Weekly Inspiration #3 – Cat Photos, Side Projects, and Site Makeover

Another week has gone by, and it’s been an eventful one! From cat photos to quadric surfaces and open scenes, it seems as if I’m always chasing or being chased by one thing or another.

Side Projects

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been “into” web development since I was 14, yet not have much to show for all those years of learning and debugging. (Besides Pinguni, that is, but that story is for another day.) Because of my lack of a good portfolio, I’ve decided to start working on side projects to 1) demonstrate some of my skills, and 2) have fun.

Not all of these projects will be useful (the first one I made, Caticature, is totally not). Not all of them will be showcase-worthy. But as long as I learn something during the process, I’ll be satisfied.


“Tag, you’re it!”

No, not really. TAG stands for Transfer Admission Guarantee, a program between some California community colleges and University of California schools. TAG guarantees transfer admission for students who meet certain requirements when they apply.

TAG students do have to choose a major, though, and that’s where my dilemma lies. I don’t know what to major in, or why, and I have about thirteen days to figure it out.

EXTRA NOTE: It’s funny to think I will probably read this post a few months later and say to myself, “Wow, did I really worry about that?!”

Site Makeover

Yes, CathZChen just got a makeover! It’s high time for me to draw the line between professional and personal. Over the next few weeks, you’ll begin to notice the changes.

What I’ve done so far, and what’s in progress:

  • split this current site into a personal blog and a work site, on a .cathzchen.com subdomain
  • create a home page that leads to all of my sub sites (work, personal, funny, etc.)

If you have any thoughts or ideas, please feel free to let me know.

EXTRA NOTE: I wonder how many links I’m going to break in the process.


“We need to talk.”

I looked hopefully at my improv partner, who picked up my cue and responded with, “Uh – oh – okay. About what?”

“About your schoolwork.”

One of the focuses of my theater class these past two weeks has been improvisation. You choose a “starter” line from a list (for example, “We need to talk” is a starter) and create as much context around it as possible. Who’s saying it? Why? You can’t tell your partner, though.

Next, you pair up with someone. You begin with your starter, they respond, and the two of you must, on the spot, make up a conversation that sounds sensible. The receiver must pick up on your body language, tone of voice, and other cues to deduce in what situation you are beginning the conversation. You, of course, have the advantage, since you’ve already thought about the context surrounding your starter line.

At first glance I thought improv would be scary. It is, but it’s also a lot of fun! It only works when you actually immerse yourself in the conversation, though. When you start thinking too much about what you’re supposed to say next, you lose the flow of the conversation and ultimately get stumped.


My Week in Ten Words: Done so many things, but also wasted so much time.

Question of the Week: Why do colleges exist?

September 13-18, 2020

Catherine Chen
Catherine Chen

Inspire and be inspired.

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