31: Obama's clothes, should I have went to Harvard (eyeroll emoji) watching a video of a blank, white wall and some of the science behind empowering yourself

Skiveo Radio and college or any decisions


“Drowning in Jam: How to Conquer Decision Fatigue” by Jane Hu: https://slate.com/business/2014/10/decision-fatigue-ego-depletion-how-to-make-better-decisions.html

“The Ten-item wardrobe | Jennifer L. Scott | TEDxStGeorge”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CLRL32Mcw

“The Scientific Reason why Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfit everyday”: https://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-mark-zuckerberg-wear-the-same-outfit-2015-4

The marshmallow test: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower-gratification.pdf

30: Heroism, color, colonialism, and an under-your-nose #lifehack

Now hear me out:

I was in my inbox, lingering as I do when I’m disappointed at not having receiving responses I was hoping for but not quite ready to leave, almost as if optimism is a loiterer who knows full well there’s no legitimate reason for her to be there but can’t find a legitimate enough reason to leave

This is one of the inboxes I go to after leaving my business inbox, my main personal account and of course, what do I see but an email, a trusty alumni newsletter

If you’ve graduated and partly enjoyed your experience at school but also partly really really really didn’t, you may understand the feeling I had when I for some reason that I may never truly understand I opened that email

Maybe the feeling of rejection mentioned earlier prompted me to seek out some sense of community, no matter how false it is.

Anyway—if you’re wondering, yes, I highly recommend my alma mater to anyone who asks or doesn’t ask and yes, that person could probably get away with never buying a meal plan and simply subsisting off of the free food that circulates so consistently and reliably on campus

I’m sure the free food listserv still exists as do other probably unprecedented sources of deliciousness

So, in my alumni newsletter I think, I don’t know because I very rarely open it, there’s a pretty consistent roundup of new books written by Princeton alumni.

I scrolled through the list, pausing slightly during my scroll for some (books) and eventually rescrolled back to the top because isn’t that what you do to force something interesting from where it doesn’t seem to exist.

At the top of the list is a book called “Joyful.”

You may be thinking, “what kind of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves-sounding name is that?”

Ecosias Seven Dwarves names to see if Joyful was actually one if them

Ecosia is another search engine because I hate Google and Ecosia plants trees the more I use it so it helps me feel environmentally woke…


Back to this book called “Joyful.”

Do you remember when I said that Anne Helen Petersen said about millennial burnout: “I never thought the system was equitable. I knew it was winnable for only a small few. I just believed I could optimize myself to become one of them.”

I believe your chances of winning the system depends on what system you’re looking at and in short, I want to optimize you to win.

So, back to this book called “Joyful.” Now, you may be thinking this is some self help nonsense that lost souls furtively buy into to masquerade the shame of not having reached their full potential because society says if you’re not the best, you’re a loser—there’s no in-between.

First of all, I don’t subscribe to this. Someone once said, and this probably not verbatim, “you’re going to grossly underestimate the time it will take you to get from where you are now to where you want to be.”

At the same time, some self help forces you to look at the world in a categorically different way—in a way that runs counter to potentially baseless, mainstream perspectives.

“Joyful” isn’t self-help as much as it is narratives intertwined with research driven by a catalytic story.

You can here about that story in the free preview of her book.

The author Ingrid Fetell Lee stumbled onto or was destined for an amazing realization, one that’s right under your nose.

Happiness or rather joy, which is instantaneous unlike happiness, a putatively chronic state, can be derived from…objects.

This flies in the face of modern psychology, which says…

habit change



These are the ways by which you can alter your inner state to achieve happiness.

LIsten to the audio for more.

28: Millennial perfectionism, Marie Kondo, Elaine Welteroth, helicopter parenting, and instagram

Millennial Perfectionism, Marie Kondo, Elaine Welteroth, Helicopter Parenting and Instagram

28: Millennial perfectionism, Marie Kondo, Elaine Welteroth, helicopter parenting, and instagram

Let’s talk about Kondo

Less is more. If you optimize your personal space, then the rest will follow…you hope at an intangible, unconscious level. This idea, Sophie Gilbert in her article “Millennial Burnout is Now Being Televised” appeals to millennials because of the expectation upon us to seek perfectionism. Apparently, our generation demonstrates more perfectionism than earlier generations—the 2017 study specifically says “recent generations of young people perceive that others are more demanding of them, are more demanding of others, and are more demanding of themselves.” Especially since the hallmarks of adult life: graduating on time, owning a car or a home have become so much more fraught for us. What with the initial 2000s-present teetering of the economy and the trillions of dollars of student loan debt.

Technology and helicopter parenting are the real sources of millennial burnout, according to Mark Thomas in his Medium article, “The Origins of Millennial Burnout.” He posits we need a “radical shift.”

