Escher got it right. Men step down and yet rise up, the hand is drawn by the hand it draws, and a woman is poised on her very own shoulders.
Without you and me this universe is simple, run with the regularity of a prison. Galaxies spin along stipulated arcs, stars collapse at the specified hour, crows u-turn south and monkeys rut on schedule. But we, whom the cosmos shaped for a billion years to fit this place, we know it failed. For we can reshape, reach an arm through the bars and, Escher-like, pull ourselves out. And while whales feeding on mackerel are confined forever in the sea, we climb the waves, look down from clouds.
~From Look Down From Clouds (Marvin Levine, 1997)
I first chanced upon this poem on Martin Seligman’s book “Authentic Happiness”
Do you find that 1hr just flew past and you were scrolling on social media sites/ newsworthy rabbitholes reading (almost anything aimlessly).
If you are like me, I was going site to site reading the same news about President Trump testing positive.
“Brainwash” by David Perlmutter, MD has quick tips to share, using TIME as a checklist.
Whether you are Social Media or TV bingeing, might I add (Korean soap operas), we need to take back the power to control our time usage and avoid tech addiction.
Time restricted – set a timer say 1hr or 10 min to accomplish your goal if you are doing online shopping to restrict the time spent. Tweak the timing until you arrive at one which you can comfortably honour.
Intentional – does it truly benefit you? Is it a good use of your time, be it to relax or do research.
Mindfulness – awareness of how you are using it and being conscious of the way it is making you feel. Incorporate pauses where you question the way you are using the tech and the way it is making you feel. Does it make you feel angry, envious or self conscious?
Enriching – is it a waste of time or helps you understand your world. Does it better you and make you feel more rested and optimistic or just distracted.
David Perlmutter has more advice on understanding our brain.
I recently participated in a conversation that went like this…
A: J, good job at the presentation. You are a natural.
J: Im not a natural, we (B and C) put in hard work to polish the presentation.
A: J, you need a recourse on “Affirmation”.
What did A mean? After hours of contemplating what A meant, I finally realised she was trying to compliment me. But when I exercised more self disclosure by revealing that I put a lot of hard work, she replied in a group conversation saying I needed more work to learn how to “receive” compliments?
She could have meant it as a joke.
But Im not a natural in presentations. Should I lie about this strength to be socially polite?
Nah, I feel rewarded if someone compliments me on my strengths, like “wisdom”, “pursuit of learning”, “grit”.
Im not a natural in anything. Except eat and sleep.
Recently, my custard apple tree fruited. 3 fruits. Grown from scratch. I’m no natural gardener. I used to have serious anxiety when Dr Kiat Tan, founder of the Gardens by the Bay first sent me orchids, lots of them. They all died on me. I now can grow custard apple from seed. Years of hard work, experimenting, learning online from a virtual community of gardeners, my own “potgardening blog” which I discontinued as I maxed out my digital space.
Listening to each other is hard work. Have you been in conversations that go awry?
Another thought, what strengths do you like to be complimented on?
Keep going even when conversations go awry. 😀 Share with me your thoughts below.
During covid, I chanced upon an online course, “meaning-making, reflecting by Journaling by Preetam Raj.
Inspired by educationist Preetam Rai, esp on “gettinglost” which does not need to be an embarrassing moment of losing direction but an opportunity to gain a different perspective. We can reflect through different mediums, writing on paper and even through photos and other digital tools.
Quote from Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman, Penguin Education Specials.
Perhaps you will understand why we prefer the metaphor “meaning- making” to most of the metaphors of the mind that are operative in the schools. It is, to begin with, much less static than the others. It stresses a process view of minding, including the fact that “minding” is undergoing constant change.
“Meaning making” also forces us to focus on the individuality and the uniqueness of the meaning maker (the minder). In most of the other metaphors, there is an assumption of “sameness” in all learners. The “meaning maker” has no such limitations. There is no end to his educative process. He continues to create new meanings, to make new transactions with his environment.
Reflection by journaling is cornerstone to experiential learning. Experiences by themselves do not instruct. But when we look backwards, and “connect the dots”, we make sense of the event and how it connects to our life purpose.
Reversal theory has shown that our “states” or emotions can change in response to the meaning a person attaches to an event. Eg. a roller coaster can at times represent excitement and at other times, anxiety.
Off cycle internship (Application period Jan & Aug)
Graduates start in June/July every year. Apply in Aug (for local universities) and Jan (for overseas universities). PWC generally recruit about a year in advance. Employment contracts are signed a year in advance.
Some students may feel short changed by the “slave labor” of internships. However it not only help you make connections inside the firm but may lead to full time jobs. ST cited the example of film-maker Steven Spielberg who started his career as an unpaid intern for the editing department at Universal Studios, according to Forbes. As did Oprah Winfrey in CBS.
(Be careful that some of these sites are “paid holiday programs”, ie you pay the company for an experience overseas. Some internship positions do not pay you a salary.)