SmartChick’s Scattered Smartness

As I sit down to write this, I am asking myself, “what is the smartest thing you’re thinking about right now?” I want to cut through the mess and share smart thought-provoking thoughts here. But the truth is that my smarts are kind of scattered right now.

During the times when I feel healthiest, I am enjoying a routine. I journal in the mornings. I read a bit in the morning as well. Then I work for a short period of time. I go to yoga or for a walk. In the evening, I do something creative (crochet/collage) while watching a movie (foreign/documentary). I go out a few times a week with friends for discussion and entertainment. The entertainment is often educational/artsy/cultural.

However, I fall out of this pattern as often as I fall into it. At the moment, the routine has faded. There are still a lot of smart, creative things happening in my life but they feel more scattered. There are books on my bed but none are succeeding in capturing my daily interest. I’m watching addiction shows (Intervention/Hoarders) more than the movies in Spanish I really want to be watching. I’m working more than usual and going to yoga less.

It used to be that I’d beat myself up when I fell into times like this. I felt like the routine way of doing things was “right” and this was “wrong”. That’s changed in the past year or so, though. I know that the routine feels better in a lot of ways and I aim for that. However, I also know that sometimes ideas and thoughts and understanding emerge from the messiness of less routine times.

I do think that I need to make a concentrated effort to journal more and go to yoga more. Those things bring me back to myself so that I can actually analyze and understand and articulate what’s going on in my head. The rest will sort itself out.

And honestly, I think that might be the smartest thought that I can offer today … to aim for great things for yourself but cut yourself a lot of slack when you aren’t doing precisely what you think you ought to be doing.


The Internet is Making Readers Out of All of Us

Over the years, we’ve heard so many people complain that the Internet is bad for our children. People aren’t reading enough books anymore, they say. Kids are writing in txt. And I’ve always pretty much thought it was hog wash.

Now there’s some science to back up my feelings. A recent article from LiveScience starts off:

“Widespread Internet use will actually improve the reading and writing skills of the world’s population, most experts agreed in a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.”

The article goes on to discuss a survey that indicates, among other things, that a lot of people believe that the Internet is actually making people more literate than ever before. And you know what? I buy it.

Has book reading declined over the years? I’m not sure. I think that a case could be made either way. But what I do think is true is that there are more people, especially young people, who are reading a variety of different material on a daily basis thanks to the accessibility of information on the Internet.

We have access to more information than ever before. Kids who would never have watched the news before have a general idea of what’s going on in the world because of updates on various sites including their favorite social networking sites. Kids who never would have written long letters to their friends are constantly articulating things to them online and via text messaging.

Yes, undoubtedly there are some drawbacks (as there would be with anything). Text and IM may hinder spelling abilities. At the same time, you have to admit that the fact that your computer tells you when you’ve spelled something wrong makes it a lot easier to see your errors and learn how to fix them. So, pros and cons, maybe, but I’m in the camp of people who thinks that the more people who are reading – whether they’re reading books or reading Twitter status updates – the better.

What do you think about this issue?


SmartChick at the Blog Carnival: The Brain

I love blog carnivals of all kinds but, being a SmartChick and all, the ones that I love the most are the ones that are all about smart topics. That’s why I was really happy to contribute to the Brain Blogging blog carnival recently.

The post that I contributed was an article on Eidetic Memory. Also known as photographic memory, this is something that most people know only the basics about and most people don’t realize that it’s actually a pretty controversial topic. Some say that it doesn’t exist at all while others hold those said to have a photographic memory up on a bit of a pedestal. It’s an interesting topic idea.

Mine wasn’t the only interesting article here, though, not by far. The other posts in this blog carnival were on the topics of empathy, moral turpitude, learning, the brains of killers, antidepressants, teen cutting, ADHDself-esteem, humor, sleepwalking through life and increasing your brain power.

Happy smart reading!