Feb 6, 2017

Enjoyments

Links that bring me joy. 

Ten Meter Tower. Would you jump?

Unique German Words. Germans are very good at naming universal feelings.

We Want a Copyright Office that Serves the Public. Simple sentence, hard to achieve.

Peaceful Cuisine's cooking channel is soothing.

Feb 3, 2017

Community Involvement Part 3

I've been thinking a bunch about what the average person can do to participate in creating a more perfect community. In my Daily Questions, I ask myself a yes/no question about whether I contributed to my community, but it occurs to me that more information about what I count as a yes might be helpful to inform myself and others about ways we all might contribute more easily.  I have a pretty low bar on a daily basis, but am optimistic that over time these micro actions make a difference. 

Emailed Ward 4 Legislative Director with specific questions to help educate myself on DC's legislative process (1/27/17)

Joined ACLU (1/29/17)

Joined Define American (1/29/17)

Raised my hand to be activated as an organizer if there is an anti-LGBT Executive Order (1/30/17)

Signed petition to modernize Coolidge High School in my neighborhood (1/31/17)

Completed training for Atlas Corps Selection Board (2/3/17)


Previous Community Involvement posts
Part 1
Part 2






Lessons Learned Part 5

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

You Can Say No
It is the hardest lesson to learn. I am finding in 2017 that having clear personal and professional goals helps a lot in deciding how to prioritize my time and my work. Several people have suggested I read a book called Designing Your Life, and I'm looking forward to doing just that, but in the meantime I am happy to have pretty clear priorities for now.

Remember Your Strengths
Even in a super uncertain work environment where you don't have much expertise in the subject matter, remember to lean on what you do well and bring it as value to the group.

Humor and Fun Go a Long Way
I had the privilege of hearing Madeleine Albright speak at a DC event this week. She is so funny and clearly enjoys having fun. She is accomplished and impressive and clear-eyed about foreign policy. She told wonderful stories of serious moments relating to other heads of state, and fun personal moments when they were done with business for the day. It reminds me to look for the opportunities to laugh and have fun, and know that being silly and funny and enjoying life isn't mutually exclusive from tough, serious thoughts and work.

Always Be Learning
I spent some significant after-work time practicing my coding skills. I'm building a website and struggling so hard. It's a fun stretch for my brain and I'm reminded of something Madeleine Albright said during her talk this week, paraphrased as, "My father characterized me as a girl who is discouraged by first difficulties. I decide not to be in my adult life."

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Jan 27, 2017

Community Involvement Part 2

I've been thinking a bunch about what the average person can do to participate in creating a more perfect community. In my Daily Questions, I ask myself a yes/no question about whether I contributed to my community, but it occurs to me that more information about what I count as a yes might be helpful to inform myself and others about ways we all might contribute more easily.  I have a pretty low bar on a daily basis, but am optimistic that over time these micro actions make a difference. 

Marched in the Jan 21 Women's March in DC. I didn't do it as an anti-Trump statement. I did it as a pro-equality statement. (1/21/17)

Asked friends with chess sets to let 826DC borrow them for a workshop. (1/23/17)

Volunteered to serve on the Atlas Corps Selection Board, which means I'll get to interview incoming Atlas Corps Fellows. (1/23/17)

Asked that my neighborhood commission meetings host a conference call line so constituents can listen when they can't attend in person. (1/23/17)

Took the WMATA budget survey. (1/25/17)

Offered feedback to a group optimizing a voter information tool. (1/26/17)

Offered input on priorities for Chesapeake Bay Foundation (1/27/17)


Previous Community Involvement posts
Part 1







Jan 26, 2017

Enjoyments

Things I found laying around the internet that brought me joy. 

An [incomplete] map of marches that have happened in DC. I love a map.

Georgia Tech has a class exploring the politics of social justice via trap music.

Eager Eyes posts a state of the info viz for 2017.

They were collaborators. These women practiced for the Women's March online.

Scientific American looks at the personality traits that predict wellbeing.

