Site redesign complete

Friday, July 20, 2018, 2:50 PM EDT

meta news


I remember, in the fall of junior year, sitting down in Klein’s English Lit class and learning Jekyll and sketching this site out in a few days. Up until now, it hadn’t really been touched or used since, except to upload lectures for Computer Team. It was time for an overhaul.

After years of neglect and then months of occasional effort, I can officially say that this site is back online! I’ve replaced all my custom layouts with select pieces of Bootstrap 4, which I’ve become really familiar with over the past year or so—it just makes my life easier and allows me to use relatively sophisicated components (like tabs, buttons, etc.) with reasonable styles right out of the box. However, I added the Bootstrap SCSS in myself and overrode a number of default variables for things like colors and fonts, so the overall look-and-feel of the site is pretty consistent with what I had originally.

I also totally redesigned the home page so that it can function as a kind of overview of my resume and technical and academic qualifications. I’ve enjoyed having a fair amount of useful information up on the site, so that I can easily share information about me with people I need to talk to. It makes introductions much smoother! Recently, I heard from somebody that I was meeting for the first time that they’d Googled me beforehand and this site had come up, so I guess it’s doing its job. It’s also really exciting to be slowly phasing out the information about what I did in high school to make room for what I’ll eventually be doing at Harvard!

Finally, I’ve been working on something that I’ve wanted to do for a really long time—having the ability to write meaningful album reviews. I’m not sure if anyone will actually read them, but I’ve always had this yearning for sharing my thoughts on the arts, and music especially, with other people, or at least forcing myself to put my thoughts into words, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that. It took me a day or two to figure out how to implement a kind of polymorphism in Jekyll that I was happy with for having “album review posts” as a kind of subtype of “blog post;” in the end, I created an album category that is designated in _config.yml to render with the album layout, which is an extension of the default blog layout that adds in some additional information about the album in a small sidebar and the functionality to actually listen to the album on YouTube or Spotify. Check out a working example here.

Aside from this blog, my actual summer has been going swimmingly. In the mornings, mostly, I’ve been grading problem sets for the folks over at the Art of Problem Solving to earn some spending money for college; I find the grading sometimes very stimulating and sometimes very repetitive, as one might expect. Aside from that, I’ve made gigantic progress on Silver Chips Online. We hope to put a live beta site up very soon, and then my involvement will start winding down. After it’s up, I’m planning to devote another post to the technical issues I’ve had to solve after all these years—maybe somebody will find one of my workarounds as useful as I’ve found some random blogs and websites to be when building Django applications. I also just finished The Gods Themselves by Asimov and The Illustrated Man by Bradbury, both of which I loved. Someday, I’ll hopefully add in literature reviews to the site as well!

I’m glad that the site is up to date, and I hope that I’ll be able to use it more actively to write down my thoughts about a variety of topics, especially while I’m at home all summer getting reading to go to college at the end of August!

How Daft Punk’s Discovery changed my musical life
Gorillaz’ masterful Demon Days