Thursday, October 8, 2009

Robyn can't figure out the difference between dependency and composition

That's what you get for a title when I'm writing a brief post at 4:00 AM. You get a snippet of something a confused housemate says regarding UML diagrams.

-- A breakthrough! He has realized that what he is observing is aggregation. Now he has expressed a desire to know what aggregation really means. I can dig it.

I am prepared to believe that there is more good music than I can hear out there, and it's a fascinating thought. Every stone turned brings about a revelation of a musician who leaps not off the page, but out of the speakers? That was a good try at being clever, I guess.

The past week has been pretty full!

I travelled to Arizona on Tuesday, September 29th, to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, with my friends Melanie Veltman and Ali Tremblay. Ali and I flew out through Toronto and Dallas Fort Worth to Tucson, where the amazing weather embraced us (so warm! at night even!) and the intriguing desert flora crowded in to be awesome and bizarre. 20 foot cacti and strange green trees, spiny little bushes, and prickly fuzzy bulbus things were scattered about!

That was just the environment. The conference itself took place at a right-fancy hotel nestled between some tall (cactus covered!) hills on the outskirts of Tucson. Google, Microsoft, the NSA, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Amazon, Intuit, Sun, many more businesses, many universities, and thousands of attendees from all over the world at various levels of academia and industry attended the conference, to celebrate the role of women in the field of computing.

I had the educational and intriguing experience of witnessing an inverted female:male gender computer science ratio while in attendance. I was not on the receiving end of hostility or under attack, but it was at times lonely, isolating, or embarrassing. Being the only male in a room while a gender issue is discussed is bizarre - you can feel all eyes glancing at you. I may have abstractly understood what it is like to be a woman in a male dominated field before, and while I cannot claim to have a full understanding of the experience now, I am definitely more learned.

Please don't misconstrue this as me saying I in any way had a bad time! Everyone I met was intriguing and friendly. I made some new friends and we explored the conference and some of the foothill paths around the hotel. The Grace Hopper Conference is an unbelievably friendly and supportive place - everyone seemed interested to learn about one another. I feel lucky to have attended and to have met some of the most interesting people in the world - I'll definitely try to attend again.

And oh, the weather! This reminds me though, I have to post photos I took.

The time since our return has been one of the least sensible in terms of sleep schedules that I've ever held during regular class time. I have not fallen asleep before 7AM on any of Saturday (after flying in), Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday night. It's Wednesday and here I am, 5:08 AM, wrapping up my evening. I'm preparing for a whopper of a sleep at a projected 4 hours. There's quizzes tomorrow, assignments and deliverables due, friends to visit, movies to see, then friday. Which is TAing, more assignments, and then probably heading to London for Thanksgiving. Which means I won't be around home for a weekend until the 17th. I can't wait to see my family!

Final notes: I'm trying to be vegan. Have been for a week or two, it's going okay. Causes a lot of moral self-reflection. I still think meat and animal products are delicious and I wish I could eat them, but I must not due to the moral imperative.

Hopefully I start a new trend of regular blogging.

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