Key Facts and Figures

Record key facts and figures in a separate section of your journal. You will need certain pieces of your work history for just about any job application. It’s easier if you keep this basic information together, in a different section than your reflections. It will be especially useful if you ever apply for something that requires a full life history, such as citizenship, a professional license, or a security clearance. Keep careful records of these details, especially when you change jobs:

Start and end dates at each company where you worked.
Your salary history, along with dates when it changed.
Your official title and, if it is not descriptive (Staff Member, Associate IV), a description of your job function.
Addresses and phone numbers of the companies where you worked (even if out of date).
Short summaries of your work.
Names and contact information of managers/supervisors and references.
Addresses and phone numbers of your personal residences (for life history applications) and contact information for landlords or management, even if it is outdated.<div>
</div><div>Education Timeline</div><div>
</div><div>Monkey Timeline:</div><div>
</div><div>First, I’ll put down everything that’s on my most recent legal resume, then update it.</div><div>
</div><div><hr /></div><div>Dates: July 2008-Present</div><div>Indiana University Maurer School of Law</div><div>Degree: Juris Doctor, Expected May 2011</div><div>Location: Bloomington Indiana</div><div>GPA: 3.41</div><div>Honors: Dean’s Honor’s Spring 2009 [What does this mean?]; Indiana Law Merit Scholarship Recipient</div><div>
</div><div><div><hr /></div><div>
</div><div>Dates: April 2008-June 2008</div><div>Grandall Legal Group</div><div>Location: Chaoyang District, Beijing, PRC</div><div>Job Title: Intern</div><div>Job Description: Translated and proofed (Mandarin to English) contracts, lawyer’s letters, presentations, and other legal documents. Also assisted lawyers in the firm’s Corporate and Commerce department, dealt primarily with materials relating to investment in the energy industry.</div></div><div><hr /></div><div><div>Dates: October 2007–April 2008</div><div>English Language Tutor</div><div>Location: Haidian District, Beijing, PRC</div><div>Job Description: Tutored individual students, from secondary school to university level [FALSE], in the English language. Focused on teaching grammar, reading comprehension, and oral language skills.</div></div><div>
</div><div><hr /></div><div><div>Dates: January 2006–May 2007</div><div>Columbia University Medical Center</div><div>Location: New York, New York</div><div>Job Title: Pathology Department Laboratory Technician</div><div>Job Description: Assisted with research into neuronal death and Alzheimer’s disease at the cellular level. Experienced in many basic microbiology laboratory techniques: cell culture, microscope dissection, Western blots, immunohistochemistry, real time PCR, genotyping, transfections, etc.</div><div><hr /></div><div>
</div></div><div>Dates: September 2002-May 2006</div><div>Columbia University, Columbia College</div><div>Location: New York, New York</div><div>Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Pre-medical Concentration in Philosophy, June 2006.</div><div>GPA: 3.53</div><div>Honors: Dean’s List F03-S05 [again, what does that mean?]</div><div><hr /></div><div>Date: November 2004–March 2005</div><div>Nan Shan Senior Center</div><div>Location: Flushing, New York, New York</div><div>Job Title: Volunteer Teaching Assistant</div><div>Job Description: Assisted in the teaching of a United States citizenship exam preparation course. Volunteered with the senior citizen center’s staff in a free lunch program for the Flushing area’s primarily elderly community.</div><div><hr /></div><div>Date: September 2002-December 2004</div><div>Columbia University Department of Public Safety</div><div>Location: New York, New York</div><div>Job Title: Public Security Aide</div><div>Job Description: Participated in a Federal part-time work-study program.</div><div><p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align:center">Language/Overseas</p> <p class="MsoNormal">- Mandarin: General professional level. Able to read newspapers, novels, and other non-technical material. Level 7 on China’s national standardized Chinese proficiency test for foreigners. Language training includes:</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent:.5in">- Tsinghua University Chinese Language Program – Fall 2007-Spring 2008 </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Columbia University Study Abroad – Fall 2005</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent:.5in">- Beijing University Columbia University Study Abroad – Summer 2005</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent:.5in">- JunCheng Language School Chinese Language Training – Summer 2004</p> <p class="MsoNormal">- Childhood education included years in London, South Korea, and Hong Kong. </p></div><div>

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Flowchart your job(s). This will help you to ‘see’ what exactly you do from day to day. What’s the first thing you do in the morning? And depending upon your result, what do you do after that? And after that? Doing this will give you a clearer picture of what you accomplish daily, and it is useful in staying focused through the day. If your daily routine doesn’t really fit into a flowchart, you could also write a paragraph or more about what you do, draw a mind map, or write notes or an outline.

