How Far I’ll Go

Moana was a great movie, and I liked how it had a really compelling hero’s journey with a main female character that didn’t fall in love with anyone! Also the music is amazing, so here’s a small tribute to my favorite song in it.

On reflection, the message in the song is a pretty positive one. During my work at Amazon Robotics, we’re always told to “Think Big” and have a “Bias for Action”. In other words, staying in the shallows where results are always known will also cause you to develop code/products that are squarely inside the box. Sometimes it takes a big failure in order to see possible paths for improvement in ways one couldn’t have otherwise known. Well, of course impulsively jumping into the ocean like Moana on her first voyage is a bad idea–but we’re all smarter than that. 😉

He is the sad frog trapped in a pot.

Okay, this one is more a “People” post directed towards some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head lately rather than a specific person.

Kind of heavy for a public blog post, but hey! These are the kinds of things I think about, for better or for worse. Next post will have more levity, promise. 😀


“Forgive me,” He whispers to me in low tones, “I don’t mean to be happy.”
How can he, when the one he hates is himself? He says that its easier this way, because it grants him an excuse. He looks for brighter avenues because that’s what people say he should do, but consoles his wholly failed half-measures with the reprieve of being hated. To him, his daily defeats are wounds only bearable because he knows he has already failed. He sits in a little hole dug by his hatred, face buried in his arms so the rocks tumbling into his pit hurt less.

The one he hates is himself.
A comforting sureness of who he is, in one pair of eyes at least. He hides behind this ugly excuse, crouching lower so as to let the hatred smother him faster.

“Forgive me.” He says to the world
“I don’t mean to be happy.” He cries into his arms.
But he’s forgotten that the world doesn’t give a shit. He won’t be glossed over. He won’t be forgotten, forgiven, have nothing expected from him just because he is hated. His pit is a pothole, and he will naturally be run over if he insists on sitting in the middle of an avalanche.

I want to shake him from his dark reverie, tell him to take one step–just one step!–out of that hole. But I know that the walls of his prison stretch high, and this yawning cavern only echoes back his ironic fear of the world outside. He insists on staying.

It is not my place to tell him what he needs to do, I know that. It is also not my place to assume that I know what is best for him. But I do so want to see his face, the original–unhidden by tearful creases and shadowed hatred.

A Reflection on 2015

Since it’s the last day of the year, it’s prime time to do some reflecting!

All in all, this year was pretty great. I got a summer internship at Apple, which has opened up an insane amount of doors. Though I’ve still got far to go and much to learn, being selected for a summer internship at such a big company has given me quite an ego boost. Still, since confidence easily turns into pride, I hope that I can rein it in a bit in the coming months. Quiet confidence is what I’m aiming for, the kind that manifests itself as an aura instead of hot air.

I’d really like to make blogging a habit, but the lack of free time in my schedule makes it difficult. And it’s not just time, but motivation as well. I enter each semester brimming with ambitions and ideas, but always end up burning out near the end. I’d like to put more effort into work life balance next semester, impossible as it may sound. I’ll pour more free time into working on Edwin instead of fooling around on the internet.

edwin head

Look at how cute he is!

There’s a paper deadline coming up in March, and I really need to buckle down and really think about how I’m going to write this and present it. My robotics professor has poured a lot of time into my project, so I need to repay him in kind. Slacking off would not only be a detriment to me, but an insult to him.

edwin_body

I promise that we’ll do great things together Edwin!

On a separate note entirely, I haven’t been able to bake or cook as much as I’d like to this past semester, but I’m hoping to change that by having some new posts dedicated to cool recipes that I have. I have a lot of interests, but I think with proper time management I can succeed at all of them. It’s a matter of arbitration and passion I suppose. I made some really great green tea almond cookies last year, and I’m hoping I can dig up the recipe for it again.

I’ve also bought a new camera, and I’ve been playing around with the features. Photography is a really interesting art, one that I’m hoping to learn a bit about. One way I practiced was following my friends around and taking pictures of their lives. It was pretty fun and an interesting way to spend more time with people. I think I’ll try to do more of that next year too.

room

She’s super talented. (Taken and published with permission.)

