference paper. Fortunately she was very independent, and coped fine with meeting just a few times a week at restaurants and coffee shops.
- The first draft of the aforementioned book chapter was due at the end of the summer.
- I participated in the POSSE workshop at Drexel, which helped me to think through alternatives for our software design course.
- I participated in my first LACS meeting as a full member, which helped me to think through alternatives for our senior assessment (as well as sparking a blog post later published in CACM).
- I worked with my new colleagues (remotely) to hammer out most of the CS major curriculum.
- I worked with Andy to develop a common syllabus for CS 167.
- I worked through the first six chapters of the Discrete Math & Functional Programming textbook by setting aside one day a week for six weeks to do nothing but work problems.
- I visited the Bay Area with Kim Rolfe, our Director of Business Engagement.
- I saw the CS Commons ready just in time for classes to start.
- Last but far from least, I needed to prepare my tenure case before the fall semester started.
It was a productive summer. Busy, but productive. Once again what I failed to plan for was a summer vacation, and with family and work travel using up my breaks, that was never really rectified.
This summer, thankfully, I do not have to move offices. However, I am moving house.
We are moving into a brand new house. That means we have had access to it for a while, and have gotten to do some things before moving in, like installing closet organizers, that we didn’t get around to in our previous house until we had lived there a few years. On the other hand, there is the extra work of all the final choices (most recently, closet knobs) and things that ordinarily prior owners would have done, like establishing mail and trash service (which, thankfully, Brooks has taken care of).
The move is only three blocks, which simplifies some things but not others. There is more we can do ourselves, but we are still hiring help with moving furniture and boxes.
The movers come on Monday, and I’ve already told my summer research student, Andrew, that I won’t be in on Monday or Tuesday. I am counting my lucky stars that he is taking this week off, because it has freed me to spend time at home packing. While we started packing our books weeks ago, the kitchen would have been really disruptive to start packing before now, and it is an even bigger job.
Andrew and I started summer research the day after Commencement. In some ways, that was clearly the right choice. My motivation was to have Andrew start at the same time as my colleague’s summer students, which has worked out well for department lunches and research presentations. Having started a week earlier than we initially planned, Andrew can take this week off and still finish by the end of July. This means I can follow my husband on his work trip to Cambridge, where we plan to take some vacation over our anniversary, which we missed celebrating altogether last year. (We have another short vacation planned later in August, when a few of our college friends will come up from California to see the solar eclipse with us.)
The unfortunate consequence is that I didn’t get any down time between the end of the semester and the start of summer research. In particular, I didn’t take the time to map out projects and goals for the summer. I feel like I’ve been lurching from one thing to the next:
- Working with Andrew has been great, but the nature of the project and his lack of prior experience means he’s needed me at unpredictable times.
- I’m program chair for CCSC-NW 2017, which has meant a decent amount of not difficult but nonetheless urgent administrative work.
- The movers coming on Monday is a hard deadline which makes it difficult to focus on anything else this week (including this blog post).
- Next month I am hosting the 2017 meeting of the Liberal Arts CS (LACS) Consortium at Whitman. At the moment that’s on the back burner, but it will have to come back to the front as soon as we hit July.
I’ve also been helping John think through his CS 270 assignments. I know I have work to do on my own classes, too, but I haven’t thought that work through in detail yet. I don’t have a current writing project: the final book chapter was due in April (it’s a miracle we made that deadline) and I haven’t decided whether to expand the conference paper Emma and I wrote into a journal article.
With such a short list of projects, I’ve been motivated to work only a few hours a day. Is that okay? I’m not sure. I do think I need some time to rest. And moving, in particular, will be a lot less stressful by virtue of the time I’ve been able to take off work to pack our belongings. At the same time, if I don’t start a new writing project this summer, I will have to think hard about how to motivate myself to start writing in the fall when I will have much less time for it. And working on my classes this summer will make the semester a lot more pleasant—not to mention the work on the syllabus that needs to be done before the semester starts if I am going to do it at all.
Writing this, I’m starting to feel inclined to write off now through the LACS meeting, and think hard about how to make best use of the second half of July and the first half of August. Four weeks is as long as our winter break, and I’ll have a similar scope of work to get done.
Looking back at my goals and projects for the last two summers also reminded me of my quarterly planning worksheet, in which I list events, goals, and an action plan for each semester and break. I got this from colleagues in the Scholarly Women At Grinnell (SWAG) group, which I miss dearly. I also realize I haven’t completed a planning worksheet for this summer, probably because I haven’t had a meeting to provide me with a deadline for doing so. I suppose that’s a job for next week or so, after we move.
