Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knocking On Doors

I have a question for those of you who are working in an office (or even not) based on a conversation had today:

If a new graduate from college or graduate school came knocking on your office door looking to intern, would anyone in your office give that person the time of day? Would anyone be receptive to that person? Would you be impressed that the person came knocking on your door? Or would you prefer the person email first? Would you not like it that the person just showed up without an appointment or without checking when would be a good time for you? Would it make a difference if the person was offering to help for free or if the person wanted to be paid?

In short, how would you advise someone who was looking for an internship or job? To go knocking on doors or to send out emails? Or some other way? Is knocking on doors too old-fashioned and just wouldn't fly today? Or would it impress you?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jewish Connection

By Moshe
Overworked and over-caffeinated are often words used to describe medical students on their surgery rotation. Such was my state of mind this morning at 7:15. I was on-call last night, got a few hours of sleep in the resident/student dorm connected to the hospital and was back in the hospital at 5:00am. So by the time 7:15 rolled around, I had seen a few patients, finished rounds with the residents, and was set to head to the operating room.

I ran to the hospital basement to see my friend Jay. He is a forty-something year old African American fellow who works in the nourishment center. We have become good buddies and he gives me free coffee whenever I drop by to say hello. “You look extra-tired today doc. Long night?” I smile and nod, and mutter that I will stop by later to catch up with him about his recent schedule change and why his DVD player is missing. “Ok, doc, grab a big cup today and I’ll see you later for a refill. The usual, right? Black without sugar and milk,” he smiles proudly as he hands me the largest cup he has.

I step outside the room with my coffee in one hand and the OR schedule in the other. I place the coffee down and pull out my pocket-size surgery book and try to read about the surgery when I hear a voice behind me.

“Do you have lunch today?”

I turn around and find myself staring into the face of a middle-aged man in jeans and a red sweatshirt wearing a colorful knitted kippah on his head. While I think I have seen him around the hospital, I am not certain that I recognize him.

“Um, no,” I respond, thinking that he asked if I have a lunch break today (we don’t get official lunch breaks).”

He opens his briefcase and says, “I have these franks ‘n blankets that I don’t plan on eating today. I have a double lunch. Here, take these throw them in the microwave for thirty seconds and enjoy. Don’t worry, they are OU.”

He pulls a zip-lock bag out of his briefcase hands it to me and quickly turns and disappears into a lecture hall.

I stand there in shock. I have no idea who this guy is but he gave me lunch but I am grateful. He even walked away before I had a chance to introduce myself!

When I told this to my fellow classmate, she responded, “You gotta love the Jewish connection. I wish I had that.”

Quote of the Day

"There is no growth in comfort, and there is no comfort in growth" - heard last night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Self-Respect Or Ego?

Did you ever find yourself feeling so critical, you wonder if maybe it's you that's the issue, not the rest of the world? I'm someone who always thought of myself as lesser. If the world was a story, I was never the main character. Happily, I graduated college with a new sense of self-respect. I found I was actually quite a good person, that I do have some talents after all (even ones I was selling myself majorly short on), and that I held respectable values.

Now I find myself being constantly critical. It's hard to tell if I'm justified in being so, or if my new sense of self-respect is causing me to place too much judgment on others. I'm not consciously doing either. I know that as much as I am drinking in good values and habits from those around me, there are also plenty of things I see that I don't like and don't respect. It's difficult to find a balance between what deserves being thought about critically and what ought to be understood and ignored. I don't know if this is coming from actually respecting my values as opposed to those of other people or if I am getting an inflated ego that likes to find fault with things that are not myself. Either way, I find the way I feel disturbing and wish I did not feel so. It's probably not smart to write all of this in a blog post, but I'm not sure what else to do.

I know the world is not Candyland. But it must be easier to control your own thoughts and feelings than this?

Rabbi Machlis in Queens 8:30 TONIGHT!!!

You may have been a guest in their home for a shabbos meal during your year in Israel. You may have only heard of the dining room in which “there is always room for one more.” For over twenty years, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Mordechai Machlis have opened their home to hundreds of individuals every shabbos in a remarkable display of chesed, kindness, warmth, and joy.

