Friday November 2nd

Marching Forward

I had an amazing evening yesterday.

  • I’ve been feeling a bit homesick, ever since my mom suggested that I should visit next year. When she does this, it usually means she wants to see me. Argh. This is compounded by the fact that there are not really any authentic Caribbean restaurants in LA. And it does re-energize me when I go home. But I’m not sure what the timing will be next year, as some things are up in the air. So we’ll see how that goes. My birthday is literally the week of Carnival. This does not help keep my mind off wanting to visit. Sometimes, in my dreams, I am there.
  • I’m going to be in the Bay area next week Sunday morning to Tuesday evening (for Chrome Dev), and I do have some free time on Sunday to knock about, so I kid you not…the first thing I did was search for authentic Caribbean restaurants there. I found one, but they’re CLOSED on Sundays AND Mondays! Argh.

On the other hand

  • I had an amazing evening yesterday. I hung out with other scientists at the JPL German club. One of my favourite scientists there just had a baby girl! We took a photo, so if/ when he sends it, I’ll be sure to post it here!
  • My mentor said that at the time he was applying, he wanted to take what he learned in computer science and apply it to Mathematics. But this was in the 70s, and the two departments felt he would do better at one or the other and they couldn’t decide where to place him, so he wasn’t accepted to any of the schools to which he applied. It worked out for him because he was working at JPL at the time and already doing research. So he stayed with that and did well. It’s interesting because a lot of that application has come to pass years later. I feel like that’s something that would happen to me, because I’m one of those persons who blends a lot of things (because I’ve done a lot of things).
  • Another researcher, a volcanologist, just laughed and told me “run away!” from a PhD. But then he said that he did it because it gave him an opportunity to study at one of the top 10 schools, with a stipend, fully paid. It was an opportunity he could not refuse.
  • This British researcher said that in his case, one of his professors said “this guy will never become a scientist, he is not capable of anything like that”. So the researcher became a geologist, and then did his PhD, and now he is a planetary geologist. He amazed me because he is so like-minded with that “blended” personality; he plays an instrument also, knows a lot about art and literature. I could talk to him for hours. He told me that I would be just fine, and that “to be a great research scientist, you have to have a good heart”. I LOVED this so much. I’ve very much felt this with the JPL-ers, and the people I look up to.
  • People have spoken again and again about Gabe and his generosity and kindness, and he has interacted with that world and has his PhD. I’ve spoken with Stephanie, and she too is a wonderful person, as are Ben, Richard, and many others. SPJ, of course, comes from that research culture, even though he does not have a PhD. A lot of my peers, such as Ben, Joomy and others, are so kind and generous. I’d very much like to be a part of that. There is so much I think I can learn from the process.


  • I’ve been helping a friend late nights who is attending college and taking a class with Haskell. I come home late at night and my Fb chat is spammed with Haskell code. It’s wonderful! He will say “I don’t understand this” and we’ll talk about it and get unstuck. I really look forward to it. One time, I checked and the message was “Haskell is killing me”. I died.
  • I really enjoy when people say “I don’t understand this” because they want to KNOW. I’ve met so many people in school who just want the answer.
  • I’ve also decided to sign up for Advanced Data Structures and Assembly. Since I’m interested in debuggers, I want to delve more into Disassembly code and will probably look into some OCaml. I was looking at the owl library yesterday.


  • That’s about it. I’m really busy, but only for a bit, and promise I’ll write big updates!
Written on November 2, 2018