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Review: December

Instead of reviewing the last year, I will review the last month.

Monday 2: First day at new work (Centralway) I use Mac. I feel computer illiterate unless I have an open terminal. Friendly environment. Lots of things to learn. Compared to my first work experience outside academia, this time was smoother thanks to the previous ones. At work, apart from trying to acquire the necessary new technical skills, I focused on understanding the philosophy and the vision of the company, the work flow and my role.

Tuesday 3: Buy tickets to Greece. It is late and they are expensive but in retrospect, I already feel it was a very good investment.

Wednesday 4: CEID meeting. Ex-students from CEID, the department of our initial studies, who live in Switzerland gathered in Zurich and talked about our experiences back then and more recent ones. Sometimes you only need a good excuse to have fun and interesting discussions.

Thursday 5: Visit Kreisbuero. After a few days I received my renewed permit for the next 5 years. It felt very nice. Now, main goal is to integrate better and a prerequisite is to learn German. This is the main goal for the new year.

Friday 6: Christmas party from Greek student association. The first Christmas party of the Greek student association that I attend. I met some friends after a while. I still own an apology to a person for leaving without saying goodbye.

Saturday 7: Met a friend who visited Zurich from Spain and facebook competition. On facebook competition I managed to finish a task 5 minutes after the deadline even though I had 24 hours to do it.

Tuesday 10: Attend a talk at Google about NLP. Meet Daniele.

Thursday 12: Meet with a friend who was leaving for abroad. Discuss and think.

Saturday 14: Topcoder competition and discussion with Nikolas about an idea of his on betting.

Sunday 15: Marco; bicycle is gone. I met Marco after a few months. I was curious about how does he feel doing a PhD after Google. As for my bicycle, I guess I locked it in the wrong place. It was not very good anyways.

Monday 16: Fondue with IAETH Figugegl. At the beginning I was feeling very awkward. Most people were speaking German, were older, looking more serious (or at least better dressed) and meeting old friends. I was a new face. Finally, we were (at least) four students there which made me feel much more comfortable. Then, we talked to graduates from the CS department from ETH. The fondue was great. Let’s hope I will meet some of them again.

Tuesday 17: Christmas dinner at new company. So many dishes with food. We also got gifts. I picked an iPhone. The second choice for me was a Nexus. Picking the iPhone instead of the Nexus sparkled an internal conflict whether it was a conscious choice or I put too much faith on external criteria (price). I concluded that it made sense as the primary platform of the app that the company develops, trying to get a better overview from my small biased linux corner of the computing world and, finally, the price as safety net.

Thursday 19: Talk with another Dimitris. We caught up after a while.

Saturday 21: Talk over internet with Errikos and Nikolas; go out with Kostas. From Errikos I got new ideas on work-life balance, how priorities and activities can change when we make conscious choices. With Nikolas we talked more specifically about the idea of his. Kostas and I made a preliminary recap of 2013 and set some targets for 2014.

Sunday 22: Get four books and topcoder.

Wednesday 25 – now: Flight to Athens. Slow down. Do practically nothing but see my parents and enjoy some relaxed time. Think about new year.

Staying away from twitter/facebook:
+ More “free” time
– Fewer opportunities to connect with some people

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