Trade-offs and Triumphs 35 by @jennykim

Issue 35: Lost and Found: Library Books and The Passing of Beverly Clearly; Resources for the Week; Closing Thoughts

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Welcome to issue 35 of Trade-offs and Triumphs - a newsletter of resources and thoughts about how to balance trade-offs in life to find and celebrate the small triumph; every decision point requires thinking through trade-offs and not just immediately aiming for the “solution.”

How was your week? What were your trade-offs and triumphs?

This week we will hit on:

👉 Lost and Found: Library Books and The Passing of Beverly Clearly

👉 Resources for the Week

👉 Closing Thoughts

For a quick oral summary of Issue 35, hit ▶️ below:


​📚​📙​📖​​ Lost and Found: Library Books and The Passing of Beverly Clearly

When I grew up in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s, libraries and the endless shelves of books gave me enormous pleasure. I would just roam between the bookshelves and peer at all the titles, running my fingers over the spines. In a library, I was not restricted to reading just about science and math. I could read about distant places, famous people, not so famous people, fictional people, and admire photos and paintings of beautiful couture. And then I would pile all the books I picked out on a table, sit down, and start reading.

And if I did not finish reading that entire pile of books, I checked those out and then promptly brought them back when they were due. I feared paying late fees, so even if I failed to sleep most nights, I had to finish that book, just one more chapter, one more paragraph…

But then there is someone who did not return a library until 63 years later - 23,000 days later.

When I read this story about the 23,000-day late library book, I thought about Ramona Quimby, and the entire Ramona series written by the late Beverly Clearly, who had recently passed away. I had not read that series in over 20 years. I sat down and began scanning those novels, and found my inner Ramona again.

Sometimes, we are “lost and found.” Random moments trigger parts of us we have lost. For me, it took an article about a 23,000-day late library book and the passing of Beverly Clearly to remind me that the spirit of Ramona in all of us is forever.


✊​⚒️️​🧰​ Resources for the Week

✅ Doing More With Less: Structuring Legal Knowledge to Transform Your Legal Department by Martin Kwedar and Erik Smetana - Have you ever wondered why the law seems ordered but disordered? What can we all do about it - what mental models do we need to change to have laws actually be simple and work for all? And how do we reduce knowledge waste?

If you want to read the entire article, please contact Martin Kwedar and Erik Smetana. They would be happy to share the complete article and to discuss this important issue with you.

✅ What are “weaknesses”? Check out this fantastic Twitter thread on “weaknesses” as “strengths” identified by Will Mannon

✅ The Savvy Course Creator Checklist by Julia Saxena

✅ A visual of the most frequently assigned in US college courses: Open Syllabus Galaxy Project visualizes 1,000,000+ books most frequently assigned in US college courses - e.g., The Prince, The Elements of Style, The Souls of Black Folk, Canterbury Tales, The Communist Manifesto - via Open Culture.

✅ A brief history of trash by @amymcmai


Closing Thoughts: Growing in Different Directions and The Sound of Silence


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Be conscious of your trade-offs. Before settling on any one “solution,” run your fingers through all the trade-offs and decide intentionally and specifically.

And then celebrate your triumphs, no matter how small.

See you next week!