Monday May 24th

RLOS Week 2!

I’m back!

  • And guess what!? I got the config script to run from my local env remotely!
  • My next step is to do this with data, and test out some other config scripts. I can’t wait!!!
  • I had some login issues because the account was under one of my mentors’ emails (ie a Msft email), but, in the most amazing move, my mentor was up at uh..11pm? and added my email to the account, so I could log-in and respond to authentication verification. Talk about going above and beyond! So impressive!
  • He was also super aware that I should head to sleep soon, though, and we could talk during our meeting tomorrow, after we celebrated that things worked!! Super cool!!!

So on to my next task!

  • I’m super excited and will update as the week progresses, in this space.
  • It’s almost tomorrow, so uh, I should get some sleep.
  • We are also pair programming on Wednesday, an offer made to both of us as something our mentor would do! So I took up the offer for this Wednesday!

Other stuff happening this week

  • There is a LOT going on. I’m at IEEE S&P, and met the most amazing mentor. We had a speed-mentorship, and I thought I would meet people briefly, but I ended up having one of the most thoughtful conversations about how to navigate research, Academia, and the general PhD by one of the Session Chairs. We ended up chatting for the entire session time, and kept extending the time, and I was really just blown away by how helpful he was. He started by saying that he didn’t think he’d enjoy teaching, and that made me think, immediately, because I could definitely relate to that feeling of shifting and re-pivoting. I really think that a great mentor or teacher makes you inspired with that possibility; they make you think deeply and things they say resurface or resonate. Thank you so much! What was amazing was that he followed up by saying “I have an article for you”. I have to thank him immensely, but I have been combing through the references of the article he sent; they’re all so good!
  • Here is the article he sent here (which he wrote)! I also shared it with persons in my lab (as we focus on Security and Privacy, too). But regardless of the field, it’s such an in-depth, thorough, amazing article! Thank you so much for sharing this with me! This session was so unexpected! I went back into IEEE S&P feeling like I belonged. I enjoy the conference in general.
  • I have RLOS mentor meetings, a meeting with my advisor, a WISP Privacy+Law Forum conference, an R workshop, my workshop at the Alan Turing Institute, my blockchain fellowship (we had guest speakers, J. Franek and S. Kulechov, in the DeFi track, and I attended a Governance Juntos group and met two new people, one of whom is a lighting designer, of all things(!!) and is interested in fairness, which is awesome!), my NCWIT meetings, my FAIR mentorship meeting with podmates, and a meeting with the recent ICLR 2021 DEI chairs and my co-chair! We have some exciting things planned for 2022, and I hope it creates a positive impact! I’d like these opportunities and access to be better than they were for me when I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to do grad school, and navigating how to do research at all. That kind of access could change someone’s life trajectory, and this particular kind of position isn’t about me; it’s about giving back and engaging with the community, which is awesome.
  • For my blockchain fellowship, the track I chose (Security) met this week and discussed the skills we will learn in the Security track (my secondary track is Fairness / Grassroots Economics), specifically identifying risk and threat modelling, among other things. The session on Tuesday was led by C. Petty.
  • Essentially, we will be learning with a buddy how to audit projects, and get feedback (every two weeks).

Oh! I got my laptop!

  • Internship laptop showed up in the mail and it’s gasp a Thinkpad!!!!!!! YESSSSSSS!!!
  • I can see my sysadmin friend from night school smile from California. He loves Thinkpads, and used to have a giant Kirby on his.
  • Those times, though stressful, were a lot of fun because the people in this class were quite a bunch! You’d look around and see people in Java class playing chess in class, or buying ammo online (LOL. Interestingly, my machine shop class also had a bunch of people who were into guns. Reminded me of someone I wanted to take a glassblowing shop class from years ago who rolled his eyes and told me “everyone just wants to learn glassblowing now to make pipes to smoke”. Yikes. Didn’t know about that one!). In one class, I remember that half the class was playing Looking back, it was so valuable to be exposed to that perspective; I was there long enough to get a sense of what it takes for those students to transfer (it’s really hard! You can get into a vortex whereby you keep taking classes and the admin says you “don’t have enough credits” (and this rubric changes every year, which is unfair, so they get to keep taking your money, and you eventually give up on gaining your certificate), which is a whole other frustration I don’t want to get into right now. And then transferring your credits can also be a PITA. This is part of why the statistics for transferring can be so low), to gain opportunities and be taken seriously (you’re in limbo as a night school student because even though you’re obtaining undergrad credits, you don’t technically qualify for undergrad opportunities, which sucks!), and how they have a bit of an individualistic streak because they also have life experience. They’re not the type of students who followed the straight path, so you meet some really interesting people, and they teach you things about how the system is set up to help them fail or succeed. In my case, they wouldn’t let me transfer my grades out of state, so I told them to send it to me, sealed, and I sent it out of state (kind of a hack), as I’ve spoken about before. This kind of resourcefulness is often overlooked when we consider these kinds of students, and the hurdles they have to overcome. That’s part of why I’m super happy hearing about success stories like my friend, who is now a post-doc at Brown, after overcoming substantial hurdles. The odds just aren’t that great for many.


  • I should go to sleep; it’s tomorrow already! I will add as things progress this week! But this is exciting and awesome and I love this all so much!!!

And that’s it

Written on May 24, 2021