Highlights of 2009

Last edited on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 17:27:48 -0400

I celebrated the New Year's Eve of 2009 in Bangladesh and flew back to Canada early January to begin my internship at Bloomberg in New York City which didn't quite work out because of visa issues, and hence I flew back to Bangladesh in February and worked from there remotely for a professor in Waterloo for four months until April. So 2009 became the first year in which I worked remotely.

Towards the end of April I flew back to Canada to begin yet another academic term at UW. When you are stuck at a university that has no life, and due to a series of bad decisions manage to pick a major that you absolutely detest, and then you realize that the major is actually quite tough and thus requires you to work hard, but of course you cannot work hard because you do not enjoy your program in the first place, and you are obligated to perform well in school because your loving dad pays $15000 every four months to finance your education, and you cannot switch your major because that again requires a lot of money, and more importantly time, because of unnecessarily strict university regulations, and you cannot choose your courses like grown up students do, once again because of stupid university regulations, and you just accept that fact that you are truly screwed and have to put up with it, then you will have sort of lived the first three years of my university life. But the summer of 2009 was different because this was the beginning of my final year at UW, and that's when the university finally let me pick courses that I wanted to study.

The economic recession hit Canada quite hard in 2009, and that affected my internship for the Fall. There were fewer job postings on UW's JobMine system, hence more applicants per job, which meant tougher competition. And since I'm an Electrical Engineer applying for purely Software Engineering jobs, I am never anyone's first choice. I did manage to land an interview with Mozilla, but failed the interview miserably because I didn't understand the concept of closures in JavaScript. I finally ended up with a job working for a web startup called Kontagent. This was my final internship as a UW student, and sadly enough, working as a software developer in my final internship earned me roughly the same amount of money as working as a tech support guy in my first internship. But nevertheless, the term ended well when the guys at Kontagent gave me an Amazon Kindle as a Christmas present.

On some fine day sometime during the summer of 2009, my friend Afreen called me to tell me that she was getting engaged. The news hit me like a bolt of lightning - it was out of the blue and momentary. Well actually, a bolt of lightning is never really out of the blue - it always happens during cloudy skies. And while lightning is momentary, her engagement was not - engagements usually get worse until they eventually result in marriage. So really her engagement wasn't like lightning but more like cancer.

They say that Bangladesh is the land of six seasons but I say Bangladesh has two seasons - "f-ing hot" and "bearable". F-ing hot lasts from mid-January to mid-December. The other 30 days are bearable. And it is during this 30-day bearable window that every eligible bachelorette in Bangladesh gets married. Being an eligible bachelorette in Bangladesh is quite tricky - one has to be less than 26 years of age. Once the girls fulfill this criterion, they start getting married left, right, and center - some to their very first boyfriend because they think they've found true love, some to a guy that their parents have convinced them to love because he's a "good match", some to a guy that they've convinced their parents to love because he not a "good match", some to a guy who's a decade older than them because he's "stable", some to a guy who is an engineer or a doctor because apparently they are "highly educated", and some to a guy who is a citizen of either USA, Canada, or UK.

And hence Afreen got married in December 2009. I had never planned to return to Bangladesh that December, but Afreen's wedding was something that I could not miss. All my friends would be there, good food would be there, and I had bought a Nikon D90, so I really wanted to be there too. Thus I went to Bangladesh, took some great pictures, had some fun times, ate ridiculous amounts of food, celebrated the New Year, and returned to Canada in January to begin the final stretch of my 5-year-long degree.