Back in 2010, legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki picked his 50 favorite books for children and young adults. Here are the top five:
1. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3. Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren
4. When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson
5. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
It’s easy to see the influence of the books from the list on the movies he made. Indeed, two of the top five books were actually made into Studio Ghibli films (The Borrowers and When Marnie Was There).
P.S. The Totoro / Little Prince illustration is from Pinterest, but I couldn’t find the original source. Anyone?Tags: best of books Hayao Miyazaki lists movies
Software Carpentry Executive Director Jonah Duckles and I ran instructor training for new member institution Macquarie University in Sydney on 19-20 June.
There were a few firsts at this workshop - Jonah’s first time as an instructor trainer, my first day in the job as the new Community Development Lead for Software and Data Carpentry, and Macquarie’s first-ever instructor training event.
We may also have had the biggest-ever workshop etherpad, coming in at 1400+ lines, but that would be a tough claim to substantiate. Certainly the eventual size of the etherpad mirrored the deep engagement of attendees, who all worked very hard.
Eighteen people attended the training, most of them from Macquarie (a mixture of postgrad students and IT/research support staff), but there were also attendees from local institutions UNSW and the University of Sydney.
Feedback was plentiful - we did both sticky note feedback and One Up, One Down twice - and we were praised for the friendly atmosphere and the energy we brought to the workshop.
A talking stick circulated to make sure quieter voices got to have their fair share of the conversation, and this attracted a favourable mention in feedback.
Enthusiasm to build community and to get the skills out to others was high, though as one attendee
commented a little ruefully in final feedback: “Daily noise gets in the way”.
Jonah was forced to multi-task through one session, taking advantage of some audience challenge time to fix problems on the Software Carpentry website, which had disappeared from view because of a Jekyll page build problem. All was luckily fixed before the class raised their heads again.
Attendees were keen to put what they had learned into practice, and most enjoyed the live teaching practices more than they had anticipated. As with most workshops, some people wished they had learned some of the material long ago!
Jonah and I both appreciated the efforts of our magnificent, well-organised helper Carmi Cronje, who scribed for us tirelessly throughout the workshop. Thanks must also go to Emily Brennan, Project Coordinator in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), who worked very hard to make this workshop happen, and Professor Peter Nelson, PVC Research Performance and Innovation, who funded the workshop.
Macquarie are very keen to develop strong communities of practice around skills and training, and this workshop was a fantastic first step. I look forward to welcoming the class to the Software and Data Carpentry instructor communities.
In April my friend Russ Gilman-Hunt died. He was one of the first four people who worked at my job with me. He was funny, kind and clever. He was not very much older than me, but he had a deadpan world-weary affect and a quiet warmth that made him seem like everyone’s dad. I wish I had known him better, but most of his life was outside work, with his wife and two children and his community in the SCA. I wish they still had him.
In May I lost the job where I had worked with Russ, as did a number of my colleagues. I have a lot of support from people who care for me, and I am lucky in my socioeconomic class; that has allowed me to inform myself that this is an opportunity, more than a setback. (I have done so often and stridently.) I will probably have a new job soon. I like working, if not always working terribly hard. I hope I can make that work amount to something good.
It sometimes feels like the only things I write here are podcast show notes and epitaphs. I haven’t allowed myself much time to work on podcasts in the last month; hunting for what I perceive as a replacement means of survival has meant little available concentration for creative work. So this goes in the epitaph category. Sure wish there were fewer of those.
I didn’t always love my old job but I always liked it, and I took comfort in the idea that I was cultivating a good place to bring in new people and help them excel. I wanted to contribute patches to the leaky pipeline. I think Russ did too. I don’t know how much of that we managed. Some of the people I patched in got laid off with me. I’d say we did what good we could while seeing to our own survival, but. Well.
A job that you treat like just a job is, eventually, just a job. I want the work of my life to be more than that. Maybe in seven more years—if, God forbid, this WordPress install is still operating—I’ll tell you how that’s going.
In February I got an email from my old laptop, and then another, both suggesting that it was in Germany. I had not seen that laptop since it left the back of my car through a shattered window in 2010. The home page of its default browser, at the time, happened to be one I controlled and that was not linked anywhere else, so I told that page to blare alarms and notify me when and whence it was requested. It took seven years for that to (probably?) happen. I wonder if someone actually has that laptop, in more or less the same crumbling shape it was when it vanished. I wonder how well they read English, and what they can find out about me if they dig around on it. Surely nothing worse than the things I’ve written here myself.
