All posts tagged anecdotes

  • I’d be shunned by Schön right now

    One of the big differences between school and work for me is I have less time to reflect on my work. Instead of the teacher asking you ‘why’ and wanting to hear your answer, you get more of people asking ‘why’ as an opener for their idea. I’ve been working on this project lately and realizing how little mental space I give to let things settle. It’s like when you’re at a party and there aren’t enough flat surfaces to put down your cup. I was reading about a group of designers who wanted to try bring academia and practice closer together so that the research and inspirations from the academic world aren’t so far away from what people are doing at work. I thought it was a neat and a worthwhile project….and then it got lost in a bunch of email and other work.

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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 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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  • Week in the life, Day 3

    Summary: Work, watched Swiss Army Man, drinks, what the youths call “chilling”, and more work.

    People talked to: Katie, Sarah, Vinita, Grant, Joseph, Dina, Chris, Gil


    Sitting on my bench, texting Sarah on my way home.

    Day 3, Tuesday

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  • Empty pictures

    Hi. It’s me.

    I’ve been away, but okay.

    I’m sorry, but in May I didn’t have the energy to write anymore after work (which was usually late o’clock anyway), nor the desire to look at a computer during my free time.

    I also went to Barcelona.



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  • “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye

    The river is famous to the fish.

    The loud voice is famous to silence,
    which knew it would inherit the earth
    before anybody said so.

    The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
    watching him from the birdhouse.

    The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

    The idea you carry close to your bosom
    is famous to your bosom.

    The boot is famous to the earth,
    more famous than the dress shoe,
    which is famous only to floors.

    The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
    and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

    I want to be famous to shuffling men
    who smile while crossing streets,
    sticky children in grocery lines,
    famous as the one who smiled back.

    I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
    or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
    but because it never forgot what it could do.

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  • 4 hours and 44 miles later…

    Against all odds and all logic, I biked 44 miles to work this month.

    Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.48.06 PM
    *Note on the math: it took 4 hours door-to-door (Strava only captures moving time). I also started recording the route from the coffee shop and not my house, so, 44 miles :).

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  • Bustling thoughts: the decision happened without you

    It’s either clear that philosophy really affects me or that I’m a philosophical person.

    Something else that I always keep in mind that my philosophy professor (you sh/could add the word “design” in there somewhere, but ‘philosophy’ is more appropriate) made an offhand comment in class once that it’s difficult to actually remember the point when you made a decision.

    He pointed out, that it’s more like, one moment you have these two choices and you are not sure what to do. And then, moment’s later—or maybe the next day—you realize you have made the decision. You realize that you have an opinion on what happens. You, if you’re anything like me, will even tell people that you haven’t decided yet in case you need to backtrack later, but you really have. Sure, you might be scraping through your memories right now and thinking of the moment where you had an epiphany-like stance on a life question, but I know that’s not the case for me. What I have experience is realizing that the decision has already been made.

    It’s like feeling this little weight tied to one of the options in your mind that gets heavier, more certain, as time goes on.

    It’s able to withstand new information and the different opinions of the friends. “I still like that one,” you think in your head.

    I was thinking about this recently because I bought a very expensive bike recently (expensive for me). After visiting several shops, I realized I was going to spend more than I had anticipated, and was in full hem-haw mode. When I was talking to the clerk at the last store and he gave me his strong recommendation for one, I kicked the metaphorical dirt and told him I’d think about it. But some time as I was leaving the store, and even though I would harass my friends for opinions the following week, I knew that’s the one I wanted to get. I was being pulled in that direction.

    I won’t claim that it’s completely mysterious. There’s a lot of context that goes into pointing you into your decisions. I was bringing my own experiences of having tried several bikes, I had gone to many bike shops, I know that I’m an absurdly naive and trusting person, I know that I have been striving for quality in my life over quantity & price. And, for their side, the bicycle store did a good job of constructing the user experience: Well-designed and opened layout, exceptional reviews online, a friendly staff…and they have a good logo. All that circumstance gets blended together, sure, but what is more illusive for me, is remembering precisely when I made that decision and pinning a single “what” to it. Because, you know I love to catalogue things.


    Psychologically, we’ll always justify our actions. Now that I have the bike, I actually don’t have buyer’s remorse. I really like it. It’s amazing to feel like you’re moving efficiently through a clogged city. It’s such a stark contrast to the commute I make everyday. Sure, I might have liked any bike just the same, but that’s in some other hypothetical dimension.

    My bus is pulling in! Until next time.