Week 48 – UO

#332 Passing Shasta

27 November 2016 // Lake Shasta, California

“Scratch the surface of any cynic, and you will find a wounded idealist underneath. Because of previous pain or disappointment, cynics make their conclusions about life before the questions have even been asked. This means that beyond just seeing what is wrong with the world, cynics lack the courage to do something about it. The dynamic beneath cynicism is a fear of accepting responsibility.”

–John Ortberg

Be responsible to your convictions. They won’t always win debates. They won’t always pay the bills. They won’t always prevail in times of conflict. But if they’re convictions worth keeping, make sure they don’t lose you. Hope is a conviction. Joy is a conviction. Don’t give them up.

#333 Shoe Dog

28 November 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“I thought if that phrase, it’s just business. It’s never just business. It never will be. If it becomes just business, that will mean that business is very bad.”

–Phil Knight

Thanks to the UO business school, I got a signed copy of Shoe Dog. I was told to study up on it, so I took to reading and found I enjoyed this book a whole heck of a lot more than I expected to.

This book had a lot of heart, and that’s something I really wasn’t expecting. After all, Nike is pretty much your archetype of a mega-corporation and I didn’t know a whole lot about Phil Knight other than the fact that his name is all over Eugene.

Hearing the stories of their early years, testing out models on the UO track team, having to take on legal challenges from the US government and Japan, and figuring out how to build a team that works kept this on the side of being a good story.

In the end it’s a book about following a Crazy Idea- watch it reveal itself as a calling and pursuing it through disappointment and fatigue.

#334 Office Hours

29 November 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This week has been utterly ridiculous- in the past 48 hours I’ve had to present the City of Albany with a proposed budget, pitch a startup business idea, and knock out a 15 page paper.

Thankfully, I get a weekend to turn things down a notch before one last week of this finish line sprint. My first true day out of grad school is gonna be such a napfest.

#335 Bolognese

30 November 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Important beliefs I have about bolognese:

• It should be creamy. Use milk.

• It seems intuitive to add red wine, but go with white.

• Grating your carrots makes for a better texture than dicing.

• A little bit of ground sausage and diced bacon goes a long way.

Seems like an oddly late point in the year to have bolognese be an item on my cooking challenge. I’ve already made lasagna with bolognese as part of the challenge, and I’ve made bolognese a lot in general this year. Oh well. It’s been my busiest stretch of grad school, so it doesn’t hurt to have something I can prep from muscle memory.

#336 Grad School: One Week

01 December 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Just a little over a week left to go… you can put up with almost anything for a week! Though this week is going to really put that idea to the test.

Two major projects are running full throttle right now. Simultaneously, I have twenty pages of research to write and one exam to get ready for, all within the next nine days.

Grad school really wants to make sure that I don’t miss it too much, I guess.

#337 Grad Finale

02 December 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Grad school: where if you keep responding to enough emails, eventually somebody gives you a degree. This time next week, I’ll be looking at an empty inbox.

In the meantime, I get to enjoy a weekend with my favorites. We were gonna go visit Santa at PetSmart, but then somebody found a very muddy dog park, and you can’t show up to Santa lookin’ like that.

#338 Amazon View

03 December 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“I find students today much smarter and more competent than in my time, I also find them far more pessimistic. Occassionally they ask in dismay: Where is the U.S. going? Where is the world going? Or: Where are the new entrepreneurs? Or: Are we doomed as a society to a worse future for our children?

I tell them about the devastated Japan I saw in 1962. I tell them about the rubble and ruins that somehow gave birth to wise men… I tell them about the untapped resources, natural and human, that the world has at its disposal, the abundant ways and means to solve its many crises. All we have to do, I tell the sthudents, is work and study, study and work, hard as we can.

Put another way: we must all be professors of the jungle.”

–Phil Knight