In the Sims, you can read a book and understand the content entirely (thereby enhancing your life skills) once the bar above your head is full.
In the Sims, you can finish your homework by spending enough time on it until the bar above your head is filled in the same way.
In real life, you can be working on a homework for hours, or read every chapter in a book until you depleted your energy and “fun” meter, but still don’t understand anything or getting anything close to done.
So is life. C’est horrible.
A man playing Chopin in front of Ukrainian Riot Police.
Caramelized Banana Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting!
(Recipe adapted from here. The adjustments I made are: I substituted mascarpone for cream cheese (milder taste!) and omitted butter from the frosting, used my phenomenal dark Basterdsuiker instead of white sugar, and added sliced ripe banana in between the layers for that extra banana punch. BANANA PUNCH!)
A professor asked me where I’m from. I answered “Indonesia”. He asked if I’m studying my master’s. I said yes. He concluded, based on those two words, ability to understand and answer his questions, and probably a sentence I said in class today, that
"Your English is very good."
My brow furrowed. “I… guess…”
"Did you study outside of Indonesia?"
"Uh, well yeah in the US."
"I knew it. You see, that makes a difference.” There is something about his smugness that I just cannot stand. What are you saying, Indonesians who do not study outside the country are somehow unable to learn English good enough to say two lines in public?
It would’ve been different if he had said it after reading a lengthy paper I wrote in English (although it would still be odd if he only said it to Asians and not all ESL students). But I said two, TWO sentences in class before he made that judgment.
This is not the first time this has happened, and I understand that more often than not it’s a well-meant, friendly attempt at starting a conversation and showing interest in other people and cultures. Still, people in this continent are not as aware of such microagressions as Americans and it annoys me… especially when most Europeans here are not native speakers of the English language themselves and make the same mistakes we make. It’s saying “oh you speak normally, but I know very well that your country sucks, and compared to your countrymen I can surely judge that you are much better— good for you!”
It’s mostly the students and professors, not the canteen lady or the cleaning service guy who ask me these things. What do they teach people here about “developing” countries I wonder?
I guess I just have to get used to it… part of me that is easily provoked want to perform so verbally well in this class that he has to change his outlook, but the more rational half told me I know nothing about the topic yet, so don’t speak faster than you think.
AAHHH! >:( #asianinpredominantlywhiteclassroomproblems
I’m so confused I have birds flying around my head. These birds look like they were bred by Twitter.
The hardest thing about being away from home for a long period of time is leaving your egg-shaped, bead-eyed, fluffy bright orange smiling dork of a corgi behind. People give me weird looks when I say this, but it’s a serious and honest answer.
Hello! Can you believe we’re 1/12 done with 2014? :D
I just went to see my thesis advisor (yes, I got one finally!) earlier today, he is a professor in the psychology department so I had to take the bus and go to the other side of the river to get to his office. Technically I can bike, but I don’t have the willpower. Willpower is hard to find these days. I often feel that each person only has a limited amount of willpower at any given time, and you have to allocate it to whatever is most important. Probably related to how much blood sugar you have flowing to your frontal brain. My willpower is very little for this thesis and it’s almost dying, so I’m shielding the little flame from the wind by spoiling myself for anything thesis-related (taking the bus to advisor meeting, rewarding self with caramel eclairs when typing literature research, etc.). I believe this mediates the relationship between writing thesis and getting fat.
Even though it is only January, I feel like I’ve grown so much older, mainly because of the work I am doing with my team for the extracurricular honours programme (holymoly british spelling) project. The past one week I attended a team competence coaching and a 6-hour (yes!) workshop on project-based working. I was confronted many times with how inefficient and disorganized my team was. My team consists of 3 equally hardworking, organized, and sharp-witted girls who get along really well, so for me it was a mystery how we could all get stuck in a mess of inaction, information overload, and no control on our client’s expectations. Our competence coach help us realize these little internal sources of problems that were hard to put a finger on, and make slight changes that will boost our team functioning. I was a bit skeptical of workshops and trainings and stuff, but now I know why people go to these things. I want to have that skill too, pointing out things that people don’t notice about themselves/their work and help them get out of the ditch. It’s a neat profession.
About the project itself, we met the CEO in his office last week. I still can’t believe we’re acting as “little consultants” for this person, because we knew nothing about this topic (tourism KPI?) when we started. How can he trust us?
(Anyway I am glad I had enough willpower to apply and get myself involved in this whole experience, but that’s probably a confirmation bias because I’ve been promoting the program as an ambassador in the past few days. Yeh.)
Another reflection is that, similarly, the little problems I have in my own productivity were hard to figure out because I’ve never failed anything SO badly that I felt like I needed professional help or intervention. Recently my grades came out, and mine were good but really just average compared to some of my mostly Dutch and German peers. This made me very confused whether I should be glad or disappointed in myself. My master’s program taught me that humans always compare themselves to others. Satisfaction is reference-dependent. Whether an 8 is satisfying or disappointing depends on whether one makes an upward or downward comparison. The upwards comparison, “I could’ve…” thoughts, linger in my head and make me unhappy about life sometimes. Then I do some downwards comparison and reprimand myself for being not thankful enough. Either way it makes me sad.
