Abby Gordon

Current Position: Math specialist for 4th-8th grades
Location: I just moved to Bryn Mawr. This is the first time in my entire life (including college) that I have lived outside of the city. And I love it so far! Our neighbors brought us a bundt cake -- that describes it all. :)
One word that best describes how you work: Actively
Current Mobile Device: iPhone 5s
Current Computer: MacBook from about 2003...still going strong!

What does your desk look like?

If I’m on top of my work and not stressed out, it’s neat. Papers I’m currently working with are in a nice little stack, and everything else is in its place, with plenty of empty space. Clutter clutters my brain, so if my desk is messy and covered with stuff, it’s a sign that I’m stressed out and behind on my work.

messy:stressed

neat:calm

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?

Online calendars -- Google calendar is the only way I know what I’m doing at any given moment.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Putting portions of tonight’s dinner into containers for my lunch tomorrow as I put dinner away.

How do you manage your to-do list?

I keep a running tab of things I have to do on my Google calendar (in the “tasks” section). I can’t remember anything without my calendar, so I’m constantly looking at it and thus at my list.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Getting stuff done that I say I’m going to get done. That’s not an insult to everyone else, but a reflection of my commitment to honesty and responsibility I think -- if I say I will do something, I will do it.

My favorite time of day is __________ and why?

5:30am IF I’ve gone to bed early enough the night before. My brain isn’t awake enough to start planning or doing work, so I don’t feel pressured to do anything other than drink coffee and slowly wake up.

What do you listen to while you work/plan?

Nothing; I love listening to music or NPR, but listening has to be its own thing, otherwise it distracts me.

Do you have a specific morning routine? If so, what does it look like?

You know, the usual...shower, take care of the dogs (2), help dress and feed the kids (2, who are with us half the week), dash to the train...I sometimes do wonder if I actually do every single small action at exactly the same time and for exactly the same amount of time each morning, without my knowing it. You know how Frederick Winslow Taylor studied movements of factory workers and broke them down into an exact science? I wonder if he could do the same thing with morning routines.

Coffee or tea?

Both, but definitely coffee to wake up.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert. I know some people don’t buy into the Myers-Briggs personality types, but I get INFP every time I take a test, and descriptions of the INFP personality fit me to a T. I’m idealistic, internally focused, and laid back on the surface, but with a very strong sense of morality and justice.

What are you currently reading?

Case Histories: A Novel
By Kate Atkinson

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. It’s very good so far, but I find that I’m not reading it as much as I wish I were, and I think that’s because it’s an actual book, not a Kindle book. It just feels so cumbersome and unwieldy to read a book on the train when you’re used to a Kindle!

What’s your sleep routine like?

I usually go to bed between 9 and 10, and I’m totally out for the next 8-9 hours.

I’d love to see __________ answer the same questions.

Colin Meloy

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

That stopping doing something doesn’t mean that part of myself, or that interest, is dying. It just means I don’t have time for it right now. That came from my tenth grade advisor at GFS when I fretted over dropping a photography class.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

I do mosaics! I think my website is now defunct, but you can see some of my artwork on Facebook (if you friend me...and I think my profile is hidden...so you might have to try really hard!). I worked for a few summers at the Mural Arts Program and now do mosaics mostly on commission.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Musician, teacher, vet, artist, writer, professional baseball player (with dreams that the women’s league of WWII would come back)...I really had no idea.

What are some books that you’ve either most gifted to other people or most recommended to other people?

Tana French’s books. AMAZING. So beautifully written, particularly The Likeness (the second one of the series). I also love and frequently recommend Jennifer Egan books, especially A Visit from the Goon Squad.

If you had to run out of your house and just take a handful of things with you – but obviously your family is accounted for – what would you take and why?

I don’t really think there’s any THING that I couldn’t live without. But maybe I’d grab one of the scarves that my mom made for me, since knitting is an interest that connects me and her and my aunt -- and also they’re beautiful.

If you had a committee of 3 people living or dead to help you make decisions, who would you choose and why?

Oh wow, good question. Colin Meloy, because I think he’s a creative genius and I imagine he’d always come up with ideas from left field. Susan Sarandon, because -- at least I think -- she keeps social justice at the forefront of her decisions. And, well, she’s a good actress and would be fun to talk to, I imagine. For the third, I think I’d need someone practical and with a lot of life experience, but I’m not sure who that would be. My mom or dad, maybe -- I do still talk to them constantly about decisions I have to make in my life.