Wednesday May 23rd

GSoC and RustReach Day 10 and Team Support!

There is a 120lb German Shepherd snoring about 5 feet from me

  • She’s adorable! She quite frequently leans into me and wants me to pat her on the butt!

I got up at 3:45am

  • I think..I don’t recall. My eyes were red. I was tired, and frustrated. My internet kept kicking out. Fortunately, as I write this, the internet has gotten better. I was even able to have my GChat on it tonight.
  • I got onto the bus this morning (I think it was the 6:15am bus) and just knocked out. I got up a few stops before mine, and sat in the Coffee Bean shop below my part-time internship, and worked on some Rust. I’m now on chapter 11.

By the time I got home

  • Actually, let’s back up. I left at 4pm, took the 4:17pm bus and there was crazy traffic. As in, I got to my location 45 minutes after the expected time. So I got home about 8 minutes before my GChat with my mentors for GSoC. They were really chill about it, as I was frantically using wifi on the bus to update them on what time I thought I’d be home. It was enough time to change and feed my favourite dog in LA :D
  • She followed me into the bedroom and immediately tripped on my AC plug for my Ubuntu laptop and sent it almost flying. I anticipated that, though, so all was well. I guess she was just really happy to see me. So naturally, I had to spend a good half an hour playing with her. When I’ve stayed up late working, she stays within reach and will often fall asleep. She hates photos, though, so you have to sneak up on her. Otherwise, she’ll run away when she sees the camera. Kind of makes sense now that I think about it; her owner is a well-known cinematographer :D It never occurred to me before; he’s a good friend of mine and his brother is sort of a legendary child star. But I just dog-sit :D

We have a Banh-Mi Truck at work tomorrow

  • I’m really looking forward to seeing the mad dash for that. I think I found out today that we have about 167 engineers in our building. The company occupies the 5th, 9th, 10th and 11th floors. They’ve also been supportive of me. Today, I put a dollar into the vending machine for some cheesy popcorn, and it (the popcorn) just sat there. LOL. I swear.. ordinarily it works..but just not that pack of I’ve been told I can call someone to get a refund, but right now, I just think it’s funny.

Meeting my GSoC mentors.

  • I learned a lot today. I was struggling in understanding quite a few things.
  • In the past, I was filling in types based on the Constructor. So if I knew it had to return a bool, I could return True or False. However, I was now dealing with Data types. These were input by Chris, and it wasn’t obvious to me what I should pass in the JSVal function. Even moreso, I couldn’t understand why the base arguments seemed to come last.
  • Gabe gave a great explanation on Github and Chris explained to me in detail why in currying, it’s better to have the base function last. And it makes sense.

More Support

  • Chris also was arranging to have a co-worker of his meet me next week to give me a laptop. Then he decided to just buy one for me, and have it shipped to me for tomorrow. I really really appreciate it.
  • It reminded me of when I was in Concept Design school (which led to woodworking, welding, machining, robotics and then programming), and I felt so alienated from the students initially because no one wanted to talk to me, so I’d sit up front. I was an anomaly and the teacher immediately took a liking to me, because he was a bit of one, also. They’d mostly speak in Korean and ignore me. I made friends with the receptionist, and she taught me some Korean (specifically how to say “potato chips” LOL). Eventually, they warmed up to me, but every term I expected that no one would speak to me.
  • I felt so alone that I would hang out at this restaurant (now defunct) and the cooks and the head waiter and the owner took a liking to me. So the people in my class wouldn’t speak to me and I didn’t want to hang out with them, and I would be downstairs before class, and the chefs would feed me and make me all sorts of off the menu stuff (including goat cheese shrimp quesadillas) and charge me all sorts of things (like a three course meal for $4 or nothing) and we’d watch football together and drink red wine. They’d even give me wine-tasting cards, to be redeemed at any time. I think at that point I started making friends with other students LOL. I remember one particular time I had no money, so I got some rice, and some read beans, and made that for lunch. But it was terrible, and I couldn’t stomach so many days of eating that in a row and was about to sink into self-pity, and the owner of the restaurant ran into me and said “are you going to stop by? We owe you a meal!” They took really good care of me before it changed owners.
  • One day, I was having a five course meal, and drinking a bunch of red wine before class with the chefs, and watching football. My teacher came downstairs and looked at me with this feast in front of me (he came in for a $7 tuna sandwich) and laughed and said “you’re going to be drunk in my class!”. The head waiter came up to him and asked if I was any good, and the teacher looked at him and said “she’s very good; she just needs the right tools.” And so, this statement has stuck with me ever since. She just needs the right tools.

So here I am now

  • Learning Haskell, and that statement rings true again. I’m getting there. And maybe one day, I’ll get to mentor someone, too, and they won’t have the best tools, and I’ll be able to help them. I’d come full-circle. I empathize with people who don’t have the right tools. I don’t think it should be expected. That’s one of the great things I liked about learning to programme. I could have a $20 laptop and use the same command line as someone with a $2000 Mac. In some other fields (like art; if anyone has used oils or copic markers; I was that kid trying to stretch the tube out as much as possible!), having cash matters. You can still make things in tech even if you don’t have the funding. I really like that; it’s liberating.
  • It’s part of why I’d never hesitate to help someone who has an interest if I could. Maybe that’s why my circle has grown, and I’ve met so many people. I know what it’s like so to be in a group with a desire to do something, and be lacking..something. Not the best tools, or something..resources. When I was learning hand-drafting, no one wanted to show me where to get a long list of drafting supplies, besides my mentor (who was a professional designer in NYC and taught at NYU grad school), and this one oddball kid who was nice enough to not care what other people thought of his speaking to me. He showed me where I could get supplies at Cornell. Or maybe not the best support network. I’ve had that in the past, too. I’ve been locked out of classes because the students thought I shouldn’t be there and tried to isolate me when the teacher wasn’t around. So I’ve always been the one to go up to people who think that they want to do something but maybe don’t fit in with everyone else there. Because I was that person.
  • Being nice to that person could make a real difference in that person’s life. That one person often made a difference to me and made me stick with learning something or developing a new skill. It’s also part of why I’ve stuck with facets of FP for a while; there are some really nice people in the community, who check up on me and encourage me.

Anyways..that’s a long detour

  • To say, you never know who you may find a kindred spirit in, regardless of what they look like on the outside. You never know who might have a real passion or real talent or grit for something. As for me, I never imagined I’d be doing any of this. I’m really thankful. I was half expecting all the places this summer (all three internships) to say that they perhaps had the wrong person..that it wasn’t really me. LOL

In the meantime

  • I’m trying to get to chapter 15 in Rust before my Saturday meeting
  • This weekend is May Day Convoluted, which is this awesome Haskell/ PureScript meeting with a bunch of Haskellinos and PureScripters.
  • I’m going to finish Constructors for GSoC. The text Constructor(s) type-checked, so I hope I can move on to the Blank one tomorrow, the Rectangle one tomorrow night (or Friday), and the Circle ones over the weekend, to be all completed in time for our next Monday meeting.
  • Oh, and I have a blog post to do for Medium. It will more formal than this stuff, which is sort of just me talking to myself, into DSN (deep space network) :D
  • Oh, and I’ll have a new laptop with Linux installed and I can share my screen with my mentors, which will move things a lot faster!

Stay tuned!

Written on May 23, 2018