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Letter #13 from a Learn-it-all

5 min

Hello fellow learner,

Greetings from Grosse Pointe, Michigan!

Happy father’s day to all the stellar dads out there.

Here’s a silly picture of my siblings and dad competing who can make the best Santa Claus beard. We’re a family of swimmers so we grew up bonding during the social hour with jets blasting and seeing how long we could last before shriveling up into prunes. We always would have a close eye for hotels during a vacation to ensure they had a hot tub.

I hope you find it half as funny as I do. I love these goofballs that I call my family. Anyways, here is letter #13 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!

Some things I’ve learned through…

🥧 Doing

I cooked my first ever fruit tart. My dad’s favorite fruit is pears so my sister and I baked an almond pear tart. It is very similar to a pie, yet has a subtle difference. A tart is supposed to have a removable bottom, but I improvised with a pie pan.

It tastes a lot better than it looks. The inside has an almond filling and I learned that my smoothie blender can be used to pummel almonds to be used inside the filling. I had no idea! For future tarts, my sister and I decided to try a different fruit with more of a tangy flavor.

🖊 Writing

I wrote about why I found the Meyers Briggs personality test valuable and encourage you to take it.

As a social experiment, 100 girls in my college sorority took a personality test. This is how I discovered all three of my roommates were introverts. I was and still am an extrovert. I also realized why I felt like I fit in with the group-- it was majority extroverts. This was a lightbulb moment. I now understood why my roommates liked to be in their bedrooms while I’d be hanging out in the living room (by myself) or at other friend’s houses. I misunderstood their preferences. The relationships in my life started to make more sense. My roommates liked to recharge alone whereas I preferred recharging with them.

The name of this personality test is the Myers Briggs self-assessment. I found it valuable through making sense of why people think and act the way that they do: where someone gets their energy from, how they process information, how they make decisions, and how they organize the world. It leads to self-discovery and a common language for understanding. I will explain further why I encourage you to take it.

🎧 Listening

I listened to Dr. Matthew Walker discuss Sleep for Enhancing Learning, Creativity, Immunity, and Glymphatic System with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Key highlights that I gained are:

A better understanding of the brain’s functions:

How sleep affects your metabolic appetite in your brain. If you are deprived of sleep:

Why memory processing with sleep is critical to support learning in 3 stages:

  1. Sleep before to get the brain to get prepare
  2. Sleep learning after to cement the new information captured into the neural architecture of the brain
  3. Sleep stage of the deep dream REM sleep where your brain performs informational alchemy. For information processing, it transfers what you learned and locks it into the brain by fusing with the entire back catalog stored up over a lifetime of experience.

This third step of sleep creates a web of seemingly random unconscious associations overtime. This is a key factor as to why humans have a competitive advantage over computers with a large web.

The 4 pillars for sleep:

  1. Depth/ quality of sleep: need depth of brain waves and slow waves otherwise get deficit
  2. Duration: preferably 7-9 hours
  3. Continuity: you don’t want it fragmented. Alcohol can cause this discontinuous sleep.
  4. Regularity: going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including the weekend)
Sleep can be the Swiss Army knife for all sicknesses. Sleep is a life support system, and it is mother nature's best effort yet at immortality. It's a key to disease by potentially helping treat or even prevent disease. Most of us [doctors] don't ask because most doctors aren't educated.

📖 Reading

I have been reading All You Have To Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success by the sociologist, Wayne Baker. He writes about how questions are crucial as an initial step to awareness and defining what you don’t know. Baker provides many practical tips and insights on why we act the way that we do.

Some key takeaways are:

🔎 Word to define

Fallible: capable of making mistakes or being erroneous. Our human brains are fallible at storing information. This is why I have a practice of writing down keys ideas before they float away.

🌟 Quote to inspire

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

💭 Question to ponder

What characteristics of your dad do you admire?

I appreciate you reading this! If any of the ideas resonated or you have feedback to improve your experience, feel free to leave a comment, replying to this email, or sending me a message on Twitter @JenVermet.

Never stop learning 😁

Until next week,


P.S. If you missed the link up top for taking a personality test, here it is. I’d love to know if you learned something new about yourself as a result from it.

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