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Minerva Week 21: Illness and Drawing the Future

March 2, 2015

Hi everyone!

It’s been a pretty quiet week for me. Not by choice, but because I was under the weather. From headaches to fatigue to sinus pain to nausea to sore throat, you name it, I had it (though thankfully not all at once!). Accordingly, this week was my first interaction with the U.S. healthcare system. Navigating the requirements of my insurance provider was a little more confusing than I was expecting. Apparently I need to call them before I want to go to the doctor, so they can approve me and create a file for billing. I was overwhelmed at the doctor’s office trying to sort all of this out, but one of the receptionists there was so helpful. She called the insurance company for me and was on hold all throughout my checkup. I was so grateful for her kindness.

The one neat thing I did this week was go visit the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a non-profit that has been exploring and predicting possible futures of healthcare, work and learning for 40 years. I made the hour and a half public transit trek out to Palo Alto to meet with a few members of their team. It was a big day for me, because I have been following IFTF’s work for years. I love their beautiful full-colour maps of the different possibilities for each domain of human life. Here’s an example:

IFTF’s Map of the Future of Science

On my way to their offices, I walked by a store that I could have sworn was from the future. It was a 3D scanning and printing shop. You could walk in, have yourself scanned, and walk out with a tiny doll replica of you. Wild!


I took most of my classes from my bed this week (a definite perk of Minerva), and slept the day away on Saturday. Yesterday, I finally started chipping away at a project I’ve been meaning to finish for a few months now. The Academic Dean of Minerva has often talked to us about ‘learning principles’ – strategies for learning more deeply and efficiently that are supported by scientific research. It’s been my goal to make a hand-drawn visual explanation of a few of these principles.

Here’s my video draft. Ignore the awkward transitions between different stages – it’s a work in progress and needs a lot more editing. It also needs narration! That’s my goal for the next few weeks. When I am done, I will let you know.

I wish you nothing but good health and sunny days. Until next time!

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