October 28, 2011
October 25, 2011
I believe that work study is an important experience, a rite of passage. It helps you be part of a larger system and to be accountable to your teachers. Instead of the assumption that you are owed an education, you have to earn it, as you would hope to earn respect and additional responsibility.
October 21, 2011
Plus, noticing I lost a lot of weight, although I never thought I was heavy. A happier life means better health. 42.5 is treating me very well. There is nothing I would change about who I am or what I am doing.
My life has landmarks and one is Before London and After London. There are many before-and-afters, which I'll tuck away for a while.
October 18, 2011
October 17, 2011
Both of these brought a smile to my face, especially when arriving at work at 6:55am, in the dark.
October 15, 2011
October 14, 2011
I have put this experiment into reverse practice when using a facilitation format called a Fishbowl. This collaborative approach to idea generation and consensus building is a wonderful format for engaging diverse stakeholders. In the past couple of years I have facilitated fishbowls for private clients and gatherings of membership organizations. Last quarter I put it into practice in the classroom. We brought together two groups of students to discuss the role of social media in public relations and advertising. The students loved being able to share their ideas, be heard amongst their peers and to draw conclusions about their own habits and behaviors.
This back and forth between classroom and boardroom gets my facilitation juices flowing - from idea to practice and dream to reality.
October 11, 2011
October 10, 2011
Part of my motivation for being clearer is that I find myself over-enthusiastically making supportive statements. "Wow!" "That's awesome!" How often should I be using awesome? What makes something awesome? Is that just the extrovert's easy-out? How about observing, processing and sharing a deeper thought?
As I am becoming more aware of my personal and professional interactions, I am finding that my pace of communication is becoming more controlled. Meaning, that I am allowing more space for others to complete their thought. East Coasters love to talk on top of each other. We're very comfortable layering the conversation. Out here on the West Coast, people stop and listen when you start talking. It has taken me years to become comfortable with this communications style. It is proving to be a better way to have meaningful, deep conversations instead of just creating noise and not hearing each other.
I want to present myself clearly and to have others hear what I have to say. To do so, I am learning, I need not always be the cheerleader, the quickest to respond, the loudest, or to finish other people's thoughts. What I need are thoughtful, well-chosen words.
This is a practice of introversion.
October 8, 2011
First, there was the bus driver who was driving our grossly over-crowded bus up Van Ness. He was very stern and kept saying, "get back beyond the yellow line! I can't see and that means I can't go!" I was the last one on the bus and said, very sweetly, "maybe I should get off." To which he responded, "not you sweetheart. You're fine." At every stop he yelled at the new passengers but I kept my spot next to him and we continued to chit-chat about music, wooing your lady, and watching the Blue Angels.
A stop before I got off the bus a woman got on and the driver gave his same speech about moving back. She told him to f**k himself. The driver opened the doors and said, "you can leave." She got off the bus and kept yelling at him, saying he was rude. The driver had a good laugh over that. She just didn't understand him. I got it, he was performing his job, he was keeping us safe.
Later, I was waiting for BART and a woman sat down next to me and said how much she liked me shoes. We got into a conversation about shoes, shopping, her back surgery. All kinds of details.
Now, sitting on BART, this same woman is chatting it up with other passengers. There is a cute guy in his 20s and she told him he's good looking. All of us, seated in the surrounding five rows, had a good laugh. Poor guy blushed. It was all in good humor.
Last weekend I was at my cousin Ben's house for a brunch gathering. One of the guests, who recently relocated to Oakland from NYC, was telling me how people are suspiciously friendly here and that it made him very nervous. "What is it with people here?" He asked me, "Everyone is so nice."
We can't help it. We're friendly folks.