TONIGHT is your chance to hear Rabbi Machlis speak on a topic he is quite familiar with “Avenues of Chesed in the Modern World.” Join us in welcoming him to Queens and sharing his Divrei Torah TONIGHT at the home of Yermi and Tamar Ornstein at 147-17 72nd Drive in Kew Gardens Hills.

Don’t miss this opportunity!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

These Foolish Things

(Hat tip: Benny) I thought this piece on was fantastic, and think that a nice chunk of the readership here [if y'all are still around!] would enjoy as well... I apologize for re-posting in full, a rarity on this blog.

These Foolish Things

There are three kinds of fools: Real Fools, Professional Fools, and Unsuspecting Fools. The professional, a staple of Shakespeare’s plays, is, in reality, nobody’s fool.

By Michael Dirda

Aristotle is sometimes called the Master of Those Who Know, which may explain why most people find him easier to admire than to like. By contrast, his own teacher’s famous teacher might be dubbed the Master of Those Who Haven’t a Clue. Informed by an oracle that he was the wisest of men, Socrates immediately recognized that this must be some kind of Delphic joke. Wise, pshaw! At best he was just a lover of wisdom — etymologically a philo-sopher — rather than a possessor of it. Really, Glaucus — he might have said — if I’m so smart, why do I have to go around asking all these questions?

Still, Socrates does at least look the part of antiquity’s Yoda. Everyone knows that to be wise means to be old, with lots of wrinkles around kindly eyes that have seen much and forgiven much and are full of pity for the fools that mortals be. But that, in short, is the trouble with wisdom. It implies a superiority to or withdrawal from the hurly-burly of life. While most of us are surrendering to what Joseph Conrad called “the destructive element,” and probably drowning in it, the wise guy is there on the shore warm and dry in his old flannel dressing gown and his new fluffy bunny slippers, and he’s probably murmuring something like, “Grasshopper, only a fool would go into the water on a day like this.” Shaking his head, he will soon pad on back to his snug little burrow and a nice cup of chamomile tea.

This is living? Wisdom plays it safe, avoids occasions of sin, sits home on Saturday night with an improving book. Elvis used to croon that “Wise men say, ‘Only fools rush in.’” But like the king he was, he knew that a brokenhearted clown understood more about the heart than any cautious Polonius. What would love be without impetuousness? Who can love and then be wise? “The heart has reasons that the reason doesn’t know.” No proverb says that love should be the end product of careful calculation, that it’s the smart move. This is why computerized dating seems repulsive to so many people; you just know the machine would be happier working on a spreadsheet. Besides, who would trust his emotional life to a program written by some Caltech brainiac who’s spent his entire geeky existence playing Halo and Warcraft? To quote Mr. T, “I pity the fool.”

As every truly wise man or woman knows, love is just one of those crazy things, and there’s no logic to what attracts us to one person and not another. You can tot up the pluses and minuses of a relationship all you want, meditate on the possible outcomes of commitment, consult past experience, but you’d do just as well, or better, to listen to a lot of country and western music. You want an explanation for falling in love? “Maybe it was Memphis.” Montaigne, whose Socratic motto was “What do I know?” accounted for his love for his friend Etienne de la Boetie perfectly: “Because he was he and I was I.”

In other words, when it comes to falling in love, who can explain it? Who can tell me why? Well, the goddess Folly can. In Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly she proclaims that she oversees love, that folly embodies the intuitive and passionate side of life and is far more fundamental to our human well-being than propriety or reason.

And that’s just for starters. Folly points out that Christ endured the “folly” of the cross and reminded His followers to imitate “children, lilies, mustard-seed, and humble sparrows, all foolish, senseless things, which live their lives by natural instinct alone, free from care or purpose.” Folly represents the “natural” in all its senses, standing in opposition to the mind-forged manacles of societal norms and expectations. Eventually, notes Erasmus, this sort of folly can even modulate into mystical distraction and ecstasy. Plato asserted that the madness of physical love, during which we forget all about thinking and our spirit seems to leave the body, is the highest form of ordinary happiness, while Christianity offers a similar joyful and irrational dream state when the soul temporarily unites itself with God.

