A love letter to my slow self

I have posted love letters on this blog before (here and here). This is, in a sense, a third instalment.

I have written a few short pieces lately, all of which are intended for broader audiences beyond academia. I took the tasks on with my usual optimism or even more, but ended up spending days agonising over each of them.

Now they are all off my hands and navigating their own ways into the world, I can’t help but reflect on what made it particularly difficult this time — or was it really an exception?

I write extremely slowly. Even in my native language. I have always had awe and envy for people who can fill up pages ‘in one stroke of the pen’. This is not a new realisation.

On top of this, however, what I must keep firmly in mind is this paper that I came across a few months ago. In short, consumers tend to underpredict their future spending because they usually base their predictions on typical expenses alone, although atypical expenses are often more substantial in amount. The cognitive mistake we make by doing so, to paraphrase the authors, is that atypical expenses may occur at abnormal intervals, but they are not as rare as we think they are.

As soon as I started reading the paper, I had an epiphany 💡 that they are talking about deadlines.

S, who is my first and foremost reader, has just told me how many solid days I seem to need to produce a 800-word article, according to his observation. That is three times longer than how much time I would set aside when I organise my calendar. Three times!!! 😱 I have been saying I am a slow writer, but it looks like I have never truly embraced myself till now.

Déjà vu, déjà entendu [22]

RT @benjaminaengel Tip from Americans who dealt with Trump for 4 years for Koreans upset with Yoon’s election: don’t waste time talking about Shamanism and his wife’s scandals, etc. It happened already and people voted for him anyway… Instead… (1)

prepare your critiques about how his policies hurt people. Put women in danger. Make the rich richer and poor poorer. Bad for the environment. Whatever it is. Focus on the problems to come. Not the past…(2)

Especially since Yoon can’t stand for re-election. You’ll never defeat him by re-litigating his past. But you will have to defeat what he stands for again in the future. Move away from what this past campaign focused on—scandals—and start focusing on policy and solutions. End (13 March 2022)

**********

RT @AskAKorean Belated condolences to my Pinoy friends. We know what it’s like to take a step backward with a dictator’s child. Hang in there. (9 May 2022)

Once the red pill is taken [4]

This has become a mini series of posts on decolonisation on this blog. I thought the ‘red pill’ metaphor makes an apt title, as you cannot unsee structural inequality once you see it. Though it has struck me that it could be misinterpreted as the metaphor has been appropriated by anti-feminist and white supremacist groups online. The irony of ironies.

I can’t think of a better title yet, so I will carry on adding to it for now. This post is about climate change and how it is a colonial issue.

The minefield that is being a woman [4]

RT @EmilyEHoyle Use the code “IWD2022” for 25% off your pay and pension (8 March 2022)

RT @_RyanKirk This quarantine is affecting everyone in the work force, but it especially sucks for men. We’re losing $1 for every $.79 women are losing. (20 March 2020, crossposted 26 April 2020)

@PayGapApp: Employers, if you tweet about International Women’s Day, I’ll retweet your gender pay gap 👀 #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias

A Russian memory

The all-girl middle school I went to was obsessed with rhythmic gymnastics. It was out of character for a school in such a modest catchment area, but we had this one lady teacher who was responsible for the entire dance-related curriculum, and apparently she was a big shot when she was younger.

We also had a random ‘sister partnership’ with a school in Russia. A small group of girls around our age would come for a few days in summer and practise gymnastics in our facilities. I seriously doubt that our gym was worth the yearly trip, but again rumour had it that it was a reputation thing.

We would sometimes go watch the practice because it was mesmerising. One day, as I still vividly remember, one of the girls took a bite of an apple, and as soon as that happened, their coach smacked her full force across the face that she literally flew a little. Mind you, we were no stranger to the concept of corporal punishment in school, but that day seems to have left such a lasting visual imprint on me. Or rather, I didn’t realise it did, but the memory resurfaces every time I read an article like this one.