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A Coding Degree and the Baltic Sea

Monica Wojciechowska

Pondering life in Świnoujście, Poland

Do you write about the times you'll never forget, or about the ones you're afraid you won't remember?

This morning I boarded a train from the very northwest corner of Poland along the Baltic, to the very southeast (about a twelve hour ride). So, as you can imagine, seven hours in, I’ve had quite a bit of time to pause and ponder, and potentially make some progress on a long overdue update. So much has happened in the past 3 months of my adventure in Poland that it’s hard to know where to begin. The big question that crossed my mind – and has likely crossed the mind of every writer, amateur to experienced – was should I write about experiences I’ll never forget or those I’m afraid I will? The latter is clearly a much more practical approach.

But then again, I’m not writing to strategize, I’m writing to share… Hence, here are some of the highlights:

  • Lessons from life with my 94-year-old roommate (and uncle)
  • Weekend in the Tatra Mountains
  • I’m officially a coding bootcamp graduate. It’s really incredible how much you can learn in just a few months time. Not only did I up my data viz game through deeper understanding of the JavaScript fundamentals behind D3 — the data viz library that was generally my go-to — but I also now have a solid React (JS framework), HTML, and CSS/Sass foundation. The best part though? Being able to take in all the info alongside some truly incredible people. I enjoyed the conversations over lunch, cooking Indian food, and along the Wisła River, as much as those during “official” school hours.
  • First time by the Baltic. To be completely honest, I thought walking along the beach for 6+ hours/day, everyday might get a bit boring. It didn’t. I have the best mom in the history of the world and my two incredible aunts to thank for that! Nothing makes you feel more like a kid again than ice-cream, picnics on the beach, and jumping through waves (albeit freezing cold waves).


  • In about a week I fly to South East Asia for a month of exploring Thailand and Indonesia with one of my best-friends, Rachel. Right now, the plan is Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, and Bali (and nearby islands). If you have any recommendations, gladly accepting any and all!
  • And after that? It’d probably be good to find a job… ideally as a React developer! I’m having a lot of fun working through the challenges of my latest project, an app to create an interactive family tree built using React and D3 (will share the final product later).
  • What side of the Atlantic that job will be located in, is still up in the air for the moment. I think I know which way I’m leaning, but I also know, I have a little while to see if the wind blows me in the other direction. I’ll keep you updated!

But before all that, there’s a few more things on my life to-do/”to-learn” list:

  • How to drive a car stick-shift
  • How to bake szarlotka + Polish grammar lessons with Aunt Hania
  • Prep our apple trees/black current bushes for the summer bloom
  • Make my friend and former neighbor, Pierre, a new site so he can share his incredible woodworking talent with the world!
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