He and Anne Helen Petersen, author of the viral Buzzfeed article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation” argue that such burnout will not be solved by self help solutions like “anxiety baking” and life hacking.

This burnout phenomenon, implicating millennial perfectionism and our pursuit of modern trappings of success reminds me of a recent interview featuring Elaine Welteroth, former Teen Vogue EIC and journalist—her solution is what she believes God’s purpose for her life is and is what she uses to detach and unloop, un-dopamine fueled technological feedback loop herself from the stakes that people, followers or not, plant or don’t plant in her identity by liking or not liking, by hearting or not hearting, by thumbs-up ing or not thumbs-up ing.

Petersen herself in that article wrote “I never thought the system was equitable.”
“I knew it was winnable for only a small few. I just believed I could optimize myself to become one of them.”

A clip of that interview housed on Elaine Welteroth’s instagram page has 56,796 views and 249 comments last I checked.

And was in response to a question posed by Natalie Manuel Lee “Do you believe that what you do is who you are” for the show, Now With Natalie on the Hillsong channel.

What preceded what I described of Welteroth’s soul vibrating response was the statement “absolutely not.”

These researchers, writers, and influencers have propelled me into a single impetus of a thought: you’re gonna have to Kondo your life.

As you likely know, the Kondo method created by Marie Kondo, an “organizational consultant” whose book about that method, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has sold over 11 million copies encompassing 40 countries and is the basis of not only a culture-perfusing Netflix series but probably also record rises in stock at donation centers and over 229,000 submissions to the “konmari” hashtag on Instagram.

The crux of the method, presumably the book, and ostensibly the show is that you’re supposed to ask yourself whether the objects you’ve hoarded or allowed to clutter/purposelessly infiltrate your space “bring you joy.”

I’m going to go a step further.

@ me or don’t but here goes.

You may need to do this with your inner life as well.

Your physical space should be clean—I think we humans are generally in agreement on that.

But what about your perceptions, your ideas, and the expectations others have of you.

#konmari those things.

I think that would solve or at least ameliorate errand paralysis
Decision paralysis
Internet and social media black holes
The effects of helicopter parenting
The dependence on extrinsic motivation
Social, familial and/or technological rewards
Instant gratification
Behavioral addiction
The glorification of working or overworking
That boredom is a problem

Kondo these things.

Let’s even extend this to minority burnout.

But wait. Wait.

The root and roots and trees and seeds and branches and fingers of minority burnout seem to be injustice which yes, hinges on the perception and expectation of the individual but is a relation that involves others.

So for this one we and when I say we I mean as a group; I’m not referring to every existing individual—are going to have to Kondo our interior lives so that the world necessarily becomes Kondo’d, i.e. cleaner, less burned out, less overworked, less paralyzed, less dependent, less unjust.

Let’s #konmari ourselves:
Intellectually—what books aren’t you reading; what hobbies aren’t you trying because we have to excel or don’t attempt in the first place; it’s ok. Be bad at archery—just make sure no one’s within a five mile radius of you.
Spiritually—this is not a spiritual or religious space per se so I’ll leave that to you to explore.
Emotionally—maybe you or I have been avoiding therapy for years knowing full well we will probably not be empowered to have fair relationships without it; maybe you’re someone who doesn’t think you’re emotional and physical selves are inextricably tied—they are; says science and more irrefutable sources so stop with the full fat ice cream binging that occurs subsequent to like any organic chemistry exam you take; try 99% fat instead.

In moderation of course.

27: Who are Ivy League degrees good for and millennial burnout

Millennial Burnout, Minorities, and Skiveo

Who are Ivy League degrees good for?

It looks like the same group of people whose representation in the elite group of US colleges and universities (not just Ivy but also public flagships (most notable public universities in a state)) has seen the greatest drop in decades, specifically the 35 years preceding 2017, the year, the relevant report came out in the New York Times. The analysis was conducted by the New York Times. The authors of that article are Haeyoun Park, Jeremy Ashkenas, and Adam Pearce.

This drop in the representations of blacks and latinos occurred in spite of affirmative action so…

Now I won’t dive deep into my view of affirmative action here. I will say that anyone who doubts whether I belonged at Princeton should look at my high school stats, test scores, and activities. I think, assuming you’re against affirmative action, you’d pause…immediately.

I knew someone, part Hispanic, at Princeton whose academic success I once ventured to ask him about. His GPA hit or hovered extremely close to a 4.0 when there; his graduating GPA was a 3.99. At a school that had a policy of grade deflation, i.e. a policy of cutoffs for As, etc. Thankfully, the policy was destroyed but only during my Senior Spring. He essentially responded: I’m not smart. I just work hard. Those were either his exact words or very close to them.

And he did.