I guess what I am doing here is reflecting, which is to say, looking for myself in a flawed surface. I started writing online in part because I wanted attention and in part because I already knew that my built-in memory could not be trusted to retain my life. My pipe is too leaky. All pipes are too leaky. Among my driving fears is the idea that anything I lose is lost forever, and that history unminded is a black hole, a /dev/null, a point of no return.
But to really believe that is to assert that I know the future, which is presumptive: the future and I have never met. Sometimes a setback is an opportunity. Sometimes the past writes you an email. Sometimes a kid whose dad dies grows up a whole person anyway. Even black holes leak back.
I feel like I must be doing something to make myself a target. I clean up after my dog, and curb her but seems like every month or two I need to vary my route because some elderly eastern european comes out of their home to scream at me. I got chased down the street today since this asshole thinks he owns the entire public street. I feel like there's literally no direction I can walk my dog out anymore and this plus the harassment from the homeless is making me hate this neighborhood.
Does anyone have any idea/recommendations of where one would look to borrow/rent/access a ladder? Not a huge one - maybe 10 ft. This is just for making things easier in installing an air conditioner.
Somewhere close to the Broadway/30th st area would be preferred, though I do have access to a car.
This week on Maker Update: Maui Makers, slow motion frames, the launch of Maker Share, zip-tie lamps, rocker switch walls, magnetic wristbands, and a cheap way to brand wood. This week’s featured Cool Tool is the MagnoGrip magnetic wristband. (Show notes)
Have you ever held screws or nails in your mouth as a way to keep them nearby while working on a project? This week for my tool review I’m going to show you a better solution. This is the MagnoGrip, it’s a $14 magnetic wristband available on Amazon. I found it on the Cool Tools blog. And if you pick one up using the link in the description you help to support my videos and the Cool Tools Blog.
This is a low-tech but useful tool. It just velcros around your wrist and includes embedded magnets to hold whatever odds and ends you need to have handy. The magnets aren’t super strong, but just strong enough to hold a handful of nails or screws. I imagine if the were much stronger it might actually be a liability.
It’s a durable design, made from thick 1680 ballistic polyester. So having screws and nails rub against it over and over shouldn’t be a problem. The inside that touches your wrist has this nice, breathable padding.
The original Cool Tools review of this comes from Sue Bettenhausen, who recommended it for nails and pins, putting together her son’s bike, hanging pictures, or shortening pants. I also see several Amazon reviews from people using these while doing car repairs to prevent bolts from falling into the engine.
The wristband comes in a few colors, but red seems like it provides the best contrast so screws and nails don’t just blend in.
-- Donald Bell
MagnoGrip magnetic wristband ($14)
Available from Amazon
People don’t generally learn of the existence of cheap bulk pregnancy tests until they are trying to get pregnant. I wish I’d been given a pack of these when I first started having sex. At $7.50 for a pack of 20 (instead of $10 for one at a drugstore), you can put your mind at ease instantly, for a less than fifty cents. Why not make it part of your monthly self care routine?
These would be especially useful for those using the seasonal pill, injection, IUD, or other forms of birth control that alter your cycles, and for people with irregular cycles (which is most of us, at times). You hear stories of people on the pill finding out they’re going to have a baby in three months, because they just didn’t think it was possible. Don’t let it happen to you. Knowledge is power. The sooner you know about a pregnancy the more options you have, and the better you can take care of the health of your offspring if you choose to carry.
-- Reanna Alder
ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips, Individually-Sealed, Pack of 20 ($7)
International Amazon link
Available from Amazon
Lego has introduced an Apollo Saturn V rocket set, complete with lunar lander and 3 astronaut minifigs.
Packed with authentic details, it features 3 removable rocket stages, including the S-IVB third stage with the lunar lander and lunar orbiter. The set also includes 3 stands to display the model horizontally, 3 new-for-June-2017 astronaut microfigures for role-play recreations of the Moon landings, plus a booklet about the manned Apollo missions and the fan designers of this educational and inspirational LEGO Ideas set.
Three rocket stages! And look at this lander:
Amazing detail: the set contains 1969 pieces, which is the year that the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon. I typically leave the Lego building to my kids, but I might have to make an exception for this. (via mike)Tags: Apollo Legos Moon NASA space
I re-read the first three chapters of the memoir’s last draft. I think they’re good, although it is impossibly hard to judge your own life this way. It was interesting to live through, but that is hardly sufficient to justify wordage. Chapter four is boring — I think that’s where it started to go off the rails in the last draft.
