Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monster Diversity Leadership Program

The weekend of the 5th, 6th of August I was at the Monster Diversity Leadership Program Conference at Towson University in Baltimore and like all my other conference experiences it was thrilling to be in the presence of such other great student minds. It really reminds you of why you're at school especially when hearing the students discuss their future dreams of grad school and owning their businesses (*ahem* that would be me) and so forth, plus the students were broken up into groups of different sponsors, my group (sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Booz-Allen-Hamilton) had all the Computer Science majors, so it was great finding out what other Comp. Sci. students were doing during their summer and discussing what languages we prefer and other geeky stuff like that.

What I liked about the conference was that its gimmick to keep it different from other student leadership conferences was to encourage the sponsor's representatives to "let loose" such as to have the students comfortable, and not be too stuck up all weekend, and to have a chance to party and behave wild with these industry professionals. At first I thought the idea was preposterous, then again it was quite entertaining watching the reps escape their comfort zone and dance around the place all weekend.

One thing that got on my nerves a little was that in order prove that one's group was superior, we were further encouraged to shout and scream all the time to "represent" our group. Now I thought that the NSBE National Conference was wild, but with all the shouting that carried on at the DLP, I was proved wrong, not only were we shouting every five minutes, but we shouted for no reason.

This is what happens when you have intelligent youth forced to behave urban, they do urban things for no reason, but I guess it was all in good fun. I would've participated in the senseless screaming but I was so tired from the prior week (blasted 2 hour commute) that I just gave up and let the other guys have it, plus there was no way I could've out-did one guy in my group, he got a scholarship for his "commitment" (he basically screamed the most) to the team. Scholarships and iPods galore were given away, unfortunately none were awarded to me (*background violin music*) but I had a great time nonetheless networking with the future leaders of tomorrow and the current leaders of today who had inspiring advice to give.

The saddest part of the weekend was meeting all these great people and knowing that I won't meet most of them ever in life again. That's what sucks about life, you meet great friends but sometimes you never see them again, I've had this feeling at every conference I've been to, so it's always good to stay in contact with everyone because you never know what you could be throwing away. Hopefully I could stay in touch with the few I met and exchanged the "makeshift" business cards from the conference with.

So it was great weekend (not to mention I got stupid-drunk on Saturday night and ended up at a room party and still woke up relatively early without a hangover, can someone say "veteran"), I insist that anybody who has the chance to go should apply, unless you have something more worthwhile to do on that weekend, if you're just going to be scratching at home, then take the opportunity to attend, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Golf, hauck-ptho

My boss saw me on my way to work today and offered to give me a ride, when we reached the parking lot, he went in his trunk to get a briefcase and was showing me his golf clubs, I asked if he plays often and he goes on to talk about he played yesterday and totally sucked and how he plays terrible everytime. Then I began thinking about how boring golf was and wondered why do people play it.

Sure it takes someone with geomtrical and mathematical fortitude to perform well in a golf match in order to understand wind speeds and all that physics stuff, but come on, how exciting is hitting a ball into a hole yards away, isn't that all it is? Correct me if I'm wrong. To me golf lacks excitment and that is why I'll never get caught playing it, you can't give a man a dummy in golf, there are no scrumhalves going blind on the left flank in golf, you can't dunk on anyone in golf. I'd love to work for a newspaper where I would be paid for my time so that I can interview people on why they play golf. That's one sport I would never play, even if I can afford to play it, it's just plain old boring, now don't get me wrong, I like games that allow me to think and solve minor problems like Golf does via comprehension of the height vs. length given the wind speed and all on one shot, but it's too time consuming and just the thought of it makes me want to yawn.

Maybe it's a social standard thing, kind of like buying a Lexus or a White Tiger or something (don't ask me), but whatever it is that makes you feel like saying "I'm rich beeyatch", go ahead, I don't think I'd be going too far to impress anybody by playing a sport that doesn't interest me the least bit, I can see myself being asked to play and turning down the offer in a polite manner (as opposed to saying "I'd rather light myself on fire and jump into the middle of a Pamplona Bull Run"). What I can't get is people who play it and aren't good at it, that is actually a dumb statement, I know, being a sports person, you never start off a superstar at any sport, when you're bad at something that's the challenge, you work on it until you improve, that challenge is what separate the wolf from the sheep and also reflects on your personality outside of sports which is one of the reasons why sport is beneficial anyway.

But we're not talking after-school football with the other neighbourhood kids, we're grown men making decisions. If you're not good at something and you hate it but you're just doing it for status, then to me you're just selling your soul slowly but surely, I plan on keeping mines, I'll need it for an appointment later on. If you're bad at something, at least be bad at something you love (and I hope working feverishly to improve).

Now Golf is the "Unofficial Sport of the Business World" and I do encourage all of you to partake in it if you have to (at least try to love it), but I'm sorry, let us discuss business in the coffe shop or something, that's just me, maybe I'll change and start playing it myself one day for the sake of socializing with executives but right now, give me a rugby ball and a t-shirt and we could talk business over a beer after the game.

