Exploring Possibilities Has Moved!

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Hello Friends, Family, and Strangers! Long time, no posts 🙂 I am in the process of starting a new blog focusing specifically on my adventures, travels, and hikes. Check it out at www.kristamuscarella.com and consider subscribing to the “mailing list” to stay up to date with future posts. As always, thank you for visiting!

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Update on my week?

I am in the process of trying to tailor this blog around something… You know, give it a theme of sorts. Like I said, I’m brainstorming and hopefully I’ll come up with something solid and relevant shortly. I can’t imagine anyone actually finding my blog and wanting to read about my life… It’s not all that entertaining. Or is it!? Just kidding.

School has been going well, I turned in a paper this past week that I wasn’t really confident with so that is unfortunate. Luckily, I have really tried and am confident in everything else. I shall wait for the dreary grade but from the sounds of it, my cohort is in the same boat. Boo.

Happy belated Halloween and Happy November! Remember not to park on the street overnight anymore 😦 !!! I received a warning notice last night/this morning. Thank you … for not giving me a ticket!

Highlights of the past week or so include having a bit of a sleepover at my Aunt’s house, administering the Stanford Binet, attending a “Meet the Candidates Night,” school school and more school, failing at joining a book club (probably for the best), and reading “Lean In.” — Great book, highly recommend it thus far. I can give more detail when I finish.

Last night I went out with some of the people from my cohort, weird to “go out,” especially since I haven’t in like weeks… months maybe. Ain’t nobody in grad school got time (or money) for that.

Speaking of time, I have my “live administration” tomorrow at Canisius… Let’s all hope I can administer the WISC-IV without significant issues… #schoolpsychproblems. #ugh.

Until next time, I should probably get back to work. Thanks for reading 🙂

I was considering Grad School…and then I saw this. HILARIOUS!

JOANNA RENTERIA

A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).

Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun-filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.

Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5-year-old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching “I hate my life” T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, “Yes, Professor, It’ll be done by tomorrow”, “I’d love to rewrite” and “Why…

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Buffalove

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So it’s getting pretty chilly here in Buffalo. I am trying to check everything off my list of places to go and see before I enter hibernation mode. While I thoroughly enjoy autumn, I know that those cold flakes will start falling from the sky in no time. Womp womp.
I switched my schedule a little today… I will be working with Bob today, going on a school visit, and working at UB tomorrow. Before I pick him up however, I decided to take a quick detour to see the painted traffic boxes down on Tonawanda Street. Pretty cool if I do say so myself. Now I have retreated to Starbucks to read/study until its time to pick Bob up.
Thanks for reading!

Camping, TEDxBuffalo, School

Again, I have saved a variety of events to discuss all at once and again, I feel a little overwhelmed.

A couple weekends ago now my mom and I took a nice fall ride out to the pumpkin patch to really get in the fall spirit!

Pumpkin picking

Pumpkin picking

Last weekend, was the 14+ (?) Annual Camping Trip… Filled with geocaching, picnics, a visit to the Amish, a DEEElicious dinner at the Bear Mountain Resort, and rest and relaxation! “I wish we could live in the Alleganys.”

Geocaching!

Geocaching!

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge

At our picnic spot

At our picnic spot

My father

My father

Around the lake

Around the lake

Sunset behind the mountains

Sunset behind the mountains

Visiting the Amish

Visiting the Amish

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

Reading in the hammock

Reading in the hammock

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

The following Monday I returned to work – apparently UB doesn’t recognize Columbus Day as a “day off.” Work was the usual and then on Tuesday, October 15th I attended TEDxBuffalo and also celebrated my brother’s birthday!

A little about TED: “TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.

The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK.”

A little about TEDx: “In the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).”

A little about TEDxBuffalo: “Since 2011, TEDxBuffalo has taken place each October at Canisius College’s Montante Cultural Center. This year, we’re expanding the format to accommodate 300 attendees (up from 100) and adding an after-party to the fun! TEDxBuffalo is free for all who attend thanks to numerous generous donations from across the city of Buffalo and is put together and hosted by a fabulous team of volunteers, who work tirelessly year-round to get all of the talent, impact and action together in one room.”

