Strengths and weaknesses

I’ve been doing a lot of heavy stuff lately. Decided I’d lighten it up a bit today.

So, in no particular order, a list of things I’m good at, followed by a list of things I’m bad at.


  • Teaching
  • Chemistry
  • Pattern recognition
  • Martial arts
  • Endurance
  • Math
  • Writing (I think once I’ve figured out what to write)
  • Analysis
  • Grammar
  • Reading scientific papers properly (yes, this is its own thing that takes practice. Not all papers and studies are created equal, and learning how to evaluate them takes experience)
  • Creating organization systems that are fairly user-friendly.
  • Cataloging stuff (I, rather stereotypically, enjoy cataloging information… which gives me an idea for a post at a later date on the difference between short-term and long-term organization and how it’s possible to be good at one but bad at the other)
  • Being creatively clumsy

Stuff I’m bad at:

  • Cursive (I think it’s pronounced curse-ive for a reason)
  • Picking up new physical skills
  • Drawing without a reference to look at (it’s weird: I could draw a cell in almost photorealistic detail as I looked at it through a microscope in bio lab, but a cartoon person looks like a fifth-grader did it)
  • Fashion
  • Keeping on top of household chores.
  • Remembering to run errands
  • Memorizing
  • Managing to not injure myself in the most ridiculous ways

4 thoughts on “Strengths and weaknesses

  1. autisticook says:

    I don’t think you’re allowed to doubt yourself in lists of things you’re good at. Either you’re good at it or it shouldn’t be there. I think it should be there. 🙂

    • ischemgeek says:

      Well, to refine: I’m good at writing about whatever’s in my head at the moment. Good at writing when someone else sits me down and says, “WRITE ABOUT _____ RIGHT NOW!” ? Not so much. My writing is kind of like coffee: If you get impatient and pour water into coffee grinds in your cup, you’ll have a gritty disgusting mess on your hands. If you let the water percolate through the coffee grinds using a filter, though, you get delicious, delicious coffee goodness.

      My writing is kind of the same way: if I rush it, it’s absolutely terrible. But if I take my time with it and wait till I’ve got it figured out, it’s pretty good.

      Problem: sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between “I don’t have it figured out yet” and procrastination – thinking about writing before I have something figured out makes me feel uneasy and off-balance. Procrastination often is caused by other stuff making me anxious – like, say, worrying I’m inadequate for a PhD program and procrastinating the entrance essay as a result. It’s a samey enough emotional state that I can’t tell the difference in the heat of the moment. Lately, I’ve found the way to tell the difference is to tell myself to just do one paragraph. If it’s procrastination, once I’ve finished one paragraph, I’m on a roll and will get it done in an hour. If it’s not having what I want to say figured out yet, I’ll finish the first paragraph and then be like, “…. fuck. Still can’t figure out what to write.”

      • autisticook says:

        That definitely makes sense. “Putting things you’ve figured out to paper so that others can understand them” is something you’re good at.

      • ischemgeek says:

        Yeah. I’m not a person for whom brainstorming has ever been very useful. Reading, cataloging, and thinking about it, then letting it percolate in my brain before I try to write, though? That works for me.

        This is part of why I hated group projects in school. If I had no idea what to do, brainstorming didn’t help because I didn’t yet grasp the subject material. If I did have an idea of what to do, brainstorming was a waste of time because I already had my part fully fleshed out in my head. But everyone else likes it, so I’d have to do it anyway otherwise I wasn’t being a team player or whatever.

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