Humanity, that dialectical animal, likes to look at things as binary opposites: raw and cooked, gay and straight, Laurel and Hardy. Just so, foolishness is the usual antithesis of wisdom. But foolishness, as Erasmus reminds us, is one of those qualities with a bit of range to it, so that another possible opposite is prudence. In fact, prudence and wisdom are practically roommates, and while sometimes being wise can look attractive — Gandalf, anyone? — almost nobody, except perhaps investment counselors, really wants to be thought of as prudent. Might just as well be an old maid in sensible black shoes or a Mr. Peepers with a coin purse. No, no, no; give me stiletto heels or give me death! If you can’t say “keep the change,” why bother to go to the bar?

In truth, there are essentially three kinds of fools: Real Fools, Professional Fools, and Unsuspecting Fools. Real Fools are the innocents, the simpletons, the idiot savants and “naturals” who react to situations and people with an Aspergian lack of restraint or decorum. They speak their unmediated minds, and great truths sometimes emerge, as “out of the mouths of babes.” Any of them might have blurted, “The emperor has no clothes.” Forrest Gump is our great modern examplar of this kind of fool. Heaven looks out for such as these.

Professional Fools include court jesters, clowns, toadies, con artists, and a whole range of yes-men. By pretending to be stupid or servile, the Professional Fool coolly aims to reinforce his client’s conviction of his own obvious superiority. In fact, these performance artistes always quip and caper with a purpose: a salary, behind-the-throne power, a scam. In literature one of the most memorable of these professional fools is Rameau’s Nephew, who in Diderot’s famous dialogue of that name toadies to the rich and powerful in return for a snug berth and regular meals. In the film The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey is a more complex example: Hunched and crippled (as were many professional court jesters), he’s slightly pitied by the tough and obviously much smarter people all around him. But Verbal Kint is far more than the “talkative child” that his name suggests.

As for Unsuspecting Fools, they are essentially everyone else in the world, starting with you and me. Everybody plays the fool sometimes; there’s no exception to the rule. More particularly, the Unsuspecting Fool is the supposedly wise figure — a sovereign, a pedantic scholar, a pillar of the establishment — who is blind to his own vanity and self-importance, ignorant of what’s really going on, puffed up with hubris. Pride goeth before a fall. In tragic vein, Oedipus and Lear are Unsuspecting Fools.

If you want to understand the power of Real Foolishness, read fairy tales. If there’s one thing that such stories teach us, it’s to trust animals. The simpleton who befriends the local forest creatures will find the treasure and win the princess. Every time. Not the clever older brothers with some Mission: Impossible plan. The guy who takes the thorn out of the lion’s paw, who doesn’t trample on the ants, who is careful not to crush the wildflowers will be rewarded.

Why is this? Because such saintly or holy fools possess a primitive, almost prelapsarian goodness. They are close to Nature, and they are empathetic and kind and humble and unsure of themselves and maybe not very good-looking either. They’re picked on by society and were probably in the lowest reading group, and their good souls shine forth like shook foil. Think Shrek. It’s no accident that the Feast of the Holy Innocents is also the date for the Feast of Fools. Over and over again, the Bible reminds us that the humble will be exalted.

In Shakespearean comedies (and tragedies) you’re certainly smart to play the Professional Fool or clown. When Bottom the Weaver is “translated” into an ass, the very symbol of the fool, what happens? The gorgeous Titania leads him away for some quality time in her bower. Hamlet knows that with his “antic disposition” on, he can do or say whatever he’d like. There’s no need to act the conventional young intellectual like his earnest schoolmate Horatio, who probably wears a bow tie and always makes the dean’s list at Wittenberg. As for the late Yorick, that fellow of infinite jest was obviously the only person at the gloomy court of Denmark who ever brought a spark of joy into the life of the melancholy Dane: “He hath borne me on his back a thousand times!” Even the greatest of all Shakespearean characters, Falstaff, is essentially a fool writ very, very large. Wherever Sir John goes, it’s party time, Carnival, and he is the Lord of Misrule. Certainly this jolly fat man is a lot better company than, say, the rather cold-hearted and manipulative Prospero. But even that magician finally decides to drown his book and give up his power. Being superhuman isn’t half as much fun as being human.

