I’m having a slightly crazy week. On Monday, I went to democamp (this was really great and I met some really cool people – I’ll write more about it later). Tuesday, uOttawa WISE had a talk from Dr Rekha Mehta (really good – great turnout).
Yesterday was not so great. I had my best TA session yet (last week I wasn’t feeling well and got a little flustered and confused by pseudo code in French – my answer sheet was in English). We’ve moved onto Visual Basic so apart from a bizarre VB error (it was appending the numbers rather than adding them for some reason – breaking the code up into small instructions fixed it) it went well. I worry about how good a TA I am in French, but I had a queue at the end of class and my office hour lasted two and a half hours, so I hope if they’re talking to me I’m doing OK! But yesterday I also had something occur (well, actually it occurred on Monday but I did not realize until yesterday morning) which had me hopping mad. I wish I could write about it here, but that would be inadvisable. Suffice to say, I’ve been fairly down on the level of unionization at the university – I’m not a fan of unions. I’m starting to realize why there are so many, though, as one begets another. I doubt that the problem of excessive unionization is one that will be solved by more unionization but worry that it may be the only way.
Anyway, this morning I read this post by Penelope Trunk. It gave me some needed perspective. Yes this event was disrespectful and wasteful of my time but it’s not a catastrophe. It’s frustrating, but expending my energy on getting frustrated just wastes it. I realize the irony of linking to that post – about why the hell not share – in relation to something that I’m not revealing the details of, but I’ve evaluated the worst case scenario and decided against it.
I doubt I’m alone in having these days where I wake up and feel overwhelmed at what’s built up over the course of the week. Of resenting the fact that there’s things I did not get done, mostly as a result of other people’s disorganization. Fed up of feeling like my primary function is compensating for other people’s stupidity/disorganization/mistakes/apathy/arrogance. Wondering if “work with people who are competent and respectful” is an impossible dream – I do work with people who are more than competent and very lovely, but the bad experience cloud things and makes me temporarily irrational. So – here’s a few inspirational things I’ve come accross and saved for just such occasions.
Penelope Trunk again, this time on having more self-discipline. Apparently, it snowballs, so get one area of your life in order and others will follow.
A long, but brilliant and fascinating article about a longitudinal study of some Harvard students who were followed throughout their lives. The different stories of these people and what happened to them are fascinating.
If you haven’t seen Randy Pausch’s last lecture on Achieving your Childhood Dreams – find an hour to watch it. This is honestly one of the best, most inspiring and profoundly moving presentations I’ve ever seen.
What inspires you?