Catching Up
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Catching Up

Nov. 24, 2019 |  Categories:  Miscellaneous  

So anyways, once I get back from my trip I'll... Wait, it's been three months already?! Apologies for the long hiatus, I promise that it was for a good reason! Before I get into that though, here's a rapid-fire recap of D.F. The best thing I ate: A four course meal at Casa Azul. Starter: 3 bottles of Stella Artois with pickled olives ![Stella][1] Soup: Caldo de pollo (rice, chicken, vegetables, garnished with chopped onion and cilantro) ![Caldo][2] Entree: Shredded chicken street tacos wrapped in banana leaves ![Tacos][3] Postre: Oaxacan hot chocolate ![Oaxacan][4] The best part was, they let me chill at the restaurant for two hours after my meal and just read. It was one of the most lovely and romantic nights of my life. The best thing I saw: El Castillo Chapultepec (the residence of Mexican presidents, dictators, and emperors past) ![Castillo 1][5] ![Castillo 2][6] The best thing I did: Explore the excavated ruins of El Templo Mayor in the ancient, Aztec heart of the city. Even in their ruined states, the remnants were awe-inspiring and a sobering reminder of the countless indigenous civilizations that were ground away by European colonialism. ![El Templo Mayor][7] ![Catedral][8] On August 26th, I finally started the penultimate semester of my degree in civil engineering. It's been a crazy, 18 hour course load of upper-level design courses, and I've never felt as stretched or challenged by school in my whole academic career. The very next day, I started my new job as an apprentice software developer at Brand New Box here in Lawrence. To say it's been a great learning experience would be a gross understatement. In addition to getting exposure to an entirely new web development framework, I've gotten to see how seasoned professionals create software from start to finish. BNB is a really small company, and I honestly feel like it's been a perfect fit. Everyone here is so friendly and helpful, and it's definitely somewhere I can see myself staying for a long time. And finally, my research study is inching closer and closer to publication. Given my time constraints, and the fact that my primary co-author moved across the country for a new job, progress has moved more slowly than I would have liked. At this point though, our initial manuscript is almost complete. The majority of the figures are made, the data have been analyzed, and the only major section left to finish is the discussion (which also happens to be the most challenging). My goal is to have the manuscript ready for submission by early February at the latest. Here's a sneak peak of what you might see! ![Hydrograph time series][9] ![Precipitation time series][10] ![Conductivity Time Series][11] So, where does that leave us? Now that the semester has finally started to wind down, I've begun identifying a few personal and professional goals that I'd like to focus on as I finally escape from the frustrating and constricting ecosystem of school. First and foremost, I'd like to fight back against the massive impostor-syndrome I've been experiencing at work. Given my non-traditional entry into the world of software, I've often found myself riddled with anxiety that I'll soon be exposed as a complete fraud and fired immediately. It's amazing how transparently absurd some of our internal dialogue sounds when we actually put it down in writing. In the coming weeks, I'm going to do my best to remember the confidence and competency I brought to my career as a mountain guide. I'm the same person who once had to coordinate a wilderness search and rescue effort and trained a crew of nine other guides to handle a 1,000 client summer. I can handle learning software development from a disadvantage. Additionally, I'm going to work on cultivating new relationships here in Lawrence. My long distance friendships continue to thrive and fill me with immense amounts of gratitude and love, but I still often find myself lonely here. Finally, I have a few ideas for this website. In addition to applying a more experienced and discerning eye towards its code infastructure, I'd like to make a few cosmetic enhancements, particularly to this site's mobile appearance. Oh, and make it HTTPS secure too so Chrome stops yelling at me every time I load it in browser :) At any rate, this post has rambled on long enough. Assuming a lighter course load next semester *knocks on wood* I don't foresee another months-long hiatus in the future. Thanks for sticking around! -Joe [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: [6]: [7]: [8]: [9]: [10]: [11]:

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I'm Joe Pickert, and welcome to my blog.

Here, you can find a collection of my thoughts both tech-related and otherwise.

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