All posts tagged Friday 5

  • 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.

  • 5: Questions I like to ask people I meet

    When I lived in Denver and worked in a co-working space for a tech recruiting company: it was Bro City. The other companies entered around action sports or had a passion for them. For a while, besides my dear friend Matt, I didn’t feel like I would meet anyone who could relate to me. Sounds kind of familiar, eh? The people I knew were nice and interesting in their own ways, but that doesn’t mean that I’d want to take a road trip them.

    There was one guy in the co-working space though, who I always had the best conversations with. He had a girlfriend, so don’t even go there. We were not close, but I felt like we were always on the same page. One night, after an event at the office, I we were hanging around helping put things back and we got quickly got into this deep conversation. He pulled back and said “whoa, sorry—I didn’t mean to just tell you my life philosophy!” Of course I told him it was the perfect thing to tell someone about yourself. Later, he brought up this article he’d read before on—some of my friends will see this coming a mile away—marine biology facts. Perhaps being way too self aware, we agreed this how all conversations should go.

    And I was completely serious.

    If I could, I would love to get at the heart of what people are interested in. It’s selfish, but I just want to know if if what makes you tic makes me toc. (talk?!—;) )

    Here are the five questions (or prompts) I have or would ask someone in order to try to speed things along:


    (Still counts as Friday because I started writing this on Friday!)

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  • 5: the differents

    Last time I wrote about what about myself I would want to persist throughout my life. This week I’ll have it’s compliment.

    Here’s where I want to change…


    1. More small braveries. Saying something in a meeting, talking to someone new, following my instinct on a project at work, or going the path less trodden. I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t do a small kind act because it isn’t convenient or, more frequently, it puts me outside my comfort zone.
    2. To be more generous with my attention. A long standing struggle with me is to be a deeper listener to my friends.
    3. I want to be calmer. This is related to confidence, but it’s more like wishing I could let go of things instead of wrapping myself in a spiky cocoon of anxiety.
    4. I want to be more patient with people. Sometimes I find myself trying to optimize my time or be more efficient when I’m hanging out with people and I realize it’s not very social. Like instead of: “while you’re waiting for your food, I’ll go do this other thing” I should “I’ll wait and talk with you while you’re waiting for your food.” Pretty basic, right? But I don’t do it. Related to being generous with my time.
    5. I want to sleep more. At this point, it’s been years since I got the recommended amount of sleep regularly. I don’t know if I actually handle lack of sleep well or I don’t know any different now. I want to see how it affects my performance and engagement at work. My weekly average is probably 5.5 hours a night.

    New Year’s is just around the corner, I guess.

  • 5: the sames

    I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about what about ourselves we’d like to change and what we’d like to stay the same. We think a lot about what we’d like to change about ourselves, but it’s helpful too to think about what values we have now that we wouldn’t want to change.


    In five, ten, or twenty years, here is who I still want to be…

    1. I value doing things for myself. In a world where we’re pushed towards connivence and automation, I really like the independence and community of going out in the world and doing the small things like running errands or doing small crafts. I don’t want my life delivered to my doorstep, I want to engage with the world by walking through it. Even if it’s alone to the post office.
    2. Close to a few people, rather than acquainted with many. I’m grateful for the very close relationships I have with my friends and value that so much more than having many friends to do something with every day of the week. Thanks, folks, you’re the best. 
    3. Reading. I want to enjoy stories, create them, and share them.
    4. Thinking in opposites and questions. In order to create puns or the little comics I make, I find myself thinking in opposites a lot. I try to find out what circumstance would turn something ‘it should be this way’ into ‘unless it’s not.’ Example: My friend was talking describing ideal desk locations at an office (or something similar) and he said “it’s always good to be in a corner” and I pointed out: “unless you’re being attacked.” Not only do I find thinking this way fun (much to the annoyance of my friends), but I think always questioning the circumstances people say makes me a better designer.
    5. Turn whatever I have to do into what I want to do. It’s something I said before, but I realized again some people just go through the motions. Even though I might procrastinate like nobody’s business, when I start working I will make it interesting to me and something that I can be proud to work on.

