Operation: Life

I promise this will be a short post. Unlike my last one. haha.

I finished my script for Assignment #1. Which means shortly I will be making my media piece about our wedding planning.

I had to revise it after my first submission, but I feel much better about it than I did before anyway. I was happy to get feedback and see where to improve it.

Not that it will be a film festival winner or anything close to perfect, but after revising my script I realized that the problem with it was that I had focused too much on the end and not about the process. The process was the interesting part. “Focusing too much on the end” is a problem I seem to have from time to time… but that’s another story for another day. I promised this would be short. ;)

Once I fixed that problem with my script, it was much better.

Stay tuned for my media piece!

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Note to reader: As I continued to write this post, my thoughts wandered & this post grew into a monster in length.. please excuse. :)

While working on media project #1, my numerous papers for Cognitive & Affective Bases of Behavior (706), working (in the general sense), and watching our country debate several social issues, I began to wonder…

Which is better? Using the first solution you can find or waiting for the ideal answer (should it come along, that is)? I definitely don’t think there will be an easy or universal answer.

Someone (*ahemJasonOhlerahem*) once said not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Something that no professor at any point in my education had ever dared to even insinuate… and yet I find an odd/new sense of comfort from this. Even while my overachiever (& some may say “stereotypically Asian”) mind still fights this idea, my rational mind realizes this may be what saves my sanity from being eaten by my doctoral studies.

But I also firmly believe there are certain situations that call for waiting. Not accepting the first or easy answer and working to find something better. I could come up with a million “solutions” to a million huge problems in the world today. Does that mean someone should listen to me or I should be the President Leader Ruler Queen of the World? Negative. Just because I have ideas does not make them feasible/realistic/good/positive/etc. by any means. I am confident that there are a ton of other people with better ideas than mine.

However, this does not go to say that we should stop trying & wait. Waiting is not passive. Waiting is still a choice. And without going into the deep philosophy behind every decision being a decision, even if your decision is to not decide…. It’s true. Waiting does not have to be something that you let or watch happen. You can still work on a solution while waiting for the right one. How else will you find it?

But where was I? … Oh yes, I was talking about taking the first solution or waiting for the best one.

Believe it or not, this post actually stemmed from an article from The Economist about Apple and Steve Jobs. Here it is.

I am (and perhaps always will be) an Apple lover. And no, it’s not just because it’s aesthetically pleasing (although it IS beautiful) or because of the witty tv ads (which I find to be very entertaining). The article discussed the way that Apple does not necessarily create brand new ideas or products, but take a current idea and improve it beyond what the previous competitors/companies had ever done.

I agree with this view of Apple. Especially with the new iPad. My fiancé & I had a discussion about it. He laughed at it because it wasn’t anything new- it was just a giant iPhone. I said it was, in a way. BUT it was a brilliant move for Apple. The iPad may not be innovative in its concept. However, it is now a huge competitor for Amazon’s Kindle. I’m sure Amazon is not looking forward to this. Previously, I would have loved a Kindle. Despite the fact that “reading for fun” is exponentially less fun while in a doctoral program, I would have loved to have the technology. But now… why buy a Kindle when I could buy an iPad for relatively the same price and have much more capability?

In case you are now lost or confused & if you are still reading this, congratulations and thank you- here is your digital cookie, the point of this ramble was to say that sometimes a new, easy solution isn’t the answer. Sometimes an innovation isn’t necessary. Sometimes the easy answer isn’t even a good one. Sometimes it’s better to just improve on something that already is. But it’s also important to know when to compromise and just accept what is.

I may never reach perfection in my work, studies, personal life, health/fitness… but that does not mean I won’t try to get there once or twice. or fifty.

The Economist recently published this article about the “Psychology of Power.”

It was interesting and basically discussed the research around whether power corrupts people or power attracts corrupt people. An important question.

One word that was mentioned a few times was “entitlement.” This intrigued me. I have always felt that entitlement CAN be a huge societal problem and burden. It is my opinion that this seems to be an American concept. Not solely Americans. But perhaps predominately. We tend to feel we are entitled to a perfect life. As if we have done something in a previous life that warrants “goodness.” In all honesty, I think our “entitlement” should be limited to the following: opportunity.

As humans, who are fortunate to live in a “free” country, it is our entitlement only to the opportunity for circumstances/experiences. The opportunity to choose to love. To worship. To work. To rest. To eat and drink. To be healthy. To give. To take. To learn. To be ignorant. To indulge. To save. To reward. To punish. To celebrate. To mourn. To acquire possessions. To have wealth. To spend. To mend bridges. To burn them. To serve. To be served.

It is our choice what to do with those opportunities. No one is “entitled” automatically to any of the above. People who feel this sense of entitlement (and believe me, I know a few) are only out for disappointment when they find not everyone feels the same way they do. It saddens me when I see parents who teach their children to be this way, and I fear this problem is here for good. What happened to taking action and accepting responsibility?

I have always believed life is what you make it. Yes, bad things happen. No, life is not fair. But it is up to you what you do after what happens to you happens.

Here is my first “assignment post.”

Assignment #1 was to tell a story about yourself. This is the story of our initial wedding planning process/stresses.

After approval of my story map, I will post my script.

Story Map

I’m happy to be back in Florida but (as always) I was glad to be able to attend session. It’s always good for a morale boost/kick in the academic-butt. And it’s always great to catch up with friends and faculty.

I’m excited and curious to see what this course (767) will teach me/develop in me. It definitely involves work that gets me out of my “box” (which lately seems to be filled with nothing but research, reading and paper writing).  Making a piece of media (other than the typical powerpoint presentation) is not something I have ever done, but something (especially in this field) that I need to be able to do.

One thing Jason said that I need to remind myself was, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” I know I can be a perfectionist and therefore I am highly critical of my work, no matter what it is. This doesn’t go to say that I should not try my best and produce quality work, but if my work isn’t “ground-breaking-change-history” kind of work, it’s okay. I suppose, overall, I never expected my work/my (eventual) career to change the course of history. I just want it to be meaningful. If my work is meaningful and purposeful and important to me or anyone else… I will be satisfied.

This is my first post for my blogfolio for 767: Media Platforms.

I will use it to post all of my assignments and any articles I find particularly interesting. I would like to continue to use this blog for my work/thoughts/etc in the future also.  (For those of you who know me personally, you know my name will not be Smeenk Enrique :) until 10/10/10) Hopefully I can keep updating this as time goes.

Assignment #1 complete! :)