Bathroom Reading Material

Help Fund My Trip to the Conj

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Hello there boys and girls of all ages, shapes, and sizes. It’s your old friend Anthony Grimes (Raynes) here with an appeal.

You see, I didn’t plan on going to the Clojure Conj conference this year. A sad decision it was, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for a ticket as well as airfare and a room, since I currently only work part time as an intern with Geni. I could have submitted a talk, but I decided against it so that I could focus on things other than slideshows for a while.

But hey, I should have known that wasn’t the end of it. When has the Clojure community ever let me miss out on something? Never is when. This time is certainly no different. I wandered into my email account about a week ago and there sat an email from Lynn Grogan. She was asking if I was going to the Conj. She said that “at least one person wants to donate their ticket to you”. As spectacularly impossible and amazing this was, I had to email her back saying that I still wouldn’t be able to cover airfare and a hotel room on such short notice.

Less than 30 seconds later, good ol’ Chas Emerick pings me on IRC and we start jotting out how I can get there. I came to learn that my good friend Carin Meier (an avid 4Clojure contributor and all around good person) was the person who was donating her ticket. Unfortunately she is unable to go to the Conj this year and didn’t want her ticket to go to waste. She thought of me! Everybody give her a round of applause!

So Chas and I discussed things for a while and we decided that I should follow in Laurent Petit’s footsteps and hold a fundraiser of my own. If you’ve been around Clojure for a couple of years (or at least read hacker news), you will probably remember that this isn’t the first time the Clojure community has helped me exceed my own limitations and do something great. In fact, my first plane ride was on a community funded trip to the first Conj when I was 16. Needless to say, those were some of the most memorable and amazing days of my life.

In summary, I only found out a few days ago that I now have a free ticket to the conj. I had no intentions of going so I have no money at all saved up for the trip. Even more problematic is that plane tickets are now higher than usual. Here is what I’m looking at:

  • Hotel room at the conference booked from the 14th to the 18th of November at $134 a night: $536
  • Airfare roundtrip from Birmingham, AL to Raleigh, NC at $368: $368
  • I’m going to raise the ceiling a bit to help cover a ticket for my mother (who really enjoys these trips), food and drink, and a little emergency money just in case. $400

Grand total: $1304. I have set the goal to an even $1300.

Your next question may very well be “Who the hell are you and why should I donate?”. My name is Anthony Grimes. I’ve been around the Clojure community since I was around 15 years old and have developed a close relationship with its members because of it. I am the author of numerous projects, including some well-known ones such as

  • TryClojure, a sandboxed online REPL + mini tutorial for new Clojurians.
  • Refheap, a pastebin written in Clojure that aspires to exceed the standard set by gist, with a focus on usability for Clojure users.
  • Clojail, a Clojure sandboxing library that powers 4Clojure and TryClojure.
  • lazybot, an IRC bot written in Clojure with Clojure evaluation and a host of other features. It is no doubt the best bot evars.

You can see the rest of my projects and activity on github.

In addition to my own projects, I am an avid proponent and contributor to

  • The leiningen build tool, having contributed some built-in commands and numerous plugins, including lein-newnew
  • 4Clojure, an excellent learning tool for Clojure developers that poses problems and asks you for solutions.
  • The flatland organization, a whole host of libraries and tools written by a group of friends and colleagues at Geni.

I spoke about clojail at last year’s Conj.

At this point in time, I am 18 years old and I live in a small town in Alabama called Eldridge.

So that’s me and this is my appeal. This trip would be an excellent opportunity to me to learn about and experience new things as well as keep in touch with the community and discuss projects/ideas. Any donations are appreciated and if you leave your name with your donation I will list it in a follow-up blog post and personally dance for you at the Conj1.

Paypal doesn’t really have anything in the way of progress bars and the like, so I’m going to update this blog post manually. Don’t expect the total to rise immediately after you donate. Also keep in mind that the paypal account is my mother’s (I don’t have a personal account because I rarely use paypal), so the name listed is Connie Simpson.

Button removed! Goal reached!

Goal reached at 5:30PM: $1320.90

1: No, I wont.