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Full-Time Job

Posted on 03/30/2017

I have been in school for 26 years continuously without more than a summer break. That has been my full-time job to this point. I have been interviewing at places like Google, but I recently accepted a job offer that I never thought I would entertain.


It is very common that one teaches while they are in graduate school. In math, everyone teaches while they are in graduate school. When I started teaching, I didn't enjoy it. I found it difficult to motivate myself when I felt that the students were not motivated. I complained about my students and put in minimal effort. When I told people I was studying math, they would often ask me if I wanted to be a teacher. My response was always, "Absolutely not!" However, I have had a mind-shift in the last couple years. I began to think that I might be teaching past my time in graduate school. If that was going to happen, then I needed to be more dedicated to teaching, to my students, and to understanding how people learn. Ultimately I found that a deep desire for student success and understanding goes a long way.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



Being a Night Owl

Posted on 03/05/2017

I've heard that people who wake up early are happier, healthier, and more productive. I wanted to be more productive so I decided that I would get up early. I thought I would have more time to get things done, but I could never make it stick. I would get up at 6am for a while, but one morning I would silence my alarm, fall back asleep, and wake up two or three hours later. I was also spending 8-10 hours sleeping each night. I knew that I didn't need that much sleep, but I couldn't figure out why my body felt it needed it. Finally, after failing for years, I flipped it on its head. And it worked.


Some people just aren't morning people. It didn't matter how much I wanted to be one. I always found myself sleeping too much and feeling bad that I wasn't being as productive as I wanted. A few weeks ago, after returning from a trip to California, I had some catching up to do. I knew it would be a late night, but that was fine because I didn't have anything to do the next morning. I stayed up until 5am and got everything done. I woke up at 10:30am feeling rested and ready to go. It was incredible that I felt better after 5.5 hours of sleep than I did when I would get 9.5 hours. Not only that, but I got a lot done in the seven hours between when my wife went to bed and when I went to bed. It dawned on me: I am a night owl and I should embrace that.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



My First Interview

Posted on 03/03/2017

In November I was contacted by a Google recruiter. She wanted to know if I was interested in working for the company. Of course I said, "Yes!" I made it through the entire interview process. Although I was recently told that I would not get an offer, having my first "real" interview with such a large company was an amazing experience.


I guess the process started about a year ago when I applied for a graduate internship with the search giant. I had a relative who worked there (they no longer do), and my application was given to someone who does recruiting for full-time positions. I was asked if I was interested in a full-time position instead of the internship position for which I had applied. I told them I was, but never heard back from them.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



Apple Watch

Posted on 10/28/2016

I am the 2016 champion of my fantasy baseball league. This league is very competitive and I am glad that I have bragging rights for the next year. Bragging rights were not my only honor, however. A monetary award that covered the price of a 42mm Space Grey Aluminum Apple Watch accompanied my victory. I've been wearing it every day for the past 3 weeks and I am not impressed.


First, I want to say that I think smart watches are great. I wore a Kickstarter Edition Pebble for years before the screen went crazy. I loved that watch and was very disappointed when I put it in the drawer in my desk for good. Apple is very good at taking what others do and making it better so when it looked like I was going to win $500, I knew that I was going to use that money to purchase an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is a huge upgrade over my original Pebble, but it is difficult for me to justify the price difference over the newest Pebbles.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



Legacy Macs

Posted on 06/13/2016

Today it was announced that I will own my first legacy Apple computer (an early 2008 iMac) when Apple releases macOS Sierra. I have owned older Apple devices which are no long supported, like an iPhone 3GS and a first generation Intel MacBook, but never when they were no longer on the latest operating system. Even when Apple was charging consumers for the newest version of OSX, I was happily handing over the money to ensure that my machine, which houses some very important and very private data, was receiving regular updates. Now that Apple has deemed my main machine as not worthy of their newest operating system, I am hoping that I won't be left out to dry.


I should be clear that I am not expecting Apple to support and update older machines forever; I understand that is not possible. I also understand that as technology advances and developers release new features, the older hardware is not capable of keeping up. For example, my iMac has has had the maximum amount of RAM (6GB) since the day I purchased it. The people at Apple pride themselves on making quality software that runs on advanced hardware and they charge consumers a significant amount of money. It's not that I don't want to upgrade my hardware, but it is not reasonable for me to upgrade my home machine if it is currently fulfilling my requirements.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



Sleep Well

Posted on 03/21/2016

I've struggled with my sleep for years. I have gone through periods of great sleep, horrible sleep, or no sleep. I use the Sleep Cycle app to help me track my sleep and have been frustrated at being unable to break 60% sleep quality on a regular basis. I've always heard that blue light from my computer and phone could be a reason why I wasn't sleeping well, but sometimes I need to work and getting away from my computer is not possible. I recently came across this article on Lifehacker and I learned that I needed to change when I wake up as well as what I do to wind down the day.


The aforementioned Lifehacker article outlines the "10-3-2-1-0" rules for getting better sleep. The rules are as follows:

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Updated on 12/15/2019



Create Your Own Dynamic DNS Updater

Posted on 01/15/2016

When DynDNS shutdown their free tiers, I, like many people, was left looking for an alternative. I tried No-IP, but their automatic updater never worked for me. Therefore, I was left to manually update my dynamic IP every 30 days like some type of animal. I was already using CloudFlare for caching, simple threat identification, and basic analytics (I don't want to use Google), so I decided to make my own dynamic DNS updater using CloudFlare, Python, and launchd. Before I layout the steps, I will say that dynDNS Remote Access is $40 per year at the time of this writing. This is definitely affordable, but a domain name is cheaper and more versatile. Feel free to follow these steps to setup your own solution. In order to complete this setup, you need a domain name, a CloudFlare account, and a Mac with python3 installed.


First we will setup CloudFlare. You will need to point your domain to CloudFlare's name servers. If you haven't done this yet, you can follow these steps. It might take a couple hours for the DNS to propagate, but CloudFlare will email you when the name servers are updated. Once your domain is pointing to CloudFlare, you need to setup a new subdomain A record. You can call the new A record whatever you like, but it should be easy to remember. For example, I use the subdomain "office." Simply enter 1.2.3.4 in the IP field; this will be updated by your computer.

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Updated on 12/15/2019



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