With that being said, I submitted an application a couple months ago to attend the event. I was selected to attend and I am so grateful for that! I arrived shortly after 8am when doors opened to [find parking,] register, and get a good seat!

Name tag at TEDxBuffalo

Name tag at TEDxBuffalo

Grateful to have been invited to attend TEDxBuffalo!

Grateful to have been invited to attend TEDxBuffalo!

There were 14 speakers in total, in addition to some post TEDtalks that are posted on TED.com… they were shown via a video projector. The day went like this:

  • Chaz Adams (organizer TEDxBuffalo) – Opening Remarks
  • Brian K. Patterson “Everything I Know About Life I Learned at the Dinner Table”
  • Bernice Radle “Preservation 2.0: Neighborhoods, Heart Bombs & Engaging Young People”
  • TED Video(s)
  • Courtney Creenan “Recovery through Design”
  • Mike Connelly “Covering the News from 12,000 BC to 2040 AD”
  • Break
  • TED Video(s)
  • John J. Hurley (president of Canisius College) – Welcome
  • Bryana DiFonzo & Bishnu Prasad Adhikari “The New American Dream: How Refugees are Revitalizing Buffalo”
  • Jeremy Speed Schwartz “Imaginary Science: Experiments and Collaborations in Science/Art”
  • Gloria J. Zemer “Capitalism Only Works if You Do”
  • Chaz Adams – Welcome back from lunch
  • Cameron Garrity “The Power of Puppetry”
  • Ben Siegel “The Big Bang Theory: Understanding our Renaissance from the Inside Out”
  • Stuart Fuchs “Music as a Healing Bridge”
  • TED Video(s)
  • Matt Petroski “Mental Toughness, Compared to What?”
  • Mayor Byron Brown – Special Announcement
  • Break
  • Michael Martin “From Historical Trauma to Empowerment”
  • Karen Forster “Stop Worrying About Your Hubcaps!”
  • TED Video(s)
  • Dan Behrens (Danimal Cannon) “Pushing the Limits Using Constraints”
  • Chaz Adams – Closing Remarks

Yes, it was an incredibly long day but totally worth it. TEDs slogan is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Well, there was something I took away from each and every one of these speakers – and the videos!

Preservationist

Preservationist Bernice Radle

Mayor Byron Brown

Mayor Byron Brown

Ben Siegel, works with Block Club magazine

Ben Siegel, works with Block Club magazine

A puppeteer!

A puppeteer! Cameron Garrity

Karen Forster, works at the Priscilla Project

Karen Forster, works at the Priscilla Project

Some highlights:

