Getting stuff done for me.

Today has been super productive! In the evening I opened up my room to anybody who wanted a workspace, and go 0 response, but hey. It worked for me!

  • crafted and sent 4 emails to organizations in Tucson I’ve worked with before asking for a phone call to discuss potential summer opportunities
  • emailed a volunteer coordinator about a position at Atlin Music and Arts Festival, my favorite Canadian music fest!
  • spent an hour cleaning my room (dear god it needed it), esp. my sink.
  • listened to a podcast on suicide deaths in the Arctic
  • got my new phone charger – somehow I came back from SXSWedu with three bases and a cord that didn’t work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • talked with Julia about a time we could meet to get lunch
  • had a heart to heart with Connor over relationships / polyamory / crushes
  • went to a Symposium planning session at HQ + stayed after to discuss with Capri ❤
  • filed my taxes! cannot wait for that tax return!
  • applied for a new passport. was not expecting it to be $130. goodbye, tax return.
  • organized all RA funding things – found receipts, submitted expensify, recorded, requested the last of the budget…
  • posted this blog entry, a success in its own
  • journaled in my beautiful journalllllll
  • began my goal matrix on my wall, finally – to celebrate the little wins, and externalize+visualize goals and steps (once #breakitdown and #gapanalysis are applied), I’m writing things on colorful paper and putting them on my wall.
  • listened to quality music all day! gotta love that spotify premium. Pogo, Portugal. The Man, Moon Taxi, and now Electric Guest, just listening to their albums. Good good good.
  • talked to my dad 😀
  • going to bed before 1am. My sleep scedule has been off, but I hope to get it on track. (Actually no that’s a lie – I hope to get readings done the night before at least, so I can stop having to get up at 7am each morning to do them! then I could go to bed a little later, e.g. 12am (extended 1am), and wake up at 8:30.

Overall one of my most productive days lately. As soon as I thought of something, I went and go it done. And kept doing that.

I didn’t get an internship with Minerva this summer, sadly. But I also felt a sense of relief when I heard, that comes from having my freedom restored. There are so many things I want to do this summer. Having a 40 hour/week continuation of school was going to be a little hard.

I feel like I’m also breaking free of what Minerva wants me to do with my time. I’ve spent most of my life in control of much of my time, because I set it up that way. I picked schools that would allow me freedom, and exercised that control. Senior year, I ditched school every Friday and got a job.

Here, I easily spend a substantial portion of my time doing pre-class readings, class, and assignments. Other time goes to Minerva built activities and opportunities.

It’s been a little too easy to lose free will; to let such heavy structure make me forget how to find and work towards my own personal interests.

So, when Minerva announced we’d be cutting ties for the summer… I realized – I’m not doing anything they’ve designed for me. I didn’t get that fancy internship all Minervans are suppose to have. How I spend my summer is 100% in my own hands…

… and I’m relishing the power.

Which I think contributed to this heightened feeling of productivity today. Suddenly, the why –– why apply to internships, to jobs; why finish readings early, why do well on your assignments –– came from me. wanted an internship because it called to me. I wanted a job for my bank account and job skills. I wanted to finish readings early so I could go outside and play. I wanted good grades because 1) personal satisfaction and 2) they look good on paper when I find a place to lay that paper down.

The motivation shifted from your school / some unspoken force wants this from you to I want this for myself for my own reasons.

That internalized drive has made all the difference today. It’s made all the difference before. And it will continue to.

All I need now is to 1) keep this drive through the summer, and more pressingly, 2) immortalize this drive so it doesn’t disappear again next year.



“Stop saying sorry if you want to say thank you.”

This has shaped my behavior since I first read it a few years ago. Hope it inspires you too. ❤


Today I met Lisa, who lives on a boat in the San Francisco harbor. They’ve lived there for a year and a half now, sometimes sailing, sometimes coming onto the mainland.

I struck up a conversation when I saw them reading Ender’s Game in the same spot I’d been reading Armada (which mentions Ender’s Game several times) two nights previously. They immediately invited me to sit down, and explained how they were excited that they’d finally found a used copy of the book. Apparently, Orson Scott Card (the author) is a bit of a “burn the gays” type, so Lisa didn’t want to contribute at all to his royalties. A used copy resolves that concern without hindering their pursuit of literature.

I couldn’t stay long, because I was off to the Middle East 10:01 (a presentation about the region by my classmates from that area, followed by delicious food and dancing), and already late.