Lessons Learned Part 4

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. In 2017, I'm keeping track of these tiny lessons and adaptations in my life. 

Be Brave in Your Beliefs
I went to the Women's March in DC. I am proud that I hopped over my dislike of tight crowds and stood smack in the center of one of the thickest crowds ever, because it was for a great reason. I worry our current administration wants to stoke the fires of division and we did a good job of getting that going on Saturday, but you can always find a reason not to stand up for something. I marched because I believe in alleviating poverty, in equality for everyone, and that we ought to reject the idea that there are limited opportunities for prosperity and equality. We don't need to ruin the earth in order for people to have jobs and if it seems that way, we need to work harder to see the possibilities.

Do Your Research
I got to evaluate the chance of installing solar power in my home this week and there was discussion in my community about the pros and cons. I had to do the research on my own to figure out whether there's more or less for me. Still undecided on the investment, but it felt good to find my own viewpoint.

Find the Opportunity
It's been a potentially dire week at my job. We don't know if we will be able to hire the next round of Fellows because of the hiring freeze. Rather than dwell on this unknown, though, the 13 of us who are current Fellows got together and talked about what we could do together to help the country. Our meeting was such a bright spot and so uplifting and it could have definitely gone the other way with less optimistic people.

Teamwork is Always Better
I have a teammate now, and two heads are always better than one. This job just got much more fun.

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1


Jan 22, 2017

Enjoyments

Things I found laying around the internet that brought me joy. 

How Louis C.K. tells a joke and here's a breakdown of the precision he uses to do it.

I love you and I don't know what to say is a trio of talent (Ryan Adams, Chris Thile, and Kacey Musgrave) sharing the stage at A Prairie Home Companion.

DIY street signs are delighters.

Artists collaborating for the win.

Jan 20, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 3

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. This is my selfish account of what I learned and where the kernels of adaptation come from in my life. 

Twirling is the most fun
An emerging consortium of people who worked on digital initiatives and technology modernization efforts during President Obama's administration are organizing a group called Digital44. They threw a big party to kickoff this week. At this party my colleague Olivier Kamanda generously took my hand and twirled me around the dance floor for a few songs. I forgot how fun it is to dance like this! He brought me so much joy in those moments.

Fear isn't all bad
I've been going through the background checks, home inspections, and training required to become a foster parent (or resource parent as they're now called) since the summer of 2015. Now, the placement team has started calling. My instinct is to throw the ringing phone away from me because it's so scary to imagine how I'll shape myself around the best interests of a kid I don't know today. But, I keep answering the phone instead of throwing it. I haven't accepted a placement yet, but it's only a matter of time now.

Optimism is the way to go
It's up to us to establish equality and justice and because that is so, we are required to have the optimism that we can do it. This seems to be Obama's main parting message, and I dig it.

Speak Up
I don't like to indulge in personal attack politics but am avid about my knowledge of policy making. I will say as a woman it's been refreshing to work for a feminist, and I do believe in the idea that we all must continue the trajectory of equality for women (among many others). And so in spite of my dislike for crowds, I have made a poster and I will participate in the protest march this Saturday.

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 2
Part 1

Jan 18, 2017

Community Involvement Part 1

I've been thinking a bunch about what the average person can do to participate in creating a more perfect community. In my Daily Questions, I ask myself a yes/no question about whether I contributed to my community, but it occurs to me that more information about what I count as a yes might be helpful to inform myself and others about ways we all might contribute more easily.  I have a pretty low bar on a daily basis, but am optimistic that over time these small actions make a difference. 

Signed up to be a mentor to a Northeastern University co-op student.

Engaged in the neighborhood listserv conversation to advocate for a dog park.

Made recommendations to fellow NTEN Membership committee regarding branding, subscription services, member recognition.

Brought my neighbor who just started chemo a little treat.

Asked  city council member Brandon Todd and ANC Commissioner Scot Knickerbocker to be part of a task force evaluating whether/how to bring public wifi to Ward 4 in DC.

Became a "patron" of one of my favorite artists by pledging to send him $2/month.