  • Bernice Radle works with the Buffalo Young Preservationists to preserve homes around Buffalo. She explained the “Vacancy Vortex” which is basically the process that many homes in Buffalo are stuck in. All of the abandon houses and buildings in and around Buffalo? People want them! They want to fix them up! Some of the abandon homes are beautiful and some of the abandon buildings would make the perfect coffee shop! However, they are in this “vortex,” whether there are back taxes, the owner died, the owner is holding onto it because it is cheap to do so, it could be owned by the City of Buffalo, there may not be information on the house, the list truly is endless. It is quite unfortunate because as time goes on, the houses get more damage, which could totally be prevented! The neighborhoods that many of these houses are in are awesome and I would love to live there!!! I wish the City of Buffalo would be more proactive with this issue, it could prevent the costs for demolition, etc. Bernice also spoke about “Heart Bombs.” Heart Bombs are simply hearts cut out of paper! People make them, maybe accompanied by “Save Me” or “Love Me” or similar message and put them all over these abandon homes in hopes someone saves them! The movement has received attention via blogs and news articles… http://buffalorising.com/2013/02/the-heart-bomb-2013/. Overall, an awesome presentation, possibly my favorite of the day, the passion and mission were evident in Bernice’s speech!
  • Another awesome idea worth spreading was the Elevator B… it is located in downtown Buffalo in Silo City… From their blog, “Elevator B is a collaborative project between graduate students from the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning, the Department of Architecture’s Ecological Practices Research Group, and Rigidized Metals, a Buffalo based building material manufacturer. The overall goal of the project was to successfully design for the relocation and habitation of a colony of honeybees occupying a building at Silo City, a dense cluster of grain elevators in Buffalo, NY.  Elevator B was selected from a group of ten entries by a mixed panel of jurors, who represented Rigidized Metals, the fields of architecture and planning, and the bees.” For more information, including pictures, see their blog: http://hivecity.wordpress.com What is super cool about this is that the group of five who designed Elevator B and saw through its completion are now amatuer beekeepers and are in talks with people from all over the world to design more of these innovative designs!
  • A great video can be seen here: http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html – Ron Finley, a South Central LA resident, who created a garden and encourages everyone… “growing your own food is like printing your own money!” I highly recommend everyone to watch the talk! In order to change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil… If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. Awesome talk.
  • Like I said before, I really enjoyed all of the talks. If you want to watch them, check out tedxbuffalo.com and the recap: http://www.tedxbuffalo.com/tedxbuffalo-2013-a-quick-recap/

After TEDxBuffalo, I had to run to Weggies and then home before the big 2-7 celebrations began for Justin’s birthday. I took him to the newly opened Lodge down on Chippewea. Everything about it was so nice, I cannot even believe that it was the same exact space that was Bayou… home of the Krista puke festival. 🙂 Not kidding. A mere four years later we were able to class it up a little bit and order some DELICIOUS food… We started with the Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel for our appetizer. I ordered the salmon for my entree while Justin got the pork chop. Then for our dessert we got this s’more platter thing that had bacon and nutella… bomb.

Salmon - bomb.

Salmon – bomb.

Also, the INCREDIBLY peppy waitress thought we were dating the entire time we were there, it was a hilariously great evening, complete with dranks and the Sabres first [and only] win!

THE LODGE, yum.

THE LODGE, yum.

Just me and the Birthday Brother

Just me and the Birthday Brother

After dinner drinks

After dinner drinks

School has been pretty overwhelming since it’s about the midway point of the semester… ugh. Lots of tests, quizzes, and papers are coming up/due… The good news is that I’ve been trying to kill the game and am doing well thus far. Let’s hope I finish out the semester as well as I started it!

Yesterday I went to my Uncle’s suprise 60th birthday party which was very nice!!! I think he really was surprised 🙂 I was also able to talk to my Aunt Lorraine to try to get some information to make a family tree. Hopefully when I have some free time, I will be able to work on it!

Surprise!

Surprise!

Birthday Cake!

Birthday Cake!

Lastly, GO BILLS.

 

The Checklist Manifesto

I’m reading “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande, author of “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science,” which I read this summer and “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” which has got me thinking… An excerpt:

“For those who do the work, however – for those who care for the patients, practice the law, respond when need calls – the judgment feels like it ignores how extremely difficult the job is. Every day there is more and more to manage and get right and learn. And defeat under conditions of complexity occurs far more often despite great effort rather than from a lack of it. That’s why the traditional solution in most professions has not been to punish failure but instead to encourage more experience and training. 

There can be no disputing the important of experience. It is not enough for a surgeon to have the textbook knowledge of how to treat trauma victims – to understand the science of penetrating wounds, the damage they cause, the different approaches to diagnosis and treatment, the importance of acting quickly. One must also grasp the clinical reality, with its nuances of timing and sequence. One needs practice to achieve mastery, a body of experience before one achieves real success. And if what we are missing when we fail is individual skill, then what is needed is simply more training and practice.”

So, what does this get me thinking about?

Well, for one, why isn’t more training and practice afforded to employees?

What are your thoughts? Do people want to just “get by” or do they want to excel? What does excelling take?