• What I know now // 029

    In 2012 you might have remembered an introversion revolution with Susan Cain releasing a book and giving a pretty good TED talk on it. If you were like me, you might have also read a lot of the “introverts are great!” articles that arose afterwards and have still been trickling in. Had it been another group of people, I might have even labeled it was a ‘revolution’—but the people being what they are, I would say it was more of a ‘suggestion.’

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has been on my to-read list since it came out and I was in Denver. I finally saw it in a used book store and picked up and, thanks to a round trip to the east coast, I finished it this weekend. It was like reading all the different pieces of myself put together and backed by science. I feel like I know how to better spend my time, make myself happier, and work more effectively. I’ve never been so excited to read about how un-unique I am.


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  • My best friend Katie

    //Two of my closest friends coincidentally have birthdays a week apart, this isn’t going to be a recurring thing//

    You have to meet all the good friends you can when you’re in college, I think, because afterwards, it’s pretty tough. (Like, how even do introverts find each other outside of school!?)

    I feel lucky, then, I was able to meet Katie before my senior year of undergrad.


    How did you meet?

    I guess how we didn’t meet was at the introductory meeting of our summer study abroad trip. Katie was the only person missing. I remember thinking “I can’t believe someone is missing the pre-travel meeting about an international trip a couple of days away!”

    Katie & I both did a three week study abroad through the English department to study Shakespeare. I was filling my Shakespeare requirement as an English major (in the best way possible) and Katie was studying acting & directing and loves Shakespeare. We would spend two weeks in England watching plays and one week in Italy ‘taking in the country’ that Shakespeare wrote about. (At the time I this made total sense to me; retrospectively, I think our professors wanted to go to Italy for a week every year).

    Before our flight, one of the two professors leading the trip also hosted a little get-together at his house. So this was actually the first time I met Katie. (And notably, the first time  I had smoked salmon with a boiled egg on toast—thanks, Dr. Parolin!).  She looked like one of the cool kids. I remember she was wearing purple flats that I thought looked nice. I vaguely remember introducing ourselves to each other. Maybe. And I if that is a true memory, I think it went something like this:

    “Oh! You’re the Katie that missed the introductory meeting!” (real tactful, Jacklynn).

    Slightly embarrassed Katie: “Yeah…That was bad, wasn’t it? Did he say anything? Was he mad?”

    “No, I think he was more confused.”


    What was your first impression of them?

    Besides the small talk that may or may not have happened, my real first impression of her was at the airport gate. And it still wasn’t even really talking to her. I was sitting next to my professor, my department head, and she was sitting on the other side of him. We joke about this now, but I have the utmost respect for my professors never attempted to treat them like equals. I clam up and am even more shy and awkward than normal. When my professor sat down next to me, I immediately stiffened and filled with anxiety like: “HOW CAN I BE THE BEST AT WAITING FOR AN AIRPLANE?” 

    Katie joined us on the other side of my professor, there was bubbly”good to see you again!” excitement from both parties. They immediately launched into best bud conversation. Not even just chatting, but personal chatting. I was completely baffled. Katie was talking about a previous relationship and my professor was giving her comforting advice based on his past experience. What? Waht. This was a completely foreign interaction to me. Who was this woman who knew my professor so well? Was she even our age? I questioned whether she was even a student or not. I wanted to meet someone who could be friends with a person of authority.

    What stood out to you about them?

    We didn’t hang out constantly on the trip, but when we did we got along well. When we hung out there was always a lot of laughing. Katie is very sweet, eager to make friends and get to know people. Like really get to know them. She is infamous in my mind for immediately asking personal questions (and of course being ready to offer her own story in detail too). She is so much more out-going than me and was prepared to actually follow up with “let’s hang out sometime’s” when we got back to the United States.

    Katie is unlike most of the friends I’d ever had up into this point. I usually hung out with other shy artistic introverts, but Katie is energetic, open, and bold. She is more socially sensitive and more feeling than the people I’d met up into this point. She is a very good and thoughtful friend who has made me a better person for knowing her. She taught me to be kinder and more generous. She’s always thinking about her friends and family and how she can make them happier or support them.

    How did you become good friends?

    I am most comfortable with one-on-one interactions. It’s a must if you ever expect to really get to know me. I remember just going to her apartment in Laramie to after we got back to talk about my then-relationship. Katie was the first friend I met outside my undergrad friend circle. I knew she would be an understanding person to talk to and an unbiased third party to advise on the situation. And she was. Anyway, that was my attempt to test the friendship waters. Although, was I mistaken that she had a Gilmore Girls DVD boxset? Small red flag there. :)

    We had a good post-graduation summer. We almost moved to Portland. I think we lived in New York together for about 4 months. We have a group chat where we talk to each other nearly every day. There was no choice but to be good friends.

