Updates and Think-Alouds: June 14 – August 16, 2022

We moved to Atlanta! Also, updates on productivity systems, starting on research, Canada, and meditation.

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A white woman with brown hair and T Shirt with flowers on holding a large board with a painting of brightly colored small monsters playing tennis on two blue and green tennis courts. There are small benches with monsters viewing on the sides.

This is a collection of haphazardly recorded updates and free-writing during a certain period of time. See where these thoughts were collected on the “Updates & Think-Alouds” page.

August 16, 2022

We have officially moved to Atlanta! It’s very exciting and not too hot. Our apartment is great and the move went relatively smoothly. I published the first of the post idea outlined below (which I wrote about here in more detail) last week and gave it what, in hindsight, is a potentially very weird and uncomfortable name: Little Listicles. We’ll see how that evolves…I think in this week’s edition I’ll do some freewriting about research things just so that doesn’t become so involved or esoteric that I can’t write about it here.

Next week I will start classes, and I went through a moment of feeling a little freaked out about it given my many failed attempts at online classes over the past several years…but my impression is that these courses will be very different! We’ll see. Now, I’m going to test out the bike ride to campus – tomorrow I will go for real for an orientation.

Oh, and BIG UPDATE: I finished the painting!

July 30, 2022

I just got an idea for…not an email newsletter…but a systematic way of publishing content that people who have subscribed to my site via email will receive. It’s not really in line with the garden concept of slowly evolving content, but hey, eventually it might be useful. The idea is inspired by (or is exactly) James Clear’s 3-2-1 email, but with different topics. It would be something like:

  • 3 things I learned
  • 2 small wins
  • 1 idea (or photo, if I don’t have any ideas that week)

And, in my private notetaking throughout the week, I will collect these ahead of time, so ideally it will be very little effort to share them in a post to this site.

Maybe I’ll give it a shot next week.

July 22, 2022

A Twitter thread I learned about from the latest SURJ email that I found very worth reading about using the tools of the state & capitalism to dismantle the state & capitalism:

Audre Lorde’s “The masters tools will never bring down the masters house” gotta be one of the most misquoted and misapplied quotes of all time.

🧵 1/16

by @CominternQueer – Read the full thread here

And two SURJ webinars that I’d like to watch, but not sure when I’ll get to it:

July 21, 2022

After the last update, I did a marathon (well, few hours) work session and redid this site’s design with the Twenty Twenty-Two WordPress theme that uses full site editing…impressive! I’m feeling happy with it so far and that my concern that the digital garden format was doomed for failure is unjustified. Check out the Garden page for an idea of how this will go.

Here is are two photos from our trip to Canada:

And finally, something I have not updated on for a while, is that I’ve started painting because I must finish a gift for my brother before we move to Atlanta. The painting is of monsters playing tennis, and here are a few in-progress shots:

Even though it’s taken me quite a while to get started on this painting, I’m finding it extremely relaxing, and maybe I’ll continue after this one. But first I need to finish it…

July 19, 2022

It seems like since I proclaimed that my website will evolve into a “digital garden” vs. a blog, and since I moved this content away from the Now page, I’ve been writing less. But…I’ve also been traveling for the last three weeks, first to Atlanta to find an apartment, then on a road trip around Canada, and back to the east coast to see family. Anyway. This is a meta update about no updates, I guess, but I think I’m going to go for it with a radical change and switch up the theme and the homepage content.

Nepali is going well but slowwwly. I am speaking more now, but studying in my book has become kind of monotonous and I’m not sure I’m remembering the grammar structures I learn in each chapter. When we were walking with friends the other day, I went through the things we did on our trip in my broken Nepali and I actually got through a lot of it, although the sentences all used pretty much the same structure. I was thinking I could write down what we did on the trip and that would be a good exercise. Not sure I’ll do that.

Here is some recent Nepali homework practicing a new verb tense (there are definitely mistakes here)…just to prove I’m still sticking with it, I guess?

In other news, before our trip, I did a presentation for my new research group about how far I’ve gotten in my workplace learning literature review (which I haphazardly wrote about here, initially, and will be updating sometime). I think it went well, and the biggest win was that I finished the presentation deck four days before the meeting, and that was great. Wow, how much less stress there is when you have a few days buffer.

I also need to write about the system I’ve been using for “mindful work time” with various bells, pomodoro timers, and a sticky note. I think it’s working. And about meditation in general. The book Peak Mind has been a real game changer for me.

June 25, 2022

I am no longer feeling frustrated with my note-taking system as described below. I’m also not sure what this page is. I want to keep publishing posts like the Updates posts, so I’ll just treat this like I was treating the Now page before until a new system comes up.

I added this to the Reading page:

I’m focusing on a lot of self help/personal skill development books right now, especially things that will help me manage stress and my time during the challenging years ahead in grad school. I might try out a different style of reading, for example, inspectional reading (or another style that might be in How to Read A Book, which I might need to read 🤪), so that it doesn’t take so much time to get the main bits of information. After a bit more of this personal development content, I am considering a switch to fiction so that reading can be a relaxing activity where I forget about everything and become involved in stories vs. what it is now, an engaging time to absorb compelling facts and consider how they apply to my life.

I also wrote up a post with my mother-in-law’s recipe for aloo sadeko (Nepali potato salad). Yum!

Maybe this page is like a log of updates I made to other pages, also with general life updates?

June 20, 2022

I’ve generally enjoyed all of this productivity and note-taking technology stuff, but today I’m like “fuck that”, let me go back to my kinda-bullet journal thing. I also learned/remembered that our brains forget things for a reason and that trying to capture all of the information actually causes you to remember less. I realized I have been tracking every little idea for a task that comes to my mind, and now I feel overwhelmed because there are so many tasks. If I didn’t record them, they would have been forgotten and maybe come up later, but I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. It’s also possible the overwhelm is not a result of accumulating tasks. I’ve been thinking about how we “create work” for ourselves and for others, and this seems like an example of that.

June 19, 2022

Regarding the literature review, here is a process recommended by my advisor and how I’ve kind of modified it:

  • Search a keyword in Google Scholar and order results by most recent
  • …don’t have time to write this now.

Update June 20: I added my work so far to this post. I don’t feel very confident in the categories, or really about anything at the moment, but that’s a temporary feeling.

June 14, 2022

I am working on a literature review task and refining my notetaking process and information management system as I do it. I think I’ve been using the Zettelkasten note categories incorrectly. I’ve also discovered Zotero for saving references and this post from Mariana Montes about using Zotero with Obsidian. I don’t need all of this functionality yet, but trying to be proactive I guess?

June 10, 2022

Just published an update!

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