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Dispatches from a Nomad: Recurse Week 06

Published: 2023-10-20 12:00:00 EDT

The week of June 19, 2023


Welcome to Week 6 edition of the Dispatches from a Nomad: Recurse collection 🎒💻

In case you missed last week’s edition, you can find it HERE.

So...this blog write-up is severely delayed 😅. I had a draft of this post sitting here for a while but I never committed it. I had planned to expand on it a bit more, but then more and more time passed by. This blog post is about my (unexpected) last week in Recurse (more on that later) and an epilogue following my time there.

Monday, June 19, was a holiday in the US known as Juneteenth. It’s a relatively new holiday at the federal level, but it’s been celebrated for quite some time throughout the country, particularly in the Black community in the South. It’s a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the US, the nation’s second Independence Day. I took the day off from working on Recurse things and just had a relaxing dinner with a few friends.

Recurse work

After working the first four modules of the GenAI course through Google Cloud, I realized that it was too surface level for the understanding that I wanted to get out of the topic. On Tuesday, a fellow Recurser and I discussed forming a study group to build our foundational knowledge in deep learning. She had been working through the Karpathy videos so we decided to start from the top and go through them together.

We first looked at the runtime of the videos so we could make a game plan to get through them all. The videos are long but comprehensive, especially the first one, so we decided to break it down into chunks: we would watch separately for thirty minutes and then we would come back together to discuss what we had just watched and ask and find answers to any questions we might have. We had a first session on Tuesday and we set aside a two-hour block. I really appreciate his approach in the video of relating the math to the programming so it was much easier to see the concepts in action.

After our study session, I was inspired to extend my stay at Recurse. My goals for the second half would be to get through the deep learning course and continue working on my project. I was a bit conflicted to do so because I had a bunch of travel planned for the coming weeks, but I convinced myself that I would be able to do both.

Things of Note

Last Week in Paris

I got a chance to hang out twice with my friend Bryan who was visiting Paris. First we hung out along the canal, had a nice lunch, and got delicious pastries. Then we met up again over lunch then took a nice stroll along Coulée Verte.

Fête de la Musique

Every summer solstice, Paris throws a huge party 🥳 One the longest day of the year, all across France, this celebration is known as Fete de la Musique, and the whole city turns out to check out different music acts all throughout the city. It’s a super dope experience. I got to meet with a friend I made from when I was down in Marseille for the Beyoncé concert. We ended up meeting up at a HUGE block party in the Marais. There was a giant disco ball strung across the street with decked out smoke machine, light shows, and paper confetti 🎊. It really felt like we were in a huge dance club in the middle of the street. Honestly, it might have been the best street party I’ve been to so far!

Pride and Birthday in the Park

Saturday, Paris held its annual Pride. This year the parade was different: this was the first time they held it without trucks. In an effort to cut down on emission, the organizers decided to have the trucks removed and just have people in the street. I’m generally on board with these efforts, but it seems that there was no adequate solution to make up for the fact that the trucks had all the speakers so the parade was dramatically quieter than other Prides. I really hope they figure out how to have music, maybe speakers on wheels, or something!

After the Parade, I went to the event held at La République, which was pretty awesome. A bunch of different artists came through to perform on stage and the crowd was massive. This was truly a party week in the city, both Fete de la Musique and Pride, and always in close proximity, this is very much Teon-approved ✌🏾

Sunday was my birthday! I organized some friends to meet me in Parc Buttes-Chaumont for Rosa Bonheur. It was a nice chill evening and I was surrounded by lovely people :)

This also marked my last full week in Paris during this extended stay. This would be the first of three Parisian goodbyes.

Nomadic Weekly Roundup

Favorite Reads of the Week

Favorite Podcasts of the Week

Nomadic Recurse Runs of the Week

Here’s a collection of my runs for the week. Monuments featured below are Canal St. Martin, Jardin du Luxembourg, and Invalides:


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