Had a great time at the White House (again)


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Today represented my excursion back to the White House to give a presentation/demo of a prototype to VP Joe Biden (and other senior officials, including new CTO Megan Smith). My team – all from Slalom – was super professional and our designer Tom did an amazing job finalizing the prototype even though we were exhausted. Six teams gave presentations – twice, actually, because Biden arrived after we’d run through them once already. I let him play with a version on my phone while I gave the presentation. Our responsive mobile-first product, Pathfinder, encourages career planning by allowing the college market to explore the real career paths of people with similar degrees. From a data perspective, creating a full version will be a heavy undertaking, merging both proprietary databases (based on potential partnerships with LinkedIn/Glassdoor) with open source gov sources like O-Net, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Overall, I think my brief but brilliant presentation(s) went well because I received words of support from the Secretary of Labor and the Deputy CTO, which was nice to hear. And of course my boy band – I mean teammates – are lovely people and have been a joy to work with. Nights and weekends, that is; this has been 100 days of unpaid volunteer work. But rewarding work.

I could get used to this high profile stuff.


manhattan after basketball

dirt & snot & city wind mix
together on my palm with the sugar
from an apple cider donut bused
into union square by a farmer who probably knows
what the stars really look like

it’s late but I’m high on honey
I’m high on the new asphalt slip and slide
glide I got off on on 30th street
skateboarding past the parked police,
the ride so clean not even
a stick in the road so I rode

all the way up to rockefeller and beyond while a series of right-angled men in tuxedos
dismissed me with their eyes which was a permission
or a blessing or mission or a lesson
that if you wear sweatpants and a ponytail and stand on a piece of plastic
you can still look fifteen

the part that’s addicting isn’t the speed
or the wind or the deco buildings
even though they’ve become like friends,
it’s the shroud of anonymity
that rides on top of me, allowing this & every
experience to feel private; a present
with my name on it left in a room full of
thousands of other presents, boxed and beautiful
but for no one else

extended haiku about the strath haven

I smell everything
in my grandparents’ condo
at least once a month

in dreams: the metal
folding closet doors, trench coats
inside, gumdrops in

pockets and silver
sticks of gum. ciara on
all mimi’s collars,

the tan carpet, cars
zipped across linoleum
by a tomboy who

never knew that scents
are conceptual and will
last longer than bones

updates, in no particular order

learned that you shouldn’t eat fish if it’s sitting out post-oven for more than 30m.

took over a leadership role at work // friend/mentor moving away // felt lucky to have her.

winter is coming.

white house project coming along ok, but bigger effort than first realized. prototype is 80% designed. going to joe biden’s house soon to present it. this makes me proud.

got a 10-year visa to India. first trip, december.

also intend to get to ireland this year and see where my family came from in ballymena. father’s side is from same country but not sure where. one down.

was gifted a great poem.

haven’t painted in ages.

joined basketball team but no time to do pottery again (sad).

mom might move back to phila (happy).

still don’t miss boston at all.

everyone is pregnant.

maybe I’ll be pregnant before I hit 40, but typically for grownups that involves intention & ideally financial stability so ask me in a year or two.

went to beach on jersey shore for work retreat. wanted to swim but rip tide was too dangerous. went in to my knees on a rainy day.


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