Now on to a REAL sport, for all those that have been following the World Cup know that Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest nation to ever compete in the world famous quadrennial tournament, after some excellent performances against some of the biggest names in world soccer, have been knocked out of the World Cup, here is the latest post from Nicholas sent which was also sent in a forward to a facebook group dedicated to the Soca Warriors:

We as Trinbagonians are extremely proud of our Soca Warriors for a job well done at the World Cup in Germany 2006. Our boys fought well against all odds and exceeded all expectations.

We say thank you Warriors for representing T&T at its best, and uniting our people at a time when we need it the most.

To the rest of the world, see you in four years in South Africa, be ready!!!

"I'm a Soca Warrior, I say win or lose I am a Fighter!!!"

'Nuff said, hopefully I won't find something to blog about until Monday and can give you guys a review of the events that took place during DC Carnival, also check out the Taboo website, the must-go-to party for DC Carnival, to me you can miss the parade, but you can't miss Taboo, guidance.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Summertime, bah-humbug

Ahh yes, and I'm back, I know, it's been a long time since I've made an entry, just been really tied up recently.
I started my summer internship at Veris1gn, it's going okay except for the commute, 2 hours to and 2 hours from, if you add that to my 8 hour work day you'll realise that 12 hours out of my day is taking away from me and I'm left with about 4 hours to do home stuff if I expect to get 8 hours sleep (which has been a fantasy since the summer began).

But apart from that, the job's okay, the other DBAs here are always very busy, I'm on the same mailing lists as they are, they get no less than 300 emails a day and most of which are issues with troubleshooting databases and script errors, but I'm learning a lot, if I didn't know as much UNIX or Linux as I do I'd be lost but I'm getting around, recently I've been getting some bullshit assignments, well to me they are, so I'm just finishing them in next to nothing time and hoping I could get a chance to shadow the other DBAs to see exactly what they do that occupies their entire week like this (did I say they work on-call, yes weekends too, something I seriously have to consider if I want to come back here next year).

Administration stuff is cool, the company has really good benefits, but I don't think I can handle working on-call, what do I look like being in a bar at 3 in the morning and getting a call about some failed backup on a database and coming to the office half drunk trying to figure shit out. The vacation plan amongst others compensates for all that but I really treasure my after-work hours.

This is what any career guidance book will probably tell you ("Working While Black" by Michelle T. Johnson), a dream job shouldn't be based on it's earning potential but by how happy it makes you at the end of the day (I'm about my paper for the record, just so you'll know). This is true and I'm beginning to realise it every day I'm here, I have to ask myself do I want to be an admin for the next few years like these others guys, they do make the most out of every other title in the department (the parking lot looks like a BMW car show) but I don't want to be on-call, then again "Men gotta do men things for men salary" - Jay - Z, sacrifices have to be made sometimes, when it boils down to it, I don't mind being on-call, it's just one of those sacrifices we have to make as men in order to get where we want to be as well as be able to provide for the ones who matter the most to us after we pass 40 (yeah whatever, but I hope you see what I mean).

Maybe I'm not given enough incentives as yet since I'm only an intern and all, these other guys seem to be proud of their work, they also get mad paid time off as well, I guess thats the trade off, right now, I could care less since the work I'm doing now only impacts my division to some aspect, not like the other DBAs. In the end it boils down too... If I get an offer to come back here next year, it'll depend on if I have a car or not, because I'm not doing that commute for another summer without a car.

As I type this right now, Trinidad is 10 minutes away from its game with Paraguay, with one point on the table, if we beat Paraguay we have a chance to get into the second round, right now sweden's goal difference is 1 and T & T's is -2, you do the math, once we beat paraguay at least 2-0 and England beats Sweden at least 2-0, that'll put Sweden at a -1 GD, I know it's a lot to hope for but all you can do is hope sometimes. We're starting with Kelvin Jack in the post off his injury, I hope he'll perform like Hislop did in his stead, my brethren from way back Theobald on the field, Avery John back from sinbin, Dwight Yorke and Stern John in the front, we can win this. Then in Cologne, Eriksson is starting Rooney by popular demand, the crowd was literally calling for him to come on in the Trinidad game, England, please, get off his-nut to mention Sweden starting with Barcelona's own Larsson on the front. Let me stop before I get out of hand.

Thanks to Brandon I've been gassed on for the past month, its great, those who haven't really should try it, when I'm not listening to that I'm probably not breathing, just kidding, other than that I've been pumping MF DOOM ("ALL CAPS" when you spell the man name), he's funny, a little weird but a good emcee, spectacular beats, he even featured the characters from Adult Swim on the Danger Doom CD, it's funny listening to Master Shake try to persuade Danger Mouse to put him on the CD, another great listen out the dust is the Talib Kweli "Beautiful Struggle" CD, I know the CD came out about 2 years ago, but I haven't listened to the whole thing until yesterday, it's a great CD, no negativity whatsoever, really refreshing album, everyone needs to hear it.

