Lessons of 2006

Similar to resolutions, a new year is a good time to reflect on the things you have learned over the course of the year. I mean you can do this anytime, but January is just a convenient one. I never really saw the point of of screaming “Happy New Year!” when the ball dropped. Who cares, it just another invention of mankind to mark the passage of time. But hey, if it makes you do a little reflection, more power to ya.

What I’ve learned

  1. Writing novels is hard – but rewarding
  2. The same is true for having long-term romantic relationships
  3. Really, anything worth doing is going to be hard
  4. To do something well, you’ve got to care. Caring cannot be overrated
  5. I used to say Talent was overrated, now I’m backing down a little – it matters when you want to be the best in the world – chess, athletics, physics, but for most of life’s endevours, talent can be beaten by hard work and perserverance
  6. Everyone is irrational and swayed by emotions, but especially females.
  7. On that note – being attractive to women is a skill men can learn to get good at – but at what cost?
  8. Organic chemistry is freaking harrrd.
  9. There are now many viable ways for humanity to commit suicide – climate change, end of oil, biological agents, and of course nuclear war
  10. Staying busy is one of the best ways to keep from being lazy and unproductive.

Simps, Improv and Education

I just came back from a show by the Stanford Improvisers (SIMPS) called “Phantom of the Improv” at the Pigott Theater. I watched 8 members produce a improvised, unrehearsed 50 minute Broadway-style musical called “The Ballet Class” (the title was selected through many audience suggestions and subsequent voting)

It was incredibly fun.

I love sIMPs shows: they are funny, musical and surprising. This show was the best entertainment I could recommend to anyone. The songs were catchy, the actors were funny and real, and the plot had a great ending. The story was basically about a school where a new kid gets into trouble on the first day with a “bad kid”, then joins the homeroom art project of “expressing yourself” with two other students who learn ballet. The bad boy is eventually convinced to join the project as well and give it a chance. Continue reading…