terriko: (Default)
Probably because I have three academic degrees and then worked in a university as a postdoc, I still center my life around September as beginning of the year. This year doing so that way feels especially odd because September is the one month where no one in my household is traveling so it's less busy rather than the usual school year of more busy, but it also feels apt because I'm settling into new stuff at work.

But let it not be said that because I'm out of school I'm not learning. I'm actually even signed up for two classes:


1. I signed up for a two-session spinning course at my local yarn shop. The instructor is a friend from the Saturday knit group and I'm super excited because I've watched and listen to her teach so I know she'll be great. I absolutely positively do not need a new hobby, but learning new things is fun!

2. I also signed up for a free online course in a subject I know nearly nothing about: "Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones". Why? Because Kathy Reichs novels and crime shows have no doubt left me with a jumbled impression of how bone identification works and I like random real biology and science in my life (a hazard of being raised by biochemists). I plan to watch the first few lectures and decide whether to stick to it, which is something a friend taught me to do with courses when I was an undergrad and it's the one thing I wish everyone knew to do because it lets you try a broader range of things.

If anyone else wants to watch lectures and chat with me about them, I find I stick with these things more if I talk about them with someone, so hit me up for class gossip!

Other than that, I've been doing some more new-years-resolution type stuff:

a. I've been finishing up some work-in-progress knitting things that got shelved for various reasons, and it's strangely satisfying. Hopefully I'll get some time to do some pictures soon and write those up.

b. I bought a new band for my fitbit and am trying to be more serious about using the data it gives me to walk more and sleep more. It's not going super well because my schedule is so random right now, but I'm working on it.

c. I changed up all my subscription boxes, stopping Birchbox, Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags and trying to stop Yarn of the Month (although apparently I didn't get the email out correctly because I got a shipping notice). They're all great subscriptions, but they all piled up over the summer and I think I'll let myself enjoy what I have for a bit.

I did, however, sign back up for the Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bags, which turned out to be a sanity saver for me several times because it meant I had small kits on hand when I was going somewhere without much notice and needed an easy thing to do. So the plan is to do that up to when the Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery-a-longs start in January and then decide if I need more or I need a break. :)

d. I'm back in work choir and am looking for some better ways to do vocal training, because Christmas music has a lot of high soprano parts and I'm a mezzo soprano with a lousy range that I know I can improve if I work at it. Advice and technological learning help much appreciated! I'll probably start with some Rock Band sessions, since I'm way out of practice from the summer.

It's a good start to a new year, even if it isn't a new year exactly!

Tidbits

Oct. 13th, 2011 12:18 am
terriko: I am a serious academic (Twlight Sparkle looking confused) (Serious Academic)
- My defence is on Friday.

- Slides got sent off today. I am more happy with them than I was yesterday, and think I will do a good presentation despite having to reign in my usual style to appear "more academic" for the one committee member who cared about such appearances. I think I made even my wordier slides reasonably useful, and there's still lots of visual descriptions.

- Amusingly, I now have a student card that is valid through 2015. (Mine had expired 'cause I took more than 4 years to complete my degree, and new ones are also valid for 4 years.)

- I kinda dislike most of what the Canadian Federation of Students does with my money, but they *are* lobbying against our stupid copyright legislation, which may be the most awesome campaign I've ever seen them run.

- I'm worried my movers are going to cancel on me, as they have just changed my moving date again. Ugh.

- My pseudonymous artist persona gained a bunch of followers/fans/friends overnight, and I've been tickled pink about all the nice comments people left. Yeay!
terriko: (Default)

Dear Members of the Carleton Community,

We all care deeply about our students and their academic progress and success. I am writing to reassure everyone, especially students, that negotiations are still continuing with all bargaining units. The administration is bargaining in good faith and I remain hopeful that settlements will be reached.

At the Senate meeting on Friday, there was a request for amnesty for students in the event of labor disruption. While the Senate has a committee charged with emergency responses and procedures, we all sincerely hope that we will not have to test them.

In the meantime, I would hope that we all continue our inspired and inspiring teaching and learning, research and service.



Sincerely yours,

Roseann O'Reilly Runte

President and Vice-Chancellor


"While the Senate has a committee charged with emergency responses and procedures, we all sincerely hope that we will not have to test them." Was that meant to be a threat? It sounds like a veiled threat, but my university sends us so many seriously awkward emails that I can't be sure. It could just be another failure in communication.

