I recently saw Sara Bareilles in concert.
When I was younger, I used to love libraries.
Exploring them and using the overwhelmingly-fascinating Dewey decimal system to find the books I wanted was always exciting.
As I got older, though, it became less fun to go to the library. I would walk around looking for an empty table or study room instead of searching for new reading material.
(while writing a paper at the Teachers College library in 2011.)
It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I mean, 10 months is a pretty long time. I may have even forgotten that I had a blog of my own.
Since my last post contained a series of resolutions, here’s another one to add to the list: get back into the swing of blogging.
Why bother? Here are a few reasons:
- Have a permanent record of meaningful things. While I update social media regularly, there are a few things that I’d like to preserve in a way that’s a little more permanent.
- Reflect on what I’m doing and, maybe, share some new stuff that I learned. I ask my students to reflect upon their work and share their take-aways on a weekly basis. I should, too. My student journals from grad school may be solely anecdotal data, but taking the time to do the reflections often helped me get to my conclusions faster.
- Post more pictures of my cats in a new place. Of course, this can’t hurt.
So maybe you’ll see more from me, soon. We’ll see.
It’s that time again…
- Be better about logging money spent each month. I use Mint for accounts but I also use the Saver iPhone app to keep track of specific expenses on the go. I often forget to do so, which means its analytics are useless if I’m not really making the effort to track what I’m spending.
- Practice music at least 3-4 times a week. I haven’t yet indicated specific musical goals I would like to achieve throughout the year, and I know that if I do so, practicing in a more focused matter will yield better results, but I’m at the point right now (i.e., I rarely practice and need to more!) where even unfocused practicing will help.
- Make a more concerted effort to be more practical about my grocery shopping, meal planning, and overall food waste. This is kind of self-explanatory, maybe, but essentially I’d like to be able to make smarter choices in the grocery store and reduce the amount of food that accidentally goes wasted. And, you know, make smarter meal choices in general.
- Do something active every day. I’m still in the middle of my Insanity quest (I’m going to write more about it next week, when I begin Month 2!), but that is set to end by February 2013. I’m hoping that I will stay motivated to keep up with regular exercise and yoga, as I kind of like that I’ve gotten to the point where exercising 3-4 times a week feels like “slacking.” I don’t know what Shaun T has done to me, but there you have it.
- Read 150 books, both prose and comic (though I know that including books of the comic type (and I don’t count single issues) may give me an edge on the prolificness here). No, seriously. If you’re on GoodReads, you can set your own challenge and watch your progress here.
- Be better about maintaining long-distance friendships and other such relationships. Too often I claim being “too busy” to keep in touch. Enough of that.
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions this year? Let me know what you’re hoping for in 2013!
Thanks to all the comfort food I’ve indulged in over the past few days (darn you, Thanksgiving leftovers!!), I’ve been inspired to begin the Insanity fitness program again.
The first time I tried this was in Summer 2010 and while I was able to get through a little over a month of the program (though I alternated some days with Bar Method classes), I had some pressing things on my mind — like, you know, dealing with an irritating bedbug infestation in my New York City apartment. The program definitely lives up to its name, though, as every time I do a work out I think to myself that Shaun T must have seriously been insane when he designed this.
(Fun fact: Shaun T is also a dancer/choreographer, in addition to leading many Beachbody fitness programs. Yay arts!)
I took 3 weeks off from my normal private teaching regimen to move from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to San Diego, California. While I miss the land of 10,000 lakes (though Michigan has more sorry, native Minnesotans), I’ve been grateful for the fact that TakeLessons offers Skype lessons. The technology has allowed me to continue working with two students from the Minneapolis area as well as take on new students in Illinois, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Described as “a real-time social network without the ads,” App.net (ADN) sucked me in despite its entry fee. All users either pay a monthly ($5) or yearly ($36) fee, depending on their choosing, and I spent some time wondering who would do such a thing to have access to something that, via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc., was provided freely.
After thinking about it, though, and setting it in the context of my own experiences working for a startup, it starts to make a little more sense. The networks above can provide a product or service for free, but they’re also at full liberty to change the way items show up in followers’ feeds, how developers can utilize their API, whether they can utilize an API at all -this article mentions ADN founder, by the way -, or advertise at will (… I couldn’t just pick one link because you see this in a lot of places). I completely get it that it’s their right and really, in their best interests to provide a product or service and expect to recoup some gains as a result. Servers cost money, after all.
So why pay to access a social network?
The following is not intended as a full review of any of the products mentioned, more just a way for me to document the way I’ve been able to incorporate these tools into my workflow. Maybe something will help you, too!
1. I’ve been trying out FoldingText for a few days and so far, I really like it. Here’s the description: Plain text productivity for geeks. As you type, FoldingText auto-formats your document into sections, lists, and paragraphs. Fold sections to see the big picture. Focus to see the details.
While the app basically lets you work in plaintext, based on Markdown —
- Revise Facebook intro blog post
— I like how it will turn your text into something a little more actionable.
After joining the San Diego Jazz Collective, a great Meet Up that has a variety of jam sessions, I’ve started working my way back through them alphabetically. ”Alone Together” (wiki link) is the first tune that’s brand new to me, so I’m going to spend a few days working on that one.