Saturday, 25 January 2014

Day 16: More research, more snow

What went well?
  1. Woke up to an invite to an Art Initiation run by the Penn Art Appreciation Society:
    • For two weeks, PAAS has been preparing the very first meeting of her new members. During this 45-minute session, we wish to usher you into the world of great art and endow you with as much as art knowledge as we possibly can. Submerged in a relaxing atmosphere with music and tea, we will settle in an art salon and talk about what we see in two interesting paintings. Then we will gather in the Academia of Art in nineteenth century Paris to learn an important and pleasurable painting style. In the next 10 minutes, we will turn through the pages of Art History 101 and 102, travel across time and space to witness all major art movements from ancient times all the way to the contemporary.
    • It was meant to be tomorrow, but got postponed due to snow - still, am really looking forward to it when it happens!
  2. This video of Renée Fleming's appearance on the David Letterman Show made me laugh so much. Really looking forward to watching her perform in Rusalka at the Met in 3 weeks!!
  3. Managed to sort through all the journal articles I downloaded for relevance & topics they address.
    • But I am tearing my hair out at the moment trying to find "the gap." There's actually been so much written on this topic (how modern day mindfulness relates to Buddhism - I have over 60 potential references), it'll be a challenge to find out what original contribution I can make to the discussion...
What did I learn?
  • When in doubt, wear snow-appropriate boots. I made the horrible mistake of wearing my runners to the gym (novel idea, right?), even while aware that it had been snowing all day and there was slush and snow all over the ground. Plus, these runners are the kind with "ventilation" in the bottom. So I worked out with completely soaked shoes. At least they dried in no time on top of the heating grill in my room.
  • The definition of mindfulness is a highly contested topic. No psychological operationalisation can really capture everything it embodies.
  • Saw this on Facebook. ....'Merica.


  1. Hey Jessie! :D I've been thoroughly stalking this blog over the past few days and just wanna say, you have fully ignited my desire to go on exchange! I found the parts where you drew comparison between UniMelb and UPenn especially interesting and really liked how you shared your technique of doing things, such as using a pros and cons table to make decisions (it's actually so useful haha) and applying the research matrix. It'd be really cool to hear more about the dorm life and also the campus and students there.

    UPenn was my dream university when I applied for US admissions last year and I actually got an interview from it, so I'm really looking forward to your future blogs! I'll have tones to ask you when you come back to Melbourne :D

    Enjoy the snow and have an incredible time in Philly!

    Andy W (Just so you know who the curious stalker is :P)

    1. Andy, thanks so much for your comment! Yay, I'm so glad you're finding my ramblings somewhat interesting/useful. I'll keep your interests in mind for future postings :) Feel free to use me as a resource and ask me questions, and of course I'm happy to meet up once I'm back :)