I keep wanting to show pieces to people, but I think what I really need to do this time around is NOT do that, not get caught up in the crit cycle too early. Just work on it solidly for a few months. I can show it to people when it’s in decent shape. Maybe?
Maybe I’ll just send out pieces to Patreon. There’s no expectation of response / critique there.
Good morning everyone,
We’ve made it to Day 3 of Open Source Bridge 2017!
For those who need to pick up their badge, registration opens at 8am, with plenty of coffee and tea. At 9am, keynoter Emily Gorcenski will lead us through a study of fake science in open data. If you don’t mind being on video, we’d love to have you join us in the Sanctuary by 8:30am to capture some audience shots for the keynote recording.
In addition to all the Thursday sessions, our Official Party will kick off onsite at 6pm, with games, food, and even a chiptune band!
Our venue is the Eliot Center on 1226 SW Salmon St, with the main entrance in between SW 12th and SW 13th. If you’d like to post about OSB on social media, our hashtag is #osb17 and you can tweet at us via @osbridge.
Every year, we recognize an outstanding attendee at Open Source Bridge. Is there someone who’s improved your experience at OSB? Is there someone whose open source contributions you want to say thank you for? We’d love your nominations before 6pm TONIGHT! The recipient will be revealed at our Official Party in the evening.
- If you’re coming by car, there are two parking lots right next to the Eliot Center. The one on SW Salmon is $12.50 for all day parking while the one on SW 12th is $18. There’s also 2 hour and 5 hour street parking around the venue.
- If you’re coming by public transportation, the closest stops are Galleria/SW 10th for MAX and Salmon or Main St for bus. Trimet has a trip planner that can give you more specific directions.
- If you’re coming by bike, there are three racks in front of the Eliot Center.
- Accessibility: curb cutouts are on the corners of SW 12th and SW Salmon. Sadly, there isn’t one directly in front of the Eliot Center entrance. There are accessibility pathways/lanes on the first floor that we ask folks to leave clear, so that everyone can easily get to entrances/bathrooms/elevators.
- Wifi: We will be using the in-house wifi this year and bandwidth may be limited, so we ask that you be mindful with internet usage. If you need a backup plan for internet, Case Study Coffee and Heart Coffee Roasters are two nearby (0.2mi) cafes with wifi available.
- As a reminder, we have a Code of Conduct and Recording Policy in place at Open Source Bridge. Please review them in advance and make a note of what color lanyards people are wearing, as that will indicate their preference for being photographed and recorded.
- Need some assistance? Our volunteers will be sporting gold stickers when they’re on shift as well as yellow staff badges.
- Need a break or breather? We have a quiet room on the third floor. If you have trouble finding it, just ask a volunteer!
- We will have childcare available tomorrow and Wednesday in Room A107.
- All-gender restrooms (multi-stall) are available on the first floor, with a single-occupancy restroom available on the third floor (3A).
In between sessions:
The Hacker Lounge (next to registration) will be open during and after sessions throughout the week. Stop by our Lego table, try out some 3D printing, make a button or two, grab stickers, or collaborate on a project! You can also get a massage for $1 per minute by stopping by between 9-11am, 11:30am-1pm, 2:30-4:30pm, or 5:30-6:30pm.
- You’ll have from noon to 1:30pm to find lunch in the area.
- For those who’d like lunch guides, you’ll meet by the Hacker Lounge (look for the signs) and head over to nearby food cart pods.
Thank you, sponsors:
Meet the amazing sponsors who made this year possible. Open Source Bridge’s 2017 patrons are IBM (Gold), AlterConf (Silver), Mozilla (Bronze), ClientJoy (Bronze), Recompiler (Bronze), and LaunchCode (Media)!
As if I weren’t looking forward to this enough: this four-minute making-of featurette on Blade Runner 2049 features Harrison Ford, Roger Deakins, Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve, Ridley Scott, and others talking about the forthcoming film. Come *on* October, get here already.Tags: Blade Runner movies video
There’s this thing that some cleaning advice lady on the internet says, that the first thing to clean is always your kitchen sink. The last few days, we got a little harried, and the dishes piled up, and then yesterday, I tried to cook multiple curries — and immediately ran into the problem that I couldn’t do what I normally do, which is clean the cooking dishes as I go, so there’s very little left to do at the end. There just wasn’t room in the sink to do it, so I ended up with a towering pile of dishes after cooking, before we even ate. Most disheartening.
I feel like there’s some sort of lesson there about not letting yourself get too behind on things, a lesson that I am firmly going to ignore re: my e-mail, as today is a dedicated writing / gardening day.
