In many past years, I've made new years resolutions. I didn't do that last year. I'm not 100% sure why, but it was some combination of feeling overwhelmed with my work obligations, not being in the mood, and recovering from a really difficult 2016 (in general, not resolution-wise). But I'm now ready. I remember Blevins saying of me 2006 cross country season that I was setup for success by not being distracted by a job or a girlfriend and having lost weight. I'm setting myself up similarly for a strong 2018.
Since at least 2011 I've dreamed of completing one whole year of my life at CTY, Later, that milestone became known as one's CTY birthday. This year it finally happened; I celebrated my first birthday.
As ever, we continued many pastimes, reminisced about those no longer possible and began new ones. The photos tell the story best with one major exception. I somehow didn't get any with my first session biking buddy and prom date, Shannon.
Shortly before spring break rolled around Karl and I decided to take a roadtrip together. It was our first time doing such a thing and we had a great time. I met him in Philly and we made it as far west a Peoria, IL (just west of Chicago). As usual I didn't do a great job taking pictures, so some of the friends we saw are missing from the pics.
The spirit is in the right place, but the message is not. Most people aren't sufficiently skilled to write and evaluate cryptographic primitives. That's certainly true. It's true of me, and there are a lot of noobs noobier than me out there of whom it is also true. People like us should not be writing our own primitives and putting them into production use.
But someone has to write the crypto! And the only way to learn is to try fail and reevaluate. So while I'm fine with "don't roll your own crypto" being a catchy reminder, my real advice is as follows.
I just completed another summer working for the Center for Talented Youth at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. CTY means many things to many people, but nearly everyone agrees that it is a wonderful and unique experience. To me CTY is, among other things, a summer job, a place to leave the stresses of daily life behind, a place where I've met many of my best friends, the place where I fit in most, a place that I hope to always return, and the only place I feel comfortable duct taping myself to my party date.
I like to make new years resolutions. I've done it for the past several years. And I like to think of myself as a pretty dedicated person when I'm trying to be. Yet, more frequently than I'd like to admit, I fail to complete my resolutions. Don't get me wrong, I do a pretty good job completing them, but there are usually a few that slip by me.
So I've put some thought into what causes me to fail my resolutions, and what I can do to avoid it. Thus, I present to you tonight: Tips for keeping new years resolutions.
From time to time I think about where I've spent my life. I've moved around a decent amount, but most of it has been lately. As any good scientist knows, the key to understanding your data is visualizing it properly, so I've tabulated which states (and provinces technically.) I've spent my time in and made a pie chart to summarize.
I was biking the other day and saw a few signs in a row saying "Stop the Power Plant!". I don't know anything about the power plant, but it got me thinking about voting and some fundamental problems with the system used in virtually every legal jurisdiction (that I know of (which isn't many)).
Since I had to get from Alaska back to the lower 48 for another year of CTY, I figured I should do it the exciting way. My last big motorcycle trip was from Grand Rapids, Michigan to San Francisco, California with Nate back in 2009, and I learned a lot about myself and about life on that trip. I was curious whether this trip would be the same.