August's Curated Ingest
late night thoughts halfway through undergrad
some of my photos to start:
Some messy 12:30 a.m. thoughts the Sunday before Junior Year begins.
As I enter the second half of my time in undergrad with the Covid-19 pandemic still in mind, I've been thinking a lot about how I interact with community. I am a curious person with many intersection identities and struggle to feel that the way I engage with my communities is enough. This applies to all (cultural, professional, etc.) of my identities.
As I've been mulling the communities I find myself in at university, I wonder if the relationships I have would exist if we wouldn't see each other often because of a common time-sink. If we graduate and remain in the same city, would we still be close? I've noticed that some relationships I have, no matter the difference in timezone or how frequently we interact, feel much more energizing and positive to me. I always leave those encounters feeling optimistic. This is in stark contrast to the routine shuffle of what I call ‘acquaintance sightings’ that NYC is famous for. The revolving door of relationships smushes you against the friend who's in town for the weekend at parties and the never ending carousel of Sunday brunch catch-ups. Not that these encounters are inherently bad - I just feel tired after expelling so much energy in these encounters. In a WFH future in a potentially new city come graduation, I am anxious that my relationships will be incredibly one dimensional, which is a reality I am desperate to avoid. How do I maintain a sense of community in 2021 when individual relationships that feel the most energizing to me are scattered across the world, or with people I've truly connected with during only a brief encounter? I do not yet know how to grow the relationships I do make in these passing moments that I want to hold more weight. How does one connect with a community that is small and in some ways exclusive when your subconscious shouts intruder!
I've also been wondering if I even belong in tech lately... read: is this where I want to spend my time with so many time-sensitive crises around me? I read and really enjoyed a collection of short pieces titled Letters to a Young Technologist - it helped ease some of my anxiety. I liked how they were participatory and made esoteric topics approachable to readers unfamiliar with them. While I feel like I already related with much of what they wrote, it was a good reiterated reminder and I hope you all make the time to read them. (Related, The Prestige Trap and How Identity Emerges in Crypto Networks.)
Nevertheless, I am excited for the classes I have lined up this upcoming semester. I've been pedaling 'I'm excited to be a student, and only a student' to my friends because I truly want to have the headspace for my in-person classes. It has dawned on me that I'll only be feeling this pre-semester excitement three more times.
As I was walking by the first and second year students moving into dorms (and the parents walking away slowly with empty suitcases) I realized that I am returning to in-person instruction a much more confident person. I liked reading this short blog that describes a similar feeling.
Anyways, I appreciate all of you that respond to my posts one way or another, it's nice treating this like a conversation with people sometimes! xoxo
The way the brutalist cement and light wood combine in this cabin really does for me. Fieldmag always has solid photo coverage in their pieces, and I thought they showed off the softening furniture in the cabin well.
Wendi Yan's Portfolio
Nicole He's Portfolio
Cafe Mam, served out of the window of the ground floor apartment some former highschool mates of mine run. I think it's really cute!
P.S. Apologies for any spelling and grammar mistakes. I write these in one go (if I’d start editing they’d never get published).