Things That Are Good

Less interesting-things, more my-life-journaling. If you want interesting things, see what research I’m thinking about. Here are some things that are good in my life now:

1. The HCII. The people are amazing. The students, the faculty, and the staff. It’s a community (especially the PhD students) that will hang out outside work, that all cares about each other, that just sort of accepts that everyone is friends and everyone supports everyone else. And everyone I’ve met (I’m doing a mental check right now but I think, yep, everyone) is very good at what they do.

2. Being in grad school in general. I love the freedom to do what you’re excited about. I love feeling “in the club” and invested in something that I care about.

3. Having some easy tasks and some difficult tasks to do. We just finished an interactive projected directory in the HCII lobby; a difficult task (and one that took much more weekend time than we had) but we pulled it off, and how! We demoed it to the cofounder of Adobe, who happened to be around, so that was neat. Anyway, that task helped me feel somewhat competent, but I’m also busy at things I’m much less competent at, so that’ll keep me busy.

4. My old CMU friends (who are more and more not-from-CMU), my new CMU friends, and my roommates' friends. Making interesting friends just happens here, I guess.

5. Bikes and no sugar. I feel physically great. The only downside is that sometimes I’m not sleeping enough because I’m just too wired.

6. Pour-over coffee. I’ve started making my own. It’s not as good as at Commonplace Coffee yet, but I’m on the way.

7. Pittsburgh! Love this place.


Julenka -

What an awesome post! Glad you decided to come to the HCII :) What are the difficult things you’re working on?

Dan -

Me too! Things I’m doing now that I’m less good at:
1. Research in general? A lot of my work now consists of “coming up with ideas.” This is a new and welcome challenge.
2. Reading a lot of papers and mentally categorizing them somehow.
3. Balancing two budding research projects, two classes each with a project, two conferences in two weeks, and the UIST contest project. Good problems to have!

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