June 22, By Jason Cohen
Community Board 1 voted in favor of allowing Catholic Charities to construct a seven-story residential building in Astoria catering to low income seniors.
Catholic Charities needs a variance because its proposed building, which would be located at 23-11 31st Road, does not conform with existing zoning rules since it would be situated too close to the property line. However, the board held the view that senior housing is in such short supply and the non-conformity was not that significant that it gave the ok. The board’s recommendation, however, is advisory and it is the Board of Standards and Appeals that makes the ultimate decision.
The building would consist of 93 affordable dwelling units and would be across the street from another low-income senior complex that Catholic Charities manages. That complex, called the Catherine Sheridan Houses, has 240 units.
The new structure would go up on what is now a parking lot. It would include space for a community room and community facilities on the ground floor. There would be 14 to 16 residential units on each floor, from floors 2 through 7.
The architect working on the plans is listed as Dattner Architect, the firm used to design the massive Hallets Point project.
Details as to who would qualify for the houses are not known.
However, to qualify for the Catherine Sheridan Houses, seniors must be over 65 years of age, with singles earning less than $44,350 or two people under $50,700.
Tenants are selected via a lottery.
Elizabeth Erion, co-chair of the land use and zoning committee for CB1, felt it was important to have more senior housing in the community. According to the Catholic Charities, there are nearly 20,000 low-income seniors on the wait list for affordable housing in the 22nd Council District, the highest in the city.
“This is really an opportunity for us to try to address senior housing,” Erion said.
Erion said her only concern is the lack of parking. The proposed plan calls for 19 parking spots.
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) has expressed his support for the development.
In next few months the proposal will be heard by the Board of Standards and Appeals.
June 22, By Jason Cohen
Joseph Risi, chairman of Community Board 1, announced his resignation at the monthly board meeting Tuesday night.
Risi, who spent 25 years on the board and was chairman for the past two, was appointed a Supreme Court Circuit judge earlier this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Norma Nieves-Blas, the first vice chairperson of the board, has taken over as chair on an interim basis.
The board will vote on a new chair in September.
Dear Jolla fans and followers,
It’s been a busy first half of the year here at Jolla, and we’re working hard to get the big OS agenda moving forward.
We have positive progress and major future business potential with Sailfish openings e.g. in China and Russia. While these projects are big and take time, they’re developing steadily and we expect them to grow into sizable businesses for us overtime. These two are now our key customers but the projects are in early phase and our revenues are tight. At the same time realizing this opportunity requires significant R&D investments from our licensing customers and Jolla.
Meanwhile, as Russia and China are progressing, we also have good traction with other new potential licensing customers in different regions. Good discussions are ongoing, and we’re waiting eagerly to get to share those with you.
At Jolla, we are still in an intensive R&D investment phase and very dependent on our investors who believe in our business model and future potential. Before the company turns positive from licensing revenues, the financial situation remains extremely focused and tight. As we know, developing a mobile OS is a huge task and investment, and it will take years to carry fruit. For reference, it took almost 1B€ and six years for Nokia and partners to bring MeeGo up and alive, and we’re pursuing the same path, although in quite a different way and style using the benefits of being small and agile compared to the big corporations.
Jolla Tablet refunds
It has been a while since our last update about the remaining Jolla Tablet refunds – we are committed to it and we will be progressing on it in a pace our financial situation permits us to do. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Thus, we have now decided to take a phased approach to the refund process and start executing refunds every month the company makes positive cash flow from its core business – the Sailfish OS licensing. We will start this process in July 2017, and move in a pace that fits our financial progress described above. This means that some of our tablet backers will get their refund earlier than others, which is unfortunately unavoidable in this situation. To make it fair for everyone we will start these refunds in a random order. Those random picked for the first run will receive an email from us to confirm all the needed details. You’ll also have an option to support the Sailfish OS movement simply by donating your remaining refund, if you so wish.
I can assure you that this topic has been painful for everyone of us here at Jolla. My apologies on the delayed process and thank you for your continued patience and support on this matter.
Shortly also about the Sony Xperia X project, as we realize many are waiting for news about it: we’re working on the project and we will update you next week about the next steps.
As a summary, I can say that Jolla is currently in a very interesting situation and we have big opportunities in sight. We also have a vibrant and enthusiastic developer and fan community supporting us. Thank You! You are utmost important to us, and we hope to live up to your expectations. It takes time and a lot of effort but we’ll deliver.
Now, I wish everyone a great summertime! We will soon get back to the topics mentioned above.
Sincerely, your Jolla captain,