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Category: thinking

09/29/05 09:50 - 49ºF - ID#27697

Work and Soulmates

As usual it’s been a while since my last post. I know I promised pictures of my apartment, Cambridge, and the roommate, but right now they are all on my digital camera. I’m not in a big rush because I’m pretty sure no one is really holding their breath. Instead I wanted to post about something that has hit me since I started school two weeks ago.

As a requirement (the only requirement) of my program, I have to take a class on Integrative Thinking. Honestly I would have never taken this course if I didn’t have to and I really couldn’t have told you what integrative thinking meant before last week, but ironically this is my most meaningful course thus far. To show that I have learned something, I will tell you what integrative thinking (in reference to looking at educational topics) means. The expressed purpose of the course is to get people to look at topics of education in a complex manner. By resisting the urge to simplify and generalize issues, we can adjust to the idea that no one solution will exist that solves “the problem of education.” Don’t get the wrong idea, this is not simply an extreme form of relativism. Integrated thinkers search for answers- real solutions- but they do not expect one answer to fit all, and they don’t minimize the problem so that they can find a solution more easily. Furthermore, integrative thinkers attempt to use as many perspectives as possible to come up with a solution. It’s like being right-handed but forcing yourself to develop your left-hand as well. Sometimes it’s a huge benefit to be ambidextrous. Or, think of it like the way humans see. We have binocular vision, that is, we see with two eyes. The multiple perspectives allow us to see depth (among other things). This is the perfect metaphor for integrative thinking- multiple perspectives give us the ability to see something more deeply. This all sounds really meaningless and abstract but I really find it to be a beautifully refreshing perspective.

Anyway, I’m sure I didn’t explain that clearly at all, but the point it brings me to is that the reading and work that I have done for this class have given me so much to think about lately. My future seems so uncertain because the more I learn about different ideas the more I become unwilling to commit to one life goal. I guess the best way to describe what I’m feeling is to compare it to finding a soulmate. When you are looking for someone to be with forever you don’t just want someone you like. The person needs to be special. They need to have the capacity to challenge you for the rest of your life. They need to be someone you can imagine being passionate about forever. (These are my beliefs anyway)
For me, finding a life’s wok requires the same feelings. It may seem like a lot to expect, but nevertheless, I have long thought that I had found my soulmate; the one focus that I was passionate about and could feel content building my life around. However lately, while working on this class, I have gotten shaken by my interest in other things. You could liken it to getting a “crush,” only this is on a new topic or line of research I never thought about before. These “crushes” are confusing, they make me question whether I could have more passion for something else; they make me wonder if my “soulmate” is really the one. Since I’m someone who despises change, these tremors are quite unsettling. I think about the possibilities my life could take all the time. I wonder whether my resistance to change will force me to end up with a pseudo-soulmate for the rest of my life. If it takes me longer to find the right one, then shouldn’t I be ok with that? Patience has never been my strongest characteristic, but now, do I need to force myself to take the time it requires rather than rush ahead?

In the end, I guess I think that questioning what you have settled for is a good thing. Sometimes you have to take risks to decide what’s really right for you. I’m not a determinist but I think if the track I’m on right now is right, then I will end up back on it eventually. I don’t expect life to do everything for me, but I trust myself (most of the time). If I’m not in the right place, I like to think I’ll find my way there somehow.

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Permalink: Work_and_Soulmates.html
Words: 793
Location: Tonawanda, NY


09/09/05 10:16 - 66ºF - ID#27696

Time for an update...



The summer is just about over for as I have been living in my apartment in Cambridge for a week. Monday begins a week of orientation and shopping for classes. One week from today I should know my class schedule, and a week from Monday I finally begin. The process to register for classes here is exhausting. I know that my undergrad school was in the stone-age because they still had us meet with a live person to register rather than do it online, but I don’t think it’s just my inexperience registering online that makes this confusing. For instance, I don’t have an advisor yet but some of the classes I wanted to take as electives are cross-registered through Harvard Law. I can’t cross-register without an advisor’s signature, but the class started this week. I suppose I’m just a little lost being one among so many at a big university.

Enough school talk though. Cambridge is beautiful! I really had no idea how vibrant and easy to navigate it would be. I am a 5 minute walk from Harvard Square and the T and my school buildings are even closer than that. I have been walking around everyday shopping for the apartment and seeing to sights. I live across the street from the Old Yard where the statue of John Harvard sits. It’s really neat to walk through the campus and look at all the old buildings, although Union was pretty old too (est. 1795). Everyday on my way to the T or to my school I walk through Cambridge Commons which is a lovely little park with statues. It’s very peaceful and I think that little part of my walk has done well to calm my nerves in the past couple days. There are also lots of quirky things going on all the time in this area. In the Commons I have now witness what I think it s hula hooping club three days in a row. Basically there is a bunch of people standing in a circle playing with hula hoops and smiling. I don’t think it’s the next big exercising craze since a couple of them are just dancing with their hula hoops. It’s funny to watch and seems very 60’s. Also there is always music playing in the Square and lots of artisans displaying their work, which I really enjoy.

One of the neatest (and most practical) things I have found close by is The Coop (pronounced like a chicken coop, not co-op…I have been correct at least 10 times). Basically all Harvard and MIT students pay $1 a year (!) to be a member and then they get discounts on everything in the store. At the end of the year they also send you a check for 6% of your purchases back. Lately, because school is starting, all members got 10% off everything they bought! It’s a great deal and The Coop is huge. It has all the textbooks for the school, a regular bookstore, school supplies, clothing, souvenirs, and it even sells Clinique make-up and has (are you ready for this (e:Mike)…) a Crabtree & Evelyn in it. The lady in the store already knows me by name because I have gotten everything there in the past week.

Oh yeah…I am not going to update on the roommate situation yet. I need to give it more time before I make any concrete judgments about her. Pictures of my apartment, roommate, and Cambridge should be coming soon.

Okay well that’s all the updating I have time to do now. I am going to walk around and take some pictures today because I know I should do it while the weather’s nice. Hope everything is good at home. Despite the niceties of Cambridge I miss my bed, my mom, and my friends ((e:Mike) how ever will I get along without you now?!). Take care all.

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Permalink: Time_for_an_update_.html
Words: 660
Location: Tonawanda, NY


Category: photos

09/08/05 11:29 - 67ºF - ID#27695

Mike's 22nd B-day Bash Pics

Here are a couple pictures of Mike’s birthday (hard evidence that Mike partied, molested, and vomited his 22nd birthday away).

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Mike with his b-day presents.

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Doesn't he look super-skinny?!?

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Wild partying with Jill, Yo, and the b-day Boy.

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Mike getting really drunk outside.

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And Mike's molesting begins...Yo is the first victim

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Now my turn.

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Late in the night.

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Miguel sick by the car.
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Permalink: Mike_s_22nd_B_day_Bash_Pics.html
Words: 81
Location: Tonawanda, NY


Category: photos

09/08/05 11:29 - 67ºF - ID#27694

Mike's 22nd B-day Bash Pics

Here are a couple pictures of Mike’s birthday (hard evidence that Mike partied, molested, and vomited his 22nd birthday away).

image
Mike with his b-day presents.

image
Doesn't he look super-skinny?!?

image
Wild partying with Jill, Yo, and the b-day Boy.

image
Mike getting really drunk outside.

image
And Mike's molesting begins...Yo is the first victim

image
Now my turn.

image
Late in the night.

image
Miguel sick by the car.
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Permalink: Mike_s_22nd_B_day_Bash_Pics.html
Words: 81
Location: Tonawanda, NY


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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...