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First Blog of 2021

2020 has come and gone. It was a long year of trial and tribulation, but I and anyone who manages to see this blog managed to survive it. Maybe you hadn’t been born yet and you stumbled across this blog. My question is, how on earth did you find this. I imagine that this blog will be buried in the hole that is the internet for none to see again once graded. However, I will still write it as a testament to the past year. 2020 was a year that was simultaneously the quickest and slowest of my life. The fact that every single week seemingly had one terrible disaster or another made the year feel like it was taking forever. However I, like many people across the world spent most of 2020 holed away in my house. From this position, the days honestly began to blend together slowly. Due to this sort of blending of the days, 2020 seemed to fly by. Every day not having enough unique features to it to make it memorable. In some ways it feels like a lost year, but for me, it became a year of personal growth and reflection. I can say with certainty that through the events of 2020 and the decisions I made throughout the year, I am a better person.

2021 on the other hand looks largely the same as 2020 did at least from the outset. However, as I type this on January 17 while we are hitting record numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, it feels like we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Through these last years of political upheaval, an insurrection has occurred, which seems like the fitting climax for this political saga. I am writing this days before Biden takes office, so there seem to still be a chance of tribulations in that area. Regarding Covid-19 I hope the new administration can bring more national unity of focus, and I am glad that the new vaccine has been created and has begun distribution. While we seem to be coming out of the tunnel, the issues that were uncovered in the past year, and the difficulties that will spring up due to decisions made throughout the past year, are yet to be fully understood.

Despite all of this, I am excited for 2021. I feel as though I am making more personal progress than previously in several areas. I am excited to see what the future holds. I hope everyone will be able to look back in the future and see 2020 as rock bottom, and we don’t have a year as difficult as that ever again.

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Back at it Again

It has been a few weeks since the previous blog, and our project has proceeded forward with leaps and bounds. It felt like we were stuck in the mud for a while, but now we have broken free and we have begun moving forward. We completed our first prototype, and while it is very limited in scope, but it is the perfect starting point. Honestly, we can simply build off of what we have so far and eventually the project will be complete. Is that bad design? Maybe. What we have looks pretty cool at this point, and I’m pretty happy with it.

This past week was Thanksgiving, so I am going to use this blog as a bit of an exploration of the things I am thankful for in this wild year. One thing I am truly grateful for is the reprieve coming with the end of the term. While this capstone course has been fun and interesting, and will continue next term and the term after, I am happy to be through with several of my other courses. During this time, I have found the little things that help get me through each day have been important. Things that I would have taken for granted since they are part of the endless stream of information pouring into my life, and the lives of anyone with an internet connection. The human connection provided in the meetings, while they were sometimes frustrating, or felt unnecessary, has truly helped me along. It’s thanks to great professors and volunteers and classmates and TA’s that this experience hasn’t been quite as bad as I’m sure everyone thought it would. These little connections are things that I have grown to appreciate more than ever. I look forward to a brighter year next year.

And thank you, 1 person who is reading this.

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The Turning Point

This past week was week 6. It feels like the turning point in 2020. I have felt ashamed of my country for the past 4 years, and I feel proud to be an American for the first time since 2016. We see record Covid-19 cases across the country, but at least we have a light at the end of the tunnel now. I hope our nation will start to be able to regain the unity we once had. I have a bit more faith in humanity, and I feel like I’m not just muddling along trying to make it day by day. I feel like there will once again be a positive example leading our country. This week has been crazy, I feel like I know far more about elections and American geography than ever before. Our entire nation has been waiting with baited breath for the drawn out result, but I feel like the wait was worth it. There is dancing in the streets, as our nation is smiling once again. I was born in Canada and immigrated to the U.S. to follow the opportunities provided, and for the past few years, all I’ve wanted to do is leave. I have regained some of my hope for the American people after this election. However, that’s all pretty irrelevant to my project.

