I May Be Okay With Failing

Over the last week or two the WACM (Women’s Association of Computing Machinery)  has invited some amazing ladies from the tech field to give talks about their experiences as a woman in technology and what they have learned. One was Arry Chu, whom’s career path has been all over the place with her position as a consultant (also has her own startup now) and the other was Christina Chen who is a project manager who has been at Microsoft for twenty-so years.

Both of these women gave talks in different styles. Arry’s was more of a casual “here is my life story and some things I learned”. After her talk, we all went to Wild Orchard (a thai restaurant) for dinner (how cool was it for her to have dinner with us!) and she mentioned her tips for success. Not tips as in “this is what you say to a client” or “how to get a raise” tips. They were more of a philosophy to drive your career in a way that gave you happiness. It was focused on passion and caring for others.

Caring about people is definitely something I want to create in my own team or corporate culture someday. And Christina Chen also noted on this. This concept of putting others first and creating a culture on thoughtfulness. She crafted this concept by selecting the people on her team based on how thoughtful they are. And doing so has increased productivity since thoughtful people try to help other people with their problems and etc. Now, that she is one of the senior executives at Microsoft and at this shift in Microsoft as a company in the products that they begin to produce, she is able to influence the type of culture the company has. She is nudging the mindset from “look at this cool piece of tech” to “look at this piece of tech that will address human needs and help people and make lives better”.  And, I think that’s pretty cool. I hope that wherever I go a culture of caring for others in the world and within the workplace will exist.

I was also relieved when Arry mentioned how difficult it was for her to settle on a major and failing chemistry (because I failed physics last semester (also one of the most freeing things to have ever happened to me)). That sounds terrible, I know. I have been worried about being on the right path ever since I learned that careers, majors, and colleges were a thing. And when she mentioned going from job to job and doing all these things before she found something right. It’s scary when you are in school and you think about your job, you don’t see a lot of job mobility. You focus so much on finding the right path and making the right decisions the first time around. But Arry’s career path shows that you will always end up where you should be. And, that you shouldn’t be afraid of a healthy dose of failing, learning, and risk.

If I had not failed physics, since I still love the darn subject, I would have kept pushing myself through the major and cry all the time. I would be miserable since the curriculum and pushing myself to perform better on the tests was wiping myself out. But, I would not have given up because I am stubborn. And, though I did cry during the final, when I realized I had failed the class I never felt so light. It was like this thing just lifted off my shoulder. Life; it goes on. Failing physics wasn’t the end of the world. And, taking chances with my decisions won’t set me on the “wrong” path either. I get it now.


A Poorly Written Ode to Fall Break Among Other Things


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GeekGirlCon last weekend with the WACM(Womens’s Association for Computing Machinery) was FANTASTIC! One of my favorite panels was examining why villainesses and vixens have disappeared from comics overtime and the role they played during the golden age of comics. One … Continue reading

An Introduction (of sorts)

Hello Internet people!

My name is Kelly and…I am not that good at introductions. But, I thought that it might be a good idea to tell you something about myself for my first post. I am a double major in Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) and Computer Science. A very specific major that will hopefully allow me to reach my dream of becoming Intel’s Director of Research and Experience. (My other dream is to attend the American Library Association’s Conference.) I am a sophomore. I love pie, the ocean, and fog. I think that’s good for now.

Oh, fog. How can I count the ways I love thee?

Oh, fog. How can I count the ways I love thee?

It is mid-terms week. (Or mid-terms time?) So, like my peers I have been really busy. Most of this ‘busy-ness’ is because I decided to change the topic of my research paper for my one of my SOAN classes. Originally I was going to research how globalization in the technology industry creates economic inequality. But, then I decided to focus on the manufacturing practices of companies in the Silicon Valley and how businesses incorporate corporate social responsibility into their off shore manufacturing. And, now….I might change my topic again. I am an indecisive person.

On the bright side this week has been a lot of fun. I am part of the Nerdfighters club on campus (What is a nerdfighter?). We recently had a scavenger hunt that involved activities like creating a psychological landscape, yodeling, and creating sentences of out of library books. I got to dress up as a beekeeper at one point.

I am also part of the WACM. Which is Women Association for Computer Machinery (the Computer Science club in other words). The WACM is a new addition to the general ACM this year. We have scheduled for women in technology to come and speak on campus! So excite! Much anticipation! And a few of us are going to GeekGirlCon in Seattle tomorrow. I plan on dressing up as a Gryffindor student. Or Clara from Doctor Who. Again. The indecisiveness.

For my SOAN 101 class we watched the film Slumdog Millionaire and then dissected the film through a sociological lens. Slumdog, despite its’ sadness, is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was weird to watch a movie in a room full of people. Weird in a good way. It’s just that I haven’t been in a theater for awhile and Netflix is my pal. Do you ever feel that way? As in “Wow, it’s so nice to do stuff with people”?

Maybe that just speaks to a certain part of the twenty-first century lifestyle.