As for those Unsuspecting Fools, take a look at King Lear. Here the best and the brightest — the king himself; the clever, upwardly mobile Regan and Goneril; that shrewd bastard Edmund — wreak nothing but havoc and sorrow. Everything goes wrong. But why, how, could this happen to them? They took every precaution, they carefully plotted and schemed, they made Venn diagrams and flow charts, and they were careful not to let people or human feelings interfere with their big plans. By contrast, the most admirable characters in the play are terribly na├»ve (Cordelia), insane (Edgar as Tom O’Bedlam), or simpleminded (the Fool).

One might argue that Shakespeare’s wicked characters aren’t wise but merely worldly wise and usually too smart for their own good. They’re the sort of people to whom Paul offers his famous advice in his first letter to the Corinthians: “If any man among you seem to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” They are, in fact, self-centered egotists who have suppressed the springs of natural affection. In this respect, if not in any other, they aren’t really so different from the great sages and Buddhas, who remove themselves from this world, who keep a safe distance from the bonfires of desire. The austerity of spiritual life, the quest for perfect understanding or oneness or transcendence, asks that we give up being human. Is any abstraction really worth so much?

The English author Walter Pater suggested that we should seek experience itself, rather than the fruit of experience, i.e., wisdom. Of course, he was an aesthete with an ornate style, so it’s easy to dismiss what he said. It’s important for human beings to make mistakes, to do stupid things, to go overboard, to be foolish — even if it’s painful — and not to judge themselves too harshly when they’ve been burnt. As Zorba the Greek used to proclaim, “Life is trouble!”

Let me bring this foolishness to an end by repeating the advice from the closing lines of The Praise of Folly: “Clap your hands, live well, and drink!” In other words, meine Damen und Herren, life is a cabaret. What is the use of sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! And, then, if you’re really wise — or do I mean foolish? — you might as well dance.


Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize–winning book columnist for the Washington Post and the author, most recently, of Classics for Pleasure (Harcourt).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Honey, I Can't Hear You!

Dear Mom, SIL, Vervel, and Serach:

So... you know how y'all complain that we don't listen? Well - apparently, it's *not our fault*! It seems like instead, it might be Daddy's fault. (Woohoo!) We seem to have possibly inherited this little issue called "otosclerosis", which basically says that as we get older, this little issue with our ears gets much much worse.

So... the next time y'all are upset that we didn't hear you call us for dinner, or to turn off the game that's on, or to get off the computer, or to take out the garbage, or to go get the baby, or whatever... well, we're sorry: We just can't hear you. It's not "selective hearing", or "ignoring", or "tuning you out"... we're just not hearing you. So next time you want something from us while the Cavs' game is on... sorry, we just can't hear you. :)

Love, OD & YW Ezzie

P.S. Hearing loss is not a joke! If you think you're not hearing quite as well as you were/should be, go get it checked out. Otosclerosis is in up to 10% of adults, more common in Caucasians, more common in women {though in our family it's all the men}, and it is very often hereditary. If one parent has it, you have a 25% chance of having it; if both do, it's up to 50%. Perhaps most important, however, is that the earlier you catch it, the more you can do to stop it. A 'simple' surgery can almost completely stop the effects, and having fluoride with calcium is a suggestion often given (please consult with your physician!).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicago Mayor Daley Blames Fort Hood On America’s Love Of Guns!

From here

With no pogrom backlash after 9/11, no pogrom backlash after Bali, no pogrom backlash after Madrid, no pogrom backlash after London, no pogrom backlash after Mumbai, no backlash after countless other Jihad attacks, why would there be any reason to believe the reaction would be any different in this case? As we have written before, the West has already passed this particular civility test.

The Mayor is using a straw-man argument that conveniently provides him with an opportunity to politicize the terrorist attack as part and parcel with America’s love of guns.

Mayor Daley, and other politicians, like to blame gun violence on the guns themselves because that is so much easier than admitting any inconvenient truths which might be revealed if they were to place blame where it belongs.

Kids murdering each other in the inner city? That’s because of guns, not the War On Drugs which turns poor children into black market drug distributing gang members.

Islamists murdering people while shouting Allah Akbar? That’s because of guns, not the Jihad being perpetrated globally against all so called “infidels”.

They blame the guns because guns don’t vote.

lastly, is Mayor Daley seriously arguing for increased gun control on a military base? If there had been more guns around, this ticking Jihad bomb could have been put down a lot faster than he was.

