04 May 2016

Few days ago my friend sent me this story. She wanted to encourage me to do things I’m afraid to fail, and to inspire me to move to something exciting from my previous greatest failure.

The story reminds me of one particular situation in my past, which describes well who am I and what will always be.

Once me and my classmate went to interview to get internship at helpline service in small town we lived. Here by “classmate” I mean “friend” - I don’t remember now when it happened, maybe in 8th grade, when getting a job was a really great deal, but that could happen later, in 10th grade, when our paths separated and we went to different classes, where she studied chemistry and biology, and I studied maths.

The young ladies who held that interview gave us a sequence of psychological tests, and at some unknown point both me and my friend failed.

I don’t know a real reason of my failure, but at that interview I was really epic and really me.

We had to explain staying silent what we love to do - and I tried to mime myself making bobbin laces, and no one get it (lacemaking is not very popular hobby).

We also played associations game - when someone throws the ball and you have to catch it and to tell first thing you think about. I heard the word “phone” and my first association was “modem”. No one get it too - it was at the time when there were no social networks, and internet was not a common thing - only a small amount of geeks or software developers in that small towns had internet at home - I even think the ladies from helpline first heard that word from me. As for me, it was a easy association - by that time I was old enough, and my dad sometimes allowed me to email my pen-friends via email (and to search some information), thus, for that version of me the word “modem” was a synonym of communication at the first place.

I’m glad I didn’t pass that interview. Sometimes failures are cool. But sometimes they can destroy almost everything.

Year ago the greatest failure in my life happened - I could avoid it, if I choose carefully what to do and whom should I work with - but I didn’t.

I’ll probably wait for a moment in future where I am a Princeton professor, and when will add it as one short line to CV of my failures. Until then it’s better for me to remember the helpline internship interview failure instead of it - at least it was fun and epic!

The main thing in CV of failures is - if you don’t give up, all your failures help to deal with things better. My greatest failure already helped me to finish few projects I wanted to make or finish, and to make new friends. Also to be persistent enough to apply for Outreachy and to pass, YAY!

For now I’m preparing for May 22, when my Outreachy internship officially starts - fixing old bugs in code and visiting my dentist - to get other things done before it, to avoid any possible disturbances during it. I hope I could start earlier if I’ll finish other code this week.

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