Woman crouching to take pictures of flowers

Ireland, we have a problem out here…

There’s no way to talk about the rest of the summer without talking about a not-so-slight hitch that occurred the first Friday night of my trip. And that requires some background, so bare with me.

3 years ago, I graduated from my master’s program jobless, recovering from a stalker ex-boyfriend, and completely unsure what my next steps should be. I knew that in a few months when my apartment lease was up if I didn’t have a job the smartest choice was to move back to CA and live with my mom to avoid a rent I couldn’t afford. But while I love CA, I also love DC and so I kept searching for something that would reasonably keep me there. And as I tried to figure out that part of my life, I knew I had to get over the fear my ex had put in me. So I went on a few dates because I figured the chances were high I’d move across country and therefore I didn’t have to fully make myself vulnerable because I don’t think long distance relationships can work.

And then I met a guy who changed that. Continue reading

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Black schoolgirl with molecular structure at the desk in chemistry laboratory

#MakeWhatsNext – Misses the Mark This Year

Three years ago, Microsoft launched a spring campaign to encourage girls to join STEM fields. Girls Do Science, the first of their ads, was inspirational. They gave girls hope – in the form of letters – that they could one day be the inventor, the maker. Year two (2016) gave them women to aspire to be. Inventors who made their mark in history.

This year, they released multiple advertisements in a row. The first two were great, again following the inspirational nature of the original campaign. The girls featured in the ad got to play with awesome technology (proving it is in fact still an advertisement for Microsoft products). They are even named inspirationally: Find the Cure and Be the Solution.
The third 2017 advertisement, however, dangerously misses the mark. Why dangerously? Because it follows the same common theme we teach girls and women (and honestly all minorities). Continue reading

I Voted sticker

Recovering from Election Woes

I feel like I’ve been mourning all month. It’s hard to explain to my more conservative friends and family. If the past year and half did not convince them of Trump’s danger, then explaining my grief at his success will not.

It was important to make space for such sadness. I am lucky to work at an organization that recognized that and encouraged people to take the time they needed. I was also lucky that family respected my heartache and did not push for discussion.

Continue reading

Stanford, Turner, and the Unjust Rape Sentence

The sentencing in the Stanford rape that was announced yesterday is disgusting and a true injustice.

Why shouldn’t a man who violates another person have a “severe impact” as punishment for his wrong doing? When 12 people unanimously say you are guilty, when you believe that drinking was the problem and not your violence is the issue, when you blame someone else for you unconscionable actions, you deserve to be impacted, to face the consequences of your actions.

But, when you are a star athlete, of course, you are automatically a better person and don’t need heavy punishment. Right?

No. Being physically gifted should not entitle you to easier sentencing when you have done wrong. And yet, this is the message our society continually sends. If you have provided entertainment on a field or pool, you can get away with sexual assault. Continue reading

Working on a Holiday

Deadlines are a part of life. We all hate them, but they’re their and they certain won’t be going away. Sometimes those deadlines mean you have to work on holidays, and that’s rotten.

Today is a day like that for me, so I decided to make the best of it. I’m working outside, enjoying the gorgeous 75 degree weather, drinking tropical flavored water, and pretending that I’m on vacation instead and writing the next great American novel. It’s still not as fun as if I were hanging out at the pool, but at least I’m not trapped in an office.

How do you handle working on the holidays?

Exploring the Unexpected

Welcome to 2016!

I hope your New Year’s Eve and Day were fun and safe. How did you celebrate it? I had a nice evening with friends, one of whom hosted a hot pot. It was a newer experience for me. I like quiet dinner parties for New Year’s. I’m certainly not brave enough to face the crowds.

The new year, of course, brings up talks of resolutions and goals for the coming months. I learned a long time ago that I’m not great with keeping to goals that are based on calendar months. It’s so arbitrary. Having a goal to loose weight in 2016, for example, is difficult because it’s so vague and holds you to very little action. Your goal could be something more active like go to the gym every day, but even then you’re likely to hit a plateau or have a bad day and the goal to become unattainable.

Instead, I like making challenges for myself that are action oriented, but are more fun. I want it to be something I look forward to, not just do because it’s a typical goal to achieve. Continue reading

The Post-Breakup Challenge

I recently ended things with a guy I’ve been seeing for quite some time now. It was nothing serious – that was the issue – so I’m not as devastating as I could be. However, it’s still sad to lose something. With the holidays and New Year it wasn’t the best timing, but it’s best to start fresh with a new year, right?

I hate being the wallowing girl who falls apart because of a breakup, so I developed a challenge for myself years ago. It’s gotten me through quite a few boy dramas. Maybe it can help you too? Continue reading

From Bathrooms to Ballparks, the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration

“A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.” – Admiral Grace Hopper

Last week, I attended the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, presented by the Anita Borg Institute (ABI). It’s the largest conference for women technologists in the world. It’s a cool historical feeling, to attend. ABI and GHC grew out of Systers and, an idea Anita Borg first thought of when she only ran into other women in the bathrooms at tech conferences because there were so few of them. Now, 15 years later, GHC is so large women routinely take over the male restrooms, and we had a dance party that filled the Astro’s ballpark.

Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park

It was my first time attending, and it was unlike any other conference I’ve ever attended. Not because it is rooms upon rooms filled with an elusive type of person – the female engineer and coder. Not because I was surrounded by 12,000 (that’s right 12 THOUSAND) women. Not because the big name male CEOs, like Blake Irving, straight up addressed the issue of gender discrimination.

Those are all true, and certainly make GHC an interesting experience. But the reason that makes GHC truly unique?

Continue reading