POGGI | The Case Against Being Low-Maintenance

I’ve never been a particularly organized person. I was never one to make my bed each morning or color-code assignments in a planner. I once prided myself on this disorganization, seeing those who opted for neatness as trivial or overly obsessed with aesthetics. In my mind, prettiness was a barrier to efficiency — a trivial and unnecessary focus in the grand scheme of “getting it done.”

As I’ve aged though, I’ve learned to appreciate the extra step of aesthetic attention. Whether it be dotting on concealer before class or staying consistent with note formatting, I’ve learned that neatness has a previously unappreciated benefit — it affirms standards I hold for myself, even if it serves no greater purpose.

GUEST ROOM | Who Needs Meaning?

When I was a junior in high school, I taught a film and media class at my former elementary school. I gathered a group of 11 year olds around a computer to write a script and asked them, “What message do you want to share to your audience?” They told me they wanted to make a movie about a dog traveling around the world; somehow dynamite and chicken wings were involved but I can’t remember how. “No, I mean what do you want the meaning to be?” I asked again. They didn’t understand what I was trying to say. They suggested dinosaurs instead of the dog.