Updates: February 16 – April 19, 2022

I am officially starting a PhD program this fall!!! Reading and writing Nepali, spring is sort of here, reading and listening to Brené Brown

Gridded paper with handwritten, short sentences in Nepali. The test translates to sentences about eating various foods.

These are reverse-chronological thoughts and updates recorded at the top of my Now page and compiled into a blog post.

April 19, 2022

Another couple of podcast episodes I really liked:

I thought spring was here but now it is snowing again. Here are some photos from last weekend’s nine-mile run, when it was spring:

I read the following entire page in Nepali (it took me around 2.5 hours over a few days for the first read – oof, my brain was pounding):

A page of several paragraphs of typed text in Nepali script from a book. Some of the words are circled with pencil, and at the bottom there is a paragraph in English that says "Text for reading:" and includes the transliteration of the Nepali script.
This text describes some fundamental characteristics of Nepal, including neighboring countries, geography, and culture.

Now it takes me around five minutes to read one paragraph!

April 14, 2022

I discovered the podcast Strong Feelings recently and listened to an episode “Solidarity in Action” with Nora Keller of the Times Tech Guild about tech workers and unionizing. Very inspiring stuff.

In other news:

Delicious egg curry, aloo cauli (potato cauliflower), and mula ko achar (radish pickle).

A small tulip growing amongst grass and other tulips, with a small pink flower

Spring is here!

I’m thinking about low key projects for my time off this summer (it’s possible none of these will happen, but I’ll let this list incubate here and see):

  • Front-end/WordPress/general ask-me-anything office hours
  • Reviving my email list (again)
  • Reviving the Tackle Box with a couple new videos
  • Refreshing this website’s theme
  • Working through Rust in Action (perhaps in a group)
  • Attending Writer’s Hour regularly to build a writing habit and work on the above. They have a goals setting session for each month, so maybe I can attend one of those. Such a cool community.

Other things, not work-related:

  • Focus on Nepali learning
  • Lots of reading, including fiction, namely Moon Witch Spider King by Marlon James
  • Getting back into monsters
  • Finishing a painting for my brother (this is a must do because it was his birthday present 2.5 years ago)
  • Reading/watching/practicing more content from Brené Brown, i.e. working on myself
  • Enjoying Pittsburgh, being outside, and just generally chilling

An additional note – I wrote this update earlier today and was in a great mood. I am no longer in that great mood and just wanted to share that as a reminder to my future self that what I record here is a highly curated version of “now”, and I generally only write updates when I’m feeling good.

April 13, 2022

A history lesson from Dr. Jacqueline Battalora: the term “white” in reference to a group of people didn’t exist until the late 1600s. More here –

I found this video linked on White Awake’s website. I am considering taking one of their upcoming workshops.

A related book I’d like to read, maybe this summer: Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life by Barbara J. Fields and Karen E. Fields.

April 6, 2022

The results for the NSF fellowship I applied have come out as well, and although I wasn’t selected, the feedback on my application ranged from “Good” to “Excellent”! The comments were very validating. I’m feeling proud.

March 30, 2022

Drum roll please…my decision is now official…this fall we will move to Atlanta, and I will begin my PhD journey in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Tech!! Wow! I will be working with Betsy DiSalvo in the learning sciences focus, and I am just so excited. Everything came together better than I could imagine (or exactly as I imagined?). I am working on a blog post something like, “How I applied to PhD programs” to share the steps I took to make this transition. It’s been close to four years since I’ve started thinking about it, and I made the decision to go for it last year in February.

Again, wow!! It’s happening!

March 28, 2022

Arrived back in Pittsburgh to a snowstorm after a week in LA for work.

A small backyard with a small tree with no leaved in the center in front of a neighboring yellow brick house and several brick houses visible beyond the yard. There is a covering of snow and the sky is grey.
There are daffodils blooming under this snow.

Nepali class is going well and, after many classes of studying the alphabet and pronunciation, my teacher has proclaimed I am ready to start learning words! Finally. My homework tonight is to write the words for all fruits and vegetables. Here are some small sentences about eating different types of food:

Gridded paper with handwritten, short sentences in Nepali. The test translates to sentences about eating various foods.
These sentences read “I eat cauli”, “I eat vegetables”, “I eat turmeric”, “I eat banana”, “I eat meat”, “I eat mushroom”.

I did Brené Brown’s “Living Into Our Values” exercise with my husband yesterday. My two values (authenticity and contentment) were somewhat unexpected, at least they haven’t shown up in past thinking I’ve done around core values. I just finished listening to Dare to Lead and am starting Rising Strong. I’m finding the content to be quite transformational, and ideas are brewing.

Also, this is the week I will make my decision official! (see below update)

March 14, 2022

I am currently deciding between Ph.D. programs. It’s like choosing between delicious-looking cakes, except you can only choose one and you can’t taste it before you commit to eating it exclusively for the next 4-6 years.

Also, my birthday was March 12, and I missed my yearly tradition of re-learning binary counting on my birthday. Apparently, I missed 2020 also…I will probably do a belated post, but we’ll see.

I can kind of read and write Nepali now, but I don’t know what it means. Here is some Devanagari handwriting practice:

March 11, 2022

Oof, this is an intense time.

February 25, 2022

Started Nepali classes this week, and my homework is to learn to write Devanagari script (the characters for Sanskrit, the root language for Hindi, Nepali, and many more)…I’m very motivated!

I’m listening to and learning the words to Nepali songs – primarily this one, which is a lot of fun (but if you watch the full version of this video, it appears to be part of a very sad story):

I’m also listening to this song – which I started to learn the chorus of a few months ago, and I’m refreshing my memory now.

When I first started to listen to/learn Nepali songs, I could not remember or differentiate melodies from one song to another, but now it’s much easier, and I even get them stuck in my head. I don’t know much about music, but I wonder if there are some foundational differences in the melodies in Nepali songs from what I’m used to in western music, so my brain didn’t know how to recognize them.

February 21, 2022

Had an interesting think-aloud over on the Mission/Dreams page.

February 20, 2022

This weekend I am reading and intend to finish What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri and…wow! It’s a short, ironically-titled critique of mainstream anti-racist conversation and a history lesson. This is book is a brain-shaper for me.

February 16, 2022

Just published an update!