Limits of rationality
In the morning, I get in my car and turn the engine on. While I wait for the car to warm up, I usually dedicate that time to God —whether I’m praying for a good day, or simply saying “I’ll take what you give me.”
This morning, I saw the cutest couple of birds - nice and plump - on top of our roof. I tried to narrate BBC Alan Partridge -style what seemed to be either a mating ritual or a rendition of the I Love Lucy Harpo Marx Mirror scene.
► There’s a simple joy in not knowing exactly what’s going on. Yes, humans were given the gift of reasoning and intelligence, to study the patterns of bird interactions and understand their nature. Dually, it’s nice not to know —to just sit back, observe, and appreciate.
We let ourselves fall
The other night, my grandma fell. She sat on the floor, head down, muttering to herself, “How am I going to stand?…I have to stand…I have to get a sip of water…That lady [the nurse who suggested physical therapy] was right. How can I keep falling like this?”
My grandma then got up on her knees, then struggled to push herself onto the bed.
Why didn’t she place her feet flat on the ground? Why get up on her knees first?
I tried to imagine how difficult that’d be…how brittle my bones had to be…how much it would hurt.
Sometimes I wish I could growl. Like Christina Aguilera, and all the other powerful singers. I tried to imagine what effort that would take…emulate in my head what it would feel like. The best I came up with was that my throat would be ripping inside from the intense pressure…
I had a productive day yesterday. Got lots of accounting homework done. Felt pretty good about myself. Had a chance to go to bed at 11, like I should. But stayed up to print out more worksheets. So went to bed at 12, a little crankier and found it more difficult to sleep.
This morning, I felt terrible. Stomach cramp, couldn’t eat. Lay fetal on the bed, and every time I tried to get up, I let myself fall back down.
I kept telling myself, “It’s all in your head. Shake it off and get up.”
Then I would let myself fall back onto the bed.
I think this is how my grandma feels. She’s already aching from the fall, and even though she is capable of pulling herself up, she’s afraid of tearing her vocal muscles apart, causing her more pain than she already feels…
Where’s my Sense and Sensibility?
"Have you ever read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen?”
Yet I was tasked with tutoring a high school senior for a test that could make or break whether she graduated.
She knew I hadn’t read the book before, but insisted that we read the entire 312 pages out loud together in 3 nights.
"Can we just try and see how it goes?"
"If you’re sure that’s what you want…" I replied hesitantly, still trying to grasp onto another solution.
This is a situation in which I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
Pre-Victorian literature…yup, zero confidence I’ll understand what’s going on in this book.
I tried to prepare as best I could.
Did you know Sparknotes makes video summaries now?
Sparknotes didn’t have one for Sense and Sensibility, but I did find a gem of an audiobook by CCProse. At least we wouldn’t tire ourselves reading aloud.
We had only played the first paragraph before she asked me to pause. I read over the passage again. Hm…This part’s okay - It was similar to the Bible’s “He had a son, who bore a son, whose son…” - just a little pronoun confusion.
Next few paragraphs… “What does this word mean?” Sure, [dictionary.com] let’s look it up in case it has another meaning.
Before long, I found myself laughing quietly at the comical nature of the story…and what’s more, being able to illustrate that humor to my student! We were actually having fun =)
This morning, I woke up on time —without pressing the snooze button.
I set aside time for stretching, instead of half-heartedly going through the motions while waiting for the microwave to cook my breakfast.
I’d like to say that conquering 4 chapters of a classic novel put a little spring in my step. [ Why we need GEs ]
Or perhaps it’s just a change in my routine that brought my energy back up.
► Let life surprise you. Allow yourself to be unprepared and just give it a try.
[We’ll see whether this message contradicts the novel, haha]
Small business moment.
Interview with a telecom company today.
Small business owners have a small budget.
When they buy a phone, it is to bring them business.
► Part of the sale is the idea that buying a phone will make it ring.
Conan O’Brien speaks at Dartmouth College Commencement
► When you’re feeling discouraged, listen to a graduation speech.
High school seniors. $4 billion budget. 25 minutes. GO.
They were split into two groups, each of which had to reach consensus on how to allocate the Bruinsville budget among the Education, Health, Security, and Environmental sectors.
After each group presented, they were given 20 minutes to prepare a unified presentation. Decision by majority vote was not an option.
Here were 18-year olds explaining “cost-benefit analysis” and “renewable revenue” to a room of 30 UCLA Alumni.
What’s more, I thoroughly enjoyed watching their group dynamics. Each of them finding a balance of achieving consensus while showing leadership. Some did a better job than others, but I found myself relating to each person’s reactions and communication styles.
► Sometimes, observing people can be like looking in a mirror. Or recording your voice and hearing the playback. I often spend time reflecting on why I act and make decisions as I do —how I view myself. Seeing those actions and reasoning played out by others is a whole new experience —how others might view me.
► Why HR should make friends with accountants