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…

Facilitating the paradigm shift

Paradigm shifts are notoriously hard to facilitate.  I’m in a position now where I am trying to trigger faculty to think strategically.   I suspect it’s a lot like faculty trying to trigger students to think critically. I remember the exact moment I learned to think strategically.  I was a second-year resident, rounding with an…

The Leadership Cloak

This is sure to be revisited. Someone was trying to give me advice the other day. Knowing that I have introverted preferences, they were trying to explain to me the need to put on the “leadership cloak” when I walk out the door on the mornings of programming.  I just laughed, as I perfected that…