Why you should jump down rabbit holes.

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Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

Lewis Carroll’s eternal novel Alice In Wonderland, published in 1865, is imprinted in the fabric of modern culture. The hallucinatory imagery, nonsensical stories, and dreamy poetry has captivated the minds of writers, artists, musicians, and storytellers from every generation since its release, leading to an endless stream of references and inspired works. Aged 21, I realized I had never read this influential story. So I did.

This article contains spoilers.

Reading Alice In Wonderland was a nostalgic experience. It shed a light on the increasing weight of responsibility and pressure to “prove myself” that has slowly accumulated as I’ve grown up. Lewis Carroll masterly captures the fun, carefree innocence of childhood in every detail ranging from the tone to the characters to the plot. We are all so distracted nowadays that we rarely dedicate time to becoming aware of ourselves and our growth. …

By “this”, I don’t mean this article. I mean Barbara Oakley’s phenomenal book A Mind For Numbers.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Over a year ago, I stumbled upon an online course called “Learning How to Learn, the companion course to the book mentioned above. At the time, juggling my courses, extracurricular commitments, social life, and this online course seemed difficult so I stopped. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I urge you to take a week or two to read the book. The learning principles outlined will forever change the way you view learning and yourself.

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that not everyone reading this article will read the book. Life always finds an excuse. Worry not, though, as this article will outline some key points from the book. I hope that this highly-practical summary, while not a substitute to reading the book, will boost how effectively you learn. …

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Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

As New Year’s Day creeps closer, we naturally begin thinking about next year and all the experiences it holds in store. This is a great opportunity to hit pause on life. Reflect on the last year. How can we make next year better?

To be honest, 2019 was an awesome year for me. It was an eventful year of new experiences, new friendships, and new insights about myself and the world. Here’s a quick recap of my major activities throughout 2019:

  • Finished my freshman year at the University of Michigan
  • Taught computer science at my high school
  • Enrolled in a summer program at a Korean university (which I’ve always wanted to…

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Photo by krisna iv on Unsplash

Ughh, not another self-improvement article.

There are an overwhelming amount of self-improvement articles online, especially on Medium. I would know, because I have spent an unhealthy amount of time in the last year reading countless articles that promised to change my life. To be fair, a lot of them did. Soon, I discovered similar themes weaving through different articles, using different words to describe, fundamentally, the same ideas.

I don’t want you to waste your time sifting through hundreds of articles to find the diamond in the rough, which I why I want to share the most valuable piece of self-improvement/productivity insight that I have found throughout my year-long research. …

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Photo by Random Institute on Unsplash

Perhaps the first person that comes to mind with the words “freedom” and “technology” is Edward Snowden, the famous (or infamous) whistleblower who, in June 2013, revealed the NSA’s top-secret mass surveillance programs to the world. Six years later, he wrote his autobiography/manifesto/call-to-action — Permanent Record (Edward Snowden). For me, this book was a critical reminder to seriously contemplate my beliefs about freedom. As a computer science student, and as a citizen of a world in which technology is rapidly outpacing legislature, it is critical to begin understanding the sociopolitical and ethical impacts of the technology that we are creating.

What Is Freedom?

“The freedom of a country can only be measured by its respect for the rights of its citizens” — Edward…

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“The only thing I know is that I know nothing” — Socrates

I empathize with Socrates. I am 20 years old, and I am certain that there are infinitely more things that I don’t know than I do about life, even more so about a meaningful life. The purpose of this article is not to tell you how to live (because quite frankly I don’t know myself) but rather some thoughts I’ve had as a product of a lot of reading and reflection over the last year.

(Also I’m pretty sure the I’m taking the Socrates quote way out of context, but it sounds cool so I’m going to go ahead with…

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Photo by ASHLEY EDWARDS on Unsplash

I’m a terrible writer (as you’ll find out), and it’s no accident. For most of my life, I tried my best to avoid extensive writing. In my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I chose my courses such that the only ones with extensive writing were my English language and English literature courses which were mandatory. In my junior and senior years, I only studied mathematics, further mathematics, physics, and computer science.

Probably the most intense writing I did in high school was writing essays for my college applications about why I’m the perfect fit for each and every university in the United States. But even in those essays, I found myself limited by the pressure and superficiality of explaining my life story in under 300 words. …

I love computer science. That’s why I studied it in high school, taught it in high school, and intend to major in it at university. With this said, I do have mixed feelings about the A Level qualification and my personal experience of it in high school. Of course, my experience will be different from yours, and the circumstances of CS at Dubai College will have changed since I took it, but I hope that my honest reflections here can be of help to any students interested in studying computer science.

Why I Chose CS

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I was considering many options for my final A Level course. Photo: pixabay.com

Before jumping into my A Level CS experience, I think it’s important to have some context of why I chose CS in the first place, and what I wanted to get out of it. Something you might have not known about me is that I was extremely tempted to choose any one of economics, english, history, or government & politics over CS. This was mainly because I knew I wanted to study math (not maths), further math, and physics, so I was eager to branch out and study something less quantitative and more expressive for my fourth subject. In my mind, I could always learn CS “on the side” through online courses like CS50x, but was not confident enough to self-teach these other subjects that I was interested but not experienced in. …

Note: this article is targeted towards people who are considering or starting to learn computer science, especially middle or high school students. From the perspective of a professional or a researcher, the title may seem absurd (and it is). Yet I believe it is crucial for people who are starting to learn computer science to broaden their perception of what they are truly trying to learn.

What does a computer scientist do? Actually, let’s narrow that down. What does a programmer do? Really, I’m asking you. Think about these questions. What does a programmer’s day look like? How do they do it? Why do they do it? If you’re like most people, you probably just imagined a hooded figure furiously typing unintelligible words and punctuation onto a monitor. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Programmers spend a lot of their time programming. …

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Stock image of a blank page symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter of our lives… Photo: JESHOOTS.com

Hello world! And welcome to CS after DC. You may be wondering, what is this blog about? What are we going to be posting about? Why did we even make this blog?

Well, the answer is quite simple: we don’t know.

What we do know is the following. We are all former students of Dubai College (our high school) who are planning to major in computer science. We share a passion for not only the power, technicality, and beauty of the subject, but also a fervent commitment in the teaching and learning of it. During our time at Dubai College, we all took the A Level Computer Science course, but more importantly we also developed a close relationship with our school’s computer science department. We loved discussing the curriculum, alternate pedagogies, and any issues that students were having. …


Oh Jun Kweon

Computer Science student at the University of Michigan // Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.

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