I've been reading Emergenetics: Tap Into the New Science of Success lately and I've rediscovered the nerd inside.  Ever since I was a kid, I loved to read.  From when I first learned how to read until I was nearly 13, nothing else took up more of my time.  I'd wake up and read on the walk to the bus stop, read on the bus ride to school, read while walking to and from classes, read while eating my meals, and even attempted reading in the shower a few times (they always ended up as baths).  Every week my mom would drive me to the library and I'd tote home about 30 books to read for that week.  In fifth grade, my teacher had us keep a log and the first time I turned it in, she stared at it in disbelief before calling my parents to have them verify that yes, I did nothing else with my life but read.  I remember I did very well for reading clubs back then - what was that Pizza Hut reward program again?  And of course, my favorite event of the year was when the Scholastic Book Fair would come rolling around.  It was the most exciting and anticipated thing for me - to be able to browse shelves of books, peruse tons of offers for monthly subscriptions (did anyone else order the Goosebumps series?), and check out all the random other items that came along (like those science kits, bookmarks, and journals!).  Ah, it was a dream come true for me.

Ah, that's what it was! Book it!

Good old R.L. Stine and his crazy creations!

It was at a book fair in 4th grade that I came across a light purple diary with an adorable grey kitten on it.  I begged my dad to get it for me (seeing as I had no money back then and my allowance was just whatever I needed).  He agreed, on the condition that I promise to write in it every day.  And thus began my long journey with keeping a journal.  As promised, I wrote in my journal every day, whether or not it was anything interesting.  I tried a variety of styles over the years, from using Chinese to titling each day in French to bullet-point lists.  Time and time again, my parents would find me holed away in my room, scribbling away at my journal and each time they'd ask me, "Oh you're actually still doing that?"  Well, I made a promise!  As time wore on, I got busier and didn't always have time to write every day, so I started to write notes for my journal and then catch up in it periodically.  This ranged from a few days to a few weeks.  Then, a couple of months ago (wow, nearly a year now), I got SO distracted with being an Orientation Counselor at UCLA that I haven't been able to catch up since.  I am now months behind on writing and even a few weeks behind on my notes, but I have every intention of writing an entry for each of those days.  Thankfully, I am great at stalking myself (I like to think of it as being resourceful), so I can piece together most of the pieces through the IM conversations I had, the e-mails I sent, the text messages I used, and of course, the blog entries I wrote.

My love for all things "booky" didn't stop there.  I love all sorts of office supplies, if you will, ranging from pens and notebooks to staples and superglue.  Of course, I love books and bookmarks, but really I can spend my life in a Staples and never get bored.  Highlighters, erasers, rulers, protractors, you name it, I love it.  I'm an absolute junkie when it comes to that stuff.  I don't know if it's related to my insane bookworm tendencies from my childhood, but it seems correlated at the least.  So, throughout the years (and volumes upon volumes of journals now), I experimented with an assortment of pens, pencils, markers, and even Sharpies in filling up my journal pages.  I've settled for a certain format as of late, which I think started a few years ago.  I guess I've come to a point in my life where I'm comfortable with how I do it.  I still make small changes and tweak a little here and there, but overall it's just about the same and exactly how I like it.

I loved collecting these.

I've gotten to get back in touch with that old side of me that always had her nose buried in a book and it feels good.  I love to read, whether it's books, magazines, blogs, e-mails, or online articles.  I have always done a lot of reading and writing, whether for pleasure or for school, and I'm sure my love of researching has to do with this obsession.  When I was in first or second grade, my neighbors gave me their set of encyclopedias and stacks of National Geographic Magazines, which totally made my day.  Although the medium has mostly changed from hard copies to soft copies, I'm still doing the same thing.  However, nothing can beat the beauty of a book.  The feel, the smell, the look - it's all so attractive to me.  Plus, I can bring it around with me anywhere and read while sipping tea in a cafe or after I've climbed a tree perched on a mountain.  That's also what I love about my journals.  I really enjoy going out alone, finding somewhere peaceful (which may or may not be a public spot), plopping myself down in a nice spot, and reading or writing the day away.  Oh the luxury of free time!

