‘Breaking Bad’ patterns

One of the easiest exercises for me in the Math 1020Q Problem Solving class I am taking this semester was Inductive Reasoning.  Problems went something like this:

Identify the pattern and find the next three terms

1, 2, 4, 7, _____, _____, ______

2, 5, 10, 17, _____, ______, _____

1/14, 1/9, 1/12, 1/7, 1/10, _____, _____, ______

I have begun thinking of patterns in my own life.  Behaviors that I repeat and whether they are good or bad.  In Math, you always continue the pattern to get the correct answer.  That may not be the case in life – or at least not in my life.

Recently, a friend suggested that I try watching the hot, new cable drama, Breaking Bad, about a suburban dad that becomes a drug dealer to support his burdened family.  After one episode I gave it a pass – – it didn’t fit my pattern.  I always watch shows where there’s a VERY attractive lead or supporting character.  Simply put, the dad in Breaking Bad just wasn’t “hot” enough to capture my attention.  Sounds seriously shallow — right? Well, I agree BUT I didn’t even know that about myself before I starting thinking of the patterns I follow.  While my predilection to attractive television actors will likely not cause me any harm, I began to see patterns emerging in other aspects of my life – in relationships, in raising my daughter, in dealing with my siblings, and in handling my return to college.

I have talked before about this not being my first experience in attempting to complete  my college degree. After leaving for the first time when I was 18, I made three other short lived attempts to get serious and take classes and buckle down and finish my degree.  They all failed.  What is the pattern I have here? The better follow up question is, how do I get it to stop?

Why is it that we do the same things over and over and somehow expect a different result?  They say that’s the definition of crazy, but I also think it defines many of us who aren’t “crazy” but can’t escape certain patterns we have been following our whole lives.

I’m on my way to a three day conference in Denver, Colorado that will have me stuck in an airplane and airports for four+ hours each leg of the trip.  Plenty of time to think about what’s going on with my college pattern and start devising some tweaks.

My goal is starting November 1, when I return from my trip, to spend the next 30 days breaking patterns – from the minor to the major and see what changes might shake out of it.  The first and easiest one to break will be to watch episode 2 of Breaking Bad.  There are a few others that will be considerably harder, I am sure.  But I will let you know how I make out as we go along.

Maybe think about a pattern you need to break, take this 30 day challenge with me starting November 1 and let me know how it goes!




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Kalia Kornegay

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