Heads up! I’m hitting refresh.

I recently experienced a Significant Life Change. I won’t get into the details, but it was one of those events that made me reevaluate whether my day-to-day life actually reflected my values. (You might remember how my dad’s hospitalization forced me to think critically about health insurance policy for the first time.)

Long story short, I realized that my brief, fabulous stint in Silicon Valley wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be. Of course, I learned a lot and met kind, smart people. But I wasn’t learning how to write well, and I didn’t feel like I was making public education more equitable. None of my personal goals were being realized.

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My First Hackathon

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Every day last week, I came home from work and crammed online HTML/CSS and JavaScript tutorials late into the night. I took neat, color-coded notes in a spiral notebook. Hunched over my laptop tapping out simple lines of code, I imagined myself painting black streaks below my eyes, like an athlete in preparation for the Superbowl of intellect.

That’s right. My company hosted a 24-hour hackathon. I don’t have a computer science background, but I do have drive and a lust for victory. And all of these pretty colored pens.

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For the Love of Learning After College

The evidence arises spontaneously: Like this past weekend, when I arrived at the public library minutes before it opened on a Saturday morning. I lingered outside with the doors with a small crowd of retirees. Or a few weeks ago at the grocery store, when I compulsively reached toward the community college course catalogue.

But Pia, you protest, aghast. You’re done! You’re free! Graduating undergrad is your first major possibility for radical self-determination – why do you do this to yourself?!

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