Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reflexive and Reflective Thinking

Since I've started my graduate program: International Training and Education you may find that the subject matter of my postings will begin to revolve around these themes.

Reflexive and Reflective thinking was a type of pedagogy developed by Paul Freire to explain participatory learning - a type of learning that opens the possibility of transforming the students' powers of thought.

Freire says "As conscious human beings, we can discover how we are conditioned by the dominant ideology. We can gain distance on our moment of existence...We can struggle to become free precisely because we can know we are not free. That is why we can think of transformation." Human beings are capable of overcoming limits if they can openly examine them.

Start examining, thinking, and processing what is it you are participating in.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Smell of Sharpened Pencils

I've arrived back in DC and look ahead to tomorrow's official start to graduate school. The time has come -- 3 weeks of vacation were great. Honestly, the vacation "to do" list (yes I have one, gotta keep priorities!) has been completely check marked off. Everything from hiking in 80 degree weather to meeting a blues Legend and acting as a backstage dancer has been done. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now it's back to getting a grip on my schedule here and getting myself back into healthy habits. Before I know it, orange, yellow, and brown leaves will be falling from over head...each one marking my steps towards completing school. I'm excited about the change of seasons again, and just overall really ready to begin this movement towards achieving my career and family life goals. Tomorrow's walk to school is another small step towards making these reality.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Last days of Summer

These last few weeks of summer before school starts make me feel like a tumbleweed: free and windblown. There has been much traveling and little structured work routine within the past 2 weeks. I spend time reading books, catching up on movies, running, and talking way past my bedtime. I laugh, realizing I'm getting to the point where I am ready to go back to school and will be soon.

Over the past weeks vacation I managed to slow down enough, and relax enough that when the time comes I'll be ready to get up early, sip on something warm, and prepare for the work/school day. But before that day arrives, I'm enjoying the tingly feeling of knowing that I get to hang out with the Boy for another week and continue to work on trying to sleep in.

There's really no better way I could think of spending the final days of summer - I'm blessed. We've spent time exploring cities, enjoying cocktails, exchanging books, and will soon be swimming in a pool. I like this place I'm at: the present.

Monday, August 06, 2007

2016: Chicago Stir the Soul Olympic Bid

Chicago is a city of inspired pragmatists; we dream big, and we deliver.

Our city rose from the ashes of a devastating 1871 fire, rebuilt by a mix of architects, business people and entrepreneurs from Chicago and around the world. We hosted two of the greatest World's Fairs in history, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and 1933 Century of Progress, attracting over 75 million domestic and international visitors. In 1958, Chicago was the first United States city to host the Pan-Am Games.

This is exciting! It's great to see Chicago in the running for this great event!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Choosing Significance.

I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of LeadAmerica. On the eve of my final day I am incredibly thankful for the chance to enact my dream of choosing a life of significance rather then one of just success.

As quoted in tonight's closing ceremony speech, "Never underestimate the power of one life sacrificed on the alter of significance."

My bags are packed and I'm headed home. This is CGGI signing off, over and out.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I've spent a good part of the morning responding to emails, and sending off my remaining PC reports for this summer. Basically, a taking out the trash kind of morning.

This summer has been good.

With 5 different nametags scattered across my desk, ticket stubs, and a LeadAmerica portfolio, we look ahead. Between writing and reading reports, and designing PowerPoint's, we have real conversations about the future and how we can improve ourselves. I sit with a younger protege and talk about the callous that has a way of developing over a tender heart, and how my most meaningful coaching moments came from the person that was hardest on me. Sitting outside the dance with books and evaluations, someone chases a skunk. At lunch we play geography games and dance around philosophical topics and political debate.

It's August 3rd.
Dear Em,
I am so proud of you.
Little girl with the bouncy energy
now Woman with grace; commanding presence .

We wonder sometimes if we would be able to recognize you from 4 years ago?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rewarding Strengths

I read an interesting article the other day that got me thinking. Could it really be true that the most creative way we've come up with to reward people for excellence in a role is to still move them out of it?

Sure this is okay for some people, but not for all. Part of what we need to do in leadership positions is to come up with ways to help others pursue more prestige and growth, but that this does not have to be done only by moving out of their role and gaining more respect.

First of all, if someone is good at what they do in one area, it doesn't mean you can move them into another position, except them to grow, and do a) enjoy it or b) have the skill set for it. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that where someone is weakest, that signals their biggest area for growth and place where they can truly develop and be successful. That sounds like baloney to me. The myth here is that a well rounded person is a better asset, when in fact experts and specialists really bring unique skills sets.

Bottom line we need to get rid of old ideas and assumptions. It's time to realize that

1. Each person's talents are enduring and unique.

2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest strength. (This is the potential threshold).

These are two excellent points to think about. Leads me to believe that yes, in fact, I am going into the right graduate program. (Thought: I don't have to be amazing with numbers!)