Coding

I’m re-learning how to program, and it’s a blast.
 
When I was younger, I studied simple programming. I bought introductory books on C and C++, and I took a BASIC class in Jr. High. But around 9th or 10th grade, I stopped once I learned that writing a game, which is what I really wanted to do, would take forever.
 
I’ve decided to give JavaScript a go. It’s easy to pick up and it’s pretty similar to C. What’s surprised me most is how many free resources are available for aspiring programmers who want to get fluent in JavaScript. Code Academny and Kahn Academy both have excellent free courses, and there are many YouTube channels devoted to teaching people how to code in JavaScript.
 
I don’t blog much so I won’t promise any updates on my progress, but I’ll try to link to any noteworthy programs I write in the future.
 

Did it

December 21, 2012.
 
3 years after I graduated college.
 
6 months as a freelance writer, 2 teaching jobs, 2 internships and a short stint as a hotel receptionist.
 
I’m finally employed full time at a PR agency.
 
It was one hell of a journey.

How to Start Over [Career]

Your career is in shambles. You have no money. You’re living with your parents. Where do you go?

Step 1: Make a plan

Head to a coffee shop and write out the steps you need to take to be successful. Too broke for a coffee shop? Brew a pot at home and write out how to get where you want to go. You need a plan for when depression hits. Plus, a plan will make you feel a lot better.

Step 2: Perform Step 1 of your plan

It sounds simple, right? But it’s strange how procrastination, depression or other external factors can get in the way of starting over. Build up your courage, psyche yourself up, kick yourself out the front door; whatever you have to do, make sure you do perform the first action item on your plan. You’ll be surprised the amount of confidence you gain from making the first step.

Step 3: Create a side-goal

Odds are that your plan will take some time to come to fruition. So set a side goal that will fill the time between steps. Finish a book, set a fitness goal, or make it a priority to finish your spring cleaning. Don’t let yourself mope about where you’re not, and don’t let yourself daydream about the future too much.

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Street Photography: Portraits

Street photography can be intimidating. You’re out on the street with a camera trying to capture interesting moments, but at the same time you’re trying to blend into the background and not look like a creep with a camera. After all, it would be disconcerting if you were taking a stroll downtown and saw someone trying to snap your picture without you knowing it.

I think the best way to get over this fear is to do street portraits. In street photography, you’re trying to capture moments without anyone noticing. With street portraits, you have to confront the issue of consent directly.

Getting up the nerve to do this can be difficult (Danny Santos has an awesome post on how to overcome your fear of approaching someone for their portrait). But once you do get up the nerve, you will get some pretty unique photographs.

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Hunger and Perspective

Two conflicting ideologies are battling for prominence in my life. To me, they epitomize “yin” and “yang” in that I need a healthy balance of both.

Staying hungry

I’m at a  good spot in my career. I feel like I’m at a great company doing an internship that’s relevant to the field I want to break into. But being a PR pro isn’t all I want. I feel like there are three areas in my life I want to develop:

1. Physical – I want to be in the best shape of my life this time next year. I’ve been off-and-on with my diet in terms of what I eat and my daily calorie intake, but I feel like I can hit my goals 100 percent of the time if I try. On top of that, I want to be stronger.. a lot stronger than how I am. It’s always been a goal of mine, but I feel like I finally have the tools to make the physical transformation I want to make. Continue reading

Thoughts on coffee drinking and the coffee culture

Picture of coffee beans

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a coffee expert. I’ve been drinking coffee for nine years, and I only took it with cream and sugar for three months when I was starting out. I drink mochas, lattes and frappachinos, but those are all in a different category than coffee to me.

I am not an expert in what makes a good coffee great. I understand how different regions have different flavors (and have gotten better at telling where a bean came from just by its taste), and I can have basic conversations about how you’re drinking a roast (when the coffee’s flavor comes from how the bean is roasted) or you’re drinking the bean (when the coffee’s flavor comes mostly from the bean).  But my understanding of coffee is limited.

But I do know what I like about coffee and what I hate about coffee culture. Being an avid drinker of coffee has given me insight into the mysterious black liquid of a non-technical sort. As someone who has worked as a journalist, a college student and a freelance writer, I like to think I’ve downed more than my fair share of coffee. As such, I’ve welcomed some trends in coffee and shaken my fist at others. Continue reading

Google +: A better tool for PR than Facebook?

I’ve been using Google Plus for two or three weeks now, and I love it so far. It still has a “shiny” feel to it and I love seeing how people are adapting to its features.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed about it, however, is that it is not, and never will be, a Facebook killer. Far be it from me to attempt to predict the future, but I don’t see Google + intruding on Facebook’s territory. Here’s why.

Internet Sharing Culture

Most of what I see on Google + so far is stuff people share from the Internet. It’s kind of like twitter, but with a higher character count. I’ve been directed to a lot of stuff that is interesting to me by the people I follow. I think this is because I’m in special Google circles with my friends, and the things they post to people in the circles I am in are directly related to my interests. (I’ll explain the emphasis later.) Continue reading