And in case you couldn't guess, he is a democrat :)

Best Quotes From Tuesday

With Ezzie too busy to blog, there hasn't been that much Elianna and Kayla stuff on here in a while.

I, however, have (too much) plenty of time to blog and I had the pleasure of hanging out with Elianna and Kayla yesterday. It's amazing how they've both gotten so big so quickly. The first time I met Elianna, she was only a little bit older than Kayla is now. Now she's old enough to grab my hand and insist I go skipping with her on the sidewalk, or make me a birthday crown and put it on my head (no, it's not actually my birthday, but that's okay!), or talk about the Parsha. And Kayla - well, she went from being teeny tiny to walking and talking, though it doesn't feel like so long ago that she wasn't even born yet! (Well, it wasn't that long ago...and yet it kind of was a long time ago, too.)

Anyway, now that Kayla says words, she is actually quite funny!


[Picking up Kayla from the babysitter]
Kayla: [crying, crying, crying]
Dog outside: Bark!
Kayla: [picks up her head, alert] DOG!

[Walking with Serach, Elianna, and Kayla and passing by an auto shop]
Elianna: What happened to that car?
Serach: It's getting fixed.
Elianna: Fixed?
Erachet: Yeah. It was broken so it got brought here and when it's fixed it will get brought back.
Elianna: [Thinks for a minute] ...This is the shop?!
Erachet: Yep!
Elianna: My daddy takes the car to the shop!

[After picking up Elianna from school]
Elianna: Let's go to the park!
Serach: No, not today. It's going to rain.
Elianna: But I want to go to the park!!!!!
Serach: No...but we can go home and play a game.
Elianna: [pouts for a minute, then breaks into a huge grin] Let's go shopping!!!

[Kayla goes to stand in front of a floor lamp in the living room and studies it, as though wondering what to do with it]
Erachet: Kayla...are you making trouble...?
Kayla: [Huge grin] Yah!

Kayla: [crawling on the floor] Ruff ruff!

Kayla: [while eating, she throws her sippy cup onto the floor]
Erachet: Kayla, that wasn't nice.
Kayla: [Grins and shakes her finger] No no no!

[I don't remember the context for this, I just remember it happened]
Serach: Not now.
Elianna: Not now.
Kayla: Nah now!

...And there are lots more I am probably forgetting.

They're the cutest kids! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What the Pelosi Health-Care Bill Really Says

I figure Ezzie is not around, so why not help him out a bit.

Interesting and important article here.

BTW, this woman actually read the ENTIRE bill. I wonder how many of our representatives actually did that.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fathers Father

Interesting article in the NY Times last week about parenting:

As much as mothers want their partners to be involved with their children, experts say they often unintentionally discourage men from doing so. Because mothering is their realm, some women micromanage fathers and expect them to do things their way, said Marsha Kline Pruett, a professor at the Smith College School for Social Work at Smith College

In a similar vein
Uninvolved fathers have long been accused of lacking motivation. But research shows that many societal obstacles conspire against them. Even as more fathers are changing diapers, dropping the children off at school and coaching soccer, they are often pushed aside in ways large and small.

“The walls in family resource centers are pink, there are women’s magazines in the waiting room, the mother’s name is on the files, and the home visitor asks for the mother if the father answers the door,” said Philip A. Cowan, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, who along with his wife, Carolyn Pape Cowan, has conducted decades of research on families. “It’s like fathers are not there.”

And now for the really interesting part

In the study, low-income couples were randomly placed into a father-mother group, a father-only group and a control group of couples. The controls were given one information session; the other two groups met for 16 weeks at family resource centers in California, discussing various parental issues.

In both of those groups, the researchers found, the fathers not only spent more time with their children than the controls did but were also more active in the daily tasks of child-rearing. They became more emotionally involved with their children, and the children were much less aggressive, hyperactive, depressed or socially withdrawn than children of fathers in the control group.

But notably, the families in the couples group did best. They had less parental stress and more marital happiness than the other parents studied, suggesting that the critical difference was not greater involvement by the fathers in child-rearing but greater emotional support between couples.

“The study emphasizes the importance of couples’ figuring parenting out together and accepting the different ways of parenting,” Dr. Kline Pruett said.

