January 2003

Missing people

January 5, 2003 - Categories: connecting, life

Part of being more social, I guess, is that I begin to miss people. I grow accustomed to their presence. I start looking forward to the next meeting, the next phone call, the next get-together with friends. Anticipation keeps me excited about the weekend.

But it also makes the weekdays harder to bear. Hours pass less quickly. I find myself passing the time with activities that do not engage me fully. Passing the time! How terrible an idea. To live sub-optimally for a number of days, just waiting for a few hours of fun… Whatever happened to the fun I used to find in hacking on some obscure bit of Emacs code or browsing through online documentation? My hours are spoiled by hope.

And when the weekend comes, what then? Hope can so easily turn into expectations, even though I know it is foolish to expect anything. I begin to wonder if things might not be better a different way. I begin to wish I was having a nice, deep conversation – or even a silly one – instead of just passively watching television. I begin to expect, to measure, and once I begin doing so I allow myself to become disappointed.

It does not have to be that way, does it? I should just remind myself that all of this is a nice extra; not essential, not expected, but appreciated whenever it’s there. Still, it is difficult.

True, there is much about this ‘being social’ that I enjoy. I like the conversations and the surprising insights other people have.

I do not need to pretend to be social in order to enjoy my life.

Perhaps I should end the social experiment and return to my normal routines. I miss those Saturdays of learning or coding or simply lazing around; days that were mostly under my control, that did not wait on anyone or anything in order

Life is good — reflections ()

January 12, 2003 - Categories: life

So… hmm. Life is good. =)

Let’s see.

My grandmother (father’s mother) died at the ripe old age of 92, 93,
or 94, depending on who you asked and when you asked. She was… quite
a character, to say the least. Learned more about my fascinating
family history, which apparently is more scandalous than I thought –
and that’s saying a fair bit.

Social activity’s been up as well. The experiment is proceeding quite
satisfactorily – I have actually managed to be sort-of out for some
six Saturdays in a row now, which is a major breakthrough for a
certified geek such as myself. ;) I got somewhat claustrophobic,
however, as this Saturday involved a gazillion relatives packed into a
small room…

On the plus side, several friends dropped by. =) That was really nice.

Updates for the New Year. Oh, right, last New Year I got dragged off
to Daet and Legaspi for a vacation. It was actually pretty okay, once
I’d gotten over the shock of having a completely unplanned vacation
(we had to buy clothes one day at a time!). It took me a while to get
over that shock, though. I was, like, “I want to be home!”

I did sort of learn how to… Well, not surf. More like hang on
blindly to a board while desperately trying to keep my balance.

Love life still non-existent – Mom, am I even allowed to have a love
life before I get a PhD? – but friendships looking up. =) You
know who you are. Suffice to say that I feel really, really
lucky to have such friends.

And I have a grand total of 22 pages – 10 on Plato, 12 on Aristotle –
to write before Monday next week or I will get royally chewed out by
one of our most temperamental teachers. Rumor has it that he doesn’t
read papers all that closely, but still. So I will be pretty much
invisible for the next few whatevers.

More stories to tell, but not enough time – I promised to sleep early
tonight (if 11 can be called early), and the dark shadows underneath
my eyes have started to get really noticeable.

Life is good.

On priorities ()

January 13, 2003 - Categories: love

Here’s the official word from my mom.

Harvey Chua [email protected] writes:

Dearest Sacha,

You will have plenty of time for a love life later on. For now, concentrate on your studies. But then, it’s your choice. I can’t be watching you all the time, so you would have to watch yourself and decide which or who(m) are your priorities. Just remember that there are rewards, repercussions or complications – depending on what actions or decisions you make. Judge well what is good for you.

Love you always,

P.S. See, you do have a love life. We all love you. I more than and
ahead of anybody and everybody else.

So, here are my priorities as of 20030113, not necessarily in order:

  • Get a PhD. The training will help me do research, and I’ll be able to pick up useful teaching techniques along the way.
  • Teach computer science. I really, really like computer science, and I want to help other people realize how fun and helpful it is.
  • Help people grow and reach their potential. (That includes helping myself grow. =) ) Still have to figure out how to help people do that.

I’m not completely devoted to this plan, and by that I mean that I understand that I am not absolutely essential to the progress and development of computer science. Still, I really like the field, and as one of those rare girls who actually enjoy computer science, I feel I have an opportunity to make a big difference. =)

I don’t think I want to have to deal with the possible complications of “being in luuuuuurv” until I’ve earned my PhD and have established a name for myself. So that pretty much rules out formal, long-term, conventional romantic relationships (eeeeew! ) for a long time. I suppose that should postpone all dilemmas until after I finish graduate school, by which time I should have a better understanding of all of this.

This does not, however, prevent me from appreciating the friends I have. I know that really good friendships help me grow as a person and achieve my dreams, and indeed the warmth and support I receive from my family and friends is something I treasure.

And it really is rather nice to interact with people. I think I have recently figured out how to get around my occasional
spells of antisocial-ness. It seems to be simply a matter of practice and will, and I must give credit to some friends who don’t know that they helped me figure it out.

There is something to be said about love and growth, if my Philosophy and Theology classes have any truth to them. I also have to watch out – might become _too_ rational or need too much control over my life. ;) Like for example, I have a bit of a hang-up regarding the word “love”, since it can mean quite different things to people, and I’m a little afraid of becoming incontinent as defined by Aristotle. (See? I get to use Philo after all.) Distraction is doubleplus ungood, but so is neurosis.

I love computer science not just because of the abstract algorithms and programs, but more because of the people I get to meet and help and learn from. So I’m into this whole social thing, but I’m just taking things a little at a time. Kinda like the spiral model of software development. ;)

I’m sure we’ll all manage to figure something out. =) So basically, people know my plans. If you think that you can help me become a better person and that I can help you become a better person, then we’ll see how things work out.

This is published for future reference, since it’s nice to have more information. =)

The youngest child

January 19, 2003 - Categories: Uncategorized

I hear them fighting through the floor
I hear the cries and shouts and more
I sit here silent, meek and mild
Quiet watcher, youngest child

I’ve even seen them come to blows
Why they do this, no one knows
Who cares whoever comes out on top
I want them to stop. I want them to stop.

When tomorrow comes no one remembers
The fiery blaze now dulling embers
But I, the silent, meek and mild,
I remember. – The youngest child.

The eldest one is made of ice,
The middle one of fire.
And I, the youngest, realize
That I embody water.

The eldest one is made of ice,
The middle one of flame.
And I, the youngest, realize
That I will never be the same.


The eldest one is made of ice,
The middle one of fire.
And I, the youngest, realize
That I am made of water.

The eldest one is made of ice,
The middle one of flame.
And I, the youngest, realize
That I will never be the same.