Berkeley, Saturday August 18, 2018
While this is a website to talk about my research or related issues, I also would like to write about my personal life.
Writing is an art and a process for thinking clearly. While I have had been almost in a daily basis for 7 months now, I have not made that writing public.
Everyday there are hard decisions to make, which will influence my next steps, and the lives from other people. Being prepared to react to situations comes from given the best of myself everyday.
Regarding working and willing to serve regardless being supervised, I like a parable from the Bible, Matthew 24:45-51, The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant:
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
A question over my last academic year was if I should live in International House, which is a beautiful house, dorm style, one block away from campus. It is very convenient, I have opportunity to socialize everyday, there is dining service of three meals per day, the distance to campus is very convenient, there is a library. In general, it is an excellent place to live, while staying focused on my main academic and working activities.
I like the meal schedule in weekdays. Breakfast is served at 7:15 AM. My daily goal is to wake up at 6:00 AM, get a shower, change clothes, pray in the morning, organize my room, write a little bit, and get ready for breakfast.
Then, I start working on my daily academic duties either on campus or at I-House by 8:00 AM.
Normally, days end well, and the week also goes well, when I play tennis at 6:00 PM. Then, I have a dinner around 7:25 PM, take a shower at 8:30 PM, work for some time in the night at I-House library, and sleep by 10:15 PM.
Often the sleeping time changes. One reason, because my own decision to try to finish any task that I am doing in the night, or just randomly check news in internet or updates in social media. Another reason, it is that sometimes there is few noise around. In a house of 600 people, many are still awake at that time. Still, if I am tired enough, any noise will not disrupt my sleep.
The time that I go to bed dictates how productive will be next day. Sometime, while talking about schedule of hours of sleep, the focus is on the time to wake up, but actually, it is more important the time to go to bed, as it determines the second one.
I have put several efforts on getting a consistent daily schedule of hours asleep and awake, either for my profession, entertainment, and just for being active, fully focused in any activity over the day. A major disruption for my schedule has been the brunch culture. While of course, I am free to wake up at any time that I want, my brain knows that I-House opens at weekends for brunch at 9:30 AM. This normally has an impact in the time that I wake up in weekends, and in how to distribute how many meals I will eat on Saturdays and Sundays, which can be 2 instead of 3; plus some fruit that I often eat between meals.
In order to find a consistency to wake up everyday by 6:00 AM, regardless it is weekday or weekend, while living at I-House, I have three choices, one to have food in my room for eating breakfast; two to go at 7:15 AM to Cafe Strada, which opens at 6:00 AM; or three to store my breakfast in I-House kitchen on Friday night and on Saturday night. I-House kitchen opens at 7:00 AM.
I will discard the first option, because, I do not like to store food in my bedroom, besides snacks for between meals, which are 100% chocolate bars and oranges. Strada strategy seems reasonable, for having breakfast outdoors in a nice space. However, I feel that I can just go out for a walk before breakfast, and then come to I-House. While Cafe Strada is a nice place, in general the coffee served in the United States is too large. A small coffee size, is comparable with a big water glass. I do not in oz. now, I should be more accurate. Second, a good breakfast for me is a mug of coffee, without milk, two slices of a good bread, a grapefruit or an orange, sometimes eggs, few times tofu, and some vegetables. In cafe Strada I can get the coffee, but their bread and pastries are quite heavy. Furthermore, with the cost of three or four cups of coffee at a Coffee Shop, I can buy a dark roast instant coffee container for 100 cups. While I love Cafe Strada, it will depend a lot of having a nice company for meeting at breakfast there, which would justify me going there. Therefore, my solution is to bring bread and some vegetables to the I-House kitchen on Friday and Saturday nights. I will see how it goes storing there, as it is a shared space. I will bring my water kettle and the fruits that I have in my room, and make breakfast at the I-House kitchen. I can eat breakfast in either in the Gamble room or in the Great Hall.
Tomorrow will be my first day implementing this. This is one of the challenges to not have my own kitchen, but in contrast to many benefits described above that I have in I-House such as distance to campus, friends, meals, infrastructure, and organized activities.
I can create a community of early raisers at I-House. I will be happy to make breakfast for the community. I will see how it goes.