Monday, May 26, 2008


The last weeks of Java Boot Camp have finally ended. The official training ended two weeks ago, but we extended for one more week to finish the first iteration of the library web application that we were designing. Three days ago I said good-bye to the other interns, all of whom are from La Salle. Their first trimester for the year starts today; I probably will never see them again, since I'm a UP student. Orange and Bronze has begun sponsoring a Computer Science elective at La Salle, and one of the interns is taking it; the others said they'll be sitting in. I'm just sad that I can't be with them as they soak up even more Java-related knowledge... It's so much easier to learn new things when you're learning them with friends. :)

It's been a little over a month, and I find it hard to believe that I don't have to go to work in a few hours' time (it's now almost two in the morning). Two of the other interns still have a few days' worth of internship hours to fill in before they can receive their certificates; they'll be spending this week working on revisions and fixes for the first iteration. I decided to give myself this one week of rest before enrollment for the first semester starts, since I started my internship the day after following up some requirements at the last minute for the previous semester. After all, I'm not getting any credit for this internship; I just didn't want to be bored the whole summer long. Internships at our department are taken as summer electives, and since I'd already used up all my electives I decided not to enroll it. (Not to mention the fact that, in case I didn't pass, it wouldn't show up in my transcript... :D) I had no clue what I was in for...but I have to admit, I was never so glad to fill in overtime hours. And it's not just because of the nice laptop and unlimited wifi access.

My head is still reeling after being repeatedly barraged with Java and OOP best practices. I appreciate all the effort our trainors put into our training, although I did slack off half of the time (and read manga online whenever the lectures were especially boring ^^;). I learned something completely new; not just web development using Java, but an entirely different mindset from what I'm used to. Although I did learn Java and a little OOP in my freshman year, I realized how little I understood either of them. It was difficult for me to grasp the concepts central to the design of the programming language and the paradigm behind the language. Now I've had the chance to put what I've learned to practice, with a real application that Orange and Bronze is planning to use. I could have done better, worked faster, been more supportive of my teammates, the list goes on. But there's no doubt that I spent these last weeks in the most productive manner possible, and right now I find the shift back to doing virtually nothing at home somewhat disconcerting. Perhaps part of the reason is the environment: at Orange and Bronze I can easily get into programming mode, and there are so many people to approach whenever I have questions or problems. Everyone is friendly, jokes around a lot, and the office is so comfortable, if a little cramped. And of course there's the work. I was challenged, and though I feel I didn't give my all I enjoyed myself. I'm the type of person who doesn't get motivated easily, especially if I have to motivate myself... Being around so many motivated people who love their work was a refreshing, if not enlightening, experience.

Now that I have to bum around for a week, I'm going to miss all of the Orange and Bronze people, as well as the other interns with whom I shared a month's worth of learning and laughter. If I sound cheesy, take it at face-value; I really do feel this way, and the feeling will linger over the next few days.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The following is a collection of 10 random facts about me. If you've known me for a while, you might recognize some of the items below. :)

1) I guzzle water
My mouth goes dry every 20-30 minutes, so I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is head for the kitchen and pour myself a large glass of water. I can't function properly without a well-hydrated body (and brain), especially when I'm in front of a computer screen; there's something about writing programs that makes me awfully thirsty. I'm most uncomfortable when my mouth is dry. ^^;

2) When I was a child, I was afraid of the other children on my street
I wouldn't leave the house, even under threat of a spanking, if there were other children on the street. For some reason I couldn't stand to have them see me, hear me, or talk to me; I kept my head bowed and walked briskly whenever I absolutely had to pass by them. This is just weird, because I don't remember having this kind of problem with my classmates in preschool or during my first years of grade school. I guess I was just extremely shy.

3) In high school I grew my hair until it was long enough to reach my thighs
This was a phase that started with an idea I got from out of the blue: what would happen if I stopped getting a haircut? So I did. And my hair grew, and grew, and became such a whorl of tangles and split ends that my mother took it upon herself to brush, condition, and braid it every morning before school. By the time my hair spanned the length of my back my classmates would ask me to unbraid it and mess it up a little, because they said I looked like Sadako; this was to tease another classmate who had screamed her lungs out while watching the first Ring movie. I gave in once, and let my hair down; she didn't talk to me for the rest of the day.

4) I've been writing since I was a child
I was born with a head full of words. By the time I was seven I already had a sizable vocabulary, and I'd write letters to imaginary friends, transcripts of conversations, and a story or two. One time I wrote out a contract between my mother and me before we split up a chocolate bar; after we finished eating I decided that my share was smaller than hers, so I wrote a formal complaint letter (complete with a letterhead of my own design) and gave it to her. She still has that letter tucked away somewhere, along with copies of other things I've written over the years.

5) I learned how to speak English from TV
At least, that's what my mother told me. I could read and write fluently in English before I entered grade school, but my spoken English was something else: I had a faux American twang. When I was a kid I loved watching any kind of TV show that was in English. Most of these shows were from America, so maybe my mother was right. (If I had watched British shows, would I have gotten a British accent? :P) Over the years I've lost this fake accent; that might be a disadvantage if I ever decide to work in a call center. :P

6) I love stuffed toys and anime merchandise
I always stop by stores and stalls that sell stuffed toys in malls to ogle or pinch the toys. If it's an anime store, I might spend a few minutes squealing or jumping up and down whenever I see a plushie or poster of a character I like. This has been incredibly embarrassing to my friends, who start inching away from me whenever I chance upon a store with the aforementioned products. ^^;

7) I'm allergic to dust and bug bites
I get breakouts of angry red wheals when I'm exposed to dust, or ticks from stray animals. I always have a tube of steroidal cream with me to keep the inflammations from getting worse; sometimes the cream helps, sometimes I'm just unlucky :) Skin allergies run in my family; my brothers also have boxes of creams on their bedroom shelves, and leftover prescriptions from dermatologists. As you've probably guessed, my brothers and I hate cleaning the house, especially when there's a lot of dust involved.

8) Nothing short of a nuclear holocaust (or a machine problem deadline) can rob me of a good night's sleep
I sleep very, very well. I'm the sort of person who can sleep through an earthquake and wake up completely unaware of what went on. Once I've lost consciousness there's no convincing my body to wake up until it's finished resting. If I deprive my body of its daily dose of unconsciousness, it will get back at me by knocking me out for twelve hours or more the next time I fall asleep. It takes a lot of willpower for me to wake up early, and even more than that to stay up late when my eyelids are already drooping; this kind of urgency usually comes from machine problems. Thus machine problems and their ilk are the bane of my existence.

9) I over-analyze
I am the queen of obsessing over details. Do not get into a discussion with me about what kind of house Bilbo Baggins lived in, or how good the movie adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is; we'll probably spend the rest of the day arguing over minutiae. (As an aside, I prefer a book to its movie adaptation; I tend to assume automatically that the latter is inferior. So I'm not a good person to have around when watching a movie of this type, except for The Lord of the Rings trilogy ^^;) This also applies to conversations: I know it's wrong, but I can't help mulling over why someone says what he says. I can spend hours thinking through every possible reason and motivation, especially anything I might have said or done that could have merited that kind of response. I'm currently trying to curb this bad habit of mine :)

10) I can't live in a house without an English dictionary
My dictionary is my best friend; no book in my room, or my house, has been thumbed over or brought out almost every day by my eager fingers. I would freak out if I had to live someplace without a dictionary, or at least Internet access so I can visit An electronic dictionary would be a dream come true... *.*