Would I have studied harder if I can start over? No, I did my best in preparing for and taking the exam! So probably I’m just not that smart. Small fish in a big pond, hitting the plateau of mediocrity. These realizations are a bit depressing, but hopefully they make me stay grounded. Related: the quote from Carol Dweck that I reblogged before this.
(Why am I so serious in this blog post I don’t even know. I sound like a self-help helping self.)
Unrelated (or is it?) note, lately I’ve realized how being deprived of music really “hardens” you as a person. Something that sounds so pretentious to say, but as someone who grew up with constant physical and mental involvement in music-related stuff, I realize that the presence of music really balances my mind. I still do not want to be a professional musician, but seeing musicians in clubs or TV shows who get to explore their sounds and are being paid for playing music makes me jealous sometimes. I keep a bucket list in the back of my head, which includes taking jazz lessons and brushing up some Chopin etudes once I settle somewhere for work. Starting a taiko group. Writing musicals. Or just playing what I already know. Who knows. Whatever they are, I look forward to it.
Gahhhh back to work.
When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.
In one world, failure is about having a setback. Getting a bad grade. Losing a tournament. Getting fired. Getting rejected. It means you’re not smart or talented. In the other world, failure is about not growing. Not reaching for the things you value. It means you’re not fulfilling your potential.
In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.– The influential Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck on how having one of two mindsets shapes every aspect of our lives, and how to rewire that internal monologue. (via explore-blog) Via Explore
Today I #baked some mini black bottom #cupcakes filled with raspberry #cheesecake. Delish.
(posted this on the wrong blog before, oh no)
Today I went to the big supermarket and got this: basterdsuiker, also known as bastaardsuiker HAHAHA (Lana, grow up!) which is a typical dutch thing according to the package. It is brown sugar from a mixture of caramel and possibly molasses, and comes in 3 different colors: white, regular, and dark—probably also indicative of the degree of burntness. The darkest sugar is scraped from the bottom of the pot, they wrote. If you’re like me, the darkest/most burnt stuff, if still edible and not carcinogenic, is almost always the best stuff. I was holding this pack of sugar like kryptonite when I first saw it! Imagine the POWER. Cookies will never be the same.
Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.– For Jeff Bezos's birthday today, his timeless Princeton commencement address on cleverness vs. kindness – a fine addition to our ongoing archive of invaluable advice on life. (via explore-blog) Via Explore
I post about a lot of random things but this one I am very, very fond of.
I remember having installed lots of dingbats from a CD in our home computer when I was in high school. I typed them out on a Word document, printed it out, and used it as a folder cover that looked fab. I designed the layout for my underclassmen’ retreat handbook entirely on MS Word, using lots of art nouveau dingbats. The kids thought I had hired a designer somewhere.
Now on Monday I will again reenter the kingdom of MS Word, because I’m starting my thesis training. I will probably stare at it a lot. What to do?
Of course, download a lot of dingbats!
(to mom & aunts reading this: Dingbats are like fonts that you can install to your computer, and each letter on the keyboard then corresponds with a picture. Some of them are very simple icons, some others are really detailed ornaments or illustrations. A series of pictures you can type out. Some of them are functional, like:
…but most are not.)
Dingbats are amazing. Especially now if you look at what kinds of dingbats are available out there. Food. Cars. Dogs. Medieval ornaments. Barber poles. Retro movie stills. Random cartoons. Plumbing parts. Black/white portraits of random people. Icons of Brazil. Depressed icons dingbats.
And um- Barack Obama dingbats.
(I mean, someone out there might be in dire need of Obama dingbats.)
I mean they’re just pictures. Probably like Wingdings on crack. Like clipart that you can insert to your document… with WordArt (yes, that feature is still useful).
Well, you can find and download just about any picture with Google, but there is something exciting about typing random bunch of letters on MS Word and receiving this instead of letters as an output:
(and if you feel like the lady with a rope should be next to the boy with the stick, you can just hit backspace and retype her!)
So many amazing dingbats. SO MANY. This is 3 AM and I’m high on dingbats.
(type ‘b’, you get ‘pissed by a dog’, type ‘c’ for ‘pooped by a dog’, and ‘d’ for ‘farted by a cat’. There’s a dingbat for just about every situation.)
Probably my fascination for these is similar to my fascination for those Washi tapes… but these are so much better!
One day, ONE DAY, I will design my own dingbats, and I will dingbat all of you into one big, happy typespace. Promise. Just tell me on which letter do you want to be featured.
Name that tune!
It’s fun to stay at the ______
Via OCD: Obsessive Corgi Disorder
Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.– Thomas Merton (via kaktus-roza)
(Source: theseeker57.wordpress.com)Via the leading tone
Women between fifteen and forty-four are more likely to be injured or die from male violence than from traffic accidents, cancer, malaria, and the effects of war combined.–
A difficult, important piece by Ariel Levy for The New Yorker.
Help do something about it here.
This, and those religious/conservative Facebook friends (men & more upsettingly women) still think feminism is only about “trying to defeat men” and is therefore not needed especially in “eastern” societies like Indonesia where women needs to “know their place”. BS, broVia Explore