The Tea

Here are some things I have found enthralling as of late.

from here

1. I got to see an expert share some Procreate tips, and she shared it using a pocket-sized projector, called a PIQO. It’s cooler than a tv, because you can move it anywhere and show it on anything.

2. Just discovered cloud bread — dairy and gluten free with just a few ingredients. It looks yummy and healthy.

3. I’ve been watching the old Pixar Shorts on A Prime Video. We took a look at them when we were learning storytelling, and they’re so charming and good.

From Architectural Digest

4. There is a floating pool opening up in London this month. Props to anyone who wants to float in this! I think I’ll just watch from below.

5. I watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Great film. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Leonardo DiCaprio play someone vulnerable.

How are you doing? Graduation is Thursday and I am trying to write a short speech that isn’t too boring. Hope you and your crew are stoked for summer!

Shannon

Quotes

How are you!! All safe and vaccinated I hope? Moved to Sunnyvale this week and realized I’m pretty damn good at moving! It feels so good to get rid of things. Also currently relishing the benefits of the Buy Nothing groups on Facebook. Are you in one?

Pictured above is the cool new trees and vertical gardens at the Apple store. Love them times 20. It’s like going on a hike but with AC! and the possibility of getting kicked out because you have no real purpose for being there. Also note my sloppy photoshopping of the stranger out of the image….

I’ve been skimming stories in the book Complications by a surgeon named Atul Gawande. It’s about his experience in learning the skill; he is vulnerable in sharing the stories of the times he practiced with no experience.

Isn’t that weird to think about? Today, somewhere in the world, a surgeon is practicing surgery–cutting up a fellow human being–for the first time.

Here are some quotes from the book:

“There have now been many studies of elite performers — international violinists, chess grand masters, professional ice-skaters, mathematicians, and so forth– and the biggest difference researchers find between them and lesser performers is the cumulative amount of deliberate practice they’ve had. Indeed, the most important talent may be the talent for practice itself.”

“We want perfection without practice. Yet everyone is harmed if no one is trained for the future.”

“What we are drawn to…is the alterable moment… to change the course of another’s life for the better.”

I learned lots of cool things about medicine from my surgeon uncle, and spent lots of time with him removing little moles and various bodily thingys on me and different family members.

That is where my love for Dr. Pimple Popper comes from.

More quotes, from the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman:

“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.”

“I have always believed that scientific research is another domain where a form of optimism is essential to success: I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing, and I believe that someone who lacks a delusional sense of significance will wilt in the face of repeated experiences of multiple small failures and rare successes, the fate of most researchers.” ๐Ÿ˜‚

“The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other peopleโ€™s mistakes than our own.”

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

A few other quotes IRL:

  • Two young people, making a card for a friend who wasn’t feeling well. One begins writing “Hope you feel better” and the other one wants to write “Feel good soon”.

The card turns out, “Hope you feel bood soon.” Alas, perfection is in the youth.

  • A young person is demonstrating the noise he makes for his “machine gun” (which is also his arm). Whenever someone disagrees with him, he shoots his machine gun at them until they stop talking. Problem-solving at its finest.

Hope you’re having a blessed week! Sending you love and heartwarming across the internet.

Why I Like History

It takes a moment for me to explain why I like history, because it’s something that I’ve liked for so long I don’t even pause to think about it. It’s like trying to explain why I like dessert or being outside or Chopin. I just like it.

But when I look at it, I think my love of history is very much tied to my love of language. I love reading, and I love how substantive history writing can be. I love the the big picture, the little people, the controversy, the details, the irony, the mundane. I love those writers who can capture the the details and the broad strokes to bring me to another time and place.

I love the big, and history is big. It’s all-encompassing. It examines every motive, perspective, and bias, and it also rationalizes what look like irrational motives, perspectives, and biases. When we put what seems shocking into historical context, it suddenly becomes very — not shocking. Covid 19, the political climate, the capital insurrection, and some current events, are perhaps to some, ‘unprecedented’, but in a historical context, these things are all extremely precedented. Perspectives conflict and clash. So many beliefs and ‘normal’ behaviors in history are inane by today’s standards; that is also somewhat relieving to me. History continues to confirm my personal long-held belief that being normal is stupid, and a waste of time.

