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Dewey Me & Outliers

Me classified!

Ovidia Yu’s Dewey Decimal Section: 071 Newspapers in North America Ovidia Yu = 52949151 = 529+491+51 = 1071 Class: 000 Computer Science, Information & General Works Contains: Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations. What it says about you: You are very informative and up to date. You’re working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

I really meant to write about Malcolm Gladwell’s


but got distracted by dewey quiz I found on darkorph’s page.

Basically, Outliers is about how it takes a village to raise a genius. I meant to pick it up & read it over the weekend but instead finished it yesterday (I also did some corrections, visited sulky cat at vet, bought coffee & tentatively okayed a tenant–or make that 6 tenants–changed water in the fish tank, emailed 2 (different) plays to 2 different people–one working on phd thesis on lesbian lit the other doing a violence on women project–& read 3 Gertrude Stein word portraits so…  yes, I’m trying to expunge guilt)

Back to Outliers: Lots of very interesting observations. The scary thing is if this book catches on here kiasu parents are all going to be scheduling babies for the first 3 months of the year.

How I personally benefited: (though prob not Gladwell’s intent to produce self help book that’s how it worked for me!)

1. Recognise I tend to approach ALL negotiations like a Korean co-pilot (can’t say what I want to because of cultural programming) & my sense of ‘entitlement’ is very low–also family/cultural–

2. How lucky I was to have walking problems as a kid, & a mother with access to the school library. Even if I couldn’t bring books home I could read all I wanted there!

3. How lucky I was to have started writing when I did, to have been born when I was, to just start writing when Singapore started accepting home grown theatre

4. How lucky I was to have those years of lunchtime theatre (I think I got like $50 a show & no transport fees!). The stuff I wrote was so bad I hate it now but everything I wrote got staged & reworked &

5. the literary mag where if there were not enough contributions I wrote all the ‘fillers’ in different styles… (again no pay) it was difficult, physically difficult churning out stuff that had to be different from the other stuff you’d churned out, but everything I could write got published. That was my apprenticeship, the start of my 10 000 hours put in & that’s without my even realising it!

This book reminded me of something I read in Haruki Murakami’s ‘What I talk about when I talk about writing’. That writing may start as mental work but if you want to get anywhere you have to recognise it is manual labour & needs strength & stamina & for you to just keep going!

And the 10 000 hours guide works in yoga practice too–sometimes (it seems) for no reason at all, you suddenly get somewhere you didn’t expect. But the ‘reason’ is you have been practicing every day, 90 minutes a day (okay, only 60 min, only 45 min even but still–) and though you don’t see it, these minutes you put in do count!

And I really loved his epilogue on how he came to be what he is because of how his mother came to be because of how his grandmother came to be because of how the white man-slave relationship was then… connections, links, causes, patterns…

A lot of stuff to think about in this book. I would not apply it all direct–I believe even if these trends & tendencies hold true we can’t measure everything & it’s also true that the observer affects the field.

But it’s given me a lot of stuff to think about.

Rest of today however, I will get back to reading printouts/scribbling corrections/visitng cat/buying 6 beds & 6 desks for MBA students…!

One Response

  1. much much better to be computer science. 🙂

    But it looks like you got alot of reading done. and i need to start on the murakami book too. everything really goes back to the fundamentals in yoga – it’s the small effort everyday that will really bring you to some kind of growth.

    need to read more, practice, and try to keep sane.

    meanwhile, keep thinking. keep writing. keep practicing.

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