In Which I Am A +1

Posted on 23rd September 2014

This post will be a little rushed as my draft was deleted and I’m already well behind.

The rest of the week was busy in much the same way with a few additions. The evening brought an interview for ISAB, the international student advisory board, a group dedicated to connecting with the administration over issues of international student welfare. My interview went fairly well, though I felt I ranted a little about the state of undergraduate education. My time at Hineni had made me quite a fiery critic of many educational practices within universities.

Following the interview, I had a little time to get back to homework before heading off at 9PM for a Google recruiting event. I was attending as a +1 of Nikki Limtiaco, Rigel’s girlfriend and a former student of mine with whom I was good friends. The event was held at Pod, the fanciest sushi bar around and Google provided generously with much food and an open bar. I eventually gave in and tried one of the nicer whiskeys while chatting to a Google engineer, Michael who had previously worked in my current lab. The event was highly enjoyable with many of the top students from Penn CIS attending. I made a bunch of new friends and additionally swapped details with Michael who had a lot to say about where I would be working for the next few years.

I returned late and got a little more work done before the usual start the next day. Class on Thursday were the same as always but I was incredibly stressed out by my homework load. I did attend the Glee/Penn Dance mixer in the evening, but stayed for a little over half an hour before returning to my room to continue working. Friday was much the same however the evening held a few fun differences. Friday at 3:30PM was my Penn Pipers audition, an acapella subset of the Glee Club, known for their quality of tone and ability to blend. I was excited to audition as not doing so was one of my few regrets from my previous time at Penn. The audition went very well, with me singing a rendition of “Fly Me To the Moon” as popularized by Sinatra.

From there I attended the PennApps opening ceremonies. For those who missed my previous accounts of PennApps, it’s a ‘hackathon’ (read: programming competition) with over six hundred attendees from around the world coming to Penn to compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. Though I wouldn’t be hacking away all of Saturday, it was still an opportunity to see friends, generate new ideas and meet new people.

After the opening ceremony I raced to Hillel, where I met with a few graduate students to head to Rodin for a meal hosted by Sarah. The meal was small and lovely and went late. However my night still wasn’t over as I headed back to PennApps to play board games with the representatives who were there from Facebook.

The next day I woke up just in time for lunch, arriving at Hillel where I was to meet Elan and Naomi Hachen who were hosting me for that meal along with yet more graduate students, including Debby whom I had become friends with the previous week and who had also attended Sarah’s meal. The meal was really lovely, and again went late into the afternoon. At around 8PM I headed back to PennApps, this time with my laptop and was reading to do some coding my self.

I was up way into the late hours of the night coding, reading up on documentation and finally at 4AM, finished my project and walked home to get into bed for a few hours before judging and presentations.


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