    And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Happy birthday, Katie. You know when it was.

  • My best friend Igor

    When I was six or seven, there was a boy in my class that already looked like a 30 year old young professional. He had fluffy blond hair that stuck up evenly so that it looked like he had styled it, silver glasses, and was always dressed in tiny adult outfits: When I think of him, I picture him in fall-colored corduroy pants, a light blue button-down shirt, and and a deep pine tree green sweater vest. Howie was the first young person I’d met that wore a sweater vest. Igor, roughly 11 years later, was the second.

    Igor’s birthday was this week and I thought it would be fun to do a feature article on him. You know, like I how I said hearing someone tell you about their best friend is a good way to get to know someone.


    How did you meet?

    For my freshman year I went to a small, public university in Missouri. I lived the biggest dorm. During the first months there were activities for freshman and college kids to meet other people. Just a few doors down the hall from me there were four boys, Jeff, Sean, Igor, and Nate. I met Sean & Jeff first in the cafeteria, and they introduced me to their friend from high school, Igor, and his roommate Nate.

    What was your first impression of them?

    Since my first contact into the group was Jeff and Sean, I tended to lump Igor and Nate together. They seemed much more calm. [Slash], they seemed to both sleep a lot. I didn’t know this at the time, but Igor is a night owl and so would end up sleeping in pretty late. From my impression, it just seemed like he was asleep for half of the day. But Igor would more frequently hang out than than Nate so I got to know him better. Igor is very tall, was always well-dressed, deliberate in action, and soft-spoken. His hair was longer than it is today. It was a dark brown shaggy hair cut that hung over his forehead and curled around his ears.

    What stood out to you about them?

    Igor is exceedingly kind and well-mannered. This demeanor continues to stands out when compared to all the people I’ve met, but it is radiantly clear when compared to other 18-year-old dudes. While other guys I met were kind of fidgety, teasing, concerned with being cool, and had a hard laugh they used to assert themselves and let everyone know they had no feelings—Igor was a calm water. He would ask about my day, we would have conversations, he would say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’…A bunch of small considerations that I hadn’t really experienced before from a peer. I can’t emphasize enough how rare it is (for me at the very least) for someone to actually be as polite and sincere as Igor is naturally. He’s not doing something extreme, but he’s just reliably a thoughtful person.

    I remember over one long weekend when one my roommates were away and I was sick. I was laying in bed, and someone knocked at my door. I didn’t really want to see anyone. I can’t remember how it played out exactly anymore, but Igor communicated with me through the door that he had brought tissues if I needed them. I didn’t. I think I had a cough or a head ache and didn’t actually need them.

    “Ok, let me know if you need anything.”

    I waited until heard him walking off and after a while, I quietly opened the door and peered down the hall. It was empty, he’d already gone back to his room.

    This was a completely foreign interaction to me. It was like something you see in movies that I had never experienced before. Someone is sick. Friend offers them help. I wasn’t even that close to Igor. I asked him about it last week and he didn’t remember it at all. Probably because he did it without thinking or wanting something in return. That’s the kind of person Igor is.

    How did you become good friends?

    By the end of they year, the five of us plus my roommate Laura were hanging out pretty regularly. We would play Super Smash Brothers on their Wii pretty regularly. I got text messaging on my cell phone halfway through the year so they would actually ask me to meals. Despite getting closer, I ended up transferring schools at the end of the year.

    We planned trips as a group to go to Chicago that summer (Igor refused to go/was in Israel). The next year I visited them over spring break. The year after I came in the summer. But it was always kind of as a group unit. With very occasional conversations in between. I kept in touch with Igor the most because we could talk about design programs every now and then. He would call me on my birthday.

    I graduated from the University of Wyoming and was living in Denver. During his birthday phone in the summer of 2012 we caught up and he told me he was going to New York to look at a school. I invited myself because I was kind of interested in moving there. We talked a lot leading up to the event, which was different. Ever since then we just stayed in touch. He’s become one of the most important people in my life. There was about a four month overlap when we both lived in New York pretty close to each other and we ended up hanging out really regularly to just wander around the city. He can make me laugh more than almost any other person. He’s always interesting to talk to and I never get annoyed. He’s a good person.


    Hope you have a good birthday year, Igz. 


  • 5 Things I don’t write about

    Sometimes there are big gaps in between posts because I’m busy, yes (or lazy), but sometimes there are gaps because there are things I don’t want to write about. Yes, I too am a participant of social media curation culture! But I have your interests in mind at heart, dear reader.

    Here, briefly, are the five topics I generally don’t write about.


