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…

Changing the game

A long time ago, I was in a job I didn’t like too much.  It was a matter of interpersonal dynamics rather than a problem with the job itself. In some ways, the fact that I wanted to succeed so badly in this job made everything worse. I worked hard, I did what I was…

What brave looks like

A while back I was talking to someone about power struggles and leadership.  At the time I was new in my position (this was a couple of positions back) and, just by being present, had upset the power dynamics in the office. There was a lot of boundary testing and partially disguised storming.  It was…

Dusting oneself off

 It’s an interesting phrase that can mean a couple of different things. Today I mean it in terms of trying again after a failed program. I was talking with someone the other day who had been a part of numerous failed programs, each of which was based on a specific instructional design meant to promote…

Tassels and mortarboards

I have this person in my life – I hesitate to call him a friend…more like a self-designated, long-distance mentor.  He likes to challenge me when he thinks I’m getting solipsistic. That time I temporarily included “Dr.” in my Twitter name.  That time I played around with what self-promotion might look like in the middle of…

On Shame (Strategic Thinking in Action)

I was watching a diversity panel years ago (and at a different university than my current home), and there was a lone white man up there on the stage. I suspect he had important and relevant knowledge to share but he didn’t seem to know what it was and the panel never really got to…

Mindfulness

I was listening to a lecture the other day given by a counselor who practices and teaches mindfulness.  She spoke on the power of slowing down, of focusing on one task, of recognizing pain/distractions/annoyances and allowing them to just ‘be’ rather than trying to push them away.  She talked about incorporating the act of  handwashing…