Learning in non-private

Learning (outside of school) has always been a pretty private, siloed experience for me. Trying a new experiment: learning in “public”!

For now, it’s going to be mostly crypto-centric. The intention is to be more authentic and transparent with my progress, and I’m starting by publicizing some of my own messy, non-linear notes. I’m not editing for the public eye, so there’s no guarantee for grammar, orderliness, or even correctness.

Notice that I got something wrong? Commenting functionality is on, so please do feel free to leave feedback!

On art & colors, on tech, and on my journey

From when I was five to when I graduated high school, I lived every single weekend in a small, unassuming art studio. I wanted to become a professional oil painter and to go to art school. Growing up, most of my garments were splattered with paint.

So I’m a pretty visual learner and thinker. To me, someone’s favorite color is quite telling. Coral-red #ff9980, for example, is my favorite color—it’s bright, energetic, and powerfully feminine. My friends call it “Kristie red” :)

In addition to the fine arts, I dabbled in writing. Won a couple writing contests in elementary + middle school. In seventh grade, I got to 25k/50k words in NaNoWriMo. I headed my high school’s creative magazine for two years, growing readership by 20x.

Then I tried debating in Model UN for two years. Then I nearly became an international relations / economics major (thank you, YYGS!).

So I never thought I’d be a ~tech~ person. I do love to create though, and I’m driven by impact. I’m still figuring things out, but I think this was the pivot factor for me.

When I tried my hand at UI/UX design, I loved being able to create prototypes of things I could actually use. Then, I wanted to go from prototypes to real, functioning apps.

I was very privileged to be able to spend my 10th grade summer with Make School—where I first learned to code & shipped my first two real apps. It’s been a whirlwind since then; cue the hackathons, compsci classes, and engineering degree decision. Along the way, I learned the 16-character term for new product creation: entrepreneurship.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

huge for me. Thank you to Rewriting the Code + NCWIT + Built By Girls + Tech Ladies for being THE reason why I’m in tech today. I literally would not be in tech if it wasn’t for these online support systems. I give back my time frequently to younger girls breaking into tech + helping with college apps, because I know how absolutely essential it was for me. Actively working on being a better intersectional feminist and supporting important work at she256.

The proof

A couple favorite essays

Miscellaneous

  • I have idiopathic scoliosis! Wore a plastic back brace for 23 hours a day from 4th to 9th grade to avoid open-back surgery. I was a hardy fourth grader—literally :’) When I was 14, I started a Change.org petition to the CA governor to mandate scoliosis screenings in elementary schools. It gathered hundreds of comments & 10k signatures. Nothing came out of it though, unfortunately.
  • In 7-9th grade, I ran a studyblr with 10k followers :)
  • I’m an ESTJ, and very Type A… Can you tell?
  • Love dried fruits too much for my own good
  • I own too many scrunchies :(
  • big on lowercasing whenever possible

If you’ve read this far, please, please say hi.