I read an article about failure a few weeks ago. It argued that there are 3 different kinds of failure that we have control over: Failure of tactics, failure of strategy, and failure of vision. Failure of vision is the most fundamental–if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, how are you supposed to succeed? However, the auxiliary levels of failure–failure of tactics and failure of strategy–can sometimes feel so crushing that they are often mistaken for failure of vision. It can take a lot of internal focus and rumination to untangle the three.
I still don’t know which stage of failure I’m in.
I went on leave from graduate school in January. I was deeply unhappy–I dreaded going to lab and often dragged my feet, slowly, literally, as if through molasses. I did look forward to sharing my data in presentations, but soon found that I often had no nothing new to share. I was stuck, stagnant, crystallized in amber, drowning in sap. I didn’t know how to proceed. All that I could think of was to jump ship, run away from the program, from this university, this city, this state, and start fresh somewhere else. I think I’m programmed to run.
I’m still not sure whether I’ll stay in graduate school. My mind is changing all the time, and there are still people I want to talk to, fresh perspectives to consider. But that isn’t really what I came here to write about. I wanted to talk about this blog, this little corner of the web ostensibly dedicated to my self expression. I do think I had failure of vision here. I’m not sure what this site is for, or what it represents. I had an idea, but I think it was more nebulous than I realized. I need to refine it still.
In the meantime, dear readers, I have an idea for a series of posts. I’m spending this summer teaching for a high school-level STEM outreach program, and I’ll be giving a series of seminars on several topics of my choosing. These topics range from how microbes can produce biofuel to the future impact of the AI singularity to several different applications of nanotechnology. I think I may write about several of the topics that I’m also giving a seminar on. Partly to educate the masses (i.e., you), but mostly to gather my thoughts. This is my little corner of self expression, after all. I’m allowed to be a little selfish.
I’ll keep you posted, dear readers. Maybe it will happen, maybe not, maybe I’ll come up with something else, maybe I’ll raze this URL to the ground and gather up a new one. I am programmed to run, after all.
Until next time,