Misc

Why do you like living where you live?

In the past months I’ve had a recurrent conversation with many people. This conversation is typically started with the question: why do you like living where you live? Some of them might be considering moving to the city I live in for work, some of them are thinking about leaving, some are happy here. Ultimately, everyone is different and what makes some happy might not be for the rest. Some friends want to live in larger cities, others want different climates, others want to move in with their long distance relationship partners, etc.

The power of tapping into your community for support

This week the owner of my favorite Mexican restaurant in Baltimore, Rosalyn Vera, got death and arson1 threats. I could have been a bystander, but I tapped into my network and asked for help and she has received it. It’s been great to see the power of the community in action. The backstory So, I use R and Bioconductor for work and I get to witness the warmth and mostly friendly #rstats community where daily people ask for help and get it.

Asking for help is challenging but is typically worth it

Recently I’ve been thinking on the subject of asking for help. In short, it’s hard to ask for help. It involves admitting to yourself that you can’t solve the problem alone, opening yourself up, hoping that another person will understand you and guide you in the right direction. Thus it can be painful if your request for help is misunderstood, met with criticism or ignored. Regardless of these obstacles, I think that the potential rewards make it worth it.

A knot of threads: from CSHL to LCG-UNAM to Aldo Barrientos to diversity scholarship opportunities

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to write this post in my mind since May 2018. Today I’m finally typing it on the computer. This will be a rather long post that ties in several threads. I’ll talk about Cold Spring Harbor’s Biology of Genomes conference and its relationship to my undergrad in Mexico. I’ll also introduce you to Aldo Barrientos (1987-2011) who was was my undergrad classmate.

Problems with an article from the Baltimore Sun covering Dr. Mahoney-Steel’s immigration issues

Today, September 19th 2018, Dan Rodricks (Twitter: DanRodricks) published an article in the Baltimore Sun. The article was shared to me with the title I only thought this happened to Mexicans1 and is currently titled2 as “Rodricks: Hopkins library specialist hit by immigration crackdown after being blindsided by visa denial”. I didn’t like the title at all nor did I feel right when reading the article. I shared it with about 50 other Mexicans in Baltimore3, talked about it over dinner, discussed a bit with Hopkins colleagues, and now thanks to all of them I have a clearer idea of what my problems with this article are.

Using Slack for Academic Departmental Communication

This is a joint blog post between Stephanie Hicks and Leonardo Collado-Torres. We want to share with you our experience using Slack and why you should join us. This post is in an interview style. What is Slack? [SH] Slack is a communication tool for teams. The main idea is you have individual chat rooms (referred to as channels that always begin with the # symbol), which are organized by topics.

Mindfulness

I recently participated for the first time in a silent retreat (6 hrs) as part of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. I’ve really been enjoying this course and the experience of learning new ways (for me) to live better and enjoy life more. If you haven’t heard of mindfulness before (like me a few months ago), Wikipedia defines it as: Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.

End of the summer blogger challenge

This summer a few of us at Bmore Biostats agreed to a summer iron blogger challenge. We either had to blog every week or every two weeks. The penalty of not publishing a post in our chosen timeframe was to donate 5 or 10 USD (respectively) to our charity of choice. I liked the idea of the blogging challenge and thought it would help me keep motivated to keep my blog active during the summer.

"I am a writer" exercise

I do not have a clear memory of when I started to write or in which language it was. My first written words might have been in English since I lived in Boston (USA) three years during my early childhood. By age five I was back in Mexico and that is where I am sure I wrote my first full homeworks. During elementary school, I changed languages once more—this time to French.

And so begins English Composition I

This week started the English Composition I: Achieving Expertise course (Comer, 2013) that I have been looking forward to. I am not sure yet how long I will last, but I hope to enjoy it as much as I can. Plus, it should help me with my posting and other writing areas. While I last in the course, I plan to publish my writings in the blog too. So you will hopefully see me be more active here.