In the United States, I learned how to think flexibly to respect individuals’ ideas. It is essential to listen to and value other people’s opinions. I try to be open-minded; so I can learn from others. At the same time, I try to put my feet in other people’s shoes while considering why they behave or express themselves the way they do.

I have a minor in Creative Writing, which means I love to be creative in a variety of ways. I spent most of my time thinking and imagining different scenarios, ideas, and possibilities around me (“what if” is endless).

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July 16, 2022 2:45 pm

Dear Marlen:

I am excited by your Habits of Mind biography titled “Irreplaceable” because you explain how important the habit of being flexible is to you in more than one way. 

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “I try to put my feet in other people’s shoes while considering why they behave or express themselves the way they do.” I think similarly to you and I think this is a positive approach to understanding others because all humans have stories and experiences that impact them and affect their behavior. I feel that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is not always easy to do, but I have discovered that the more I engage in this practice, the more I can prevent misunderstandings and have more clarity. Like you, I think it is an opportunity to learn more!

Another sentence that I resonate with is: “What if” is endless.” This stood out for me because you brought up one of my favorite concepts: unlimited possibilities. I feel “what ifs” can open us up to imagining solutions for all sorts of challenges. It is an exciting mindset and one that I find provides enjoyment!

I love how you connected thinking flexibly to your creative writing passions and often think about how “what if’s” can be the glimmers of stories that have not been written yet. Have you seen this video, What If? I thought you might be interested in this because it features story artists from Pixar and their connections with “What if’s.” It is a part of an amazing series on Khan Academy called Pixar in a Box that supports writers to craft a tale using a variety of strategies, including “What if..” It is interesting to hear how the story artists brainstorm and develop their stories using a variety of techniques.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next and hope to read some of your creative writing! Please consider sharing! 


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