Objectivity

I sit here in a room with no artificial light, with the exception of the faint glow behind these keys and brighter glow of the screen. To my right is an open window, the grey and green and barely hued pink sky allowed my hand guidance to a mug of tea. The experience in a culmination of all senses, yet if you were to take each one individually it would be a rather bleak picture. An open window whipping cold air, a dark room, a bleak sky. Isolated sensations that mean much less than the summation of all available senses. This is how I view objectivity. It is neutral, without stimulation. Observance and isolation. These sentiments of mine stem from a few oddly noticed connections.

I have recently been watching too much of a show called “How It’s Made”. You have probably seen it, and if you are anything like myself you have watched it for hours being mesmerized. When you finally turn away from the screen you realize that you just watched how buttons were made, and were entranced by a small disk of plastic with a few holes. Yet I marvel at these episodes of the mundane and monotonous, especially because of the workers. They are never shown to have full faces, they are only profiles, or dismembered and gloved hands. From what I gather from the episodes, they do the same task for hours, and judging by how quickly I am disinterested with folding a shirt after a few seconds I feel I would make a poor assembly line worker. The show never discloses the brands which are being produced, despite obvious attempts by the companies involved. The show is being entirely objective, removed from the human element, and the corporate motivation behind the creation of these artifacts.

Another example I fear is the interview. Job Interviews are entirely too condensed. They begin surreptitiously, a manicured resume is the only first impression you provide. Should your qualifications match, then comes a short interview. You must present a refined view of yourself, something capable of working diligently, and ethically, and without disclosing that you are human. If I were in a position of hiring authority I wouldn’t sit you down in a small room with a fluorescent light: the interviewee would choose where and what we would do for any length of time. Go-carts and ice cream? Sky-Diving followed by a volcanic ash facial scrub? Or a tea by an open window while we watch the rain slow to a trickle. Why not- it would give me a deeper understanding of intent and character. It has always astounded me how little time is put into the interview. If the candidate is hired, they will be in close contact with the staff for five days a week: why not dive deeper than a 15 minute placating interview.

Objectivity is not observance. A step back doesn’t provide you a clearer view of what is happening, rather it isolates you from societal interaction. As an extreme introvert (I challenge you to find a more introverted scoring person on a Myers-Briggs personality test)  I can attest how objectivity provides little insight. The sky has now dimmed further, but contrast has heightened- it is a sky of rolling whites and blue, peppered with greys. I shall call this entry to a close.

 

Good evening, Internet.

 

Seasons are fresh, is the food?

If you are one of the few people I talk to now and then, you may notice I have a particular affinity for food. Cooking it, eating it, smelling it. Every sensory pallet is tingled with food, all basil needs are fulfilled by a simple meal. I happen to have another blog devoted to cooking: incompetentcook.tk. I was split as to where I should even post the following article:  my mind wandered while I was eating, savoring a bite of grilled sandwich, sipping an Italian(I have to make to differentiation noticeable) cappuccino, dribbling an organic pork loin soup over my face and shirt. Yet the food wasn’t the most memorable part of this experience.

I have attempted to go to this particular cafe four times previously.  The first three I had gone on days they were apparently closed or on holiday, and the third time they had barred the door for a ‘high volume private affair’ that night. I had given up on going to Seasons Fresh cafe: fate was pushing me away vehemently. Yet I chanced one more visit on my way home from campus. They were open, tables were dressed, and there were a few chairs occupied. I sit, book in hand, notebook next to it and with sunglasses on I lazily browse a menu. It is a simple menu, the word organic peppered everywhere, a dozen or so sandwiches and another dozen salads. After some misunderstanding I find myself with food and a coffee. The service was terrible, unaware of what the menu held, ambiguous answers to what should have been easy inquiries. I was forced to play it safe, ordering the ‘Americano’: a chicken and pesto panini. It wasn’t spectacular, and I had to inform the server that I lacked silverware, sugar and some method of stirring my drink. It all came slowly with apprehension- I was one of only three tables, if there were any sort of rush I felt she would crumple in a ball and start making even more errors.

So my food experience was uneventful, possibly even the worst service I had ever faced(perhaps only rivaled by a now ancient Red Robin visit). Yet the experience beyond the marginal food was enthralling. The reason I was most allured to this place was the tables outside. I went in the early evening, the sun cresting over roofs, landing directly on my head as I sat facing a small fenced garden. Ducks waddled by, but never once interfered with my dining experience- they were fattened even without my altruism. I sat, book in hand and read. The story in front of me is mesmerizing: each page slamming me with allegory, each hint of future event shadowing the present.

I read so innately that I barely noticed that I had eaten all the food in front of me, and only once I went to sip my coffee again and found only the white of the bottom of the cup did I look up. The arcing sun still pulled light to my vision, but its angle had changed dramatically. Another coffee was ordered, and I read some more. I had already been a long week for me, sleepless for days, for once not because of insomnia, but because I had many irons in the fire- each of which requiring more than my precious time could afford. Today was the temporary end to the madness, and it was a well deserved anchoring.

I flipped through at least another hundred pages in my book, sipping a coffee slowly the entire time. I was never hassled for my tortoise pace, which I fear isn’t because of an aware waitress, but the opposite.  A breeze attempted to lift each page, but my focus kept the paper from stirring too violently. Eventually the sun ducked behind a shading tree and I felt it an appropriate time to vacate. The notepad next to me had been written on and was littered with scribbles from throughout my meal. I had witnessed much thanks to this book in front of me. Its complexities made my muddled mind more manageable. While lines were read, my ears peeked at my surroundings, between pages my eyes dashed across the horizon, hands feeling the grain of the wood in front of me. I wrote pages of observations. I know they exist on that notepad, but I cannot remember what was written- it was a hidden focus that my aware consciousness is still not privy to.

This little respite of reading and eating in the glory of a breathtaking day has now fueled me endlessly. I contend that focus should not be so magnetized to a task- perhaps my mistake the past few days. If I had managed to draw the blinds back and saw the sun giving life to the blades of grass, to the sunning reptile by the  pond perhaps I could have been refocused. All from a distraction from the immediate.