Week three held a multitude of learning experiences, so this week’s blog includes the following: realizing when a project is over my head, communicating what I know and don’t know to anyone who can help me, learning on the fly, and (almost completely) exhausting my knowledge and resources on a project. Since my principal investigator didn’t come home until Thursday (no shade!), I was left to do a lot of exploration on the Ohmni – this provided a huge opportunity for self-driven study and learning how to independently work my way to a possible solution. I started the week at the point where I have a bridge into the bot, but I don’t understand the system or how to communicate with the app. More or less, I spent most the week trying to figure out how to mimic packets this bot received so I could trick it into driving around, ultimately to no avail. But, I learned a whole bunch and really deepened my interest in cybersecurity, even though this is a fairly pitiful example of “hacking.” I do think the most valuable lesson to take from this week is that, beyond the frustration and lack of success and mounds of docs and forums to sift through, I really just like coding and computers. I like learning about them, so it doesn’t feel like failure when I don’t achieve a goal. “Failure” is a little embarrassing, sure, but I’ve gotten to familiarize myself with some cool tools in the process that may come in handy later – that makes the fruitless toils worth something.
The highlight of my week would definitely be this 15 or 16 mile bike ride a big group of friends and I went on the Sunday before. Occasionally, the culture of the people here feels so different from my home college. Lots of people find bar hopping fun, for one – but that’s not really my style. I prefer privacy and quiet most the time. It’s nice to find a group of people who also crave to get out of the city for a day, which is extra hard without my car. We biked down to this park area south of Lincoln and rode on some gorgeous dirt trails. It wasn’t as removed as I’d like, since my taste leans more toward the untrimmed early season hikes in Oregon that no one has cleaned up yet, but the forest itself was undeniably gorgeous. Forests in Oregon are dense once you get into a park: lots of blackberries and brush and moss. But the trails we went through had sparse trees with a translucent canopy that let in a really comfortable amount of light. The ground cover consisted mostly of this vibrantly green, big-leaf plant. It was pretty exciting to speed down the bike path crossed by knotty roots, and lovely to stop for water and gaze across the shady greenery. It was all very cozy and refreshing.
I think I’ll bring my hammock and a book next time.