Hello, World!

A portrait of the writer as a young clown

I’ve been learning to code for the past 3 months – nothing major, nothing spectacular. But now I know that the utterly simple exclamation of Hello, World! is enough to induct a newbie into the world of programming. I’m saying this now because I realise I’ve never really spoken to any of you directly – ever – but here you are: still and unflinching, dark and mysterious. You fascinate me. I recently started an internship producing radio at the ABC, and my presenter says that word a lot – this is fascinating, it’s great to talk to you.

So, then. Who are you? How are you going? Do you have any pets? A cat or a dog or a gecko?

I’m opening up to you in hopes this rambling display of openness and trust will inspire some back-and-forth. Tonight I spoke to a curator at a museum for the morbid, last week to a woman directing the Future Library art project, the week before that to a neuroscientist. I like talking with people, so it’s probably time I start a conversation on here. Here, where my teenage writing matures. Where the evidence of my evolution sits under glass.

These are the coordinates of my life right now, as it stands: I hurt my ankle a few weeks back tumbling, and I’ve been staying up until 6.00am for the Olympic gymnastics – all the while wishing I could jump again. I still prefer sunsets over sunrises. I’m in the final hour of the audiobook The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I’ve got the business card of a NASA engineer sitting in front of me on my desk, next to my lapel pins shaped like stars. It’s 1.04am and I have an important email to send in the morning. I’m in my final semester of university. There’s a new This American Life episode waiting for me, but I can’t bring myself to listen to anything titled My Summer Self while I’m still wearing finger-less gloves. I ordered six second-hand Ray Bradbury paperbacks this afternoon. I still don’t know if writing things down is helpful for me or for anyone else. I’m going to sit in the sun tomorrow and listen to Neutral Milk Hotel and the soundtrack to In the Heights. I’m not going to check this for spelling errors.

My reasoning behind all of these sentences of admittance, is an intersection of occurrences. Last night I wrote a poem to my favourite author, who I’ve posthumously adopted as an unwitting mentor. I don’t think it made sense, not unless you’re someone who is well-versed in Fahrenheit 451 trivia or the tales of Dandelion Wine. But when I posted it on here, on my scribbled home, it got half a dozen likes. I wonder too much – too much not to ask – whether anyone actually reads anything on here. I need to know if you have, and I truly want to know what you think.

This is an offering – a short but concise map to my life right now. It’s a gesture. I’m letting you know that you have access to parts of my life, the same as you do my writing. And to let you know that it would be great to talk to you about fascinating things.



7 thoughts on “Hello, World!”

  1. main( ) {
    extrn a, b, c;
    putchar(a); putchar (b);putchar (c); putchar(’!’*n’);
    a ‘hell’;
    b ‘o, w’;
    c ‘or

      1. I started programming when I was 12. Mostly in java, writing low level command algorithms. I didn’t really like it at first but I had an aptitude for it so I kept going. Switched to c++ for obvious reasons. Programming is a tiring and frustrating and somewhat masochistic hobby but it’s rewarding if you’re invested in the software you’re designing.

        I had a bunch of dogs and cats when I was younger but my favourite pet was a chameleon that hung around our garden. I told everyone it was our pet but I don’t think it was. I offered it a leaf once and it rejected it. I don’t think chameleons eat leaves.

        Your writing is great by the way.

      2. I’m only really crawling my way through codeacademy – partly to widen job prospects, partly because it’s a comforting thing to go to when I really just need to use a different part of my brain.

        I’ve never even seen a real life chameleon, but as far as I know they look very wise. We only ever had the generic pets growing up, but at one point, before I was born, we did have a bird named Turtle.

        Thank you. Do you have a blog?

  2. I’ve heard really good things about codeacademy. Even if coding isn’t a part of your job, it’s a good skill to have, and it looks good on your resume. The people hiring you just assume you must be really good with computers. Which is never a bad thing.

    Chameleons do kind of look wise. They’re like the wizards of the reptile kingdom. They’d make horrible pets though. Generic pets really are the best kind of pets because at least you can interact with them beyond just looking at them. “A bird named turtle” sounds like the name of a band. A terrible one.

    I do have a blog. I just started it recently cause a friend convinced me to. There’s not much on it but I’m trying to post frequently. http://teranesia.tumblr.com/

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