Honestly, so many of their emails leave us all scratching our heads that I'm going to charitably assume that they just don't know how to write email. Supporting this theory: they also didn't answer the question about whether amnesty would be granted. All it would have taken was a "we regret to inform you that amnesty cannot be granted" or "amnesty is covered only in our emergency responses which take effect $in_this_circumstance, not under normal strike conditions" or "while the university policy is not to grant amnesty, you can ask the professor of each course and a decision can be made at his/her discretion" or whatever. Or maybe amnesty is ok and they just don't want us to know that? Why be evasive when you could use this email to communicate useful information?

It's embarrassing that one of better-known programs at this university is a journalism one.
terriko: (Default)
I know, I know, I don't really need to be writing for another blog; I need to be writing my thesis. But my friend Cate and her friend Maggie started this cool project trying to make it easier for women to find real women in computer science when they hit up google trying to get a sense for what things are like. Their subject for Sept/Oct is "how I got into computer science" and I joined the group by sending in my story.

I suspect many readers of this blog have heard this story (some of you lived through it with me!) but here's a teaser anyhow:

How I Quit Computer Science (And What Drew Me Back)

To explain how I ended up in computer science, you have to understand the story of how I quit.

(…)

First year computer science was geared towards students who had little to no experience with computers, and I realised that I’d be wasting several years of my life waiting for my peers to catch up. On top of that, it was boom times and CS was being viewed a shorter path to a 6-figure salary than the more education-intensive med school or law school. The people who were there weren’t really in love with the discipline; many were just in love with the idea of being rich. I wasn’t interested in paying thousands of dollars per term to waste my time with peers I didn’t respect in a program that was boring me to tears.

I was disappointed, disillusioned, and wanted a challenge that was clearly going to be a long time coming in CS. So I dropped out.

Read the rest here.


(Those of you who are women in computer science are also welcome to join! the bottom of this page has more details.)
terriko: (Default)
My paper was accepted to HotSec! This is the web visual security policy research I've been working on for a while in various forms, but this is my first proper paper on the subject (although some of the related issues were touched upon in my W2SP paper). Getting in to HotSec is rather a big deal, as it's among the top publishing venues available to me. I was one of 11 papers chosen (out of 57). Go me! So I'll be heading down to DC on August 10th to present it. If you're curious, we should have the final camera-ready copy done in a few days.

My HotSec acceptance causes a bit of a logistical problem, though, since I've also been accepted to speak at LinuxCon on August 12th. It's a bit of a long story as to how I ended up applying at all, but the short and relevant part is just that I wasn't originally planning on submitting to HotSec and didn't realise I'd have such a conflict. (There's a longer story involving speaker diversity issues and good folk willing to go out of their way to work on solving them.)

Anyhow, I really *should* send my regrets to LinuxCon as, academically speaking, it makes a lot more sense for me to go to USENIX Security immediately following HotSec. Especially this year, as I'm hoping to graduate soonish (more ish than soon; don't get too excited) and should be networking as much as possible. But I chatted with my supervisor, and he agreed that it's a bit of a toss-up as to which is more valuable to me: it's nearly as likely that the person I need to meet will be at LinuxCon and that I'll wind up finding a job through open source connections. Raising my open source speaking profile may be just as useful.

What's clear is that Mailman benefits more if I go to LinuxCon, since I'm going to be talking about upcoming awesomeness in version 3.0. The other day, I had someone comment that they didn't even realise Mailman was in active development... ouch. I think getting people interested now, while we're in alpha, is probably absolutely perfect timing. Plus I'm hoping to have some nice stuff to show off from my excellent GSoC students, if they're willing to let me talk about what they've been doing with the archives, and maybe some of the other projects as well.

If you're interested in coming out to LinuxCon, they helpfully gave me a 20% discount code to share. Drop me a note and I'll pass it along (they asked we not just post the code publicly, but I can pop it in a private post later). If you can offer me a job then I'll be able to tell my supervisor I made the right choice. Heh. No, seriously, it's just nice to see people.

Anyhow, I'll make my final decision when I see if the travel arrangements are ridiculous, but it *should* be relatively easy to go from DC to Boston after HotSec, so let's hope this all works out!
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