I smiled with delight after having welcomed five new teaching staffers to our University Professional Development Center community. At the same time, I could not help reflecting on the courage required to begin the process of adding these five new people. Was it really that difficult to expand our class offerings? Was it that surprising that we needed to respond to the business community at large to fill a “gap”? Our community needed more business courses with a “humanistic spirit,” so how was this a challenge if...
There are significant moments in our lives. Historians call them watershed moments. My watershed moment happened 10 years ago today. Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a day of irony in New York City. It was a bright, beautiful day filled with horror and ugliness. The sights, sounds, and smells are seared into my conscious forever to be recalled. I remember running down the street as the South Tower collapsed in my direction. My life truly flashed before my eyes. On that morning, I believed down to my very core that I was going to die on a...
Writer Margaret Wheatley's poem, "The True Professional," isn't entirely original and she lets everyone know this. It's a "found poem," Wheatley explained on her website. All of the lines of "The True Professional" are phrases "found" in Parker J. Palmer’s book The Active Life. After taking these lines, Wheatley "played with them and extended them beyond Parker’s original prose" as a tribute to the author for "the profound influence he’s had on my work."...
I turn 65 next week! ::gulp:: I'll be eligible for social security and senior discounts and ride the bus for next to nothing. For many years I thought 65 was the signpost leading toward the end of life. Yet here I am: fit, vigorous, working hard, energized, and feeling not at all old. That is how I see myself—I have no idea what other people see. Do they see a little old guy who they ought to give up their seat to? Clearly my 65th birthday is different than my parents’ 65th birthdays or did they feel the same way? Over the...
Recently as I was listening to a critique of the work done in response to the latest natural disaster when the following comment was made: “We need to get the first responders to talk to each other.” On the surface, this may sound like a reasonable request and something that we should expect from a group of people dedicated to helping others during emergencies. Yet if we look at this request systemically, we can see that much work is needed to enable people to work together and coordinate their efforts—whether it's in...
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