Reflection: November 19th

To summarize my introductory essay, I chose Benjamin Franklin’s virtues of Industry, Cleanliness, and Tranquility, as well as two of my own: temperance/moderation and productive downtime. Personally, I prioritized the balance between Industry and Tranquility, since as my workload increases I am looking to stay on top of it, without growing restless and burnt out. By having this balance, I feel like it would allow myself to accomplish more, while enjoying myself during the process, which can drive me to do tasks that would possibly fullfill both my industrious side, while making myself feel tranquil. Essentially, by balancing the energy that I had hoped to make more out of my days. Now, though I had set out to achieve all of these virtues, there were some that I had done well at while others were put on the backburner so to speak.

Throughout the process of blogging my virtues, it became clear to me that cleanliness and productive downtime were going to be my struggle suits. First off for cleanliness, I had already developed a habit of having a cluttered workspace that part of myself got used to it and the dirtiness either did not effect me or simply caused myself to avoid it alltogether by moving to another area. At times I had succcesses with cleanliness, but my motivation for it simply was not there, and I often opted for the easy solution since the time I had for it was limited. For the future, I would like to make my goal for cleanliness more specific, by possibly dedicating 10 minutes per day just to declutter. Hopefully by having something more concrete I would be able to see improvements in the area. Moving on to my productive downtime virtue, I also heavily struggled with this subject. Though I had the NYT mini crossword to get me through, it just does not take enough time for all the downtime I had. And with the downtime I had, I just wanted to recharge before my next industrious task and simply give my brain a break. Additionally, my idea for productive downtime would be doing something in the arts, and part of me was not motivated to start on a whole new art endevour in small intervals at a time. Overall, I feel like my productive downtime could be a lot more successful by planning something out that I would do in my downtime that I could revisit at ease at anytime, such as a paint by numbers painting or a puzzle. Overall, though I struggled with these virtues, I still have motivation and innovations to try to fix both my mindset and the way I approach these virtues.

As for my successes in this experience, I believe that my temperance/moderation virtue was the strongest. Even if I did not get through as much school work as physically possible, I still took it in chunks rather than procrastinating on it, which is a huge improvement for myself. Additionally, I had created a set plan for my moderation virtue by also creating a plan for SAT prepartions for a test in December. By taking SAT information in small chunks rather than cramming the final week, I feel that I will be more successful and less stressed come test day. For the future, if I keep a schedule with what I plan on doing, I feel that I would be able to balance my industry and tranquility virtues a lot better since I would have my work done at earlier periods, allowing for more tranquil downtime as well as less stress when it comes to procrastination. I am very proud of being able to improve upon moderation in my life since procrastination is a bad habit that I feel like this virtue can start to fix. Ultimately, my successes in temperance I feel could lead into other areas of life, pushing myself even closer to perfection.

Overall, I feel like this blogging experience allowed myself to be mindful of what I want to improve for myself, which caused the goal of “perfection” to be more obtainable. In improving these virtues, especially temperance/moderation, I was able to have a lifestyle that more accurately reflects what I want for my future. Specifically, with temperance, I was able to increase both my industry and productivity by simply being organized and rationing my work out over a long period of time, which made my work process plenty more enjoyable and effecient. However, there definetly is room for improvements too, which could further guide me to match my goals for my future. If I were to redo this experience, I would give myself specific activities that I could do that would measure my success with the virtues, but would most certainly continue the self reflection. Ultimately, the purpose of this project for myself was to shape my current self to better match what I want my future self to be. Even if perfection is impossible, it should not stop myself from trying to improve myself where I can.

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 10

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Today was an average day; I had spent quite a bit of time studying for an upcoming chemistry test and currently feel a bit restless despite late start. I am most certainly looking forward to crashing in my bed tonight, but for now, my virtues. My best virtue for the day was industry (8/10) as I worked through the entirety of my afternoon, as well as most of my school day. For temperance/moderation, I would rate myself a 5/10, since I was too busy with school work to get rarely any SAT preparation done, however, I did start to compile questions for my college visits that are upcoming this break. For productive downtime, I would rate myself a 5/10 since whenever I did take a break from my work, I just wanted to shut my brain off for the time being while I was recharging. As for my cleanliness, I would rate myself a 6/10 since once again I have decided to work at the dinner table instead of cleaning my room, however, I was able to reorganize a few of my folders/binders for school. Lastly, for tranquility, I would rate myself around a 5/10 since I have a little lingering stress for the upcoming school day, but I am keeping Thanksgiving Break as a motivator as we wind down from this virtues project. I am curious to see what will happen after I stop blogging about these virtues daily. Goodnight and see you all tomorrow! :))

