GitHub announced several days ago their intention to rename the master branch on the main GitHub interface. This stirred up some thoughts I had about this and renaming “offensive” technological terms altogether, so I decided to make a post. Disclaimer Let’s get things straight first. I respect the rights of all people to be who they are, and support diversity efforts in technology. Please don’t go around claiming I hold extremist views as a result of the very narrowly-addressed opinion here.
I just finished my final presentation of my entire BS and MS career on Tuesday, so I’ve been going through old school files and cleaning them up. Today, I came across a short piece I wrote sophomore year for a Dean’s Scholars seminar on happiness and positive psychology. The topic was just to write a short piece about something you believed in. Enjoy! The last line is a quote from Nichijou, by the way.
It’s my tenth and final semester at the University of Texas at Austin, so I thought I’d rage a bit comment on which classes I enjoyed the most and least. This will be a random discussion, and won’t exhaustively include every class I’ve ever taken. Perhaps some current UT students will find this of use. I’ve separated them into three major tiers. “Low tier” are the classes that I despised or were an absolute joke.
This is more like a mind dump of things, but thinking back I actually have things I strongly associate with each semester of my college life thus far: Fall 2015: Touhou 15 Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: I played this a lot since it had just come out (and I literally joined the fandom right as it came out). I also played it a lot whenever I was bored OR upset, which is funny since this game is built around grinding and frustration.
I’ve been meaning to try writing prompts for a while, so here’s a stab at one on reddit Like sunrise itself, it’s just the first step in a long journey. I honestly think this is really bad, but as CS as taught me, the best way to improve is to finish things and iterate. So here goes nothing. (It also looks way longer on paper than it actually is…) The wind whispers softly as it makes its last rounds over the sleeping world, murmuring dreamily of yesterday’s worries and tomorrow’s hopes.
I’ve always considered myself someone who learns much, much better by doing than by reading. This was reinforced to me yesterday, when I took one of our CS314H Data Structures projects and rewrote it entirely in Clojure. For me, the hard part is finding something to do. I’ve been eyeing Clojure as a fun and elegant programming language from what seems like the past four or five months. I downloaded the thing, played at the REPL every chance I got, and read the amazing book Clojure For the Brave and True probably four times.
As always, any semblance of organization is merely illusory. You’ve been warned. :P Music has been a nominal part of my life since age 5, when I started taking piano lessons (with violin lessons following shortly after at ages 6-7). I went to lessons, was told what to practice, what to do, and went home and practiced as I was told, setting the counter for precisely 30 minutes, 3 times a day, and trudging through painful scales, usually satisfied with running through my pieces top to bottom 3-5 times and calling it “done”.
Oops, never did finish that last post on leadership, did I? (Read it here: https://williewillus.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/on-leadership-and-the-vista-ridge-hs-band/) That season of 2013 went on to become the greatest ever in Vista Ridge Band history, advancing to the State Marching Contest and placing third. We even qualified for Midwest and then made the BOA San Antonio finals! Now, it’s nearing the end of my senior year…where did the time go? I’m now the Woodwind Captain in addition to Flute Section Leader, which basically means my SL capabilities have limited extent over the other woodwind sections as well.
This piece of writing was written for my band director, who, after our Midwest trip, requested that we write about it, in order to convince the school board / administrators that fine arts makes a difference. Here it is reproduced exactly as it was written.. Our Process(ion) Among all of the experiences I’ve had in high school band, traveling to and performing at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra clinic ranks among the top, if not as the top of them.