- I think life is boring without a problem or task that is a Challenge. Challenges are rewarding to tackle and solve.
- Challenges yield Learning experiences which help me Grow.
- With that said, I do need time and space for a work-life Balance. I take time for myself in the mornings to prepare myself for the day.
- I value Humility and Candor from others and I hope to be an example of that in day-to-day life.
- Lastly, what really can be exciting for me is seeing elegance in an engineered solution.
- Reflecting: I tend to think about one topic for extensive periods of time. An easy way to spot if I’m reflecting is when I mention a conversation topic from 5 minutes ago (or 5 days ago) when the conversation has progressed elsewhere. Here are some types of things I might reflect on with fun examples:
- A problem, challenge, or conjecture, e.g. “Clinton’s Delaunay Conjecture: Robert Delaunay and Boris Delaunay are related.”
- Reflect on a conversation topic, e.g. “Roman columns or Greek pillars? Discuss.”
- Ideals, dreams, and counterexamples, e.g. “One day
x = y/z; will be constant time.”
When you don’t feel safe in a conversation, how does this manifest itself in your actions or affects?
- Rumination: I am always my biggest critic. I set a pretty high bar for myself. Just tell me to relax. It was the best advice I got from teammates when I played college hockey.
- Conflict: I sometimes avoid conflict which does not resolve the problem. Providing feedback helps.
- Reservation: I can be fairly reserved until I feel comfortable. Here comfort can mean any of the following:
- I am familiar and at ease with the individuals I am with;
- The stated problem is clear enough and I have enough knowledge to provide feedback. Try asking me questions to spur my feedback and comfort.
Areas for Professional Development
- I am notorious for over complicating designs. If I show you something that looks complicated, just call that out right away.
- Gratitude! Okay this is personal and professional development. I have a hard time receiving and giving gratitude. I’m working on it. This is related to my rumination mentioned above.
Things I’m Learning and Getting Better At
I hope to write blog posts on these topics this year (2022).
- Socratic Questioning: This can be good to use during (healthy) persuasion or other scenarios that lend themselves to good dialogue when diagraming things (e.g. system architecture)
- Behavioral Science: Bringing behavioral science concepts into my day-to-day work. For example, identifying promoting and inhibiting pressures that lead into “why we do things this way”. This can also help unblock people and teams with surfacing these behaviors!
- Facilitating Crit: Crit is a useful tool for project reviews and exchanging feedback amongst team members. It is used regularly in liberal arts studies and art based research. I’d like to be a practitioner and facilitator of this when working with teams on projects and share my experiences blogging about this.
- Critical Pedagogy: Borrowing concepts of critical pedagogy and applying them in a professional setting; with particular focus on an organization’s cultural norms, values, and language. This one is going to be the most challenging as I am now in a very large company.
- The Michelangelo Problem: Asking questions that strike at the heart of the issue. Sometimes I don’t know what questions to ask to get a better understanding of context.
“The best artist has that thought alone which is contained within the marble shell; only the sculptor’s hand can break the spell to free the figures.” - Michelangelo, Letter To His Father In Florence.
- I really value the first 30 minutes of my working day and to allow myself to focus and flow for the rest of the day. It might look like making a pot of tea, reviewing my calendar, slack, and chunking my goals/tasks for the day.
- If it’s the afternoon and you’re scheduling an early morning meeting, slack or text me about it just to be sure I’m aware of it.
- I’m usually online around 9am Pacific. There are going to be mornings where it’s a struggle. Pre-pandemic I would weightlift at the gym before I start my day; nowadays it’s a question of “how do I feel about going to the gym?”
- I am very open to structured 1:1 meetings. This is something I’d like to try more. Often times, my 1:1 meetings might start off structured but over time turn unstructured.
- If you’re reading this, I invite you to schedule a 1:1 with me if we haven’t met already.
clinton.bowen - at -
How should people best get your attention for urgent matters outside of normal working hours?
- Slack me first.
- If you still need a response, then texting me is your best bet.
What’s your relationship to work communication when not at work?
- I’ll do what I can to respond upon availability.
What are your signs that you’d prefer to not be interrupted when at work?
- Slack is sync’ed to my calendar; notifications might get silenced during meetings but I’ll try to respond after the meeting is done.
- Meditation events on my calendar.
Ask Me About
- Linear programming, optimization, and math
- Critical pedagogy
- Ice hockey
- Power/Weight lifting
- Cryptography (the symmetric kind)
- California Water Reservoirs