Thursday, April 5, 2018

Things I Learned {Last} Month | March 2018

This post is going up somewhat late, due to the craziness of travel, Holy Week, and having my college roommates fly in for a visit (so much joy). But I really enjoy the practice of posting small things I learn each month, and better late than never, right? Plus, writing this post counts toward one day of the Write 100 Challenge, which is a definite plus. So here are a few things I learned in March.

1. That little flat spot on the volume button on Apple earbuds is a play/pause button.

Maybe everyone else in the world knew this, but I didn't. Tsh Oxenrider mentioned this on an episode of The Simple Show and blew my mind.

2. Conferences are for networking, not sightseeing.

I was in Berlin for a conference of Fulbright grantees in Europe at the end of March. There wasn't much time for sightseeing, but there was abundant time to talk to all sorts of fascinating people. One of many interesting conversations was with an astrophysicist who is studying black holes. After I asked a few questions, she looked at me and said, "You haven't run away yet. Do you have a science background?" Nope. But I love drawing people out about things they are passionate about.

3. My 23-year-old-self does things that my 18-year-old-self would never have dreamed of.

Dancing until midnight, for example, when I could have left the party at 9 and gone to bed instead.

4. I miss being around a large group of peers who are curious about everything. 

Being at the Fulbright conference was a breath of fresh air in part because it was like diving back into college: I got to spend four days hanging out with curious people learning cool stuff about the world. I'm now pondering how to foster an atmosphere of curiosity and discussion in my day-to-day encounters with peers and coworkers.

5. The bookstore Shakespeare & Company is also a lodging place for transient artists. 

Called "Tumbleweeds," the people who pass a few nights at the bookstore are required to read a book a day, help mind the shop for a few hours each day, and write a one-page autobiography. I'm kinda sorta wondering how I can get myself admitted to the club. Who wouldn't want to spend a few days couch surfing in the most famous bookstore in Paris?

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