Whether its music, photography, or technical expertise, I’m going to continue working on learning all the things and doing all the stuff. Next year is going to be great. 😀

-Sophie

In Defense of the Screw

I’ve been posting a lot of “Life” stuff lately because I’m working at Apple and the IPA says I can’t do engineer-y things off work while I’m here for the summer. No worries, I’ll get right back into the thick of things with the new school year in September. Until then, read my thoughts and look at pretty pictures–I have plenty of both, haha.

Anyhow, this post was originally titled, “In Defense of the Pawn”, but I felt that a pawn’s promotion and evolution upon reaching the 8th row had a different meaning than what I was looking for. I don’t want to talk about how a caterpillar suddenly grows in worth when it becomes a butterfly, or how the ugly duckling becomes great because it was a swan all along. They are marvelous stories, but I want to be something different than that. I wanna be a screw.

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Auguries of Innocence

BY WILLIAM BLAKE


This poem is a commentary on recent events in the news of sorts:

The imageries are lovely–though unsettling. My take on this poem is that in all things, we must value respect. We are meant to share this world with so many other beings, all of whom are precious to someone, somewhere. Respecting someone’s dignity doesn’t mean I have to like them. Abandoning that respect out of anger, though, means that I’ve allowed my morals to be bent by the ravings of another–a victory I won’t concede.


To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood

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Mountain Peaks

Found this gem today:


You are pitiable in the way you gaze at the top of the mountain in servitude. The path to the top will only grow longer if you belittle yourself. A mountain peak does not exist to show how small you are, it’s there to provide you with a goal. It’s fine if you wander down a side path, you can take your time to slowly climb up. It’s possible that you may never reach the top. You may even burn out halfway. However, you’ll still have a better view than you do now.

Hideaki Sorachi


(Sorachi-sensei and his words of wisdom, haha)

Domino

IMG_0170

Found this picture and this piece of writing in the recesses of my folders. The picture was really pretty, and the piece was really interesting. What better way to showcase two completely unrelated things than to make a post about them? 😀

The photo was taken during an evening run, when I was particularly astonished at how prettily the light backlit the trees where I was running. The piece is a rant from some moment last year when I was upset.

Whenever I write, I tend to get caught up in the feelings of the words. Colors and sounds mean the same thing a lot of times, so they tend to bleed into each other when I write. Though I am far from a good writer, I’d like to continue working on being a better one.

I was working through some feelings while writing this, so it is a bit melodramatic, haha. Anyhow, here we go:

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Net Positive

I’d like to think that we are put on the earth for a reason. We’re supposed to make things better for someone, somewhere before we move on. We start with our scales at zero, with each little action adding to the sum total of our lives.

So I can’t understand how people can mess up the algebra of their lives so much so that their scales bleed negatives into others. When a flower pot is about to fall, isn’t it natural to want to catch it? How can someone find so much joy in the sound of broken porcelain?

-Sophie, sad

Not the Main Character

I am the main character in my story. I rather like being one, since the title gives me good authority to claim that my narrative is the correct one. People come and go, either as side characters or as background actors their paths briefly crossing mine. I am their Stormtooper #10, and they are a blurry face in the noise to me.

Not to say that Stormtrooopers aren’t super cool, but they do look awfully similar for some reason…

As I meander through my life, this main character often likes to imagine what life is like through the eyes of random people she passes by on the street. In the closed reference frame of my eyes, my worries and my problems are everything… yet mean nothing to a vast majority of people. It’s calming in a way, seeing how the tornadoes in my life are spring breezes in the grand scheme of things.

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Oh, the greatness of boxes

Boxes are pretty great.

I mean, look at them:

Look at them!!

Boxes are a great way to create distinctions between “this” and “that”. This is inside the box, that is outside. This is the problem I’m addressing right now, that is the one I’ll fix tomorrow. These are the feelings I’m ok with having right now, those are the ones I’ll look at… eh, maybe on spring cleaning day.

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