Category Archives: General

Pa’l Oriente pt.1: Trouble from the start

Ticket to Guatanamo
Ticket to Guatanamo

19 October

Down the dusty highway toward aeropuerto José Marti, the afueras of Ciudad de la Habana raced past us so quickly that I scarcely saw any people, just the hot morning sun reflecting off a sea of tin roofs. After being delayed by someone who forgot that a passport is needed in order to fly, we arrived at the small orange and blue domestic terminal of the airport. Waiting in the terminal for our forgetful companion, I was slightly nervous about getting checked in to the flight on time, and slightly more concerned about putting my faith in a Cuban airplane.
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One Night in Varadero

Last Saturday (Sep. 14th) our group took a Brown-funded excursion to an all-inclusive resort located in Varadero, in the Matanzas province of Cuba. Having never been to a resort like this, I was overjoyed. But making the transition from Habana to the Iberostar resort made the shock all the more real.
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Week 1

2-6 Sep.


el martes

Our first full day in Cuba began with an introduction to Casa de las Américas, the country’s primary location for cultural research and study, and where we’ll be taking our classes for the semester. After meeting with Casa’s administrators, our professors, and the two Cuban women who will be taking classes with us, we went on a tour of the building. Besides being research center, Casa also serves as a living museum of sorts. There is art on display throughout the entire building, and not just murals and paintings, but also a plethora photographs (part of a year-long exhibition) and literature.
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Trick Yourself

This is a short talk given by journalist AJ Jacobs. He talks about the important role that Self-Delusion plays in the creative process.

I’ve got to say I agree with Jacobs. Having nearly-blinding confidence in oneself can be a recipe for disaster, but it also allows us to begin daunting projects, wholeheartedly pour ourselves into our work, and persevere when adversity strikes. In high school my friend and I used to say ‘Trick Yourself’ to each other whenever we couldn’t bring ourselves to do homework or a menial task. By pretending like we enjoyed what we were doing, we actually did start to enjoy it, just like Jacobs says. A lot of my other friends called bs on us, but the times that I succeeded in mostly deluding myself, I was able to write a paper or clean my room faster and more enjoyably than ever before. And according to Jacobs, tricking yourself or “faking it ’til you make it” is a legitimate strategy for making substantive change.

Check it out if you’ve got 20 minutes.

Importance of Self-Delusion