Fathers tend to do things differently, Dr. Kyle Pruett said, but not in ways that are worse for the children. Fathers do not mother, they father.

Dr. Kyle Pruett added: “Dads tend to discipline differently, use humor more and use play differently. Fathers want to show kids what’s going on outside their mother’s arms, to get their kids ready for the outside world.” To that end, he said, they tend to encourage risk-taking and problem-solving.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Patience & Advertising

(I'm sure Jon would appreciate this one.)

Last night, we had a bright, handsome young man over for dinner. After dinner, he was calmly expressing his frustrations with different aspects of an organization he's involved with, seeking out advice as to how to best approach the various issues facing him and those around him. He noted that the largest difficulty they faced was the overall apathy of the people around them in general.

What was perhaps most interesting among the various suggestions posed by the different people still remaining were that they all had the same approach, or more accurately, all noted the same points about his planned approach:
  • You will not succeed if you expect to make sweeping changes in a short period of time, and if you do expect to do so, you will only frustrate yourself to the point where you won't succeed at all.
  • The best way to have the impact you desire is to bring in people just ahead of the stage you are in life who can impress upon everyone around you what aspects of life they need to be cognizant of for themselves.
  • Only after people around you see how things impact them will they suddenly turn back to you to seek out help in addressing those issues.
  • Most importantly, you must have the selfless idealism and understanding that whatever impact you have will not be seen until after you are long gone from the place you are now, and you have to accept that whatever changes you cause you will not see yourself.
What was particularly interesting was that this young man clearly "got" what everyone was saying, was able to accept it, and yet you could see the pain evident in his expression at the idea that this would be something that would only occur years down the road after he was gone. He was mature enough to accept it, he is mature enough to still move forward... but it certainly hurts. In a society of instant gratification, it is difficult for people to take a long-term approach, and it is commendable that he is likely going to push aside that pain to do what is necessary to help others down the line.

I thought it was interesting partly because of how it was a flipped version of something we went through at work this past week. Our company, on the advice of my boss, placed a large-scale advertising push that cost us a nice amount of money for one of our divisions. The manager of the division being advertised almost panicked, not sure they'd be able to handle the volume of calls. I didn't expect a lot of calls, but didn't know if they could handle the demand should they get too many. End results - Day One: 1 call. Days Two - Four: A handful. Day Five: A bunch. Total: Maybe 15-20 calls, for an entire week of not cheap ads. But as anyone in business or majoring in business will tell you, advertising is a bunch of bull - its purpose has nothing to do with business directly, but branding, image, perception, and awareness. Every vendor or person that walked into our office this week commented how they'd noticed our ads all week. A local news station wanted to run a story. Other vendors wanted to know if we'd advertise with them. The people who helped place the ads wanted to use our services themselves and recommended it to friends. When we asked our boss when he came back into town how many calls he expected on the week, he said "10". Upon hearing that we took a little more than that, he was thrilled; we'd beaten expectations. But the primary lesson of the week was that advertising is about delayed gratification. It's not that someone who sees an ad then calls up to use that service or buy that product; it's that when they're looking for a service or product, that ad they saw is what comes to mind and is the first place they look.

While people often vastly overrate the importance of experience in many areas, there are plenty of areas in which people vastly underrate it. Listen to your elders, but don't be afraid to challenge them as well - if you don't state your objections, you won't have the chance to learn where you may be making an error. I've learned more in the past four months both by teaching those around me and by questioning those above me than I have in a long time. My boss is notorious for saying "You'll see" after giving his explanation of what will happen when it flies in the face of logic as we might understand it... and has been more than vindicated each time. Perhaps most important, both applicable to business and life, never be stuck on your own opinion of something: If you take it personally, you will not be able to succeed. Fight for your opinion, but when you see that it has lost, move forward. You will eventually see better what was and was not going to work from your approach. It was heartening to see the young man at our table arguing strongly for different ideas, but understanding the flaws as they were noted. He'll go far in life.

Postscript: I thought it was ironic that the young man's major was psychology.

Postcript II: This post sounds way more serious and pompous than it is intended to be. It's supposed to be random musings on life as learned over the past couple of months, seen more clearly when flipped from the student role to co-advising role. Please read it as such. Thanks! :)