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about this site

worldwidepenguin.com* began in 2002 as an online scrapbook where I could share the adventures of my year away from college with my far-off friends. It was an amorphous, organic experiment, taking form only as I gingerly pieced together puzzling instructions from an online tutorial at HowStuffWorks.com. I more or less took a breath, closed my eyes, and pushed my fledgling site off into the the strange and awesome realm of cyberspace.

Since then, I’ve intermittently dabbled in web programming. Though I’m more interested in the coding behind the visual effects and functionality that define user experience, the ultimate goal is to become proficient in both user-friendly design and watertight development, so that one can inform the other.

I’m working on it.

This site now exists as my forum to share, vent, and ramble, all the while learning some web development alongside to keep up with the industry. If you have an idea for a project or would like to have a site built, feel free to give me a holler.

*formerly anh-anh.com

about me

As some people know, I tend to bite off more than I can chew, to run before I can walk, and similar metaphors — basically, I’m too foolish to be afraid of a challenge that’s over my head. This tendency sometimes gets me into trouble, but on the flip side, I’ll never get bored with learning new things! Another corollary is that I like to wear various hats:

the webmaster beanie

I started by learning techniques from online tutorials, but I really tackled the learning curve while working at the Osiris Group, a marketing firm in Philly. (IE6 was the bane of my existence there.) I began with some really helpful booksThe Friends Of ED books on CSS are way user-friendly! and lots of feedback from the senior web developer there. Now, as a freelance developer, I often conduct my web experiments on this site =)

the medical student dunce cap

My real job is being an MD-PhD student at Penn, although I’m kind of a black sheep at the moment because I’m taking a leave of absence (yep, another year off) to decide if I really want to do it. Ever since I stepped out of medical school, I realized how demanding it is and how institutionalized I was. That said, I came to terms with who I am and what I want in life. I don’t think I could have figured out any of that without my Penn family.

the musical theatre top hat

I dearly miss my high school show choir, and I never thought I’d be able to do anything like it again, until I discovered…[drumroll, please: dat da-da dum]…musical theatre! I had always thought that the only people who did this kind of thing were professionals who had been doing it all their lives; I didn’t know there was a middle ground where people do it without making it their career. That said, I’ve now come across many working actors and subjected them to curiosity-driven interrogation of how their world turns. They are brave, brave people.

Sometimes I wish my interests were more narrow and aligned so that my life wouldn’t be so complicated, but I’ve learned that I must maintain some sort of creative outlet lest I go positively bonkers. Then again, my complicated life drives me bonkers, too. So what is there to do but fasten my seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

worldwide penguin
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