Patrick Lam

Thoughts and travels of Patrick Lam

A Locked-down April

I’m writing this on April 30, a day after we were originally scheduled to leave Wellington. But that was no surprise to month-ago me. Most of April has been under NZ Alert Level 4, although we’ve been in Alert Level 3 for a couple of days now. We’ve been in Wellington since March 20 and not in a car between March 25 and April 29, which is some sort of record for me.

The Longest Month

My notes say that I bought tickets to Athens on March 1. As if things would be normal in two months. The first nine days of March, which I wrote about last time, did seem completely normal. Then we went to Queenstown/Wanaka and Taranaki. As we were at Taranaki, things quickly became not normal. The last 11 days have been a whirlwind, and only in the past few days have I been able to get some research done.

Second month (plus 10 days) in Wellington

We’ve now passed the halfway mark for my time in New Zealand, even with an extra 3 days courtesy of Air Canada/Air New Zealand—they rescheduled my return flight from 29 Apr to 2 May and I didn’t notice until I got the seat change email. I’m totally fine with an extra 3 days in New Zealand. Classes have started again. I guess it’s like September in the northern hemisphere. Days are only 13 hours now, on their way to 10.

First month in Wellington

Sabbaticals are a large block of unscheduled time. Time always passes. Have I done stuff in my time in Wellington so far? Professional I’ve started a number of collaborations with colleagues in Wellington, and am thinking of a survey paper and an essay in particular. I’m excited about contributing to these projects. I hope to have more to report in my February update. In other news I have a climbing-related submission to the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism (sadly an Elsevier journal) which got a revise-and-resubmit.

January 2020 Reflections

Bryan Cantrill (of dtrace fame) writes about engineering performance management. He suggests the following five questions for engineers to answer twice a year. What are you most proud of in the last six months? What did you learn? Where did you struggle? What are you anxious about in the coming six months? What are you excited about in the coming six months? Most proud of Having recently removed the se-director email from my Thunderbird, I realized that this role consumed a lot of time and energy.