But I stayed as long as I could. The joy at meeting somebody in the City, at the simplicity of a chance encounter, even the novelty of chatting with somebody who is not from my school, made my heart lift.

(Speaking of hearts lifting – dancing a workout to Beyonce destroys slothfulness in limbs and mind, I found. Not a fan of exercise, but I may have to pursue it more despite that fact for the after effects.)

I’ll see Lisa again on Tuesday for a meet-up. Today is Sunday.

I can’t wait.

Doodles and musing

Drawing – Playing with color. 

The angst is strong right now with this one.

One day into break, and I’m already bored out of my mind and left with conflicting desires to run and leap, and sleep all day.

Much needed chores got done – I went to walk a dog Dana is taking care of while she’s away for break, cleaned and wiped down my fridge, went grocery shopping, washed dishes, put away laundry, changed bed sheets… All the things that normally get put off during the week.

I slept in today and woke up feeling rested for the first time in a week, testimony to many late nights with the newly-found queer community here in San Francisco. It rained most of the day, so I was content to lie in bed and futz around on my computer (John Oliver + Steven Colbert? I didn’t think life could get this good.)

By 4, I couldn’t ignore the fact I’d been mostly chewing on almonds and leftover leftovers. The rain had let up, so I walked over to Trader Joe’s. I’d have liked to bike, but I was nervous about coming back with heavy bags of groceries on the handle bars, especially in the rain, especially on an unfamiliar route.

I use to love biking for the sake of biking. In Tucson, I’d take my black hybrid out twice a day or more to get to class, work, internship, the store, or my parents’ house. At night I put on a playlist cleverly named “night ride” with those songs that made my feet twitch and rode all over campus and the surrounding area. Limits were only drawn at stairs.

Here in San Francisco, biking is scary. There are only a few streets that have a bike lane, and even then there are Ubers and pedestrians and trash to constantly look out for. I never ride with earbuds in. It has become a way to cheaply get from point A to point B, a journey to be endured for the sake of saving money and (theoretically) time. There are too many close calls with cars, too many risky decisions to be made every time I touch the road. It’s become a chore.

I’ve heard the biking is better in some of the other cities. I can only hope that’s the case. Regardless, I will wait for Tucson.

And so, I walked to Trader Joe’s. I came back. I ate food. I watched Netflix. (Three different shows/movies and two trailers.) I turned off Netflix two hours later, unsatisfied.

I walked through the entire dorm, looking for lights in rooms.

Few were home.

Angst ruled.


I think Minerva has really changed the way I enjoy passing time. Normally, I have hours of work a day just to keep up. The sudden freedom has left me unsure of how to relax. Over the last 31 days, carefully logged through TimeCamp, I spend 3-4 hours (7-8 hours on four or five occasions) a day on homework, studying, and work-study.

I think the worst part about being angsty is that other people can poke fun at you and destroy you. It’s easy to lose sight of your point, to give bad evidence, etc. etc, and that leaves you vulnerable to those who have a clear head and want to needle you.

Anyways – I wrote this a few days ago, and it’s been sitting on my computer waiting for the conclusion. There’s not much more to say though, except I’m not angst ridden anymore. It passes, as all things do. Cheers. 🙂

Snapchat in the morning, NY Times in the evening.


Many days I like to start my mornings with 10 minutes of Snapchat stories, because they bring gold like these:


^Self explanatory I think. 


^This was a totally unexpected find, from a close friend of a friend. I drew that robot over winter break, and didn’t realize that they kept it. Turns out, it’s on their fridge! It’s interesting to realize that I’m still touching (however slightly) the lives of those in Tucson. 


^Found on a lamp pole near my dorm in San Francisco. It’s always reassuring to see evidence of people with a sense of humor and free time.


^This was my friend’s reply to a request for leftover blue light blocking film. It struck me as a particularly silly response, and thus deserving of a spot on this scrapbook blog. (Apparently he was out of the dorm at the moment.)

On a another note, I’ve never felt so bad about paying tax. Has it really been less than two weeks since Trump took office?