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 9

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Overall I had a decent Wednesday for this week. I find that odd block days tend to be the most stressful since I have all my core classes so I am just content on getting through today with everything going on leading up to the break. As for the virtues, they were above average, but not quite as good as yesterday and Monday. For industry and temperance, I would rate myself around a 6/10 for those as I continue to balance school work and SAT Prep, though I did not get as much progress as I was hoping for either of those. For cleanliness, I would rate myself a 4/10 since I still have not fully cleaned out my desk area, instead opting for the dining room table. For tranquility, I would rate myself around a 6/10 since today I found to be somewhat stressful throughout with all of the work coming to a close before the break, however, after a very chilly soccer practice, I was able to take a long hot shower to destress and warm myself up! Finally, for productive downtime, I would rate myself a 5/10 since I felt unmotivated to start any creative projects in the downtime that I had, instead choosing to be on my phone (at least I had read an article that my father recommended to me, even if it was not really long). Overall, I am grateful for getting through this long school day and having my workload organized for the next few days as Thanksgiving break inches closer and closer. Plus, its late start tomorrow, so I am most certainly excited to recharge tomorrow morning as a result :))

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 8

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Overall I feel like I had a really good day today! For my video production class, I got to film a story at my elementary school and visited my 5th-grade teacher, which was a lovely surprise when she recognized me. It was definitely the highlight of my day getting a big hug from her, especially since I haven’t properly seen her in 6 years! As for my virtues, I would say some of my strongest were industry and temperance (at an 8/10) as I got on top of some work that is not necessarily due and even attempted some extra credit in a class. For tranquility, I would rate myself around a 7/10 since after my stresses for filming at my school I felt that I had finally got everything into place for the rest of the week. Cleanliness I did not do as well in, maybe around a 5/10, since instead of cleaning my workspace I just moved to the kitchen table for my homework, but I was able to organize my room overall a little bit by putting away laundry. Lastly, for productive downtime, I would rate myself a 5/10, since when I had a moment of downtime it was often spent on my phone. However, I did attempt an actual crossword with autofill on, and “completed” it in 41 minutes and 55 seconds (super impressive, I know). Overall I feel like over these past few days I have seen a definite improvement in my virtues which has been encouraging me to keep at them, even if there are slight bumps in the road to “perfection”.

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 7

Monday, November 15th, 2021

Mondays are always pretty hectic, but luckily I still had some time to work and focus on my virtues for today. As for my virtues, I would say my strong suit was industry, ranking it a 7.5/10 for today. I got a lot of work done for my classes, plus I put in extra work to organize an interview for tomorrow. For cleanliness, I would rate it about a 5/10. I cleared my desk space a little to work and cleaned up leftover glasses of water from my bed stand, but I am still procrastinating on putting laundry away (oh well!). For tranquility, I would rate myself a 5/10 as well, since I was able to take a brief nap after school to get me through the evening ahead. Plus, a shipment from an Argentine goods company finally came in which really put me in a good mood as I got some snacks and candy that are not part of the US. For productive downtime, I would rate myself a 4.5/10 since I did not really have any downtime for the day other than taking a nap, which can be seen as both productive and counterproductive since I was able to have more energy later, at a sacrifice of time at the moment. Lastly, for temperance/moderation, I would rate myself a 6.5/10 since I got ahead on my homework which was nice for a change, and continued on with SAT preparations. I feel today has been the strongest my virtues have been thus far, so I am really pleased with the results.

Have a good night! 🙂

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 6

Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Overall, I had a pretty relaxing Sunday, which is a good way to end the weekend for next week’s workload. It is crazy to think that these blogs have been going on for nearly a week! Overall, I believe that my virtues were mediocre today, nothing too crazy but not awful either. As for industry and temperance/moderation, I would rate them both around a 4.5/10, since I got all my homework that I needed to get done, done. However, I did not really get ahead on other tasks that would be necessary. My productive downtime was about a 5.5/10 since I did attempt an actual crossword with my spare time, but other than that I did spend quite a bit of time mindlessly on my phone. I would rate my tranquility a 6/10 for today since I was a little high-strung for some reason but was able to drive around and listen to some music to put myself in a good mood. Lastly, for my cleanliness, I would rate it a 5/10 since I did some light cleaning around my room, but nothing exceptional. I hope to see my virtues excel over the next school week, especially since I need to be on top of my school work for my classes. I feel like the extra time with the weekend at times was wasted, but at least allowed myself to recharge to have more energy for school.

Good night!

