Thursday, September 04, 2014

Mental Virtues

I really enjoyed David Brooks opinion piece on mental virtual, although I probably would have come up with a different label than “virtue”.

Here is his list.  Tell me which ones you agree with are universally good to have:

  • Love of learning
  • Willingness to hold unpopular views (but not stuck to them)
  • Knowing when to be daring and when to be cautious
  • Being firm – a balance between bending to disagreement and rigidity
  • Humility – not letting the need to be accurate turn into a need to be right and/or a need to feel superior.
  • Autonomy – balance between accepting the guidance of others and resisting it.
  • Willingness to share knowledge – knowledge can be valuable, so sharing it involves some risk.
  • Willingness to share credit – being credited with developing knowledge has value, so sharing credit involves some cost.
  • Understanding context – we are all subject to human nature and cultural biases.  Can we recognize and account for these?

I am really interested in your thoughts.  Especially if I misinterpreted any of his ideas.

Studio Journal Episode 8 – moving day (finally!!!)

Even after just four days, my move has been enough to journal forever.  The move was enough of a story for today.

In theory, it was supposed to go like this.

  1. Movers coming in the 2-4pm window.  I didn’t have much stuff, so an hour and a half to load the truck was the estimate.
  2. Check in to the new apartment after 5pm.  Since my realtor was also a friend and client, A little early was OK so I didn’t have to pay the movers $200/hr to wait around.
  3. Unload done by 7pm
  4. Back to the old apartment for a last sweep, vacuum, stain removal of any carpet stains, pack up the perishable food from the fridge, and drop the keys off at the rental office dropbox.  Hopefully all by 10pm
  5. Back at the new apartment to unpack my bedding, clothes for the next day, quick dinner, and sleep by 11pm.

So what really happened?

  1. Movers come at 5pm, load the truck by 6pm, but smash my beautiful tempered black glass TV table all over the living room carpet.
  2. Finish unloading at the new apartment about 8:30 pm, but find out that the apartment is not “identical” to the one they showed me after all.  Biggest difference – the second closet does not exist.  So much for owning any clothes.
  3. Get back to the old apartment to clean at 9pm but spend the first two hours cleaning up the smashed glass.  By the way, it is now dark out and my lamps have all been moved.  So I had the bathroom and kitchen lights on and tried to find the glass pieces in the semi-dark, cutting my knees just a few times.  No way to find any carpet stains, so there goes the security deposit unless they are very generous in their inspection.  Can’t lift half of the last-minute things I packed up, but no time to reload at this point (12:30am).
  4. Get back to the new apartment at 1am, exhausted, starving, sore all over, knees still bleeding all over myself. 
  5. Clean myself up, scarf down five slices of leftover pizza I found in the back of my freezer at the old place when moving out, with no idea where they came from, a beer and a tequila (or two) to help me sleep, and pass out on the couch because I have no energy to unpack the bedding. 
  6. Wake up in the morning with no clue where my work clothes are.  Luckily I am not picky about breakfast so I ate whatever was handy.  Bleeding knees had mostly stopped.  No shower curtain yet, so skipped the shower and tried not to get too close to anyone.  Turned on my computer to check what room my class was in, and found out it started two minutes ago.  Grabbed a bag of cookies in lieu of notes because they were more visible.  Explained to my class for 2 ½ hours what the course was about without any notes, syllabus, or memory of what I had actually planned to say. I didn’t remember the assignments that I had planned except for a vague description.  I couldn’t assign the readings for the week, so I promised to email the assignment that afternoon.  But at least I brought cookies :-).
  7. Spent the rest of the day mostly sleeping on my office couch.  Too brain dead to think about anything else.