CRA-Wx DMP Program
Katie Coons - The University of Texas at Austin
Distributed Mentor Program Summer 2004

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Week 9

On Monday of this week I began preparing for the presentation we were to give at the Speedway meeting on Wednesday.  I wrote up a presentation before our meeting with Kathryn Monday afternoon so that I could discuss it with her.  Kathryn gave us some good advice and I felt pretty confident about the presentation afterwards.  Tuesday I worked on array indexing and switch statements and got both working.  Wednesday Julia and I gave a presentation to the Speedway research group about what we've done here and the DMP program.  During the rest of the week I got passing structs on the stack working with Jim's help, and begain working on variable-length argument lists, which turned out to be quite difficult.  Since Julia was finally up and working I suggested she work on position-independent code in Mac OS X because it is largely separate from everything I am working on, which would help with source control issues.  In addition, it's a subject I haven't touched on yet and it is very important to get it working if we want to be able to test our OS X code.

On Monday evening I went to another of Stewart's foxtrot and rumba classes.  I like those classes very much because they focus on technique and teach rather advanced figures as well.  Javier gave me a ride to the practice and then took me home afterwards and stayed to hang out for a while.  After ballroom lessons Tuesday evening Javier joined me for a trip to HEB, which was awesome because I needed food sooo desperately, and then we went to Kerbey Lane for dinner.  I went into ACES afterwards and worked late into the night.  Wednesday morning at 4am Javier called me and asked if I wanted to go grab breakfast.  We went to Katz's downtown and shared some pancakes and then I came home and went for an early run, and then went into work to prepare for our presentation.  Matt looked over our slides and was very helpful.  Overall I think the presentation was a success, but I was glad to have it over with so I could concentrate on my work more.  Wednesday afternoon Julia and I volunteered at First Bytes and helped the girls out with their labs.  It was interesting to see how much younger than us the girls were, I don't remember ever having been that young, even in high school.  Each girl who does the camp gets to come totally for free, and on top of the room and board and instruction they get these really nice little bags that are exactly the right size for my laptop that say UTCS on them, and a free USB memory stick as well!!!  I am so jealous.

Wednesday evening Palani picked me up and took me to Barton Springs.  I had heard a lot about it but I was very impressed when I finally saw it.  Barton Springs is part of a small river/creek, but they built walls along the sides so it looks just like a swimming pool.  The bottom has rocks on it and the water is natural non-chlorinated water, but the depth of the pool is marked off on the sides and it really looks like a swimming pool.  It is supposed to be 68 degrees at all times, and it was definitely pretty cold.  It was refreshing once you got used to it, though.  Afterwards we went back to Palani's place and he made me dinner again.  This time he made an Indian shrimp dish that was very yummy and I got to eat that Indian dessert I like so much again.  We finished watching Ghandi as well, and then talked a bit and went home and crashed because neither of us had been getting enough sleep!

Thursday morning I woke up early and went out to breakfast with Javier and our ballroom instructor, Stewart, at Kerbey Lane.  Stewart treated which was extremely nice of him.  He had just had his appendix out last week so I was glad to see that he was feeling a bit better.  I was so very exhausted all day Thursday because I had not been sleeping enough.  I finally passed out on the couch in the lab for a few hours at about 3pm.  I decided not to go dancing Thursday night because I needed some sleep, and ended up working pretty late and then just crashing.

Friday I made up for staying in Thursday night.  Matt, Kartik, Walter, Ben, and I went to TJIFridays right on the Congress St. Bridge for dinner.  After dinner, we walked across the bridge to see the bats.  The Congress St. Bridge is famous for having one of the largest US bat populations living in its crevices and just after sunset they all swarm out to eat insects.  We saw the sun setting over the bridge, and then as soon as it was down the bats just kept coming and coming.  I was shocked not by the quantity that emerged at any given time, but by the fact that the bats just never stopped emerging.  Afterwards, we picked up Julia and we all went to 6th St.  6th St. is like the corner at UVA; it's where all the bars are and where a lot of college people hang out on weekend nights.  We went to Cheers shot bar first and ordered flaming Dr. Peppers.  We watched the bartenders set the shot glasses on fire and then dump them domino-style into the beer glasses on which they were perched.  Afterwards we went to Maggie Mae's, which was a neat place because the music wasn't too loud and we all sat up on the roof just drinking and talking and having a good time.  Raj arrived with a few of his friends which made it even more fun.  After a while we moved on to the Library, which looked like a really neat bar but it was so incredibly crowded we could hardly have gotten a drink if we'd tried.  We quickly left and moved on to a slightly more upscale place on 4th St. where we got a table and sat and drank for a bit more before finally calling it a night.

Not the best picture of me, but damn isn't that sky beautiful? That's Matt, Walter, me, and Ben on the Congress St. Bridge at sunset to see the bats.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and met everyone at ACES so we could go out to New Brunfels for some tubing on the Guadalupe.  I found tubing surprisingly fun.  I got a tube with a bottom in it so it was very easy to sit in, and the whole thing was very relaxing.  We had a cooler full of drinks, ate lunch in our tubes, and traveled for about 4 hours.  The current was pretty fast because it had rained quite a bit so we hit some white waters and they were really a lot of fun.  Afterwards we went to a vegetarian place called Mother's for dinner.

Two car-fulls of us along side the Guadalupe after our tubing expedition.

After dinner I went into ACES and got some work done, and then I went home to meet Kartik and Walter on the drag.  We walked to a coffee shop just down the street and shared some drinks and desserts and talked until late.  It was a really good, really relaxing evening with good company.

Sunday afternoon I woke up and went into ACES for a bit of work, and then met a friend named Jeff who lives in my building to play some racquetball.  After three good games of racquetball I got some more work done and then Javier picked me up to take me to Diloris's for once last dance party before I leave.  Cami and Santos were there this week which was nice because I got to say goodbye to them, and I still got to dance with Javier and Bruce quite a bit.  After Diloris's, Javier came over to hang out for a while and then I sent him home and crashed at 10pm after an exhausting but awesome weekend.

Last week when I realized I only had two weeks left I was really sad and felt like I totally did not want to leave Austin.  Now that the time to leave is quickly approaching, however, I'm beginning to feel like I've done what I needed to do here and it will feel good to go back home to my newly remodeled room with my awesome new comfy full-sized bed.  Also, I know I will come back to Austin sooner rather than later, so leaving is not quite so sad.

Week:  All |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 |  10
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The University of Texas at Austin