A Humane Turtle


Selective Sensibility

The Final Frame

And now the final frame:


Yes, it is the typical tirade
The trouble letting go

No more Melody, or dreams of D
No more Home outside of me

While I cherished what we tried to make
I never got the flow


Ah, heck, I wish I could just turn my back
And leave it all behind

The bad, the good, the dearth of time
The things I couldn’t find

No more masquerades, no fait accompli
No closets with no room for me


The irony in all of this:
While having what is most alike
Myself I could but miss


About Expectations and Disappointment

The last couple of months were quite stressful. I tried to combine a lot of things into limited time. Working full time, taking two courses at university (a full-time student would take three), singing in a band, an opera choir, taking singing and occasional dancing lessons, attending conferences.

In the beginning of June, I expected, I would be very happy and a little proud of myself: I would have managed to do it all, I would have successfully completed my uni courses. Times of little sleep would would be over – or at least more sparse. I would no longer be called a visitor in my own home.

Joy is always in the forecast.

Turned out that I was a bit too much/little perfect(ionist) to be happy.

  1. I got a B in one of the exams, not necessarily because I didn’t know the matter, but because I wasn’t focused and talked about structure rather than content, mainly.  So I was unhappy about the B, rather than happy about finishing. Also because the teachers said they’d expected more from me.
  2. The teachers saw my frustration and called me in again, offering me to raise an objection. They meant I could argue that, at the exam, I wasn’t able to show what I can. In the end I agreed to re-take the exam. Which was in itself frustrating, because I couldn’t let go, and despite being tired and exhausted, I would have to study for another week. This time I would make sure not to make a fool of myself.
  3. The exam was supposed to be this morning. Yesterday afternoon I got an email from my teacher that she had found out that raising an objection isn’t possible in my case, re-taking the exam wasn’t an option.

Expectations just didn’t meet outcomes.

On a side note, if anyone needs flash cards with summaries of papers on CSCW, let me know..

What makes me smile (travel edition)

  • The prospect of meeting my family soon.
  • The surprising sight of newly fallen snow on the way out of Oslo.
  • Noticing, right after the airport security check, that I still had a half-full bottle of water with me.
  • Discovering a magazine I had liked before (‘samtiden’), and buying it.
  • Starting to read that magazine and, again, being delighted by its quality.
  • A pear, an apple, and raw cashew nuts.
  • A sunbath for face and mind on the plane, for two hours straight.
  • The sense that, landing in Salzburg, I understood what my singing teacher had talked about: the deep feeling of coming home (as expressed, in his case, by the song ‘Ved Rundarne’).

Things I like

  • Eating dried mango (organic & fair-trade) in large quantities
  • The fact that healthy food tends to be more colorful
  • Having time for just me every once in a while
  • Singing an aria without exactly knowing what an aria is
  • Walking around Oslo on a Saturday, enjoying the sun, the street music, and people who smile back
  • Having personal conversations with the staff of the local organic store, even though I don’t even know their names
  • The astonishment of being complimented and, for once, not disregarding the compliment in my head
  • Meeting old friends that, although communication is sparse, haven’t forgotten about the old ‘us’
  • The sense that what I do broadens my horizon, that I’m not standing still
  • The fact that, despite my dark moments, I do succeed to think positively more often than not

Reality Is Not Real

So I went to the movies last night, without any expectations whatsoever. I only went along with the usual crowd, without having seen any trailer. I didn’t even remember what the title of the movie was when I arrived, only that it was supposed to be a good movie (judged by its IMDB rating, at least).

So I watched ‘Shutter Island’ last night.

The movie targets these questions: What is real? Which reality is the real one? Who is sick, who is trying to help, and who isn’t?  I find these questions highly interesting. My problem is just that they aren’t only interesting to me, I feel connected to them in a deeply emotional way.

When I was in my early teenage years, a close family member was diagnosed with Schizophrenia – and is still living with it today. It’s a fascinating condition in so many ways. First of all, you’re not supposed to talk about it: everybody knows, nobody talks. Second, the patients don’t necessarily agree to having it. It’s a mental disease after all. And third, both treating and not treating it will have an impact on the patients’ state of mind, but treating it might mean taking away power from them – something everybody of us would try to avoid at (almost) all cost. It’s a thin line really: when does a situation justify to take away powers of an otherwise free person, to do something to them that – despite the good will – isn’t what they want? How do we know that what we are trying to do is really any good? And who tells us, the involved outsiders, that we have the real reality on our side? Do we just think we do because our reality is close enough to average?

A lot of these thoughts and feelings I can sometimes only handle by locking them away in some shady corner of myself. The movie yesterday managed to break those locks. I’m not sure if that was good or bad.