Our group project is working steadily forward, but the obstacles we face have been unexpected. I expected to be working steadily and constantly on the code, yet so far what we have done for the most part is work through the bureaucracy of the government agency that we have to work with. I feel like I understand a little better why nothing ever gets done in the government. We’ve added so many extra steps before you can actually get to work that it just kills efficiency. I wonder what the solution to this problem is. Should the government be more modularized so groups have to focus on less? Is competence the issue? If we made these changes would security be lost? It feels like the government is one gigantic program file that is uncommented, entirely bloated, and using legacy systems from 200 years ago.

Thanks for reading my blog this week! May all of your dreams come true!

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Week 5 is Live

The halfway point of the term has been reached. The Midterms are fully underway, and the homework is piling up. This has been a good week. Our project is starting to take shape. We have our charge, and we are charging forward to make something useful for some very hard working people. Current events are underway, and progressing at a rapid pace. By the time I write my next blog, we will see who the President of the United States will be for the next four years. I’m hopeful, but also kind of worried about the fallout. Not only that, but we are seeing record infections and I just know that a lot of people were partying for Halloween. I predict a SPoOky result! However, things in my little world are going well. That seems a little callous to all the people who are facing hard times right now, but I think it’s important to express gratitude for the good things in life, even when things are looking a little bleak. I voted last week, and I hope that anyone who ends up seeing this post did as well. I didn’t vote in the last election, and honestly I think that was stupid. I think a lot of people probably think the same way, and turnout is going to be the highest its ever been.

I know this blog has been more about current events so far, but that’s what has been occupying most of my headspace. Do you think that election day should be a national holiday so everyone can get to the polls? It’s crazy out there right now, and I hope you can find your own little pocket of peace and quiet in all of this. I have been thinking a lot about living in the present moment more and more in life. I feel that the future is less guaranteed than it ever has been, and worrying about what’s going to happen is just wasting the precious time that I have available to myself today. I wonder what I can do to make myself into the kind of person that I want to be, and have found that just doing the best I can to use every fleeting moment of the present is the best way to give myself the future I want. I don’t know if I’m right about this, but I’m giving it my best shot!

Thanks for reading!

Luke

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Holding Down the Fourt

Week four has come and gone. Four me, this was a memorable one. It has gone even faster than the previous week, but four good reason this time. I went on vacation for the weekend, and therefour, I had to get everything done early. It basically was a full week condensed into four days so I could get out and truly relax. Honestly, I feel truly fourtunate to have this opportunity.

Our project has started to charge fourward, building steam as it goes. Ok, I’m done with the fours. At this point the word doesn’t look real anymore. Anyway, our motivation has begun climbing and we, as a team feel unstoppable. Our requirements are nailed down more than ever, but I have the sneaking suspicion, we may not have the full picture, that or maybe the requirements will change down the road. I hope that’s not the case, but this year has so far seems to be the year that Murphy’s Law is basically guaranteed, so I’m not holding my breath. We finally have access to the server infrastructure at Fermilab, so we can begin working in earnest, starting next week. We get access to a lot of interesting information in addition with our accounts, and I’m excited to start poking through the Wiki to try and learn more.

These blogs so far have been very cathartic for me. I’ve basically got like two nonstop streams of consciousness going all the time, and its hard to keep everything straight. I don’t think you really know what you, guy who grades this, has done by allowing me to just word vomit all over an assignment. It’s like I’ve just been mallocing nonstop and the terrified person looking over my shoulder the whole time has just showed me how to free. I guess its been… freeing.

P.S. If you ever get to Manzanita Oregon, go to Yolk for breakfast and order the French Toast. It’s transformational.

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3Fast3Furious The Blog

Did the week really just go by? I feel like I just wrote my last blog yesterday. I think that means either that I’m getting into the rhythm of school, or I have short term memory loss. This week has been a lot of grinding away at different project. The DUNE project hasn’t been taking up most of my time, but it has been taking up most of my brainspace. I think that’s because its the project that I actually feel a vested interest in, and a connection to the outcome. I think I won’t be able to share any of the details here on the blog because I just had to spend like an hour and a half reading documents that told me in 100 different ways not to share this information with foreigners, else I’ll be put in the stocks. It seemed a little ironic to me as a dual citizen, like, am I these foreigners that I am not to be sharing with? I’ll keep my Canadian personality in the dark on this one I guess, never know what he might do.

