In praise of reading slowly

I read more slowly than most of my friends who read. I do all the wrong things: I subvocalize, I stop and start, I take detailed notes and extract quotes. My friends talk about finishing a book in one night, and the same book takes me weeks. Today I watched a video of Visa talking about reading The Beginning of Infinity in a few days, whereas it took me hours of reading per night for several months....

April 29, 2021

Facing fears in a dream

My dream this morning looked like this: I was with a group of people, we were stuck in a classroom-like place, and some authority was keeping us trapped there. We wanted to escape, but leaving the room meant entering the hall, and in the hall we could be shot. So we ran out and kept ducking into corridors and doorways to avoid being in the line of fire. I remember waiting anxiously in a doorway, figuring out what I should do, seeing friends jumping in and getting hurt....

April 18, 2021

Things to learn: a journal post

Sometimes I dream about taking a few years away from everything and reading 40 textbooks and trying to understand how everything works. This is something I felt deeply in high school, and then lost at some point in college, and in the time after college it’s come back with overwhelming force. The thing about this curiosity is that it’s something you need to feed in order to keep it alive; you need to keep setting aside time to learn about the things that fascinate you....

March 3, 2021

measures of my wellbeing

an ongoing list. how easily I can feel wonder from looking up at the sky how much of an urge I feel to check notifications in the morning how at ease I feel going to bed whether my news feed makes me happy or anxious how often I remember that it’s not obvious that there should be a universe at all whether I spend more than an hour in the day reading how comfortable I feel with something I share getting zero reactions how fearful I am of the prospect of something going wrong how patient I am in my interactions with others how vividly I feel the love I have for my parents and brother and friends what about you?...

February 28, 2021

What they don't tell you when you're applying to college

If you’ve grown up in an environment that values prestige and extrinsic accomplishments, applying to college is a major milestone. It’s the culminating event for years of effort: AP exams, extracurriculars, impressing your teachers for reference letters. All for a shot at getting that coveted acceptance letter in the mail. My own experience with college applications was as stressful as you’d expect. I was surrounded by peers who were thirsting for admission to a prestigious university and who felt the pressure to succeed from all directions....

January 31, 2021