Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 49: Bracing myself for #focus days

What went well? 

  1. Met with the post-doc I'm research assisting for, and while I was there at the positive psychology centre, a MAPP student invited me to get lunch with her at Han Dynasty next door (highly recommended!), so I did. It was such a pleasure to meet her and we had an awesome conversation. I really appreciated the chance to get to know her story and aspirations. Positive, passionate and interesting people are awesome.
  2. Watched an interesting film in Contemplative Sciences today. It was about the Mindful Schools project, where they brought mindfulness to a really troubled middle school. It was fascinating and touching to see the transformation in the kids - they were literally CRAZY at the start, needing constant entertainment, distraction, and annoying each other, but eventually began to find mindfulness useful in their own lives. Really powerful stuff.

What did I learn? 

  • Went to a Philo event, an informal conversation with a professor. Tbh, it was a bit toooo informal and dragged on for ages, but, I did come away with a few ideas. One of them was that he thinks that one of the biggest trends to come will be a push towards open data from research, which will improve both transparency and efficiency of scientific research as it allows anyone to check your work and reanalyse the data to create more knowledge.
  • I'll be auditioning (well, technically it's more of a "casting call" because I don't think they'll actually reject anyone since it's a pretty self-selected group) for Opera Scenes Saturday 4.50pm! Wish me luck.
  • The next few weeks are going to start heating up, I think, in terms of academic workload. I'm surprised how long it's taken to get to this point in the semester though! Normally I'd start feeling time pressure around week 4 at UniMelb, whereas it's already week 7 here and only now am I starting to actually have deadlines come up. Intro Buddhism mid-term on Wednesday, Sociology of Education mid-term starts Monday & ends Monday after Spring Break (but I'm away for most of spring break), and I really need to push forward with my two research papers for Intro Buddhism & Contemplative Sciences if I don't want to be completely screwed in a few weeks' time. So, the first weekend of Spring Break before I go away has been blocked out on my calendar as such: 
  • Obviously, I will not just be getting stuff done all day in a machine-like fashion. But the point is to psychologically prepare myself to focus!

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