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Maggie's Room Posts

Graduation Day

I graduated from university on this day 10 years ago. I’ve been an engineer for ten years. One-third of a lifetime. It’s a nice milestone. Ten years ago I was preparing a graduation party. That night at the party my friends will give me a Thriller record as the first record for my future vinyl collection. It’s only fair the song Beat It would become a signature song of my future career. Sometime during that day, someone will have taken this photo: The girl in the photo is smiling, but it’s a reserved smile. She is happy to have finished…

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Bittersweet Symphony

This day started with a nasty fight with my partner. Slamming the door shut and all the accompanying drama. It continued with my friend telling me he had a brain tumor. Finally, it ended with having a glass of wine in the sun with a dear friend. And we don’t get those often here (sunny days, not friends). This day overall? It was nothing special. Just a regular day in the life. Filled with happy, sad and hurtful moments alike. Somebody asked me the other day if I was happy. My answer was that I was perfectly unhappy. I used…

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The Story of Grandmother

Today my dad told me how neither my brother nor I cried a lot when grandma died. I was shocked at first, but giving it a second thought, I think it’s because grandma was largely a mystery to me. So today I decided to tell her story, the way it was told and retold to me. The story begins sometime during World War ||. The birthplace of my grandma, a small Mediterranean island, falls under Italian occupation. She and her family are forced to flee and are transferred to a refugee camp in Egypt. There she meets a young, wounded…

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Computer Science Barbie aka Fake It til You Make It

The best career advice I ever got was: Fake it ’til you make it. I don’t remember the name of the lady who said that, it was at an Amazon internal conference a few years back, but here is a public thank you to that amazing woman. My entire life I had felt like I wasn’t good enough. No matter how well I was doing in life, I always felt it wasn’t deserved. The fact that I was a woman in a man’s industry and working at some very hostile environments did not help that feeling. I realized that no matter…

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Peter and Me

It’s been three days since Peter went missing. The police came to question me today. – Please call us if you think of anything else – the inspector said as he was handing me his business card. I told him I couldn’t do that as I didn’t own a phone. – Not even a cellphone? I told him I had never gotten one of those things. Too much radiation. – How do you communicate with family? Friends? – he insisted. I shook my head, indicating I didn’t have any. I told him if it was something urgent, I’d write a…

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