He would purposely leave his books in the library when he wanted to eat dinner so that he would be forced to return to the library and finish studying. Most or all of the time I was a take-my-books-with-me-and-finish-studying-in-the-deceptive-comfort-of-my-dorm-room kind of gal.

Back to the failure of affirmative action. Black and latino representation at elite schools reached its lowest point since before I was born in spite of a policy whose goal was to increase our representation.

I do realize that the admissions process can hold Asians to a higher standard. I’m not Asian and I’m not going to dive deep into this level of the issue in this episode. I should probably note that this group is the most overrepresented according to the New York Times report. So, what do I plan to do in this episode?

Make the case for why that report by the New York Times is problematic. And let me state it right now. Research has shown that companies constituting greater racial diversity (and gender diversity) demonstrate greater innovation and yield greater economic returns. It is a BODY of research. Not one study. Done one time.

Now how exactly does this tie in with the drop in blacks and latinos at elite colleges. And again, I’m not in the school of thought that says everyone should attend an elite college because it’s an elite college. I personally have advised people to do so predominately because the financial aid would be better for them. To me that’s the first and most important level of value.

Anyway. How does the company stuff tie in with the dysfunctional affirmative action stuff?

So, just last year, a year after that NYT article, an article in the Atlantic by Derek Thompson, titled “Does it Matter Where You Go To College” showed that actual RESEARCH indicates that it does matter. Not if you’re rich, white, and male. BUT if you’re not rich, not white, and not male.

So let me first state what may be obvious to you: where those who’ve attended elite colleges end up: near 45% of American billionaires came from schools where incoming freshmen’s SAT scores averaged in the 1st percentile. Scores for any test have 98 other percentiles…

Not only them. Also over half of the list of Forbes’ most powerful people.

I’d like to stop for a sec here and note that not everyone who goes to an elite school is power hungry or strives for fame and greatness. I remember one person said to me at Princeton, and I’ll never or I hope I’ll never forget it, something along the lines of “I don’t want to be great. I want to be good.” By good she meant aware and socially conscious. Someone who seeks to do the right thing. Not the most glamorous thing.

I’m not sure she even likes me but I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

Back to Billionaires and Forbes. The point is that a lot of power-wielding people have come from elite schools.

Why? Well, it doesn’t seem to do with the school itself.

Research shows that if two people have the same SAT scores and one goes to an elite school and the other doesn’t, then there won’t be any significant difference in their salaries later in life.

It looks like the individual, their own ability, outweighs whatever the school they went to provided.

But this research was looked at again and while the researchers found no change in the results for men there was a huge change for women—going to a school with a 100-point higher mean SAT score was correlated with a 14% increase in earnings.

Regarding minorities, another study in 2017 showed that lower-income students at a school like Columbia, an elite school, an Ivy, had a much greater probability of reaching the highest 1% of the earnings distribution.

So what did I conclude from all of these articles and studies? If the representation of minorities at elite colleges falls even more, then the companies and individuals that benefit from diversity and elite degrees, respectively could suffer economically and creatively. As a group, minorities and women would see decreased earnings. And companies who hire from that group may also see a hit to their innovation and profit muscles.

Blacks and Hispanics are responsible for a number of 21st century conveniences, among them the pen (László József Biró), the wireless phone (Roberto Landell de Moura), and the POTATO CHIP (George Crum is thought to be its creator).

Next time: burnout…millennial burnout…minority burnout.

Burnout articles and related book mentioned in this episode:

Anne Helen Petersen “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation”

Tiana Clark “This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like”

Robert J. Wicks “The Resilient Clinician”

25: instant gratification, immigrants and assimilation, being cheap: I mean financially selective and the Generational battle between stem and the arts

part two of three of the conversation with author, Sara Bawany

Sara Bawany and Skiveo

episode notes and references (some):

generations beyond us advantage of having a long objective and thinking in larger versus smaller units (credit to Sean McCabe for latter)


why our immigrant parents were able to withstand the abuse, harassment, and assimilation

women and woc being expected to work for free and happily/eagerly at that

frugality, i.e. being “selective” with your money

the Prophet SAW had a pulpit for himself and the poet in the same mosque

how does a therapist deal with the psychological/psychoemotional fragility that can come with social media

give that kid more credit: “People will find easy that which they were made for.” The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

24: Becoming your own marketer, how to write your first book, brown doesn‘t mean premed, and a class about models

24: Sara Bawany: becoming your own marketer, how to write your first book, brown doesn‘t mean premed, and a class about models


episode highlights and references:

what does it take to publish a book: 24 year old with a book on Amazon

the advantages of self-publishing over traditional publishing

the marketing-social media game: ghost followers, quality versus quantity, follower count, does it ever stop once you reach a certain number, vanity metrics, generations from now beyond your existence you could impact someone more intensely than during your life (also an idea from Sean McCabe)—great artists becoming famous posthumously

the writing process—how different writers come to the page

brown kids or immigrants generally—the battle between STEM and the arts—how did this originate (want to say where did this STEM from but the use of pun would undermine the seriousness of the discussion we had regarding this?)

it’s okay to be mediocre at something or even some things: referred to the following article during the show


Nominate a guest

Skiveo for women and minorities

Nominate a guest


Follow @Skive0 on instagram to learn whether your nomination was chosen.