Yesterday I was clicking through articles (celebrating the beginning of the weekend; during the week there’s little time for anything but school and more school), and came across this one:

I have to admit, I was shocked by the role of the First Lady. I just assumed that they provided emotional support to their presidential husbands, etc. etc., and then did whatever else they wanted. Turns out, they plan events and handle interior decoration! What an antiquated role. Is that something that potential president candidates plan for when selecting a wife, or is it an unfortunate duty that falls to the woman who marries for love? If somebody wants to take that on, then all the respect to them, but it seems to me that the only role anybody should have handed to them is the office of President… :/

This article was linked from the first:

More facts I didn’t know: Michelle was a lawyer before this, and worked at a hospital, and made quite a lot of money. The article also mentions how once she threw herself into public appearances and underwent training, her approval rating went up––the change seems to have been centered around her motherhood and marriage.


February 1st

This is one of my favorite dance studios – 1 MILLION of, I think, South Korea. I’ve included their videos on my blog before. Turns out one of my Minerva friends is dancing in their video they released today! So many of my friends here do spectacular things every day!

Here‘s an article for my future self, on what Trump has done this week. I wonder how we’ll look back on this time? As one of the most turbulent in U.S. history? From my basic perspective, only the great wars have had such an effect on us, and now it feels like the entire U.S. government is falling, crumbling from within.

Here’s a random one on vaccines.

The news sites are filled with new stories of what Trump has done, who he has appointed, the ban on 7 countries, connections between countries not banned and business dealings he has had with them…

The world I thought I’d grow up in no longer exists.

Welcome to PhoebeToday!


Welcome, readers, to my new blog. Some of you come from Thanks for Today, my daily Minerva blog about the little moments I want to remember. Others come from PhoebeAway, my first blog, started at age 15 when I decided to go to Panama for a year. PhoebeAway is still live, but the structure no longer reflects how I want to blog. I thought about a major up-haul, creating all new categories, tags, etc. etc., but making a whole new blog seemed to be the better option.

Thanks for Today offered an excellent solution––when I started it in September, I was able make it what I wanted to see. But then, I started writing posts that I wanted to share beyond the Minerva community… and posting them on PhoebeAway didn’t feel quite right.

So we’re here! This is for Minerva students, for friends and family (like my grandma Home), to post on Facebook to let my facebook crew know in the world I am…

I’ve been struggling to find a good name for this. I was thinking seriously about “++≠”–– plus plus does not equals, fashioned from complex systems theory that the whole does not equal the sum of its parts. However, when I ran it past the barista in the cafe in the Castro I was working at, he read it as “positive, positive” does not equals.

(That connotation is fascinating, actually – HIV is not a big part of my life, but of course here in the Castro, San Francisco’s gay neighborhood, a plus sign means something much more.)

It’s not the connotation I want for the title of my blog, so I’ll keep working on it.

Maybe The Cookie Jar?

No. I just want cookies.

Made in America?

Phoebe’s Wondrous Life?


Today actually sounds pretty good, you know? I’m trying to live life for the minute, the hour, the day. I’m not relying on having some payoff in the future that makes everything worth it––there’s no guarantee that I’ll be alive or well to collect it. So I try to be happy with what I have in the moment, and stay present. It’s been working really well, actually. I’m not pulling daredevil stunts or eating junk food or anything—my life has continued pretty much as normal since I made the resolution about a month ago, around the New Year. It’s my mindset that’s changed.

Example: I’m sitting in the one cafe that isn’t packed to the brim in the Castro as I write this. I realized after I bought something that the reason for the relaxed atmosphere is that there’s no wifi. I could have been upset––not so long ago, I might have felt cheated or slightly ashamed that I didn’t ask beforehand. I have work to do, and it needs internet. However, almost without realizing it, I found myself shrugging it off. I still had a tea, didn’t I? That was that. And soon enough, I realized this might be a good time to start the blog I was going to begin on Monday (today’s Saturday).

See, I think I’ve also become a lot more confident since I came to Minerva. I’m not afraid of what people might think if they see me here, not working on homework. If my peers were to walk by, I’m not worried they’ll laugh––I actually think they might think it cool that I’m sitting here without wifi and still having a good time.

Enjoy Today.

I’d chose something like With Whipped, if it didn’t sound like a “I’ll have all the unhealthy food please you can’t tell me nothing nutritionist mom” style rebellion.

Well, at this point, I want to try out the names to see if any of them are taken, but I need internet for that. I don’t want to head back to the dorm (jk I totally do but I’m trying to get out more) but I also don’t want to go to another cafe to spend more $$, but free wifi? jk about that too, I have a place.

Later in the kitchen with my friends Sam and Erica, I came up with PhoebeToday, and ran with it. I guess I wasn’t quite ready to let go of PhoebeAway or Thanks for Today. XD