Things of the Week 4/24/17

Flipping Off Fish: My new favorite juvenile, guilty pleasure–this is an Instagram account. And the username pretty much says it all.

Reading rut: My habit of reading too many things at once has gotten so bad I’m barely reading anything at all. Goodreads has even started sending me passive aggressive messages, “We noticed you’ve only read one book toward your goal” etc. Maybe I need to start a new Instagram account…

FitTwit: I’ve abandoned my FitBit. It’s falling apart and it’s less than a year old. This is my fault–I didn’t save the receipt or the box, otherwise, I could send away for a replacement. I considered buying another one but then I thought about what I use My FitBit for–the alarm. Sure, I paid attention to the steps, but not in a productive way. I didn’t do laps around my house if I didn’t hit my goal. When I think about my health during the time I’ve owned my FitBit, it’s the least healthy I’ve been my whole life. I can’t necessarily blame the FitBit, but I do think it made me lazy. In my brain, I thought, “I have a device tracking my health habits, therefore by knowing my habits I will be more healthy. Brilliant! That mean’s I don’t have to pay attention to my health anymore!” And so, I didn’t. Strangely, having put the FitBit in the drawer, I already feel healthier because I’m paying attention to my hold body instead of just my left wrist.

I am reading some things: This article is awesome for several reasons but I particularly like the way science is being used to study literature.

“Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old” by David Shultz, 4/22/16, Science

Watching: Community and This Is Us. Way late to the party on the first one, only kinda late on the second one. This may be blasphemy, but I might like Community better than Parks and Rec. I’m only in season 1 so I may feel differently by season 3. And I can see why This Is Us is being reviewed well. The writing is very good as is the acting, and I love the parallel story lines.

Fun Brain Injury Side Effect: A hyper-awareness of my brain. The other day I was putting together a lesson plan with a colleague. I selected several reading selections and I knew that they complimented each other well, but I couldn’t explain to my colleague why. She reviewed the selections and immediately made the connections. I realized that my right brain was seeing the themes and patterns but my left brain couldn’t describe them. My understanding that this was likely related to the brain injury helped me explain my weird behavior to my colleague. She described the situation this way: “It’s like you brought me all of the ingredients for paella and asked, ‘What the hell do I with these?'”

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Things of the Week 9/21/16

Small Pleasures: When you get more marshmallows in your cereal than you expected.

Awesome Thing I Saw on the Internet: Artist Adds Monsters Next To Strangers On The Subway

Watching: Happy Endings–this is a fave of Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes and I like her taste in movies/tv so I thought I’d give it a try. It took me until episode 12 of season 2 to click with this show, but now it has me laughing out loud, particularly when I saw this scene where Brad goes to the dentist.

Paranoia: Having watched the documentary Citizen Four and listened to the Note to Self Podcast Episode “There is No ‘Off the Record'” in the same week, I’ve decided that I really appreciate the idea of first drafts–something that no one will read, and something that can be taken down on paper…

Reading: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler with art by Maira Kalman–I’m really getting into the novel-containing-visuals trend. Perhaps I’ll make my way into some graphic novels eventually.

Practicing: memorization, a skill I haven’t really employed since my days in grade school school plays.

Confounded by Technology: I fell victim to an instance of too good to be true. Having returned to academia I discovered our university provides Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions through our email accounts. Pleased with this discovery, I dowloaded the various Microsoft apps to my iPad and began using One Drive to back up my lectures. When, while in One Drive, it offered a free download of the latest Microsoft software I thought to myself, free upgrade? Why not! Only after having dowloaded updated versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint (which deleted the old versions from my computer in the process) did I discover that to use these programs on my computer I have to sign in (with my university email address) first. The catch–I’m an adjunct, and in semesters when I’m not teaching (like for example, over the summer) my email address is deactivated i.e. I won’t be able to use these programs come this summer. This has led to hypervigilant saving practices to make sure anything I need stays on my hard drive and won’t get trapped in the cloud if and when my access is turned off. Wish I could have stumbled upon some hashtag on Twitter for this one.