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Parents

My parents are broken. My brother is broken. I am broken. We are too late to fix. Instead, I look through the mangled pieces and wonder about the wreck. Out of guilt, hope, and regretful ritual, I travel home to Wellesley, Massachusetts twice a year – summer and Thanksgiving – …

Renatus

In 2003, I sailed east to The Netherlands to commence at brief chemistry post-doctoral stint at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Shortly after arriving, I was installed at a chemistry fume hood in Lab Twee (not Lab Ein, Drie, of Vier). Across the way was one Renatus (Rene) with whom …

Hip Again

My brothers and I have a peculiar Thanksgiving tradition. On the “Black” Friday after Thanksgiving, while many frustrated families plunge into the malls, the brothers embark on a brewery bar crawl. We start early afternoon, after a leftover Thanksgiving lunch, and finish drunken well after the sun sets. One year, …

Thanksgiving

Such panic over Thanksgiving organization: Andrea keeps a gluten-free diet; can Lee come as a last minute guest; the John Dudek’s prefer that all ten guests sit at the same table, and not get scattered across two rooms; is a 16-pound turkey enough for ten people; how do I not …

Gratitude

Thank you. I spend so much space in these pages just complaining: complaining about my failed job, complaining about relationships, complaining about slights, failures, and missed opportunities. For once, and hopefully much more than once, I would like to be grateful. I’m home. All the family Dudek is home. We …

Data Scientist

Hurray, I have a job. The company, where I interviewed last Thursday, sent me on Monday a provisional offer of employment. I still need to negotiate the details, but I do want to work for them. Although I dread the daily commute down the Peninsula, I am already grateful for …

Know Yourself

Looking for work, I peruse LinkedIn to learn about the careers of my contacts. I have friends on the site from my college years, as well as the Netherlands, Boston, and Texas. Where are they now? I thought I would be wracked with envy. Alain de Botton counsels never go …

Job Interview

I set the alarm early for 7:30 am. I get up, eat my standard breakfast with homemade granola, exercise, and hop on the bike through the smoke to the Caltrain station. On the train, my lips move to practice one last time my upcoming talk. A Lyft driver whisks me …

Too Late, Too Early

To prepare for tomorrow’s interview, I read the biographies of those at the company that might speak to me. I cannot discern ages, but so many, from the Chief Technology Officer to the Head of Software Engineering, are just a few years out of school. They are already successful, while …

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Third Snowflake

While cramming to learn SQLAlchemy and perfecting a job-interview presentation, I finished today the third Snowflake. I tightened the white fabric cover by through-sewing with a six-inch doll needle and then cut out a protective cover from thin, clear vinyl. You could now throw a cup of coffee at the …