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Start writing and write often. Write everything that you remember in the past that you have done. Brainstorm to jog your memory. Form and flow don’t matter, just remembering. A few simple notes jotted frequently will add up to more information than long but occasional memory dumps. It will also help to record the information when it is fresh in your mind. The remaining steps will give you some ideas to get started.

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Make a reflection/info page for every single entry.  However, finish the timelines first, before filling in everything.

Also, stop at high school for now.  Hit that afterwards.  I think that doing education, jobs, volunteer work, geography, should be enough for now.

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Why Did I Start Sitting?

Difficult to say. Or at least difficult to answer accurately and without resorting to some coherent but concocted historical story.

What did encourage me to pick up those books about meditation and Buddhism? Perhaps it was a sense of mystique, of otherness. Maybe what drew me in wasn't a true idea of meditation or Buddhist endeavor, but popular Western misconceptions of it. And at some point, when I read accounts of enlightenment experiences and the brilliance of such moments, I know I was enraptured by the thought of that.
But now it's well after I came to zen and zazen. And although I cannot speak for the evolution of my ideas, I can say that what currently motivates me to sit is different than whatever my initial motivations might have been. And I'll explain later, because writing that last clause really makes me want to go sit!
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Monday Mornings

Well, that was the view from my drive down to Bloomington on Monday morning. It was about eight o’clock in the morning, it had probably stopped raining just hours before, and it was not quite cold but the lingering damp put on a fairly convincing act of being chilly.<div>
</div><div> But I was content, for whatever reason, and was savoring a day that seemed beautiful to me, again, for whatever reason. It might even have been enhanced by a little schadenfreude, knowing that while most others were glumly anticipating the day, I was humming with happiness. Perhaps it was the colors that made the drive wonderful. Gray, I’ve always liked, but Monday’s gray wasn’t the heavy gray of summer or the crisp gray of winter. It was reflected in the muted tans of bare harvested fields, and in the golden cornstalks that were beginning to lose their luster. The fiery leaves had mostly fallen from the trees and browned in defeat, coating grass that was still green in many places, but in other places fading. And then the inevitable bleak, endless asphalt running by underneath. If I had to personify the day, I’d call it pensive. And maybe it was, because it was the penultimate day of seasonal death. On its final walk to the gallows, if the cliche ever holds true. Immortal in its the realization of its impermanence.</div><div>
</div><div> And long gone it’s been too, it’s Thursday and the whole week’s weather has sucked! Sucked, of course, meant here as a non-pejorative term.</div><div>
</div><div>Interestingly, while looking up the spelling of schadenfreude, Wikipedia gave me its lexical brothers and sisters, which I plot here for your enjoyment:</div><div>
</div><table border="1"><tbody><tr><td>Stimulus\Response</td><td>Positive Feeling</td><td>Negative Feeling</td></tr><tr><td>Another’s Happiness</td><td>Mudita
(Sanskrit, happiness in another’s good fortune)
(unhappiness in another’s good fortune)</td></tr><tr><td>Another’s Misery</td><td>Schadenfreude
(German, happiness in another’s misfortune)
(unhappiness in another’s misfortune)
<div>You know, I’m not really sure about that last one, there must be a better word in some language. It strikes me that empathy and compassion don’t necessarily entail unhappiness, it seems more like emotional “understanding” or “harmonization.” But perhaps that’s enough.</div>

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Aesthetic Chills

I don't know when, exactly, I started collecting zen writings. I know my dad had some, and I know that I bought much more than a handful of books my senior spring in college, but the point when that knotty zen became an inextricable part of my life is uncertain.

<div> </div><div> But by the end of college I’d come to this conclusion: there was no other genre of works which gave me aesthetic chills with such unsettling frequency as all things zen. Be it meditation instructions, stories, art, or poetry, it was was nearly impossible to read or see these things and not breathe a sigh of relief or release a concentrated pulse of some unnamed emotion. It’s as if fire is touched off inside your brain, and chases down axons and synapses to the end of every digit and back again, and leaves embers glowing in the passing. That lingering buzz is the realization that some small part of the beauty of the world has been fixed right there and in so perfect a manner that you are overwhelmed by the enormity of such an impossible thing, even if just for fleeting moments. </div>

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