This week we prepared our problem statement document. We all worked together through Zoom on one Google Doc. It was honestly refreshing. I’ve been in enough dysfunctional group projects that feel like pulling teeth that one that worked quickly and efficiently writing the document was a breath of fresh air. I think having a group that you work well with is likely one of the Major Keys to success in this class. I feel lucky to have been randomly assigned to such an overwhelmingly competent group. If my partners ever read this down the road, cheers! You make my life better. I’m going on a mini vacation this weekend. This pandemic I guess isn’t all bad, as it has allowed me to let go my earthly tether and get a little bit of traveling in. I’m looking forward to it. I originally began coding because I thought it would be the best job to pay the bills while I sail the Caribbean. It was somewhat a joke at first, but as I went through school the technology and social progress to make it happen has actually happened. Like Elon Musk’s Starlink, and the pandemic normalizing remote work. Maybe it’ll all work out in the end.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m somewhat impressed, it got a little in the weeds for a bit, but we’ve made it out. And you, you know who you are, you’re an everyday hero, and your work makes a difference. Thanks again for reading!

Luke

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Luke’s Blog 2 The Sequel

I’m writing this to continue the momentum built up by the wildly successful Luke’s Blog. This, the sequel I hope will be met with the same critical acclaim as the original. It got me thinking, how do you follow up on perfection? The answer I came to is with more perfection. In this blog you will read the wild misadventures of me doing school.

It’s been quite a week. I find week 2 of school to be the real beginning of every term, as all the classes I take seem to take the gloves off and start swinging in week 2. It’s like they are trying to give you a bit of false hope during week one, only to come around and sucker punch you in the gut week 2. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the fight. There’s something I find I can get out of that kind of struggle that I can’t find elsewhere. My experience with high school wrestling taught me that. There’s something different about struggling with every fiber of your being against someone doing the same. The fear and nervousness before the match, and the exhaustion 30 seconds in only to find out that you’ve only just begun. Which brings me back to week 2, because I know its only just the beginning.

I met with my group for the first time this week. Our project is called DUNE, and as far as I can tell, we will be trying to make sense of a lot of data in order to understand more about Neutrinos. This was very impressive to me, as were my collaborators. I feel as though I am a very small fish who has just happened to land in the middle of the Pacific. I hope to do my best to be an asset on this project. I have lately been thinking about what I aspire to be one day, and I have come to the conclusion that I would like to be an amazing person that people can look up to. I was pretty nervous about this project, as I don’t know if I am ready or able to do it. It is a daunting challenge that looks impossible from the outset. I was pretty demotivated until I realized that this is the kind of challenge that an amazing person would conquer. They always seem to be just going about their day to day life, casually doing the impossible. Maybe this is my first step to accomplishing that kind of dream.

Thanks for reading my blog to the one guy who has to grade this. You are my favorite.

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Luke’s Blog

Hey, welcome to my blog, if you are reading this, you are most likely also grading this, so I hope I didn’t screw this up.  However, if you are here and are not obligated to be here I am glad to have you, you singlehandedly have made my blog far more successful than I expected.  The other person who may be reading this is Future Luke.  Hi Future Luke, I hope things are working out for you the way I hope they do, but I know how these things go, where priorities change and things come up.

I’m writing this mostly as an outlet to just get some of my thoughts written out.  Sometimes its hard for me to keep track of everything so I hope this helps.  I’m writing this in the middle of a massive pandemic, before a monumental election.  Maybe when future Luke sees this everything will be back to normal, but somehow I think that’s a bit unlikely.  Maybe you are reading this in 1000 years after the world ended.  What’s it like? Are there still humans?  Did we ever colonize space? Do you understand memes?  There’s a lot of things I’d like to ask you if this time capsule worked two ways.  I just moved back into my parents house, it seems like the trendy thing to do for people my age.  I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it but I’m determined to make the most of it.

Well, to the one person who has to grade this, I hope this didn’t feel like a waste of time.  I would appreciate 100%, thanks!  And to the people of the future, I hope the good guys won.  I know that maybe this doesn’t fill the requirements, but I feel like this is a better intro to a blog that I can be happy about.  Thanks for reading!

Luke