Things occupying my attention lately
My life is full of distractions, and to some degree this is healthy for me. If I get fixated on things, it can lead to an imbalance which ultimately makes me less happy. This is part of why I have been only partial committed to my grad program so far; I frankly don’t want it to dominate my life -something that could easily happen if I allowed it- when there are other aspects of life important to my overall well-being. Some of these aspects include:
1) TV. Yes, you read that right. Some may disparage TV, and I do think most of its bad reputation for corrupting and mushifying minds is wholly deserved. Nevertheless, TV serves an important function for me. It keeps me informed via cable news (imperfect and distorted by profit incentives, as critics love to point out, but still valuable), and, importantly for my emotional health, it keeps me entertained! I’ll be the first to admit I probably watch too much TV, and I’ll also be the first to admit that I could benefit from having a wife/manager to help me stay on task, but there are certain shows I just love. A former roommate and I began watching Lost online some months ago, and I’ve been working my way through the seasons since then. Such a great show! I’m typically resistant to jumping on bandwagons, and tend to be wary of things that are generally well-liked (a seemingly elitist mindset, but not without some merit for one attemping to be an informed consumer), but I have been impressed with that show. The themes are interesting, the storytelling is good, and the characters have a fair amount of depth. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it’s pretty good for spending alone time to recharge, as introverts are wont to do. For other reasons, namely to laugh and to have a more socially-oriented viewing experience, I am a follower of The Office and 30 Rock. Both are also excellent shows, and to the extent that their humor doesn’t get too low-brow, I find them oh-so enjoyable! Good humor definitely has value in the marketplace, and I’m glad to live in a country where people can make a living writing funny things 🙂
2) Poverty policy. I don’t want to talk too much about this, because, despite being a public policy student, talking about policy is not that exciting to me. Not a good sign, I know, but I am still optimistic that there is a niche for me somewhere in my program. Anyway, I’ve been working on a paper about policy alternatives to address the problem of poverty. Among the options I’m discussing are subsidizing the employment of low-skilled workers, offering financial incentives to firms to relocate to central cities where the poor are concentrated, and, my favorite, reloacting the poor to suburbs where jobs tend to be concentrated. All of those sound pretty expensive, huh? I know, and that’s a big reason why a fiscal conservative like me has a hard time feeling excited about crafting policy. Designing sweeping policy seems like playing God on other people’s dime to me. Don’t tell Barack I said that, or he’ll have me boycotted. Or worse – he’ll publicly accuse me of not having enough hope! (which reminds me of this clip from Futurama)
3) Looking for work. My current job is adequate, and in many ways actually a great fit for me right now. However, I really could use some more substantive work experience, not to mention income. There’s not too much to say about this, especially with our job market the way it is.
4) My basement room. There’s a big crack in my wall which likes to leak water when it rains. My room got pretty swampy this past week, and now, with my carpets still drying, it’s getting pretty moldy Tomorrow, I’m gonna disinfectant-spray the crap out of them. Hopefully I won’t have to buy new carpets because hey, I’m poor!
5) New calling as the LDS Institute president. This one is a little daunting and even, dare I say it, inconvenient. I’m about to officially take the reigns this week. I believe that leading is teaching, and I would like to make that a big part of my philosophy with this calling, as I feel my strengths are not in event planning, typically the most salient and time-intensive part of what Institute leadership does. I’m really grateful I’ll have a council with whom I can share the burden of planning activities and such.
6) As always, the ladies. Currently, it seems like I have a lot of options, but not a lot of focus. Of course, there are certain ladies I am leaning towards, but it’s hard to make decisions about this kind of thing with all these distractions -which I suppose brings this whole post full circle 😉