Spring Cleaning

I have a feeling that this entire year is going to be taken up with spring cleaning. This just feels like a year where I’m going to be spending a lot of time making room, digitizing notes, giving away clothes I don’t wear anymore. Even just thinking about that feels good.

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Favorite App: Forest

As a follow up, I thought I would post las week’s forest. The trees are each a half hour’s worth of time and the bushes are 20 minutes or less. This is how I’ve been getting things done without my phone. One tree at a time 😉

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Favorite Apps: Forest

I will admit it, I am addicted to my phone. I love twitter. I love insta. I will happily while away the hours playing games. This is a problem. I admit it. I have freedom installed on my apple products (but if you’re a freedom user, you know that it is great for keeping you off websites but not always great at keeping you off apps). So, I’ve found something that keeps me off my phone. It is called forest and it is available for both apple and android. I can set periods of time I want to be off my phone and, as long as I don’t leave the app, I grow a “tree”. It’s great. You can earn points in the app for different kinds of trees and white noise (if you like to listen to white noise while you work. And, I do.) You can also use the points towards planting a real tree, which is pretty great.

I’m working on a forest of sakura trees this week. It is a silly thing, I know, but even when I’m not excited about whatever I am currently working on, I can be excited about growing my forest. Whatever works, right?

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Sometimes your best choice is a still a bad choice.

I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who’s wife is in ministry. One of the things that came up in a conversation was answering hard questions in youth ministry and how, sometimes, you just don’t really have the answer. But, I feel like that is an answer. Life is hard, working together with people you sometimes disagree with and sometimes don’t like is hard. Working even when you didn’t get any sleep last night is hard. And, sometimes there are no good answers. I think if I had heard as a teen that sometimes your best choice is still pretty sucky that would have been meaningful to me.

Even though I know that now, I still feel like I need to be reminded sometimes. When things are going well and you’ve had nothing but good choices for a while, you sometimes forget that what you’re experiencing isn’t how it always is for everyone. It is good to be reminded.

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When I first started my dissertation project, I was really excited to using my new found skills from a workshop I attended on a particular kind of software. I collect conversation data and one of the first things I have to do in the processing of that data is transcribe it. The software the workshop had taught facilitates transcription and allows you to create tiers of information that can be connected. So, if you are transcribing and then translating something, you can have a tier of what people said and a tier of the translation of what people said. If you then want to look at the subjects and the predicates, you can add a tier so that you can divide sentence information. Or, word information. Or, gesture information. Any information that you want to use.

When you first start a project, you have an idea of what is going to be relevant or useful. You know what research questions you are asking and what kind of data you will need to answer those research questions. But, sometimes, as you are working, you find other things that are interesting and you start looking for those things, too. It is really important to be consistent, though, when adding category names, especially retroactively. I was not careful, sometimes capitalizing names and sometimes not. This meant when I went to analyze the data, I had to combine a bunch of categories that were actually the same category because the computer program did not know that THIS, This, and this were the same thing. It was a valuable lesson in consistency. (Also, in updating my template).

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What is it for?

I haven’t been meditating recently and I have been trying to figure out how to get back to this practice that has meant so much to me. I would like to get back to it because I feel like I’ve been pretty exasperated by many things recently and I think it could help me better manage that feeling. I am concerned that acting on my exasperation will not lead to the kind of change or forward motion that will lead to less exasperation in the future. This is a desired outcome because part of my exasperation comes from repeating actions and conversations, redoing them. I am being vague here, partially because I do not want to get into particulars and partially because particulars do not really matter. I have reached this point with many things. The question I found myself asking this morning while feeling exasperated was, “What is this for?” Why do I do exasperating things? Read exasperating things? Engage with exasperating people? Discuss exasperating topics?

What is it for?

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Always, Always, Always back up.

I am a user of the Pomodoro method. I think I do will another post about my Pomodoro routine. Planning how long things will take has always been difficult for me. I have trouble getting and staying focused and often underestimate the time a task will take (especially if I do not include the time it will take to get focused.) So, when my laptop would not charge earlier this year and then again earlier this summer, I was very grateful for my studious backing up of things. That is, until I realized that, in July, when my laptop was replaced, that one file was not backed up at all. So, now I find myself calculating how much time to recreate the file that has gone missing.

If you put something in a spreadsheet and have to properly format it, that can take a long time. Getting the details right is important. Problems in a spreadsheet can have pretty big consequences. Maybe not world-changing consequences as a linguist, but certainly we-have-to-redo-all-this-work consequences. And, nothing is more frustrating than spending an entire day to redo work you have already completed.

So, ladies and gentlemen. Always, always, always back up.

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I guess I am a pretty bad blogger. But, part of that is undoubtedly that I do not and have not have an explicit topic for this blog, so it makes it hard to focus time to something that is so unfocused. I have periodically fancied this a food blog and have posted about recipes I have tried and things that I liked or didn’t like.

I have a confession to make. I do not really like cooking. I like eating, for sure. And, I do not like the emotional roller coaster that I end up on when I do not eat. So, I cook. I will probably continue to talk about recipes that I like and have tried, especially things that worked well as leftovers.

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Election Feels

I think, like most people, I am ready for this election to be over. I am tired of hearing about and seeing the candidates. I am tired of having the same unproductive conversations. I am ready to focus on the next challenge (which will depend entirely on who is elected).

But, of all the things that have come up this election cycle the thing that bothers me the most is people I know and trust posting articles to facebook that contain dubious information. This past week I have clicked on a lot of links only to get to another website, read a few sentences, and then google whatever the subject of the article it is to find no other information on the same topic. It is disappointing.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t posted things to facebook with obvious bias or that I haven’t read. I have. I am guilty of this behavior, too. But, I’ve decided to make a pledge to stop doing this. You can save articles now if you can’t read them now but want to read them later. So, I pledge to only post things that I have read. I also pledge to point out what I like about the article and what could be better about it.

It is time to raise the level of public discourse. The election will be over soon, a new government will be elected, and we are all going to have to learn how to work together.

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Recipes I’ve Tried 5

It had been my plan to make macaroni and cheese. I had this recipe from Cleverly Simple. I was going to make Mac and Cheese and I was finally going to stuff peppers. I started by making rice, which I made in abundance. That was fine; I have a lot of peppers. I also have everything for a kitchen sink type casserole. So, I stuffed peppers and put them in crock pot. I used the leftover rice, leftover green beans, a leek, a pepper, some cheese and a packet of sour cream and onion chips and a made a casserole.

And, then, because they were on sale and I can’t help myself sometimes, I bought pumpkin gnocchi and instead of making macaroni and cheese I made gnocchi and cheese with leeks and broccoli.

And, after last week I want nothing more than to eat salad. Oh man, too much rich food. That being said, though, that mac and cheese recipe is pretty great and I will absolutely be making it again.

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