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Hi, I'm Clement Hoang.

I'm a software engineering senior at the University of Waterloo. I'm a badminton fanatic, a League enthusiast, an anime lover, and a Javascript monkey. My goal is for this blog to document my learnings and my perspectives.

Another Term, a New Beginning.

Hi! This is Clement checking in and currently, I’m super high (on an airplane that is a couple thousand feet above the ground huehue)! I am now on my way to California to begin my internship at a company called Datera. So, before that happens, I would like to write to post that that summarizes my experience in the previous 2B term (academics, extracurriculars, and unrequited love…), what I have been up to in the two weeks following exams, and finally to document my excitements and expectations for my first internship in the States!

Let’s begin with my 2B term at the University of Waterloo, which happens to be a Spring term, taking place from May to August. it is also my first school term in the Summer because I have never taken summer school, so it was a new experience. I started off the year joining a ton of clubs and extracurriculars, including UWVSA (University of Waterloo Vietnamese Student Association) which had several Pho nights, the Hearthstone Club, the Etiquette club, Konichiwa, the Taiwanese Student Association (when I’m not even Taiwanese!), and even the Breakers, which I walked into accidentally. However, it turned out that this term ended up being one of the toughest academic terms I have ever had, as I was not mentally prepared for the enormous workload in a summer term. What happened was I ended up falling a bit behind in my assignments, and for the first time, ended up being unable to finish a couple of CS assignments on time, when in the past, it would be possible to simply pull an all nighter to catch up. In fact, most of the CS assignments this term were quite challenging and required at least ten consecutive hours put into it (in fact, one of my assignments, I spent 20 hours coding furiously but eventually collapsed and was unable to finish), and thus was the case for a lot of the classmates whom I’ve spoken with. Anyways, I ended up being unable to go to as many club events as I would have liked to, but I am glad that I tried, and I will definitely be trying again next term, but with a sharper focus in order to not fall behind in studies. Also, I passed the “2B or not 2B” term!

Another aspect of my university life this term were sports, including badminton and volleyball. In badminton, I sought to improve this term more than I ever have in the past, as I felt like I was starting to plateau in growth, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to get better and better, and together with my roommate, Danny, we pushed each other to our limits, waking up early to go to sessions and whatnot to have our intense practice sessions! Hopefully, my growth will continue during my co-op position, as I find a club to play at during my stay…Additionally, Danny and I signed up for the Ryerson Open badminton tournament, which was a tourney in which we could put our skills to the test. It wasn’t the first tourney we entered; in the past, we have been demolished 0-2 playing doubles together, but we persevered. At this tournament, the competition was very intense, and good players ended up in every single flight. In our first round, Danny and I played against an old friend of mine, who was a lot better than me when we played together in the past. However, I felt like I was finally able to pressure him at the tournament, and the game could have ended either way, but unfortunately we lost. In our C flights game, we were met with a seeded team, which was scary, and yet a great opportunity. There was a huge crowd that game (and it was also for the first time in my life that I didn’t get shaky legs from being on stage), and even though they toyed with us a bit in the first set, we capitalized on it and took a win from them, but lost to them in the next two sets when they played seriously throughout. However, I am quite satisfied with that as my partner and I were able to push two extremely good badminton players into acknowledging us, and having to play seriously in order to win. Another sport I tried this term was volleyball, after I watched the anime, “Hakryuu” (which I definitely recommend, it was so inspirational!). Unfortunately, spiking and real life was a lot harder than it seemed in the anime, and I pretty much failed in my first few sessions. Oh well. The UW Serve people are pretty friendly though and I would recommend joining the club too, as it is only $5 a term.

A cool thing that happened this term was “Friday Anime Nights”. It started off with a couple of friends and I discussing about restarting a hackathon project that we began a while back, “Favrs”, using new technologies such as the Phoenix Framework with Elixir. However, that quickily transitioned into us simply watching animes each Friday, including “Food Wars”, “Gangsta”, and “Prison School”. I am really looking forward to these nights again next term, and am proud to announce that they’ll also be my roommates in the next academic term: Tianshi, Ray, Tim, and Danny.

Ah, and during the late stages of this term, I also went into a stage of poverty! Since I bought a Macbook last co-op term (which I don’t regret doing, it has boosted by productivity by tenfold compared to a Windows machine!), my funds were drained and in the last month of ths term, my bank account actually hit $0 which a bit of debt was accumulating on my credit card. Those times were definitely scary. I fished for a couple of freelance jobs to get some money, and hustled with some Mcdonalds food hacks, but eventually I did have to go back to my parents for money. By the way, did you know that you can order an extra patty on Mcdonald’s burgers for 50 cents each?

#McdonaldsHacks

Finally, this term was also an emotional roller coaster! I got into a very awkward situation with my roommate, Danny, but we ended up shedding manly tears while eating some ramen at Sakura Island (which I only found out about this term! It’s one of Waterloo’s first Japanese restaurant and the quality of the food there is amazing!). And thus, our bond became closer than ever.

After exams were over, I went back home to spend some time with my family, and younger brother, Kenny. Also, for a long time, I have been very curious about League of Legends and why it was so popular, so curiosity took the better of me and I finally decided to try it out. I think it’s pretty fun to play, and although I’m really novice at it right now, I hope that I will make diamond one day! (P.S. Add me! My summoner name is Clemmmy.). Outside of gaming, I also decided to brush up a bit on my programming, and read up on React and Chidori. It’s simply scary, yet amazing how fast the Javascript world is evolving. Frameworks that were the shit a few months ago become obsolete several months later, and the emergence of a gajillion new libraries each day is just WOW. I remember a while back when I was pushing off doing an indepth reading of Browserify, but from what I see now, it simply can’t compare to Webpack and JSPM, go figure. But it’s ok, fortunately with the school term over, I’ll have a lot of free time to dabble with all these new toys!

Whew. Thus ends my unstructured compilation of things that happened in the period that I was missing from my blogging scene. Hope to blog more soon. Until next time, readers!