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I think it goes without saying that it has been an eventful year (both academically and annually). As a student, our years are often broken into segments of 9 months—those which are summer and those which are not. Basically, school is a long series of summer and not summer. Regardless of the layout, I think a quick trip down memory lane is required—at least so I know I did not sit at my computer the whole year.

This year began at a blistering heat of 115 degrees, also known as the “Tempe Norm.” Heat bounced off the slow melting concrete and waved past my ever so slightly churning stomach. The heat did not stop me from climbing the historic A Mountain and making my literal mark on ASU. As a near fetus perceived Freshmen, I once again peered into my new city of a home. It was hot and crowded, but I loved it.

It’s hard to think that just a year ago I was in high school dreading my not so known future. The murky colored future quickly became maroon and gold as I learned to live in this hot and moving city. Whilst learning to once again step to the sound of academics, I was lucky enough to be joined by a group of quirky-geek-bound Computer Science majors interested in nerding out with me. They’re alright. They’re also the closest thing I have to a Arizona family.

The geek squad
UCSB tour with the haxors

 

 

 

 

Supported by my strange friends, I was able to join my very first research lab. It was challenging, destroying, intimidating, inspiring, accepting, and enjoyable—all at the same time. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work in a place I love everyday. I really need to write about it… The research led me to find the pwndevils, the hacking team I compete in. Never in my life have I found a smarter group of computer scientist.

A disguised lumber jack

As the year moved forward, I was fortunate enough to have my favorite person in the entire world visit me. Emma and I had a great time getting fat at a pseudo Hawaiian barbecue near my dorm—yes I said dorm, its pretty nice. Emma got disguised in her ASU gear and supported the Sun Devils at our crazy ASU v. U of A football game. We won. It was spectacular.

As the temperature cooled in Tempe, it froze in Flagstaff and Colorado. I was able to spend time with my family in Hawaii. I was able to spend an awesome Winter with my Dad and then my Bae. It was truly amazing to reconnect with the people I loved.

Less fetus couple on snow honeymoon

With a reinitialized fire for research, I was able to take a trip to Santa Barbra with my research lab. I hosted my first Capture the Flag hacking competition, iCTF. It was interesting to connect with other hackers around the world. I’ll post about it. I was honored to represent ASU internationally through the Web hacking community.

Fast forwarding to March, I turned 19 and was able to have Emma and the nerd squad take me out to dinner. It was an awesome Korean BBQ place called Gen. It was amazing as usual. I then spent the next month after march busting my butt to somehow finish all my finals projects and wrap up the year with a good ole’ fashion four-o. ANNNNND we are here, the present.

I learned a lot this year about computer science, but even more about myself. Similar to this post, the year felt like it flew by in the span of a few seconds. Life in school passes by faster than Christmas morning—one moment you’re staring at every gift you’ve been presented; then suddenly you the mystery and the morning is over. It seems like it is always better to imagine what’s in store, then to actually find it.

An Asian version of Zion

I regret not posting more this year, but I hope to make up for it in the next few days, as I spam your emails with updates. As always, thanks for reading, and subscribe below if you want to fuel my non-existent writing career.

I would also love to hear how you’re life is going, just hit me up with a comment. Hope all is well.

 

Peace family

-Zion

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I am the the owner of this land, and its keeper. I write for fun and enjoy life.

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