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    1. Tell me about your living space

      With widespread lockdowns and quarantines having been in place for awhile now, I imagine many of us are more intimately familiar with our living spaces -- houses, apartments, rooms, wherever we're...

      With widespread lockdowns and quarantines having been in place for awhile now, I imagine many of us are more intimately familiar with our living spaces -- houses, apartments, rooms, wherever we're stuck -- than we ever have been. We know them inside and out, along with all their positives, negatives, and quirks.

      Tell me all about:

      • What's the breakdown of your living space?
      • What do you appreciate about it?
      • What bothers you about it?
      • In what ways have you made the space "yours"?
      • Do you share it with anyone: pets, plants, or people?
      • Are you happy with where you are?
      • Is there anything you'd recommend for others regarding their living spaces?
      26 votes
    2. I just made my last ever student loan payment!

      I'm throwing myself a little party here -- digital drinks on me! Yes, I know my loans weren't accruing interest on account of COVID-19, but long before that all started I'd been aggressively...

      I'm throwing myself a little party here -- digital drinks on me!

      Yes, I know my loans weren't accruing interest on account of COVID-19, but long before that all started I'd been aggressively paying them down because I wanted them GONE. And now they ARE! (Or, they will be once the payment clears, which for some unknown reason takes my loan servicer like two full weeks).

      The quarantine actually helped me accelerate payments. I rolled over what I was saving in gas money and not eating out into my loan payments. Also, as a teacher I only get paid during the school year, but I have the option to reduce my regular paychecks and roll the difference into a lump sum that gets paid out at the beginning of the summer. I choose this option so that my budgeting is consistent year-round (rather than me having to squirrel away my own nest egg for the summer from my other paychecks). The payoff amount on my loan would have been done around August had I kept with my regular schedule of payments, so I went ahead and treated myself to making the final payment in full, now, as I had the money for it upfront.

      I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally be free of them. I paid off my undergrad loans in under 10 years and felt super proud of myself, only to immediately have to turn around and start the process all over again for grad school. Months after I finished my undergrad loan payments I was again accepting tens of thousands of dollars in debt so that I could get a master's degree to qualify myself for a job that I'd already been doing for years. It was not a great feeling, nor something I was very happy about, but you do what you have to do, right?

      BUT NOW IT'S OVER. NO MORE STUDENT LOANS. I'VE WON THAT AMERICAN MILLENNIAL BOSS FIGHT.

      It honestly feels like I just got a big raise, as, come August, once my timeline for paying the loans is done, all the money that I was putting towards them is now mine to do whatever I want with. I'm not saying this to gloat (and I know that I'm financially very privileged even in light of my debt), but simply because I'm reveling in the feeling of being out from under the suffocating thumb of a difficult financial pressure, and it feels wonderful.

      EDIT: If anyone's wanting to join in my festivities remotely, participating is easy! All you need to do is pour yourself a tasty drink of your choosing, grab a delicious snack you love, and throw Carly Rae Jepsen's discography on shuffle.

      43 votes
    3. Your Black Friends Are Busy - A growing resource for learning about anti-racism, and supporting the people & organizations doing important work for the Black Lives Matter movement

      If, like me, you'd like to learn more about how to be an ally to your black friends, but feel awkward bringing it up, this is a cool little web app that has a bunch of literature and links you can...

      If, like me, you'd like to learn more about how to be an ally to your black friends, but feel awkward bringing it up, this is a cool little web app that has a bunch of literature and links you can read to find out more about the black experience and how to help.

      12 votes
    4. What can you tell me about Montreal, Quebec, and, more generally, Canada?

      I'm interviewing for an intriguing, unexpected opportunity that requires travel to Montreal, and probably an eventual move there if I like it. Due to the pandemic, I'd be remote for the...

      I'm interviewing for an intriguing, unexpected opportunity that requires travel to Montreal, and probably an eventual move there if I like it. Due to the pandemic, I'd be remote for the foreseeable future, doing AI stuff—assuming this works out. No guarantees, but regardless I'd like to know more about Montreal, Quebec, and, more generally, Canada, if you have anything to share.

      @vivaria already posted a similar topic in January including many helpful tips, but I'm based in North Carolina. I've never stepped outside the United States, although my wife has many times. She holds dual citizenship between the US and EU. We actually moved to NC from Florida earlier in the pandemic supposedly for her job, but she's been remote the entire time, and she could likely stay that way (what a surprise /s). I'm well acquainted with moving long-distance, but obviously not between countries. No dependents and no plan to ever have them, but we do have cats, for what it's worth.

      Mainly I'm curious about cultural, legal and monetary differences that may be jarring or pleasantly surprising given my background, but I appreciate any pointers or advice. Somebody else may search Tildes later with a similar question (wouldn't be the first time). One thing I suspect is that learning French might be a great way to endear myself with coworkers and locals.

      Thanks for your time.

      22 votes
    5. How many hours per day are you working?

      If you are tracking your time, how many hours of focused work are you doing per day on average? What I mean with focused work is only the time that you are working. Not counting the time you take...

      If you are tracking your time, how many hours of focused work are you doing per day on average?

      What I mean with focused work is only the time that you are working. Not counting the time you take a break, not counting the time you go to the bathroom, not counting the time you get up to drink water, etc. If you don't stop your time-tracker during non-work activities, please mention it.

      14 votes
    6. Ask Tildes: How do you get a promotion when you work in a remote office?

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company"...

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company" because if you're out of sight, you're out of mind.

      Well, now suddenly nearly everybody is a telecommuter, whether or not they like the idea. So that particular skill is particularly relevant. And I've been assigned an article on "How to 'manage up' when you work from home." I'd like your input.

      My article is meant to compile practical how-to tips for people working from home on “how to stay on your boss's radar.” What advice do you have to share?

      Ideally: Give me a bullet point (“Do XYZ”), why (“It accomplishes this”), and perhaps an anecdote sharing how it made a difference.

      Please don’t expend energy telling me why it’s important, or what the barriers are. Take that as a given. I’m looking for solid “Do this” suggestions.

      17 votes
    7. For those in marriages or long-term relationships, what do you do with mementos of previous relationships?

      I recently went through some old boxes and found my collection of mementos - birthday cards, love letters, ticket stubs, etc. - from years gone by. I'm not convinced marriage will ever be for me,...

      I recently went through some old boxes and found my collection of mementos - birthday cards, love letters, ticket stubs, etc. - from years gone by. I'm not convinced marriage will ever be for me, but I've always imagined if I were to get to that point, I'd want to show such a collection to my SO as a way for them to fully understand my story, so to speak. On the one hand, I think of it as a pretty powerful expression of trust in your partner... but I realize the potential for that to massively backfire by introducing jealousy and insecurities. At the same time, I'm very strongly of the belief that what is shared within a relationship is not to be shared with others outside it without mutual consent. I hate gossip, and have had my share of conflict throughout the years over desiring more privacy and discretion in my various SO's conversations with their friends and family about us. That means I would probably choose to leave aside certain things out of respect for my exes, but then I'm not sure if that devalues the gesture.

      Any thoughts?

      24 votes