Since 2016, every iteration of my personal website has sported a taunting "coming soon" banner under the blog section. I'm finally attempting to break this 4+ year writer's block and put something down on paper (so to speak). One of my longer-term goals has always been to write more consistently - a goal I've spectacularly failed to achieve. I'm a very visual person, and I've always preferred to read others' words than pen my own. Some permutation of fears around not having anything to say and not being qualified enough to say what I'm saying held me back. And since graduation (other than one review of a now-defunct automated restaurant), my dubious career choices resulted in primarily writing code or writing about code in the latest corporate project management framework. I recently read an article which stated that an individual's biggest barrier to doing or learning something new is actually doing the thing. They (me) spend countless hours doing tangential micro-tasks to what they want to learn (e.g. researching, learning how to do what they want the "right" way, spending time debating about equipment or environment or a million other irrelevant things), and they never actually do or learn what they want. I am notorious for this behavior, and I decided it's time to try to leave those habits in the past.
To that end, I figured I would kick off this blog with a self-indulgent "life update", as it both seems fitting and I have nothing else I currently want to write about. After 26 years on the east coast and stints in consulting, data analysis, and software engineering (oh, and one painful high school summer at Dunkin' Donuts), I'm heading west. I'll be joining an epidemiology/computational biology PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley, where I'll be studying computational models of vector-borne infectious diseases. Without doubt, I'll miss the east coast's erratic weather (and people) and its superior pizza, bagels, and Italian delis, but I'm excited for the opportunity and ready for a good culture shock.
I'm hoping to use this blog as a journal to document interesting slices of life from grad school (whose first semester will be mostly virtual) and my many peripheral interests, none of which I'm qualified to speak about with any authority. I also hope that I will keep myself accountable by writing something semi-consistently. To my ~4 readers (according to AWS analytics), thanks for following along.