DC Carnival this weekend, so you know yuh boy gonna be drunk like a fish the whole weekend, I'll talk about those events next time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

11 weekends down, 4 more to go

Another long night in the CLDC lab, finishing labs for Large Scale Programming class (got 2 out of 3 done while typing this blog up). Yesterday was the Mid-Atlantic Region's Programming Team contest, big up to Howard's ACM team on bringing home 7 baloons (granted my handicapped team brought home none :( but its all good).
Finally saw Saw2, that shit is disturbing, funny I said that because I laughed all throughout the movie at most of the gory scenes.

Big ups to Do-It Entertainment, they threw a big party on Friday night (yeah they throw other things rather than throw away goals in Intermurals, lol, nah they decent still), that was tight, my only qualm about it is was the fact that it was the first party that I've been in that I was totally sober, I'm still very unhappy about that. But overall that party was great, good people, great music (Detrimental kill it), beautiful women, seems like the only thing missing was an intoxicated mind, but apart from that it was good, reminded me of Azteca days, *sigh*, the memories. Weirds saying that cuz one of the Phellaz was in the party Friday night, hadn't seen him in some months. Everybody from Howard was there that night, it was a nice vibes, for real.

The party on Thursday Night wasn't bad neither, granted their were about 20 people there (including the people who threw the dance). Big ups to Basement Knockers Entertainment and crew, dun know I had to support the session, the music was ok, big up to Osei and Kid Mix. Because the crowd was small, you would expect the party to buss, but nah everybody on the inside was friends and family so it was a cool scene.

Trinidad draw with Bahrain to qualify for the World Cup, I missed the game coming home from the competition on Saturday, no scene, I might try and catch it on Wednesday. If I didn't have class that evening I might have thought of going to Sommers Restaurant and watching it there. We'll see, Amilcar and them supposed to have the channel the game playing on so I might catch it by them if anything.

Today was organisation picture day for the Yearbook, I did not take one picture for any organisation, (and I'm associated with so many), first I couldn't wake up for CSA picture cause that was 8am besides I had work to get done that took the whole day to get done so maybe next year.

Anyway off to the races, keep posted.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The most free 5 hours of the semester

Yep, you guessed it, I finally found 5 hours of the day where I can do absolutely nothing, its just amazing. Actually, I do have an assignment for my boss which I meant to start last week Friday but class work has me so busy, I might look at it tomrrow when I find more free time in the day(who am I kidding).

And its time for the (drum roll please........) "You Learn Something New Everyday Fact"
Today's entry is "If your cost is negative, that is a profit", this doesn't really count since I could've figured it out myself and I never gave it any thought but what the hay. Today's "You Learn Something New Everyday Fact" is brought to you by Elizbeth Samuels (Thank you Liz).
Anyway I flunked my Prob. and Stats. quiz this morning after spending wee hours of the morning preparing for it (I might as well been sleeping).

Still debating whether to take my hard earned saved money and go Trinidad for the Christmas and get extremely drunk off of Johnny Walker and Stag or to stay here and spend my money on a decent Tablet PC, sigh, Computer Science will change you for real. Freshman year it wouldn't even be an issue, a laptop could wait, guess with all these Junior Computer Science courses coming up I really need it.

Finally saw my advisor today, might have to look into saving money for summer school, gotta remind myself to update my Maryland Learners Permit so I can get that in-county (way cheaper than in-state) tuition at Prince George's County, I should look into it around now, you know how Howard can be slow with processing something.

Next semester go be real pace though, Analysis of Algorithm, Sys. Engineering 2, Structures of Programming Languages, ...Maybe I should invest in having a coroner come take my measurements in advance. Tomorrow is the UPE Howard chapter's 2nd E-Board meeting, this time I advised the faculty advisors, so hopefully that would go well, still have to find a speaker though (*hint*hint).

Anyway I'm gonna go home and get some sleep, I'm in my room so seldom, when I am home, I'm surprised everytime I look in the fridge, Lionel and Alexis does be making some random grocery runs, I haven't even spent a dime on groceries for the semester, except for the jar of Peanut Butter I bought (I wonder if its still there). I know whats still there though, my 3 heinekens, they better be in my room fridge or else heads will roll. Enough blogging, time for some shuteye, keep posted.


Seems like another allnighter, here in the CLDC lab contemplating whether I should get some sleep before studying for my Prob. and Stats. quiz or should I just study for it one time.
Well LOX broke off ties with Interscope, rumours has it that they might get signed to Def Jam, that would be dread. Anyway this might be my first and last post to this blog given the amount of work I have to do for the rest of this semester, sigh, feel like I'm being robbed of my college experience, if there is one.