    And that’s some of the me I hope you’ll meet down the road.

    Tune in next time for (some of) the things I want to change!

  • 5: Boring reasons

    I saw an article earlier this week about apps to download to solve something they were called “micro-boredom.” The brief moments between activities when you have nothing to do and there might be a chance you’ll become not-entertained. It was an idea that rubbed me the wrong way. I thought about all the times I mindlessly scroll through facebook or instagram, so I know I do it too. But it seemed so gross to be presented to me that way. Specifically, that apps are the solution to boredom. I feel like I have a right to be bored if I want to! Or, that I’m not above boredom.


    Why I think we should be bored:

    01. Boredom boost to creativity.

    I have anecdotal evidence that I’m the most creative when I’m bored, but there are also real studies done that describe how boredom boost creativity (via HBR). In the first study, they talk about how after participants are giving a really mind-numbingly boring task they came up with more creative solutions to a task they were assigned. These were eve more creative than the group of participants who were given a medium-boring task. It evoked daydreaming and creativity. Don’t rob me of my daydreams.

    02. “Boredom motivates people to approach new and rewarding activities.”

    When I think of the products from my boredom compared to the products of my scrolling through social feeds…there’s no contest. The way I choose to alleviate our boredom is much more worthwhile to me: doodling, writing, reading, a small project, hardcore pondering.

    03. I get to think my own thoughts.

    When I’m bored, I think about things. These aren’t just daydreams, but I form opinions and reflect on the world around me. Otherwise it’s like watching TV, right? You become passive as you food picture after sunsets go by on Instagram. Is it really more entertaining than being bored? Or is it merely something to do?

    04. It has given me hobbies. 

    I have a really long and boring commute to work. I get a headache and ill-feeling if I do too much work on the shuttle. So, I can’t really be on a screen. Instead, it has given me the opportunity to daydream out the window and read. I’ve even re-attached some buttons to my backpack (who knows why two decided to fall off within a week of each other). I think if I didn’t allow myself moments of “micro-boredom” I probably won’t allow myself to use long stretches of time to do things like read or crochet.

    05. Looking around. 

    Most importantly, being bored makes us look around and step outside of ourselves, too. Granted, it’s out of miserable desperation as we look for something to entertain ourselves, but it still counts. I look around and notice curious things or people watch and it makes me feel like I’m in the moment. Or it might inspire a new doodle. Or I’ll create stories for people I see. And I find that it’s actually not that boring.

    Not that our phones are a bad thing. I’m definitely guilty of The Social Scroll as much as anyone else. Or I’ll use the opportunity to read a quick article or two. But I’ve told you before, that I really like looking out windows when I’m commuting and walking around the city without headphones. Reflecting on it now, I’m not often bored. The most common cases of me being bored today is when I have to listen to other people….whoops. But that’s something I want to get better at and a topic for another day.

    What about you: Are you bored?
    Do you want to be?

  • 5: Jacklynn-style mishaps

    I normally feel like an awkward person (in many respects), but I especially feel like my clumsy nature shines through when I move to a new place and am put into new circumstances. I moved to San Francisco, I’m starting a new job, and meeting scads of new people. Surely, the best stage for the small papercuts of social situations to strike. To assure you that the Jacklynn that you all know and tolerate is the same-old-same-old, here are five of my city mishaps:



    .01 I’m both lucky and unlucky enough to be one of those sorts who gets shuttled to work. A topic that I wrestle with, but that’s not the point of our story today. This shuttling of employees works like a typical bus stop: you wait at designated points in the city for a large bus to come. Not to insult your intelligence, but the normal protocol is to arrive at a comfortable time before the bus arrives, so that when it does, you feel prepared, at ease, calm…this “arriving early” is a small-but-great trick. A lot of people do it. Like, speckled throughout the city you’ll literally see these groups of business professionals (mostly men) in clean, casual clothes and messenger bags waiting in a queue on the corner of streets for their company bus.

