Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Day 26: Monkey mind

Today was a bit of a mindless day, where I just wasn't entirely present. It happens to everyone from time to time though; some more than others, and I think in general, I've become a lot more present over the past couple of years. Despite this scattered-ness, a lot of good things still came out of the day.

What went well?

  1. Got started on the next project for  positive psychology research, and managed to get some coherent thoughts down on the study design. While at the positive psychology center, I hung out with a couple of guys there on their lunch break and really enjoyed talking to them.
  2. Finally got my bank card...3 weeks later.
  3. Went and saw my Intro Buddhism professor for more guidance on my research paper, and now I actually have a solid direction, thanks to his helpful suggestions. Basically, I'm going to trace the history of the word "mindfulness" - how often it's been used in different years and how the meaning has changed across time, and therefore when it started being used in relation to Buddhist ideas. Apparently noone's actually done this before, so it'll actually be a unique scholarly contribution, hopefully. I also managed to write my research proposal straight afterwards, so feel like I actually got something done today and that I finally know where I'm going with this.
  4. My phone fell out of my pocket in the library onto seat, but I realised 5 mins into my walk back and it was still there when I went back. Maybe there is a benefit to mindless email-checking after all??
What did I learn?

  • Fresh Grocer does indeed sell tofu! I think I finally know my way around it now, so it shouldn't take as long to do a grocery shop in the future.
  • Putting on gym clothes gets you in the gym mode. I changed into some gym clothes to do my laundry, and suddenly I felt like going to the gym (I had been planning to go tomorrow). So I did - even though I never go at night. Lesson: if you ever feel too tired or unmotivated to go, just put your gym clothes on. Seriously. You can decide to not go after you've gotten changed, but you probably will - what you wear is a powerful cue (unless you're one of those people who just wears gym clothes everywhere) and it'll feel silly to have to get changed back without going.
  • The paper size is different here. I should have caught on when I noticed that the paper at the library was different when I was photocopying stuff, but I thought that it was a quirk of the photocopiers there. Nope! US Letter seems to be the standard here, and I realised when I printed something off and the top got cut off (US letter is shorter).
Miscellaneous thoughts
  • There is so much free food around here. Where there are dorms or clubs and societies there are events, and where there are events there is food (seemingly a huge incentive for people to go!). So it's quite possible to spend negligible amounts of money on food if you are super skint and don't care about what you ingest :P Case in point:
The events board in my dorm. There are at least 5 events involving free food on here.
  • Another difference that I don't think I mentioned is their approach to research papers over here. The reason that I was in such a kerfuffle about where I should go with my research is that they give you basically no restrictions (or guidelines, for that matter) on what topic to write on. Whereas in Australia it's normal to be given an entire 1-2 page assignment brief including a list of topics to choose from, here you just get told how many pages (not word count) the research paper should be...everything else is up to you! As long as it's related to the course somehow (and it doesn't even have to be closely related, unlike in Australia where in my experience, your assignments are often supposed to be grounded in the course material). The flip side is that professors are therefore much more accessible as advisors for your research paper, and it's normal to check in regularly with them for guidance during the process of researching and writing the paper.

No comments:

Post a Comment