Return here to tell me what questions you’d like me to ask them if they’ve been chosen.

Enter if you want a shoutout for your question; if you do, please at least type your first name. If you type both, I won't stalk you; relax.

19: Imposter Syndrome: just "anxiety with a different name" and making your female voice more powerful...without yelling

Imposter syndrome and mental health

Approximate Timestamps

1: She’s a Google Women Techmaker Scholar.

5: Still, she suffered/suffers from math anxiety because of a harsh teacher in middle school.

8: Having low confidence despite winning three hackathons

13: She shares experiences with academic and workplace harassment as a woman and minority in tech.

“Imposter’s syndrome—that’s anxiety; just with a different name.”

19: Developing the ability to advocate for yourself and using your voice as a woman to better advocate for yourself.

18: networking, Alcohol and fighting injustice, i.e. getting woke-r with data science

Women in tech

tl:dr “all that glitters is not gold” Shakespeare

Approximate Timestamps:

7: From liberal arts/actual art to engineering to comp sci—Naba talks about changing her major five times.

12: Naba talks about leaving a team that founded a startup where kids can learn to program in their own language

16: Alcohol at networking events—tl:dr: don’t go.

Book mention: Brotopia by Emily Chang

21: Inventor and investors

23: Naba’s interest in data science (e.g. the human rights data analysis group)

25: Naba talks about the perpetuation of social inequality by data science and mathematics.

Book mention: Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil

Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble

28: The questionnaire.

33: She’s a Google Women Techmaker Scholar.

Articles mentioned:

“The Confidence Gap” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/05/the-confidence-gap/359815/

Of 350 companies, certain ones were more successful: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/06/06/1517397/0/en/Women-Owned-Startups-Deliver-Twice-as-Much-Per-Dollar-Invested-as-Those-Founded-by-Men.html

Math and data science being used to perpetuate inequality in society and how you do deal with alcohol at networking events or work events as a Muslim

14: Talking to Mariam about clinical neuropsychology, mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


(Approximate?) Timestamps:

13:00 Why did Mariam choose a PhD over a PsyD?

16:00 What drew Mariam to neuroscience?

20:00 I talk about the Gut-Brain link. And about a book about perfume and smell and how that drew me to the study of the brain (episode #001 explains the latter more).

24:00 I ask her about her involvement in a study that looked at stress in individuals whose cancer went into remission.

30:00 What is “mindfulness disposition?”

36:00 How many studies did she help conduct in undergrad and what was it about her lab experience that inspired her to pursue grad school?

39:00 What made it hard for me to figure out whether I wanted to be in medical school or graduate school.

42:00 I talked about when I shadowed a doctor and asked a Parkinson’s disease neurologist why she chose med school over a PhD. Also, I bring up the work-life balance conundrum that can manifest in academia versus industry.

45:00 I talk about my YouTube-binging videos about people who dropped out of grad school. I ask Mariam if she knows anyone who has.

47:00 I ask Mariam how important she thinks mentor-suitability is in grad school on a 1-10 scale.

51:00 I ask how one would find out who’d be more or less suitable as a mentor before deciding on a program. Exact or nearly exact question: “Is there a network or something?”

56:00 I ask about graduate school unions.

58:00 I ask Mariam whether graduate school has been harder than undergrad.

1:01 Has it been easier for Mariam to form networks and friendships in grad school versus undergrad?

1:09 I ask about her graduate school application process, specifically what she thinks the strongest and weakest points of her application were?

1:10 How long did I have to explicitly prepare for the GRE?

1:13 Are the mental health issues associated with grad school over-hyped?

1:15 Mariam’s professional ambitions?

1:17 Have her family and friends criticized her for being in grad school given the potential it has to restrict other parts of someone’s life, e.g. personal relationships?

1:21 I shout-out Muslim Women of Color Conquer Grad School, a group initiated, at least partly, by Amelia Noor-Oshiro.

1:22 Has being Muslim impacted her academic and professional life?

1:29 Mariam talks about working with veterans and having worked with active duty military personnel.

1:31 Mariam talks about operating as a therapist to veterans as part of her clinical neuropsychology program.

1:36 Therapy can be difficult for the patient, but has Mariam, as a therapist, experienced emotional suffering given the traumatic experiences she hears about?