Photo credit: Kavita Joshi Rai

Navigating friendships at work

Early on in my career, a colleague put it plainly, “Coworkers are not friends.” I was 21 at the time. He was quite a bit older, so I imagined that “he knew better.” The message stuck. Admittedly, sometimes I would think to myself,

To be honest, he was kind of an extreme. For example, when folks in my office would gather “outside of work,” he would rarely, if ever, make an appearance. I remember thinking this was a shame since he was genuinely fun to…

Photo credit: Clay Banks

I’ve noticed an increase in conversations about identity at work, so I thought I’d share an observation. I’m not sharing this to call anyone out or to shame folks into behaving differently. I’m sharing it because I think we must reflect on how the language we use has embedded meaning, whether we’re conscious of it or not. If you’ve read my last article, you may remember how “Myths constitute the world!” Well, language reflects those myths, many of which are deeply rooted.

Let me get to the point. When describing your racial background, you probably want to avoid using percentages…

And what you can do about it.

“Myths constitute the world!”

I still hear it in Mark’s booming voice. It was the first sentence of my first college lecture, part of Stanford’s Structured Liberal Education, an academic program for first-year students which Mancall founded in the early 1970s and has left an indelible impact on a slew of Stanford alumni. We would explore various influential works in literature, philosophy, and the arts, but I kept coming back to that first sentence. How do myths constitute the world? And why does it matter when talking about difference?

The word “myth,” as I would come to learn, really meant…

Having hope during dark times, part 3 of 3

Link to Part 2 | Link to Part 1

If you spend time with children, you know that there’s some drama in what’s for breakfast. Inevitably there comes a day when misfortunes align and the one thing they want for breakfast is the one thing that’s missing from the pantry. Often, tears abruptly follow. Then, exasperation on your part. Shortly thereafter, the best attempt at bargaining you can muster so early in the morning.

“We can get you some when we’re at the market!”… “This cereal is just as good!” … “How about this one! This one has marshmallows!”… “Well…

Having Hope During Dark Times, Part 2 of 3

Link to Part 1

Inscribed on five of the six pillars in the Holocaust Memorial at Quincy Market in Boston are stories that speak of the cruelty and suffering in the camps. The sixth pillar presents a tale of a different sort, about a little girl named Ilse, a childhood friend of Guerda Weissman Kline, in Auschwitz. Guerda remembers that Ilse, who was about six years old at the time, found one morning a single raspberry somewhere in the camp. Ilse carried it all day long in a protected place in her pocket, and in the evening, her eyes shining…

Having hope during dark times, part 1 of 3

Setting and maintaining goals while the world burns around you feels silly. What’s the point in thinking far into the future, when there’s so much uncertainty? There are a number of mind hacks you could try to stay motivated. But those imply quite a bit of motivation or optimism. What do you do when you’re just “not feeling it” anymore?

Let’s assume it’s not major depressive disorder or dysthymia. What might it be? “Am I just being lazy?” you might ask. Before you go down the “pep talk” route, or start handing yourself some “hard truths,” I would suggest you…

Beyond a Generic List of Factors

The first 20 search results to the prompt “how to decide where to live” include several articles with titles like “14 Factors to Consider When Deciding Where to Live.” These articles have an average of about 10 factors and a range with a low of 5 factors and a high of 28. In aggregating the lists across websites, there were a total of 114 factors, some clearly duplicative items like “Cost of Living” and “Affordability,” but other quite unique factors like “Walkable to Restaurants” and “Near a University.”

To make matters more complex, a couple of articles recommend devising your…

Cisco Barrón

Analyst | Entrepreneur | Student Always

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