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OPW

The only not yet checked point on my check list to evaluate the completion of the program is the »Wrap-up blogpost«. I guess the title is intimidating me. On the other hand check lists are calming me down. The most if they are all checked. Done. The best moment to open up a brand new check list (to-do list). It is a banal platitude that every end is an beginning at the same time. In the case of Outreachy (former OPW now officially opened up to all kind of underrepresented groups in FOSS) this however feels more fitting to me then in many other cases. But even in the middle (or at the beginning) of somewhere, there is always a good point in taking a break, sit and write down. Try to clarify some of the gut feelings and endless monologue inside your head and put parts of it into words down on paper or screen. And for me this is not to explain the world to anybody, but rather as Joan Bolker puts it: »You will learn how to write in order to think, to encourage thought, to tease thought out of chaos or out of fright.«

Transparency and complexity
This is not going to be about financial markets. Read More

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I took a plane from Berlin via Paris to Boston. This sounds as simple, as it is amazing. Crossing half of the world, investing less than a day in time. First there were landscapes of clouds, hiding if we were flying over land or sea already. But later the sky cleared up and I could see the ocean as far as I could see anything. I was trying to spot a whale (my son told me this should not be a problem, because you can see the fountain from it’s breath), but there were only waves and waves. I could not resist watching a movie with Charlotte Gainsbourg, I passed the movie poster the whole last week biking to my office. But when I watched out of the window the next time, I could see Greenland (the real time flight map was telling me it is Greenland), huge snow- and ice-covered mountains in the distance. And from this moment on, I was the person in the plane pressing its nose against the window, while everybody else had its windows closed and was watching the screen instead. I’m not a frequent transatlantic flyer. I flew only once in my life to the USA before. With my high school English class, about twenty years ago. It’s ok to be amazed. By ring-shaped lakes, snake-like rivers and glossy mountains, by the length of the day (flying with the sun), the seize of the plane and everything else.

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I’m going to Boston! Part of my Outreach program is a travel fund, which shall give you the possibility to visit at least one conference or other occasion connected with the free and open software community live. I chose Libre Planet, taking place at the MIT at march 20/21. I was curious to visit the MIT Medialab for a long time, but never had the chance to do so. I want to sketch some of my impressions here …

The struggle finishing my blog post titled While getting things not done carries an irony inside I can surely appreciate. But not only is it amusing.
It occurred to me, that I´m far more comfortable in reading in English, than writing in it. (This – of course – may also be part of a more profound procrastination strategy I unknowingly developed) But also I´m still shy about posting at all. I feel doubtful about the meaningfulness of releasing my personal thoughts, experiences or words into the foggy unknown public space or I am even frightened to do so. On the other hand I know very well how much writing can teach you to pay attention to yourself, the situation, or the process you are in. As a German native speaker I´m far from free flowing writing in English. I´m even more accustomed to writing in Russian then in English. Read More

I was accepted to participate in the current round of Outreach Program for Women (OPW) run by the gnome foundation. Actually the internship period officially starts tomorrow (dec 9th). So I take this for good reason (ok, I was asked to) to start a little blog on the side, where I´m going to write about my experiences during the program and maybe about some other stuff, if I find the time to. The more technical and official report about the ongoing will be published here. My partner organisation for the project is the Wikimedia foundation and you are welcome to have a look at my accepted proposal.