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Weeknotes #3

  • A week of bad news for family. Since last Friday: 1) dad broke a bone, 2) mom broke a bone, 3) two brothers were in an accident, 4) sister got a bad medical diagnosis, and 5) two extended family members died (one in our neighborhood). Whew. 2020 is not over yet, clearly.
  • At work we had university conference, library conference, and division conference this week. All three meetings are so much better in person, but for my safety and my family’s safety (from Covid, to be clear) I’m glad they were all online.
  • My last semester of grad school starts next week. I’m taking two classes, one on advanced graphics and one on deep learning for handwriting recognition. Should be a fun semester. I also finally defend my thesis next week, a year and a half after I finished the research.
  • Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t been ambitious enough in life, if I’m squandering whatever meager talents I have by not gunning to be on the bestseller lists or become a CEO or do extraordinary things. Whenever those thoughts strike, though, I inevitably come to the same conclusion, namely that I rather like this quiet life I’ve got: family-focused, not too busy, with plenty of reading and making. There’s no fame or fortune, and I’m very okay with that. (Maybe I’m having a midlife anti-crisis?)
  • I’ve found that I get much more out of scripture study and general conference study when I subvocalize as I read.
  • As far as reading old books goes, by the way, I’ve found two contradictory techniques that both seem to work for me: slowing down and speed reading. (I know, right?) Slowing down and enjoying a text word by word makes it less daunting for me. And, conversely, I was about to give up on Silas Marner when I decided to try turbo mode. I’m now close to finishing it. (I go faster than my default clip but not so fast that retention drops.)
  • This week I realized that the word revolting (disgusting, repugnant) is connected to revolt (to rebel or overturn). Which is of course extremely obvious in hindsight, but until now I was blind to the link. From my cursory exploration, it looks like the repugnant meaning came later and may have to do with one’s stomach turning over.
  • Some people (real people, not made up, I promise) requested more detail on the pieces in my Sacred Shapes exhibit, so I wrote up backstories and/or thoughts for each piece. Should have done that months ago.
  • I’m cultivating and planning out some new story ideas, though far more slowly than I want to be. This fall will probably not be the short story extravaganza I thought it would be.
  • School starting up again means most of my free time for projects and blogging is about to evaporate. I’ll still try to post regularly, but it may end up being just weeknotes and occasional links.
  • I’m loving the weeknotes format.