I'm glad I'm getting back into pleasure reading.  I barely did so in my years of high school and college, which totaled nearly a decade!  That is far too long to be away from my precious books.  My preference for content has changed from whimsical fiction stories to more popular science and things I can use in my life, so not only am I getting in touch with my past and particpating in a great hobby, I'm also learning and growing so much!  Not to say you don't learn and grow from fiction, but sometimes the lessons and uses are less apparent and not immediately applicable the way that they are in the non-fiction genre.  So, onward with my current book!  Synopsis to come.

 
 

Today I really felt the effects of having what is dubbed a "blue brain" in Emergenetics terms.  Blue-brained people are the thinkers who sit there, rationalizing things and using logic to solve problems.  Learning is done best by mental analysis.  And that, is exactly how I am.  I've been laboring over a project this past week, trying to turn all the information for our training branch into a simple, comprehensive slide show.  I had originally written a script for it, typing out what I thought should be spoken and what images/words could coincide with that.  I sent that out to the boss to look over and got back his edits, showing me the type of language he prefers to use and the style he was looking for.  From there, I changed things up as needed.

However, Marylin then told me about the time she made a Powerpoint of what she wanted and then turned it over to our creative head to edit and touch up as needed.  So, of course, I decided to give it a try and make his life easier.  Little did I know the ensuing headache that I would encounter.  First of all, this type of thing takes a very yellow brain.  What do I mean by that?  Yellow-brained people are conceptual learners, with vivid imaginations, reliance on their intuition, and a penchance for the unusual.  They are the groundbreaking visionaries who try out new things and don't mind experimenting around to find what they like.

I am not very strong in this area.  AT ALL.  Though I have some ideas for certain transitions we can use and ways we can display the words and pictures, I am far from the artsy creative type.  No, in fact, my creativity is more in terms of words and thoughts.  I also don't like to make mistakes.  So you can see, there's a bit of a clash here, between my learning and working preference and the nature of the project I am trying to produce.  Marylin is very much a yellow brain, which probably has something to do with why she was able to whip up a presentation.

Instead, I have spent days first figuring out how to cut down the message yet still convey all the information.  It's still not enough!  On top of that, I have all these ideas for images I'd like to use, but I don't know where to find them in past event photos.  I also have very few new ideas on how I can display the pictures once I do find them, so they sit lamely on a page, surrounded by text.  Not exactly the eye-catching presentation I was aiming for.  So today, I started to get rather frustrated with all the things I wanted to do but couldn't and all the things I knew I should do but didn't know how.

Thankfully, I took the issue over to the green brain in the house and he put his practical, structured way of thinking to work.  Green brains learn best by doing and that is exactly what he set out to do, helping me explore the options I had and how I could go about creating the effects I was looking for.  He also asked me a lot of questions to figure out what I want to convey (but still, I had the issue of HOW to do it nagging at me).  With his help, I have planned out more of what I need to do.  Now there's the issue of getting that out of the way so I can get back to how, how, how!

I have always appreciated people with great artistic abilities, from dancers to pianists and interior designers to graphic designers.  My respect was built off of the simple fact that I just don't have a knack for that!  My deep appreciation for skills such as video editing stem from a certain intimidation though.  Because it looks so daunting to me and something so out of my reach, I put it on a pedestal and call it a day.  When I do go about trying to tackle that task myself, it takes painstakingly long, but I can do it.  I don't think I do it very well though; there are certainly people who have a natural talent for those things.

So, with this work sitting here, waiting to be done, I am trying not to get too discouraged at the prospect of all the effort it will take me.  Instead, today I got to distract myself by helping Marylin edit some material she was writing.  I have a near anal tendency to pick out grammar and spelling errors and it comes quite easily to me, so it's almost fun for me to read through documents over and over, picking out all the typos and awkward sentences.  I was quite happy to have some "mindless" work to do as I took a break from the video/slide show haunting me.  Sadly, it seems that I am quite good at the very work that people get interns to do.

Thankfully, I am also a brainstormer, constantly getting little epiphanies about random ideas that have been floating around in my head for awhile.  That is why creative consultant work sounds perfect to me!  I get to sit around and analyze things like I prefer to do and also tap into my red brainedness - the social part that is sympathetic, empathetic, and socially aware.  This part of me learns from others by interacting with them.  But for the life of me, I cannot get my yellow brain to come to the forefront, much as I need it now.  That's a pity.