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 5

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

I had a pretty relaxed yet somewhat productive Saturday. I got to sleep in which was always nice, and I got to go out to lunch with a friend which resulted in quite a tranquil afternoon. As for my virtues, I would highlight my tranquility for the day, as I spend a lot of time just doing things I enjoyed and calming myself down the for next work week (giving myself a 7/10 for today). I was also relatively good at my industry and moderation/temperance virtues (giving them both a 6/10), as I created those hot cocoa bombs (which I needed to film myself doing for a video class) and got some of my other homework done, though nearly not as much as I could have. As for cleanliness, I did not really get to cleaning my room and workspace, but I did make the point to clean up all of my items needed for my making of the hot cocoa bombs (so I would rate myself a 5/10). Lastly, for productive downtime, I did not really do much for this aspect as I was either doing work or mindlessly relaxing, so I would give myself a 3/10 for today. Hopefully, I can turn that around tomorrow as I gear up for the week ahead of myself.

Anyways, good night! (P.S. I will be sure to post an image of the hot cocoa bombs once I use them, I just was not really in the mood for it tonight)

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman – Day 4

Friday, November 12th, 2021

Today got off to a bit of a rocky start, but I was happy to get it back on track as the day moved on (I did not have the best sleep last night, so most of the morning felt like a dream as at times I did not feel truly awake). However, I had a nice evening and got to enjoy some time for myself. As for my virtues, I feel like my highlight was tranquility. I had come home after school not feeling super energized but I was able to recharge by watching a movie (Bad Genius on Netflix, I highly recommend), so I rate myself a 7/10 on tranquility. I also did a good job on productive downtime, as I used some watercolors and just doodled for a bit with them (so I would also give myself a 7/10 on that virtue). I also did pretty well for my productive virtues, giving industry, moderation/temperance, and cleanliness around a 5.5 out of 10. I had mapped out all the homework I am needing to do this weekend (and even got started on some of them during free time at school) and got my workspace ready for when I tackle those activities. Overall, I am happy to see the gradual improvements of these virtues by simply keeping them in my mind.

Happy Friday! 🙂

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 3

Thursday, November 11th, 2021

I had a pretty good day today, even though it was a little slow in the middle it picked back up and I was able to enjoy my late start as well as my evening. As for today, I believed that my virtues also improved slightly from yesterday, which is great too. To start off, there were no conflicts that were notable today, so once again my tranquility has no score for today. As for my strong suit of the day, I would put it at my productive downtime virtue, ranking it a 7/10. I completed the New York Times mini crossword (and even tied my father for time which is exciting, since he usually blows me out of the water on those) and even attempted the actual crossword, though not especially successful. I also planned and ordered a chocolate mold as I plan on making those hot chocolate “bombs” over the weekend, which hopefully goes well. As for my other virtues, I would rank industry a 6/10, as I got all my homework done enough so that I have extra time for myself. My cleanliness is also at a 6/10 since I was able to keep my workspace clean and distraction-free from yesterday. Finally, I would rate my temperance a 5/10 as I continued to stick to my SAT schedule. Overall, I feel good improvements from yesterday and I hope this continues moving forward.

Good night!

Rafaela Grieco-Freeman: Day 2

November 10th, 2021

For today, I felt like I did alright in my virtue completion, though not excellent, despite having an overall good day which is somewhat confusing. I think it’s because I succeeded in virtues that I already prioritize outside of this project, which is somewhat throwing myself through a loop, so that will need some getting used to. However, I felt like I had a definite improvement on cleanliness from yesterday, possibly bumping it up to a 6/10. I followed Luke’s advice from earlier and I felt like it really helped with preventing distractions from my desk space. However, I still felt at times, not the most efficient, putting my industry and productive downtime virtues at a 4/10 for today as I got distracted by my phone easily, and justified it as my rest which was not exceptionally fulfilling. The virtue of tranquility did not really come up as any nervousness or frustration was very small and not substantial enough to make an impact (so putting it at a N/A out of 10 possibly; I may need to redo my ranking system). Temperance was alright though (putting it at a 5/10), as I continued my SAT preparation, but maybe not on other ongoing long-term projects.

I am interested to see how my virtues improve, fail, or fluctuate as this blog continues. Good night!

Day One

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Overall, day one was an alright start to this virtue tracking. For this blog, I will focus on my strongest and weakest virtues.

First off, on the positives, my strongest virtue of the day was temperance, giving myself an 8/10. I created an SAT preparation schedule for a testing date in December. Depending on how well I do on following this plan may affect its rating, but for now, I am optimistic. On the other hand, my weakest virtue was cleanliness, rating myself a 4/10, as I did my homework at a messy desk space that often led to distractions, so cleaning that area would be necessary to improve both cleanliness, but also industry. I will make it my goal for tomorrow to declutter my working desk in order to improve cleanliness.

For the additional virtues, industry was a 6/10, and tranquility was a 5/10. Lastly, my productive downtime was a 5/10 since I scrolled mindlessly on my phone for longer than needed, but was able to make an octopus from seed beads by following a tutorial during my downtime.