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  • 5: Celebrities I’d like to meet

    After seeing Ira Glass last month, I’ve been thinking a lot about the people I’d be the most excited to meet. (Under heavy sedation so that I acted like a normal person). I mean, what’s the criteria for that even? Who’s work I most admire? Who I’d want to be friends with? Who I’d just like to be friends with? When people see celebrities, what makes them giddy? What do they want to happen? I’ve never really known because I didn’t really follow movies and TV stars too well. But then I realized how star struck I felt the first time I saw Ira during undergrad, so….


    In no particular order and with no consistent ranking system:

    1. Ira Glass. Obvs. After listening him and his show for hours for years, it’s hard to not already feel like you’re friends. But you’re uneven friends because he doesn’t know anything about you. (A unique concept that has only been so widely possible with the internet and which I think  about a lot as well).
    2. Jon Stewart. I know that it wasn’t like I watched the show consistently, ever, but sometimes I just go on Daily Show binges and I can’t believe he’s retiring! I feel like haven’t stumbled upon something he’s done that I didn’t like.
    3. Noam Chomsky. I don’t know why, but I’d just probably quietly flip out if I got hear him give a peppy lecture. He’s just one of the people that instantly come to mind as someone I’d like to meet/hear lecture for the longest time.
    4. Tina Fey. Always great on SNL, but I think I really fell in love during her impersonations of Sarah Palin, which was happening simultaneously as 30 Rock, so you know. Unstoppable at a certain point.
    5. Stefan Sagmeister. Another person I’ve been fortunate enough to have met before, but I would always be excited to see him again! I was flustered because I was late last time, so, maybe a calm friendship would be nice ;).

    So, there you have it. But, if I was being honest, it was hard for me to think of any one after Chomsky. Like, someone I’d be really star struck over. There are plenty of people I’d like to meet and admire, but I’m not so into celebrity I guess. I also think it would be really interesting to meet Hayao Miyazaki after seeing The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, but logistically there would be quite a language barrier during said meeting. (Besides, I know there are many more die-hard fans than me). Also a lot of authors: Oliver Sacks, Frank McCourt, Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Pinker…And, you know what, I would be absolutely thrilled to meet or see designer Chip Kidd, who i know is an great public speaker too. Bonus number 6.

  • 5: Days this week


    I wouldn’t be surprised if you forgot that this is a post series I try to maintain because it’s been so long.

    Today was my first week back over winter break, it’s 9:40 and I’m still on campus. It is my last semester and I can feel myself trying to squeeze every last bit of knowledge out of this school because I’ve been in such turmoil trying to decide what classes to take. Not only is there a fight to take the best classes, but there is this time constraint of not having enough.

    I made a pact with myself last semester that I wouldn’t stress myself out so much. Even choosing in which way not to stress myself out turned out to be stressful. The best solution, it turned out was just to take everything. It always is, isn’t it? Here are the classes I want to take and why (in the order of how they occurred throughout the week:

    Transition design, being taught by some wonderful professors in the design program. Talking about bridging the design in the already occurring the world and especially this complex present to a more sustainable future.

    Prototyping for interactions is a course taught by a visiting professor this year. It looks really fun, interesting, and challenging. And like anything that is those three things, it will also be very time consuming. In this class we would learn how to design physical prototypes for interaction from design to implementation. It involves modeling, Aurdino, processing, 3d printing, and solidworks. Yikes!

    Service Design. I was on the fence about going into this class because I had already done some reading about it and have tried to infuse it into the way I work, but the professor was just so great and was pulling out such wonderful insights that it seemed like too good of an experience to miss.

    Designing for social complexity was a class that was offered today that covers…well, its pretty explanatory what it tries to cover and the real feat is actually learning to navigate it.  I originally signed up for it, but I already knew I was over my head so I ended up so I didn’t go. But my classmates floated out of the 4-hour session in love with the class and it makes me so wistful. A huge part of me just wishes that I could attend design lecture after design lecture and soak it all in.

