My name is Scottie. I’m an analyst, developer, writer, linguist, and photographer. This is my life.

I initially started this blog in 2012 as a way to document my Japanese studies and share my solutions to the seemingly infinite hurdles on the road to fluency. As I finished up my undergraduate career at the University of Texas at Austin, I had many great life experiences that I decided that I wanted to share with others.

Since graduation, I've accepted a job as an information technology analyst at ConocoPhillips, traveled across the hemisphere for a temporary assignment in Alaska, picked up new skills and hobbies, and continued honing my Japanese language and programming abilities.

This is only the beginning. Follow the journey here.

LIFE ON THE STREET IS A DEAD END

My company’s office building is located in the heart of downtown Anchorage. This shimmering, golden beacon of American capitalism seems to cast a shadow over the Downtown Transit Center and its transient residents. Many are drunk and high; many are homeless and hopeless. Some even sell their bodies either for a quick fix or as a means of survival. They…

THE COLLEGE TRY

Some days I just feel too sentimental to function. It’s been a tumultuous transition from university to corporate life for me. My shielded lifestyle of academia has truly ended now. Except for the tens of thousands of dollars of debt, of course. And my life goal of constant, life-long learning. Still, it’s difficult to put into words how the slightest…

2014 PROJECT GOALS

Build a Hadoop Cluster Big data is the future. I see this now more than ever. While my cluster currently has a theoretical limit of about three physical Linux boxes, I think it would be a very useful exercise to see the trials and tribulations that come with installation and configuration of Hadoop for a small cluster. This would also…

SCAR TISSUE

On Saturday night, I handed in my last final exam. Honestly, it was an extremely anticlimactic ending. The final had no bearing on my graduation or GPA for that matter, so it wasn’t really the concluding push that I envisioned being the end of my undergraduate stay. After a brief test, I said to my professor, “終わりですね…” and stole away…

52 WEEKS TO N1

I’ve decided to introduce a new segment of my blog: 52 weeks to N1. As I talked about in my last post, one of my biggest life goals is achieving fluency in Japanese. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験) is a measure of language ability created by the Japanese government. There are five different levels with N5 being the lowest…

LEARNING ABOUT LEARNING

My blog is nearing its first anniversary. Admittedly, I have failed to maintain it as I would have liked to over the past year. My instinctive response is to attribute this nonfulfillment to a lack of time. As my college graduation swiftly draws near, I’ve been obsessed with the notion of time lately. With classes, work, side projects, and graduation…

REFLECTIONS ON ALASKA

The cold air fills my lungs as I inhale deeply and behold this marvel of geologic time. I feel introspective and insignificant as I imagine my short life span juxtaposed with this ancient, undefiled landscape. I try my best to take a mental snapshot of this moment near the peak, knowing fully well that nothing can ever recreate this moment.…

FROM AUSTIN TO ALASKA

I recently purchased my plane tickets for my summer internship in Anchorage, and everything else is beginning to fall into place. I’m absolutely excited, but by the same token, it’s pretty terrifying as well. I’m far from a well-travelled person, and I hope that this is the beginning of a new era of exploration for me. May 24th is slowly…

REFLECTIONS ON THE FIRST THOUSAND KANJI

I finished the first thousand kanji recently, and I can honestly say that in addition to learning a slew of new characters, I learned a lot about my study habits as well. I wanted to share some of the knowledge I obtained along the way: Goals are good, deadlines are bad: When approaching the Heisig method, it’s a great idea…