Leading through Visualization

Two weeks ago, Bonnie Stewart invited me to speak to #Ed6170: a faculty summer course in educational leadership sponsored by the University of Prince Edward Island. Bonnie focused her curriculum around leading under complex and changing conditions, because (1) it’s relevant and 2) it’s challenging.  In a move that I find particularly admirable, she created…

When you are a muse

Being a muse isn’t easy. It seems like it should be, as you aren’t the one actually doing the creative work, but it takes a certain amount of courage to be willing to relinquish control and accept what other people do with you. I have a friend. He’s a very dear friend. He has my…

A quick one on attitude

There are people who are on working teams who habitually say things like they are willing to “help” but don’t ever seem to take primary responsibility for the work.  These people really bother me, probably because they are the professional version of the fathers* who offer to “babysit” their own kids.  Fathers: You do not…

Ending Sarcasm

Sometimes if feels like society accepts or even glamorizes sarcasm. The problem is that sarcasm hurts everyone – the giver, receiver, and any witnesses. People who are routinely sarcastic have a problem.  As suggested in this blog post, “show me a sarcastic person and I will show you a wounded person.  And I can tell…

Note to self

Hey Laura – You were raised in music, although not in the way suggested by Paul Simon; your mother really never laughed the way some ladies do, at least not around you.  Nevertheless, her record collection from 1968 to 1972 was killer, and she trained up a music-loving child. Folk rock to pop rock to…

Dieting as a lifestyle

This is part of a larger thought. Some people have very early memories. I remember being in my crib. I thought it was a fine crib except for when I didn’t want to be in it.  My very first memory was at night. My room was dark but the door was open and I could…

The expertise, not the pedagogy

Today I attended Edward Tufte’s one day course on presenting data and information.  It involved sitting in a double wide airport hotel ballroom from 9am to 4pm; the first hour consisted of a “study hall” in which I was given four (beautiful) texts and a list of assigned reading.  Lecture started at 10a and continued until 1:15p. There is one 10…

Ten Reminders

From a successful (female) leader. Work-life integration, not work-life balance. Not everything you do is essential; You must let some things go. I’ll say it again. Pick the battles – at home, at work, with yourself. Delight at being at the table, But never lose sight of what skills you already bring to the table….

The Power of Hype

I was in a seminar once in which the facilitator ran the following exercise: After breaking into groups of three, a designated ‘leader’ holds a conversation with a designated ’employee.’ The third person acts as a ‘hype person’ for the leader.  A hype person, if you aren’t familiar, interjects into the conversation between the leader…

How to summon a Laura

I’ve never sat in an office for eight hours a day, five days a week.  I always forget to mention this quirk when I’m interviewing, but apparently no one assumes that I can sit in an office with any sort of consistency. It all works out fine. Working with young folk has always been one…

Content is

This is a memory post. It’s been a very long while since I’ve been content.  There are a lot of reasons.  The post-PhD blues.  The sudden left turn in my career plans.  Home stuff. Parent stuff. Lots of stuff hit me pretty hard. To be discontent is to be restless.  I’ve spent a long time wanting…

Notes on Yves Saint Laurent

It should be expected that I draw significant inspiration from museums, because connected learning was born in informal learning spaces: libraries, museums, fanclubs, and online communities. There is a Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and it did not disappoint.  Most striking was the integrated use of process and product…