    Calligraphy II. If you met the professor, you’d know I was making the right decision.

    And of course, if you remember, I’m also teaching again this semester. But it’s my last semester!

    ::all the clocks explodes and iCal melts off the screen::

    Hope your new year is going splendidly!

  • 5: Things that make things matter to me

    There was this obtuse design exercise at an event today that I, of course, really enjoyed thinking about. It was on mattering (bringing things to the forefront of our attention and making them ‘of concern’ to us) and things (I think he was going to physical things, but yours truly is a renegade). I thought I’d share some of things I’ve come up with between dinner and now in a much-overdue “Friday 5.”


    1. Language. I adore sharing a language with someone. Truly being able to speak to someone and through all my terrible puns, obscure references, and old idioms…and for them to get it. I appreciated it the most when it was robbed of me. Like when I’m traveling around in Europe this summer and I wished I could speak better—more deeply—with someone. I can most connect with others (already an uphill battle for me) when I can have a good conversation with them. No matter how many times we hang out, I will feel distant from you until we have to good conversation. I like understanding in silent moments and in shared glances. I have trouble expressing myself in so many ways and if you take language away from me I imagine there’ll always a be a barrier.
    2. Stories. The way you share what matters to you with me, is through stories where you create a shared experience for me. Like, the way I used to find new music to like is someone would play a song for me and tell me why they’d like it. Or they’d play it in a car. I then had a story around this song, a memory of them, and I would like it too. All the sudden this song would be something special to me. I know it’s kind of weird that I wasn’t that into music before, but it was a thing. It’s kind of like how I like to hold on to things from other people because I think getting rid of it would be a slight on them. It’s why I like old/used things so much. I have an imagined story of the life my—say, electric kettle—lived. I’m obsessed with collected stories and experiences. Although, moving 11 times does help one downsize.
    3. Text messages (of all kinds). It has helped me keep in touch with my very dear friends in the classic verbose Jacklynn manner.
    4. Work. I value the dedication, passion, or craft that might go into an object and that will make it matter to me. I try as much as I can to support the real creative efforts people have put into whatever their passion are, though it’s not nearly enough. My theater and fine art friends have a passion and drive for what they do that I respect and want to support. When I think something has been done arbitrarily, I can’t help but think of it arbitrarily. This is, no surprise, often expressed through thoughtful design. It also makes me cherish things that I don’t think can be reproduced. Like the lines of a quick, absent-minded sketch.
    5. That it matters to you. If you tell me something you’re interested in, your honesty shows and it makes me interested in it too. I like so many things because someone, sometime, in my life has made a case for why it’s neat and it has sense marinated in my mind ever since.

    Bonus: Also, if there are corgis.


    What makes the things that matter to you, matter?

  • 5: Things on my mind

    I made some promises about writing more frequently that have not been fulfilled thus far. Here are some things that have been on my mind lately. The things that have been pulling me away from you.


    1. Designing for inclusivity/accessibility. Something I saw this summer triggered this desire in me to explore it more, but I just have so little knowledge of the area I feel hesitant to dive in and try to work it into my already full plate. In that regard, maybe its not distracting me as much as its gnawing at the back of my mind.
    2. Teaching is as hard as it is rewarding. It takes at least twice as long to prepare for each week/class than I thought it would and I have just this immense desire to help them along that I feel like I spend all day thinking about what I could say or do to help my students. I rehearse thoughts I have over and over again in my head all day and think about how I could best encourage them without pushing them. It’s difficult. I would rather interact with them one-on-one that trying to speak broadly.
    3. All the little to-dos I have to do around my house that fill up my day. Like the fact that I have brought my brand new mac into the apple store every week since I’ve gotten it.
    4. Time. So fleeting. The day is over, but my work is not.
    5. What I’m going to do after I graduate. I’m feeling a pull towards New York.


    That’s it. I’m completely brain dead right now.