Topic: Jen Dziura

Bullish: Every Weird Thing You Do Will Help You

Bullish: Every Weird Thing You Do Will Help You

I recently spoke at Yale University, where it was icy and Gothic, everyone was very nice and very smart, and I was reminded of what it was like to be 21 and not know how to order a cocktail yet. I was also reminded of what it was like to be able to say, “I study literature” (or philosophy, or economics) and have that mean basically full-time: I LIVE THE LIFE OF THE MIND. Oh, college!

Specifically, I was the guest at a Master’s Tea, wherein the master of one of Yale’s residential colleges chats with a guest about some interesting topic. We drank Earl Grey. It was very civilized. Although the posters for my talk said nothing gender-specific, almost everyone who showed up was female. I just have that vibe, I guess. More »

Bullish: Actually, We’re All Kind of the 1% (And How Not to be a Jerkface About It)

Bullish: Actually, Weâre All Kind of the 1% (And How Not to be a Jerkface About It)

I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street protests with much interest.

Who, exactly, are the 1%? Apparently, anyone who makes $350,000 a year, although there’s a pretty huge difference between your average anesthesiologist, who can certainly make that much, and someone who gets a several-million-dollar bonus made up entirely of taxpayers’ bailout money that’s been folded into origami swans by children in a Chinese factory. More »

Bullish Life: How To Remember Names (Without Stupid Mnemonic Devices)

Bullish Life: How To Remember Names (Without Stupid Mnemonic Devices)

I teach evening classes to adults, and I often have about 90 students at a time. I remember all their names (at least the names of the students who show up regularly).

My first year of teaching, I didn’t. I just gave up: there are 16 of them per class and only one of me, and also a lot of them are named “Iftikhar” and “Joo-Eun.”

Once, I forgot a student’s name, and he said, “It’s John. John. Like a toilet.” And that made me sad. And I did indeed think of a toilet every time I called on him. This is not how John or I want to live.

There are some very good ways to remember names. More »

Bullish Life: How to Bitchslap Performance Anxiety

Bullish Life: How to Bitchslap Performance Anxiety

In the past decade, I have coached hundreds of people through standardized tests.

While a few genuinely have panic attacks and require the care of a mental health professional, most just suffer from the sort of fight-or-flight response that two million years of evolution have decided is an appropriate response to heights, snakes, and being asked questions regarding the rate at which a cylindrical tank will empty if it is simultaneously being filled and leaking and also the radius of the tank is the square root of a variable. More »