Things I Did In March

WiCS Blogging Workshop

March began pretty spectacularly. I had the opportunity of being part of a workshop and panel for blogging and writing online. Writing was almost always something I did for myself and didn’t advertise or share. But opening up about the motivations behind my writing, and talking my writing process and schedule and inhibitions was very different and pleasantly fun. All the panelists blogged very differently and had contrasting advice to give, which was nice because I ended up learning a lot myself. We even had a vlogger on the panel!

At the end of the workshop, one of the attendees said that it was her first WiCS event and she loved how everyone was so welcoming, and that she’d come to all of our events. Making people feel welcome is fundamentally what I want to do for WiCS and seeing our efforts result in people opening up and feeling safe and welcome is a reward I will always be chasing.

Grace Hopper Fundraiser

I attended and spoke at a fundraiser event for Grace Hopper. WiCS at Waterloo has a scholarship fund to send CS and SE students to Grace Hopper, and Clarisse and I spoke about how going to Grace Hopper impacted me. Specifically, I spoke about diversity in technology and how it was important for me to see and interact with women of color at the conference.

Grace Hopper isn’t perfect, but I really wanted to get the importance of events like this across to the attendees, and I think I did pretty well. It was also my first time not preparing a speech having my lines planned down to the last word which was frightening…but also liberating? If that makes any sense.

I had a wonderful time. My WiCS friends were there, and there was a photo booth and cheese! And I met the Dean of Computer Science and Mathematics, some cool alumni, and Dinah Davis. Something that irks me very much is how people counteract arguments based on actual data and research with their anecdotal evidence and expect it to hold water. A few women came up to me after I talked and informed me that they were actually outnumbered by Indian women at their workplace and have I considered that I’m still young with a lot to learn? Boo. Hoo.

WiCS Survey for female undergrads

After weeks and weeks of poring over survey questions and debating logistics and advertisement and whatnot, we finally launched the WiCS Survey for female/non-binary undergrads in CS. We had a pretty solid response rate and we’re almost done aggregating results and performing some preliminary analysis to present at an event in April. I’m very much looking forward to using these results to try to introduce some changes in Computer Science at Waterloo.

Book Blogging

Juhina sent me physical ARCs to review! It’s ironic and sad how I’m actually getting ARCs to review (something I wanted to do since I was fourteen) and have all the opportunities to interact with authors, but don’t have as much time. I’m still determined to make time for reading, even though. I read OCDaniel (the first book that I’ve read about an MC with OCD and it was amazing) and Illuminae, and talked about my history of reading slumps. Spark Joy just arrived in the mail and Naked Statistics is on it’s way! Publishers rule.

Others

  • Work burned me out in March. Completely. It was a mixture of not having enough free time to do the things I wanted to, and the amount of responsibility I was given (which was good because I pushed myself, and bad because it led to all the fatigue and not enough time talking to my family). Sometimes you just need a weekend alone with Chandler Bing’s snark. And that’s okay.
  • Got dinner with AirBnB who came to Waterloo specially for a WiCS event!
  • Met the wonderful Stephanie Morillo! I tagged along with some of the WiCS committee to get brunch with her. Three hours of delightful conversation and salmon ensued.
  • Watched Zootopia. Twice. 10/10.
  • Got my schedule for Spring 2016. I am not the happiest because Quest thinks I’m too young to take CO 380. Like that’s going to stop me.
  • I miss Taylor, but Spotify has simplified my life.