History is complex, substantive, rich, but it’s also, in my opinion, amoral. Although in learning history, a student can always ask, was this right? Was this good?, history is not really about right and wrong, good or bad. It’s simply about what happened, actions, motives, bias, corroboration, conflicting accounts, what was said, what wasn’t said, who had the power to write, and who didn’t have the power to write. Right and wrong, in my opinion, don’t play a part. I personally can be a bit sanctimonious and holy sometimes (understatement), and history is a place where I consciously leave moral judgment at the door to objectively learn about events, stories, and patterns. The history student always continues searching, rather than arriving at any permanent judgment.

History leaves me thinking — Who was telling the truth? Why did this person’s narrative win? What narratives are missing?

My favorite part of history is definitely reading it. The hardest part, in my opinion, is finding the right words to explain it truthfully, but a great historian does just that. As soon as I have a little more time on my hands I can’t wait to read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. He is an exceptional writer, a genius, and an enchantress, much more talented than any film director. He always finds the right words. Reading it, I am transported. I’m sitting in a glorious movie that is infinitely better than any movie.

Those are the reasons why I like history. What about you? Do you like it? Is there a certain part you like?

Hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoying this splendid weather.

Lincoln

Lincoln’s second inaugural address in the 2012 Lincoln movie.

As soon as I heard of the concept of a “historical crush”, Abraham Lincoln became my very first boyfriend. I think he was a unique kind of genius, shrewd and humble, and I’ve loved everything I’ve ever learned about him. I appreciate that he could sometimes be forgetful and I find it heartening to know that he waited until the last minute to write The Gettysburg Address. ๐Ÿ˜Š I love what a big thinker he was, the stories he told, and the big questions he asked. Of course I admire his convictions. I love that he was gutsy enough to invite his enemies to be in his cabinet and I love that he was honest.

We are headed into learning about the Civil War and so I recently watched the 2012 Lincoln movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every scene was beautiful (thank you Steven Spielberg) and I felt like I got to know Lincoln a lot better. I’m not sure if anyone else could have maneuvered the end of the war the way Lincoln did. If you have the chance to watch the movie, take it!

Hope you are having a great start to your week!

Dreaming of Summer

Miami

It was really rainy this past week in Palo Alto, but the sun came out yesterday and it was gorgeous. It also snowed six feet (!!!) up in Tahoe. As much as I love snow and would like to go to Tahoe, I have found myself dreaming of summer these past few weeks. I’m so hungry for life to go back to normal again. Hope you are planning your vacations or some sort of dream to keep you happy these days.

How to Be Attractive: 9 Easy Steps

My landlord cooks for me.

I found these nine tips on Pinterest and I thought they were worth sharing. The thing that is conspicuously missing from this list is to bring someone food. That’s obviously the best way to be attractive.

Here are the secret magical steps.

  1. Smile.
  2. Smell nice or don’t smell at all.
  3. Dress for style and respect, not attention. (I disagree, and I think it’s fun to dress for attention)
  4. Know what’s going on in the world and have an opinion about it.
  5. Speak kindly of yourself and those around you.
  6. Have three hobbies that do not involve a screen.
  7. Get an education or save up for one.
  8. Make time for children, the elderly, and those who need a friend.
  9. Always say thank you and return favors.

What do you think? Do you agree? What’s missing, apart from food ๐Ÿ™ƒ?

Hope you’re having a great week.

As of Late

Some pictures of my life as of late. Above is Santa Barbara where I went for Thanksgiving. Love that little spot.

Socially distanced Thanksgiving on the beach.

This is Kite Hill in Palo Alto, a little hidden gem. It’s usually empty and has a secret view of the town.

Above is from our Early Man and Evolution unit at the beginning of the year.

Pomegranate. Prettiest fruit, except for maybe figs.

Carpinteria.

College Terrace in Palo Alto. I think these houses are so fascinating.

Walking Pinky.

It’s always cactus season in Palo Alto.

There’s a Salt and Straw in Palo Alto! I am not joking when I tell you to get the Olive Oil flavor. It is AMAZING.

Hope you survived the panic attack that was January 6th. We’re going to make it. We’re going to have a peaceful transition of power and we’re going to keep moving forward. In the meantime, I may bury my head in the sand and not read the news for a little while! Because my new mantra is to rebel by being joyous in spite of everything.

Have a great week.