August 11th, 2014

blackhat

(no subject)

I woke far too early in the predawn gloom, and didn't fall asleep easily. The last hour before trying to fall asleep and the hour before journaling, though, i have made good progress on sweeping up loose ends. I'm beginning to feel a sense of knowing what i've committed to out there, and like i can make decisions about what to do next without missing something important.

I almost missed a commitment yesterday morning: i was signed up to close Meeting for Worship, but having been feverish the past few days i had lost that thread. I didn't want to leave Christine in the morning.... It worked out fine, as i recalled as i drove in.

Today's query: What joy have i experienced in the past day (week)?

I was thinking about joy during worship, and how i don't know if i sense joy as an experience that often. "Rejoice," i thought, and i realize i do know how to do that. (Some difference between active and passive experience, i suppose.) I rejoice often in seeing the expressions of contentment on our sleeping cats, and, with Greycie Loo (who never seems content in the way the boyos do) i rejoice in when she reaches out and asks for affection.

This past week i've rejoiced in my borage plant: tossing some of the bright blue flowers in a salad of basil, cucumber, tomato, and orange, pinching back some of the faded blossoms to see if that promotes continued blooming along the cyme.

"Make Grace a habit, not a ritual," came to me during worship, too, tied up with my reflection on joy. What i call grace is a refreshing experience, washing away clutter that overwhelms me and helping me see the simple next steps forward.

I noticed yesterday evening, as i awaited my brother's visit, that i had the energy and clarity to do some chores -- with ease, not with "gotta do." I was aware in the moment of the ease, and i will say i rejoiced in it.

I'm not sure how to make grace a habit: other ways of thinking about it are remembering to be present in the moment. I've lots of little triggers i've tried to create for myself out there: i'll just keep reminding myself.

I know what woke me was anxiety about a meeting today. So it goes.

blackhat

Anki

Anki is a flashcard program that i highly recommend. It is free for most platforms (but iOS), and i happily paid for the iOS version.

Two features make it well worth it to me: one is that it supports spaced repetition, one of the highly recommended techniques in the "Learning about Learning" class. That means that the software, based on your feedback, varies how long it is until you see the card again, from minutes to months. It phases in the cards so you aren't overwhelmed, but have new material mixed with old. I'm beginning to have hope that i have a memory: i've just never known how to train it.

The other feature is the card flexibility. Simple "front and back" cards can be used in both directions (sometimes presenting the front, sometimes the back). A type of card called "cloze" prompts you for "fill in the blank" type questions -- multiple "blanks" can be defined on the same card. A sentence like, "An acid has an excess of H+ ions and has a pH of above 7," can be entered once, and used for three different cards:

*_____ has an excess of H+ ions and has a pH of above 7.
* An acid has _____ and has a pH of above 7.
* An acid has an excess of H+ ions and has a pH of _____ 7.

Pictures can be used. I've a custom card for people, now. I grab staff directory photos and prompt myself for someone's name, and on the same card i can prompt with a name and ask what they do, or ask what they do to prompt myself for a name.

It seems flexible enough to work through triggering all sorts of different memories, from academic, definitions, to affirmations, and other things that one might want to call to mind.