    When something really good happens. It feels boastful and like it’s ruining the moment to me. Or that I’ll jinx it. I have this fear that anything good that happens to me is a mistake and if I broadcast it, people will find out sooner and take it away. I might quietly post a picture of something for me to remember later instead.


    When something bad happens or I’m generally sad. Snoozefest. Awful. Melodramatic. Would be terrible.

    These two things combined mean that I generally only write about medium-positive things. Even if I did talk about them, I feel like they’re so personal that even if they really expressed my happiness, they don’t have a positive impact on other people. It’s like always talking about inside jokes.

    Relationships. Relationships are inherently a lot of upper-ups and downer-downs, so that’s out. There’s also general discretion policies. And the vulnerability of telling a story you don’t know they ending to. Sometimes I neglect to tell real human friends I’m dating someone, so of course I wouldn’t to carve it into internet stone. I will admit that this would probably at least tickle into the readers’ gossip itch if I did write about it. But I probably won’t.

    Work. I don’t think it’s very professional to talk in detail about what I do at work. It’s putting your co-workers and clients/company on display without their consent. And I’m just one perspective.

    My family. This is actually just because I’m not very close to my family. I’d hardly have anything to say on a regular basis.

    phamomredwoodsMy mom, aunt, and uncle came to visit me this April. I took them around the city and use their car as an excuse to go to the redwood forest.


    When my mom and my aunt were trying to take pictures on their phone

    — —

    So you see those are pretty huge categories in most people’s lives. I tell very little but I talk a lot.

    I think it’s nice to remember that people aren’t as clear cut as they seem. So take the time find the ones worth living in complexity with.

  • What I know now // 028

    I wanted to try a different format because I’ve transitioned mostly from articles to podcasts since starting work. Instead of a monthly list of some of my favorite articles, maybe a deep dive into some really great podcasts I’ve listened to recently?

    Recently I listened to Revisionist History, a podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell. In general, what has stood out to me about this podcast compared to others is the strong stance that Gladwell takes on topics. I’m used to the kind of “here’s all the information, you decide” reporting of other podcasts, but Gladwell is clear about his positions, I first noticed this in Food fight. 

    He did a 3-part series on education and you better believe that I really liked it (education is everything). It’s also really hard for me to summarize them, but I’ll try—I realized I was fighting the urge to just retell everything in the podcast. If you are in a time crunch, the first one, Carlos doesn’t remember, is my favorite of the series.

    Hope you enjoy!

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  • I’ve been here for a year

    A year, a month, and 10 days, actually.

    You know (you. know.) how much I love milestones, so I gotta say something. Also, my birthday was a couple months ago. Also also, for some reason my high school graduating class’ facebook kicked up again reminding me that it’s almost been 10 years since we graduated and did we want to have a reunion?

    Basically there are a lot of time reminders floating in the air and milestones (forced or otherwise) are always my favorite time to step back, reflect about what I’ve been doing to re-evaluate and where I want to go next. In an episode of Broad City, one of the characters talks about how her family has a birthday tradition of asking two questions and I might as well answer them like this is a 90’s MySpace page.

    What have you done this past year that you’re proud of?

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  • Week in the life, Day 7

    Yay! Last day. I’m definitely ready for this writing exercise to be over. As much as its been nice getting to write again (it has!) it’s also time consuming to remember and write about each day in a timely manner. Last post! I’m not sure how representative this week is because I think I had more planned that I usually do, but I also did kind of want to capture this super busy time at work.

    Summary: walked around Land’s End, Korean lunch, Botanical Gardens to listen to piano, Vietnamese dinner

    People I talked to: 5 people from work I’ve never met before, my two mentees, Joseph, Joel, Monica, Vinita, Igor, Katie, Sarah, and Chris


    Foggy, chilly day at Land’s End


    The crew

    Day 7, Saturday

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  • Week in the life, Day 6

    “TGIF” as the kids and restaurant chains say.

    Summary: Work, clean, TV, sleep.

    People I talked to: Grant, Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Matt

    A photo posted by Jacklynn (@jackdrawstheline) on

    Day 6, Friday

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  • Week in the life, Day 5

    Holy cow. I made it to day 5. Whodathunk?

    Summary: Work, lunch, sleep

    People I talked to: Katie, Sarah, Grant, mentee #2, Chris, Vinita, Matt, Christy


    Me, not able to sleep at night. My room is actually not that dark but mostly orange with the eery glow of the streetlamp.

    Day 5, Thursday

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  • Week in the life, Day 4

    Me not publishing until the afternoon is probably pretty telling of what my day was like yesterday.

    Summary: Work, dinner with a friend, life changed by podcasts, sleep

    People I talked to: Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Zach, Chris, Dan, and Christy


    Christy and I splitting a bibimbap

    Day 4, Wednesday

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