Summer has come to an ends. It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of funs. Over the past 11 weeks, I’ve been “struggling” to find time to write blog. So this weekend, I decided to fuck it, I’m staying at home doing nothing. Well, only if life can be this simple. This weekend I need to finish a long overdue project, revise a paper and plan for my departure. So here I am, 2pm on a Saturday afternoon in the darkest corner of my office. But first thing first, I am going to write a blog post to reflect what I’ve done this summer.

First, I secured my first internship in the US. Well, I’ve been interning at CUSP for 2 years, but it’s not technically a real internship. I got a new cubicle, a new machine, a nicer pay check but still working on my current problems. This time is different. I got to take a break from my current research and jump into a completely different environment. In the last several years, I frequently found out that the best things in life come at the most unexpected moments. I applied for this internship somewhere in October. Never heard back until I came back from a vacation in Miami. Got it after 3 weeks with 2 technical interviews. And here I am. During the last 11 weeks here, I’ve met so many people from different backgrounds, learn a lot of things that will be useful in the future. I’ve got to work in a very active and fast moving environment, where your code is running on thousands of production machines, where you can write your code in the morning, get it reviewed in the afternoon, landed and deployed in the evening. Most of my deploys were successful but I occasionally broke a few production servers.

Second, my two-year-old paper titled “A Unified Index for Spatio-Temporal Keyword Queries” has been accepted to CIKM 2016. It originated from my last summer internship at CUSP, went through several major iterations, got rejected (twice) at SIGMOD, once at VLDB and landed at CIKM. Personally I am happy with it. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You just need to keep submitting, until they no longer reject you. There will always be a venue that appreciate your work and looking at it with the right angle. By the way, I will be at Indianapolis by the end of October. I never been there, so I get that going for me, which is nice.

Third, I’ve reconnected with some of my friends after several years. The USA is way bigger than I originally imagine. I never thought it would take 4, 5 years to reconnect. But when we met, it was just like yesterday. That’s how you call friendship.

Forth, I’ve meet some wise man that I think I can learn a lot from them. This experience never happened to me before. I’ve learned so many interesting stories, things that could help me shape my future. It’s a good thing that I was forced to go outside and meet people, things that never happened in New York.

Fifth, I feel like I am taking a break from my previous life. No more drama. Just work, play and relax. I am wondering what would happen to me when I have to come back to New York, back to my previous life. It would not be pleasant like this, but this is the path I need to take. I’ve been trying so hard, I’ve come really close. I need to finish.

Summer Reflections
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