Some days I sit down to write my work log with no idea what will come out. I will simply allow my fingers to do the chore of describing the work day.
I woke up with some urgency towards finishing pending work, but I felt my mind in such a state of disarray that I should better meditate before tackling it. As I calmed the agitated respiration, I noticed the thoughts had nothing to do with work, but were noise. I now wonder: how is it possible for the mind to reel at such speed in sleep? With the calming effect I also felt somnolence, and I went back to sleep to wake up again with a clear mind.
Again I sat down in bed, and now tried to visualize how I was going to tackle the pending work. To my surprise, I could simulate work with ease, and so I spent some time “working” in this way. When I sat down to do the work in the material world I was more confident I would be able to produce it.
As I was short on time I worked from home, the urgency taking precedence over my usual distractions when I try working from home. I was wrapping up when I received a phone call: the work I was urgently finishing off couldn’t be reviewed until Monday. I felt relief: I didn’t even have enough time to judge it’s quality, and this would allow me to review it before signing it off.
As it’s best to allow recent work to cool off before reviewing it, I went to the nearest study hall to perform ancillary tasks. I found a note on the door saying that the opening hours had been extended because of final exams, which is welcome because this particular study hall closes during two hours at lunchtime, which is a bigger hassle than it seems.
However, when I opened the door a blast of warm, smelly and moist air welcomed me, and the place was absolutely packed. I searched for a place to sit and was about to give up when a friendly fellow signaled that there was a free seat if they just made some space for me.
I always eye over what people are studying when I sit down: to my left a woman in her thirties was studying nutrition, and to my right a younger fellow was studying law. The exams seem to require a lot of rote memorization, as I often see students mumbling to themselves definitions, dates, codes and what not. I feel for them: in this age the information is one search away, yet in education it seems they haven’t caught drift that humans are very inadequate devices for information storage and retrieval. I suppose that when the calculator was invented it took math teachers some time to grow comfortable with the idea that bringing one into the exam was not cheating.
I sat down got to work. When I was done I closed my laptop and saw that the woman studying nutrition was not at her seat, but she left a multiple choice self-exam on the table: 44 out of 100 answers correct. Poor thing, still a long way to go.
I was planning on hitting the gym but I felt tired. So, now that I have an income, I treated myself to a 40 cent coffee from the vending machine (actually a robotic barista, you can see the process trough a window). The man behind me asked how the machine worked: I showed him: you can get regular coffee for 40 cents, or Lavazza coffee for 60. “Do you often get coffee here?” he asked, I said sometimes. “How much better is Lavazza?”—I have no idea, I’m so cheap I’ve never tried it. We laughed and he ordered Lavazza.
I then went to the gym and also found it crowded. This city-run gym is in a sad state (not all are), and I couldn’t help but be reminded of my former swanky gym. It was five times more expensive, but worth every penny. It made me wonder: perhaps the 50% price hike on Lavazza coffee is worth the price. Is austerity uncomfortable only after you’re pampered with higher quality offerings? Will regular coffee taste like crap after I try Lavazza? Actually, that’s an interesting experiment: next time I’m at the study hall I’ll try them both, and see if I’m missing out of affordable luxury.