Monday, August 15, 2016

Calligcast #2: How to become Batman

Episode: How to become Batman
Podcast: Invisibilia

Tonight I listened to the third episode from "Invisibilia"'s first season, which is an awesome NPR podcast about the invisible forces that control human behavior (i.e. ideas, beliefs, assumptions, emotions).

The particular episode I listened to had to do with how others' expectations affect your ability, and featured a neat story about a blind man who can see.

Here's the episode description from the site:
In "How to Become Batman," Alix and Lulu examine the surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. You'll hear how people's expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and says expectations have helped him see. Yes. See. This journey is not without skeptics.


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[Life list] Riding Segways in Aveyron

Last week Saturday, I headed to Rodez for a visit and canoe outing planned with some Rodez friends that Sunday. When I got to Damien's, we were going to go pick up something to eat—but first he had to make a quick phone call. He was confirming the time for something, and I clearly heard the word "Segway."

What?! Then he said he had a surprise for the afternoon—but, you heard on the phone, right?

Yup, I heard, and boy was I excited.

It's been on my life list (and is now crossed off!) for some time to ride a Segway.

We drove about 40 minutes to Saint-Geniez d'Olt and rode Segways for an hour with the owner of Gyrofun12—Aveyron's first (and only, at this point) Segway tour company—and it was awesome! Completely surpassed any expectations.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Action vs. thoughts: Getting hung up on what would make the greatest impact


One of the things I struggle with again and again is that my mind seems to always be so concerned with efficiency when I have an idea of something to do.

For example, after some blog reading yesterday, I'm pretty convinced that it would be really good for me to do a 100-day project. Meaning I want to do a 100-day project, but I haven't yet committed to a start date nor what I would do. I did calculate though, that if I start on September 23, 100 days will take me through to December 31. (Here I go again, thinking, thinking, not doing, doing.)

The "project" isn't about making one final product, but rather choosing one action to do every day for 100 days. It celebrates the process, making, and showing up every day.

And there are lots of cool options that I think would bring me closer to the person I want to be. Here are some quick, rough ideas:
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Sunday motorcycle ride through Aveyron

I have a couple of day-outings from the past two months that I have yet to write about here, one of which was a Sunday motorcycle ride through Aveyron with Damien back in July, the day of the Euro finals.

I think I mentioned that back in April, he bought a motorcycle. This was my first (and to date only) time riding with him. I met Damien's best friend's mother earlier in the week in Montpellier to pick up her son's helmet, jacket and gloves to borrow. So on this hot July day, we were both wearing jeans, riding jackets, gloves and helmets. Bring on the sweat!

We were mostly riding, rather than walking through and visiting, so that's why this will be so picture-heavy. So, leaving Rodez, our first quick stop was in Salles la Source, in front of this little waterfall:

Salles la Source


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Friday, August 5, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Witnessing magic at a flash fiction writing workshop

This past Saturday morning I participated in a creative writing workshop.

It was my first ever.

As you know, I only ever write non-fiction here on the blog (and elsewhere online). Actually, now that I come to think of it, I probably hadn't even written fiction since elementary or middle school.

Seeing this as an awesome opportunity to try something new and stretch my creativity (and comfort), I gladly signed up.

After a partner introduction warm-up activity, we then used these neat "story cubes" to make a ridiculous chain story, one sentence at a time until we'd gone all the way around the table.

Next up was the main event: flash fiction. (Side note: I'd actually only heard of flash fiction before because of this lovely post of ways to get in French reading practice without cracking open a book (#3). Flash fiction is a great idea for reading and writing practice in any language!) After learning a little bit about it and hearing two published flash fiction pieces read aloud, it was our turn to write. Everyone wrote one word on a slip of paper, put them in the middle, and then drew a word that would spark your story. I put the word "flood" into the pile, and ended up drawing the word "escape." (Not a bad prompt to get, eh?)
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