It’s Friday! This week has felt like a lifetime, and I’m very happy to start fresh next. Do you have any plans to celebrate making it through this week? I’m hoping to see Skyfall this weekend, because I’m ecstatic about Javier Bardem playing the villain opposing Daniel Craig, and I think it’s going to be an amazing movie anyways. I’ll also be digging in to prepare my presentation to the Philosophy Club, and trying to make some headway on my final paper. But Friday is still all mine. So it’s time to enjoy the day and I suggest checking out this inspired Pomegranate Margarita from Jessica at How Sweet It Is for doing just that.

Sidenote: one of my blog obsessions right now is How Sweet It Is. Every time this lady posts something new my jaw drops to the ground, and I want to tell her “just stop,” my heart can’t take it. For example, Bourbon Bakes Apples and Cinnamon Sugar Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble. Gahh I want them all!

Photograph from How Sweet It Is

Loving this rain room at the Barbican in London. I wonder about how the earth smells right after it rains? Isn’t that one of the best parts about a spring shower? But for real though, this is pretty neat, and I like the interaction between the user and the space the installation creates for them as they walk through. The end.

34. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.
– Bruce Mau’s An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

This spring I decided on a plan to apply to graduate schools for my Masters in Philosophy with the goal of going on to pursue my doctoral degree in Philosophy of Economics. Not only was I so very relieved to finally have some sort of plan for my life, but I was convinced that it was the right way to explore my passion for economics. It just felt right. Looking back, maybe the spring weather contributed with my elation. Well, after taking two classes this fall and doing some research on graduate programs, I’m not so convinced anymore.

That’s an understatement, though. Whether I’m not ready for graduate school, or not sure enough, or it’s just not for me, I just can’t apply now. I’m not ready to handle that type of academic stress again, and I feel like I’m back to the drawing board. Being back to square one is really tough, especially after having a plan for a while. When people asked me what I was doing with my economics degree I had something to tell them. I had an excuse for why I was at home, and some defined future. But I made a mistake. That plan was flawed. I’m re-adjusting. Have you had to go back to the drawing board before? Or had to scratch a plan you thought was the right path for you?

What I have to keep telling myself (over and over and over because I keep forgetting) is that making a mistake doesn’t really take you back to square one though. Sure this is setting me back, but I’m a step ahead of where I was before all of this. I know that this isn’t for me right now, and I’ve shut that door (for now) so I can concentrate on all the other open ones. (Whatever they may be)

While I was toughing through a migraine a few weeks ago, when I got to the point where I could stand to listen to something I lay in bed for a few hours and listened to Radiolab podcasts. Radiolab…how much can I fawn over Radiolab before it gets to be too much? Well I’ll test your patience, because I adore this program. They explore the most fascinating subjects, and are extraordinary storytellers. If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to an hour-long podcast, I highly recommend some of their “shorts,” which are usually about 15-25 minutes long. The most recent short I listened to was “Seeing in the Dark,” featuring the perspectives of two men who had become blind later in life, and exploring their opposed ways of “seeing” the world now. One decisively started shutting out visual perceptions, while the other attempted to further develop, enhance, and create new images.

Radiolab’s Seeing in the Dark

This was especially fascinating in light of my recent readings in philosophy class by David Hume and his distinction between perceptions of our minds: ideas & impressions. In his text An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, he proposes that we divide our perceptions into those ideas & impressions, and that all our ideas are derived from some original impression (hearing, sight, emotion, feelings, etc.). Consequently, he proposes that someone who does not have the capability of some impression, such as blindness is incapable of forming that corresponding idea. Now I’m simplifying this quite a bit, but I wonder how he would react to Zoltan Torey in this Radiolab podcast, who asserts that not only can he remember the images he had before he became blind, but that he has continued to develop further after he could no longer see?

Also, Christopher Jacrot’s photographs of NYC in the dark.

Today is the day, and whether you’re voting (which I think you should), I think we’ll all be relieved when everything is said and done this evening. Going to any election slumber parties tonight? I might actually try to stay awake for this one.

If you’re interested in what both sides of the Twitter aisle are saying today, check out Slate’s Echo Chamber today, where they have a live feed compiled from 20 conservative and 20 liberal “undits, surrogates, candidates, and politicos.”

I also like their slideshow of some of America’s weirdest polling places. I would so love to have voted in a greenhouse!

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
– Bruce Mau’s An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

I think the hardest part about being willing to grow is being willing to face your previous failures. Recognizing that you fell short, that you failed someone is a hard thing to own up to, but when we realize that, what is there to do but try to improve? We can’t change or control events that happen to us, but we can control how we react, how we grow, and how we become better people in spite of them.