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Rest in Peace, Igal. We in Portland and through the world will miss you.

Igal, I can’t believe you left the world today. Some of my interactions with you are the reasons that the seeds of being able to hack the CS program at PSU looked like a possibility. You are one of the reasons code started to look like fun and not just something to do for work.

I was just thinking yesterday of the moment under a tree on the PSU park blocks last fall where I saw you and jogged over, excited to tell you about my coding endeavors at school. You listened. Thank you.

I’ve been thinking for months here as I grind through the CS program, add knew skills and new things: I can’t wait til we can hang out more again when I have no classes this summer. Maybe we could hack together something with the various languages and skills I’ve been learning. I was so looking forward to that. I will never get that chance now. That I am going to very much miss. I held you in high regard. You made an impact in my life. Thank you so much for your gifts to me of friendship and kindness and just listening. You were a bright spirit.

I can’t believe you’re gone.

I will miss you.



PSU Pride

Potential for scholarship?  Sure I’d write a blog entry.  This is actually something I was considering writing anyway, if I get a scholarship for it, fantastic, and thanks!

Portland State University is one of the most livable campuses I’ve met.  Forget sprawl, forget box stores – dine at locally owned restaurants, ride the MAX directly to class, bike to class for prizes this month, do homework under the trees in the outdoor spaces, or if its cold, sit in the warm library facing a central courtyard containing an ancient beech tree. The thought going into the buildings, the spaces, and how people interact with them is incredible.  Just a few weeks in, and I’ve already gotten my first survey on the livability of what they term SoMa, the South of Market PSU area.   Urban and trees seem to dance together.  Buildings are designed around and with trees in mind as well as personal usage.

PSU’s emphasis on sustainability and environmental choices is never ending, a campus continually striving to imagine better options than anything that yet exists.  I’m a computer science major, you wouldn’t think sustainable and computers could go hand in hand.  So much of our technology is created in an environmentally costly business cycle, and yet therein is the potential for a better environmental impact.  Our world can only do better!

I’m excited to be attending labs in the Fourth Avenue Building.  I literally walk past the City of Portland permits area to get to my classroom.  Having that mix of technology and city all in the same space is bound to yield innovative and unexpected connections.  I’ve already met a few of the city employees here on campus and look forward to growing those relationships as my degree progresses.  Walking through the engineering building joined through the lower level of the same building you see a host of projects undertaken by students to improve a lack or a need.  Some of the technology benefits folks far out into the world, but a great deal of it comes back home to the City of Portland.  The symbiosis between the city and the student population is fantastic to witness.

My own career path is definitely non-traditional.  At any turn I can do so, my first degree and passion for horticulture combine with my new degree of Computer Science to unexpected results.  I can’t wait to see where Computer Science in Portland will take me through these next years.  Perhaps working with the city parks crews on aiding software, or software to model the heat off the city with various levels of tree cover to relation to density of buildings.

I only know that I’m already thinking of ideas I never would have without attending Portland State, University and that in and of itself is fantastic.

This scholarship is sponsored by

Computer Science at Portland State University

There are a number of directions this blog could take.  Most of those are based on who I am today, and the paths I’m currently on.

Who am I?  I’m a post-bac Computer Science student.  I’m a woman.  I’m a singer.  I’m a lesbian.  I’m a chorister.  Horticulturalist, general plant geek and organic gardener.  I’m a Pacific NW native plant lover.  I happen to be a native of the midwest.  I am an alternative transportation advocate.  I’m a seasonal mushroom hunter.  I’m an open-source advocate.

All of that is what will shape me and this blog, in addition to the fact that I’m on the path to a masters at present.  In 3-12 months I might consider myself a coder, but until my skills are sharper I still feel that’s a future goal.

I believe in both self-sufficiency and non-violent communication (NVC).  I also have a strong belief in ethics everywhere from personal, to governmental, to professional.  We are what our will creates, and I’ve enjoyed watching what other folks have created thus far in a myriad of disciplines.  I’m also looking forward to what I can personally contribute to our tiny planet in this large universe.

Most odd, for someone whose work is computer based, I believe that connections without real interaction, real human interaction, lack the intrinsic value of the original real-world interactions.  They can supplement, but they cannot yet replace.  Typing here, on facebook, or anywhere else on the internet doesn’t give you or I the sense of who the other is.  I could talk to one person on the internet til the day I die, and still not know their mannerisms, how they move, and how that reflects on how they approach the world and who they are.

Even if we got to a place where that was visually reproducible, we are at the root an animal species, smell would also have to be reproduced to the last detail.  I will be curious to see how those trials play out when the day comes for folks to entirely virtually interact in 3 dimensions not distinguishable from the real world without scent cues.  It will be interesting, that’s for sure.

Ah yes, and I am a dreamer.  To quote, “believe in the beauty of your dreams”.