Grad School, Personal, Pittsburgh


It’s been a while. My life is incredibly different now than my last post. I’ve been working at IBM Watson for the last four years. I’ll go into that in a different post sometime.

I seem to pick this blog back up whenever a big new thing is happening in my life. Last time, it was pivoting from contract work to a standard job; this time, I’m in the midst of applying for graduate school for a PhD.

There’s a lot happening right now. I’m working a full-time job, moving apartments, volunteering at a local high school, and trying to get all my application in on time. I think the only thing that has helped me keep everything in order throughout the last few months was picking up bullet journaling. My journal is not instagram worth, but it’s a good depiction of me and what needs to get done.

I’ve been reading a lot on what to expect from a PhD and how to be a successful PhD student. I’m incredibly grateful for all the resources that exist; they make it feel more viable instead of a goal in the distance future I’ve been working toward for months and might not result in anything. Fear wants to seep in, but there’s no point. Failure happens in life, and avoiding that failure out of fear won’t help me at all.

One of the strangest parts of applying for graduate schools has been imposter syndrome trying to creep in; however, when I objectively look at myself, I see that I’m just as qualified as anyone else and shouldn’t be doubting myself. *^*p

Next time I write here my applications will be submitted and I’ll be working on my presentation for Codemash in January. I’m really excited not only to give the talk, but also to do the prep work for it. I submitted a history of programming languages talk with a focus on seven languages-three of which I knew well at the time of submitting the proposal. Since then I’ve been doing a coding kata every week in a different language to familiarize myself with them. It’s a nice to have an excuse to experiment with programming languages not in my day to day life.

My love of languages and interest in learning new things is part of why I’m applying to graduate school. I’m applying for a PhD in computational linguistics with an interest in machine translation. Moving from industry to research is going to be a major upheaval in my life; however, it’s time for a new adventure and chapter of my life. I’m looking forward to the future!

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