Happy Saturday! The beautiful weather continues in Texas (sorry Midwest and Northeast), so we’re trying to spend as much time outside as possible. Hopefully this early spring weather doesn’t mean that summer will start in April, but that is all the more reason to get out and enjoy it now.
All that to say, I haven’t been as glued to my computer screen and books as usual over the weekend. But below are a few reads and listens that I have bookmarked or have ongoing for this Valentine’s Day weekend.
I haven’t been able to close this article on my laptop since I first read it. This is both an indication that I strongly agree with the post, as well as that I need to restart my computer more often. The article talks about the new emphasis some of the top universities are putting on kindness and citizenship over achievements in the college admissions process.
In my professional role, I review many freshman applications and I am regularly struck by the extent to which high school students have already shown their passion for the community. Some have even started their own non-profits. I was definitely not that student. It’s nice to see these accomplishments getting the same recognition as other academic and extracurricular ones. We can never have too much kindness!
I also loved this blog about the pressure to find THE planner that will change your life. I was determined to keep a paper planner in 2016. I’m not sure why, it just seemed a very “writer” thing to do. I searched pretty obsessively, including watching videos that were more than five minutes long about how to use certain ones. A planner shouldn’t require that much instruction. In the end, I chose this one. I wanted something that was part organizer and part goal-setting. I wouldn’t say it has changed my life, but I am starting to use it more and more each week. We’ll see if I keep it up or if keeping up with it just starts to feel like one more thing on the “to-do” list (that I keep in my planner).
Finally, just a shameless plug, but I am so honored to have a guest post this week on one of my favorite sites, Kveller. This site is great if you are a parent who likes to kvell (Yiddush for “boast with pride”) rather than kvetch (complain). I sometimes do both, but this time I am boasting with pride about my niece and her recent bat mitzvah. I hope you will check it out!
Continuing my obsession with podcasts, I have a couple of new ones I’m listening to. Since Serial is back, so too are the Slate‘s Spoiler Specials podcasts. I love these 25-30 minute episodes immediately after a new airing of Serial (now every two weeks, damn you Sarah Koenig!) where two Slate editors/writers discuss the latest episode. I like it because it’s not just a recap of the episode’s content, but also a commentary on the journalistic and editorial choices that Serial makes and its significance on how we, the audience, digest our media. It’s a nice way to fill the long gaps between Serial episodes.
My standby podcast — in between weekly ones that I am caught up on — is the TED Radio Hour. Like most humans, I love TED talks, but rarely make the time to listen to them, even though I know they are never more than 20 minutes. That’s where the TED Radio Hour on NPR comes in. Each podcast revolves around a topic (i.e. death, courage, getting organized, compassion) and shares highlights from several TED talks that touch on that theme. It includes interviews with the speakers as well. I love this easy way to digest a bunch of talks at once! My favorite episodes so far are “The Meaning of Work” and “Unstoppable Learning.”
That about wraps up this “Weekend Reads and Listens” edition. It’s Valentine’s Day Eve and my husband and I are using it as an excuse to call in the grandparents and have a date night. Of course we didn’t realize it was the night before Valentine’s Day and we could only get a dinner reservation at 5:30 p.m. Oh well, WE’LL BE OUT OF THE HOUSE!
Have a wonderful weekend! Let me know what you are currently reading or listening to!