Tuesday, July 28, 2009

fair-weather economy

oh my goodness, i don't know what's wrong with me. this morning i feel like a total zombie. even a huge cup of coffee has not saved me from staring almost mournfully at the wonderful young woman i just interviewed, who hopefully realizes that if my eyelids are drooping, it is not because she isn't amazing, but because of the inadequacy of caffeine. what a beverage betrayal.

of course, i also didn't get much sleep last night. or maybe it was the six separate power walks i took yesterday while listening to fast-pumping bollywood techno on my ipod. hmm. at any rate, i seem to lie down in bed at night, and it's like i can't turn my brain off. it insists on running at full speed, contemplating the day's interactions, speculating on future events, what next month will look like, predicting the direction of the dow jones, etc. no-kidding. i actually don't get anything about the stock market; apparently its success is solely dependent upon society's projection of happiness.

i just heard on the radio sunday evening, while driving back from ikea, that studies show that the stock market does better on days that the sun shines, because people feel naturally more optimistic. well you know what? that doesn't make me feel optimistic, that a chunk of our economy is based on clement weather. isn't that a "fair-weather economy?" a real economy would stick by you, no matter what.

mmm must get more coffee. tonight, i will work off this sluggishness by relaxing w/ my office at the home of one of our campus visit coordinators, who has a pool and wii and who makes the most amazing homemade ice cream and pulled pork (not to be eaten together). yayyy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

mindful attention

a friend recently posted this article on facebook, concerning the limiting aspect of twitter for the newspaper world and the philosophy behind it:

"i worry that microblogging cheats my students out of their trump card: a mindful attention to the subject in front of them, so that they can capture its sights and sounds, its smells and tactile qualities, to share with readers. how can twittering stories from laptops and phones possibly replace the attentive journalist who tucks a digital recorder artfully under a notepad, pencil behind one ear, and gives full attention to the subject at hand?"

the author, a journalism professor, worries that twitter is come to be seen as the sole neccessary venue by which to convey information--that is, the newspaper article (online or otherwise), with its thoroughly investigated knowledge, is superfluous.

we've started playing with twitter in regards to admissions, but i question how much value it really has. i'm willing to go along for the ride and experiment with 'twittering,' say, application review, but to hear that so many people see the space of 140 characters as a replacement for a fuller--and consequently more accurate--account of the most important moments of human record, is kind of unsettling.

it also makes me wonder, am i joined in this feeling, or have i become too old for my generation? maybe i'm supposed to embrace twitter more. but i couldn't have told you all of this in the space of 140 characters.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

the nissan cube


this is weirdly impressive.


things i'm addicted to:
• my cats
• my new blackberry... or pinkberry, rather
• the myst computer games
• the legend of zelda
• cheeze-its

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


i can't believe how bad sylar is!!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the responsibility of belonging

i think people underestimate the extent to which they can touch the lives of others. in a thomas hobbes world-view, we could argue that everyone is out to get each other, but i feel rather that there is more room to spread love than hate–and certainly more responsibility to do so.

i interviewed four great young people today, the last of which particularly touched me by her enthusiasm and genuine commitment to changing the world through her service efforts. i have been thinking about various career paths, and one of them is to possibly "go to the other side," as we say in the world of education, to teach and counsel at a private school. hearing her talk about her school's traditions and atmosphere and intellectual drive made me want to be there myself.

did you know you have that power? i think we forget that in most everything we do, we are not only acting for ourselves, but representing everything with which we are associated. you are your town, your high school, your college, your country, your family. for better or for worse, to some degree we have to accept the responsibility of belonging.

james sherry, in his essay "pride and prejudice: the limits of society," reminds us that we have
"…an eternal reminder that we are all part of one community, and not even the best of men can be totally beyond the responsibility and the reproach of belonging to it."

how will you make your community one that you're proud to belong to?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


the restlessness is taking over me again. i can feel it stirring a wind up through my veins, pulling at my hands and feet, and i know i must run outside and go somewhere or i feel i might burst. where to go? and why?

there seems to be some psychological benefit to the physical journey. maybe it's my conviction that we travel inward as we travel over the earth, and somehow the movement of the body gains me a sense of purpose in my mind that i didn't have before. whether it is where to go to graduate school, or whom to marry, or anything important in life–somehow i find the decision easier to make while letting my thoughts flow over me and through me as my feet span the ground.

at the same time, i am not always careful not to let my mercurial nature run me into the ground with feverish activity. this is something to work on.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

communication across the ages

i've gotten back into writing in my paper journal again, as well as in this journal. i fell out of it for over a year, mostly from feeling that i hadn't anything to say which couldn't be shared with the whole world, if i cared to...but now it is useful to have somewhere to put my private thoughts once again. not that they are so very private, mind you, but, well–you know, half the things you say in your head wouldn't be of interest to the general public, and i probably spend too much text already on writing things here that are of interest to no one save myself. but that's a topic on which i've already meditated, and the truth is that i like having both digital and paper options available to me.

for one thing, the ease of typing allows my thoughts to flow quickly without losing them while i write. writing by hand takes a little bit more of a process–and yet i do find that i write more creatively sometimes by hand. this is an interesting phenomenon that has been noted both, i believe, in scientific study as well as by the average layperson. i remember reading an article in the atlantic last summer (while i was in the library up in salisbury, ct, while at mt. riga, incidentally) where friedrich nietzche's friends noticed that, upon switching from pen and paper to typewriter, his prose had become terser than ever. 'our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.' isn't that fascinating? what have we lost–or gained–then, by the switch from processing our thoughts with writing tool in one hand, to processing them with both sets of fingers touching keys?

that is why i prefer to maintain both, when i can. people should be made to reflect on their thoughts through both mediums, so that nothing is lost in translation, as it were.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

agatha: 1, GRE: 0

i took my GRE!!! i am so pleased that it's done. i got a 680 on the verbal (yayyy) and... a 510 on the quantitative hahaha. anyone shocked by that? yup, didn't think so. that's ok, i'm more confident that graduate schools will be looking at my verbal score.

now i'm going to go out with the gburg people and celebrate over beer and wings. good times.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


yawn. back from camping at the mountain. i already miss my family and wish i were still back up there. stupid GRE. i take it thursday...and then back to the office. sigh. it's not that i don't want to go back to work, but... i don't want to go back to work. my first week of vacation i was sick with strep throat, and so i really only feel like i've had a couple days vacation. maybe i can ask for more time off...

hmm. not sure about that. stories to follow.

it's not just for the classroom!