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Posts tagged ‘education’


the dreyfuss initiative

Credit: The Dreyfuss Initiative

I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Richard Dreyfuss tonight!   He spoke to a full house of students at Nova Southeastern University.

Dreyfuss is dedicating the rest of his life to pursue his passion for educating young Americans about civics.  (Sadly, only 3% of the schools in this country are teaching civics.)

I didn’t realize this.  Did you?

He described the seriousness of this issue if nothing is done to equip our children (who are our future), with an education around civics.  They need to know how the government and the laws work in this country.  If they grow up ignorant on these issues, it’s akin to national suicide.  It’s a serious, serious problem.

If our children are not up to the challenge of leading America into the future, another entity will.

Kids have not been learning about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution or its amendments; most have no idea why or how the three branches of government work; they do not appreciate the basics of how the legal system operates, and so much more.

I have so much to say on this topic! Unfortunately, it’s much too late for me to write coherently on tonight’s program.  I will be doing a post about this issue.  I do hope to start a conversation about this serious problem.

In the meantime, the Dreyfus Initiative website is below.  Check it out!


the act of appreciation

This has been a good but incredibly long day for me.

After work I attended an International Society of for Performance Improvement (ISPI) dinner meeting, and then I had to race home to see Project Runway, and so I’ve only just sat down to write.

I almost skipped writing tonight because I’m so tired, and it’s past my bedtime… I just hate to miss a day of posting.  I want to be able to say that I was able to write a post every single day in 2011… I’m almost there!

Most importantly, I wanted to share what I learned tonight at the ISPI meeting.  The speaker tonight was Dr. Bob Presiosi, and he discussed the theory of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as it relates to the workplace collaboration and results.

I studied this theory in school, and I enjoyed learning about.  Tonight I realized how it can be applied to our daily lives.  However, because of the time, I won’t delve deeply into the topic, just introduce the big picture.

In essence, the theory simply tells that we are most effective when we focus on our strength’s and passions when leading others.  It’s a process flow, as you can see by the chart on the left.

1). Start with a thought – discover a possibility while focusing on the positive (never the negative).  Once talents are discovered and reinforced, all the positive possibilities should begin to emerge.

2). This is when the vision is tweaked and refined. This is also the time to remember: If you can dream it, you can do it. This is when we dream about what success looks like.

3) Design the dream.  What will success look like in its final form?  How will the dream deliver the result you want to achieve?

4).  Allow what you have created to work.  Let destiny happen.

Isn’t it a nice way to look at things?


no regrets?

Some nights I can’t think of anything I want to talk about.  Well, that’s not entirely true, there are nights that I just want to bemoan about how tired I am after working a full day teaching.  Teaching kids would be so much easier.  I teach adults which is more difficult; especially when adults act like children.  That’s when it gets really problematic.    I teach a new hire class of new employees at the university.  It’s a two-week intensive training that wipes me out.  I wrote all the training I teach, and I conduct the training, too.  Usually one person creates the training and another person delivers it.  I prefer to create the curriculum and not train it.

I have been a one-person training department for nearly five years; now I have a boss to split the work with, and that’s nice!  But, it’s going to take her another year to get up to speed on the curriculum, so the training is all on my shoulders, still.  My boss helps, though.  She puts all the participant guides together for me – and that’s a crummy job.  She also assigns which project I need to develop next, and does all the preliminary setting up for me.

She’s like my agent setting up “gigs” for me.  I hope that pretty soon the work will even out and I won’t have to be in the classroom as much going forward.  It’s exhausting to orchestrate the learning activities of a whole classroom of adults for seven hours a day.  The funny thing is, when I’m in the classroom and working with my students, I love it.  I completely enjoy seeing people learn.  I enjoy the fun we have in the classroom, too.  Fun, you may wonder?  Yes.  Adult learners need to enjoy the experience of learning and it is my job to make them laugh and enjoy themselves because it enables their learning.

So, I enjoy the moment to moment interactions with the participants, and they respond well to me, which is really helpful.  What I have trouble with is waking up in the morning and starting the day.  I would rather be doing so many other things.  I’d rather be writing.  I need to start listening more to what I want to do, I’ve realized now.  My passion does not involve being in the classroom. My “work” passion involves writing training programs; it’s fun and creative, but it’s also not what I really want to do with my life, for the rest of my life.

I want to write stories, a book, and try play-writing, and photography, too.  But it would mean quitting my job, most likely.

I want to read more.  I have so many books lined up to read.  I’m reading Wendy and the Lost Boys, by Julie Salamon, right now.  It’s wonderful and I’d like to be reading right now, but there is this blog to write.

Will the earth open up and swallow me if I don’t write my blog post every night?  No.   It’s become a habit now. But a good and nice habit – usually.

I get hooked on things, and I’m hooked on blogging.  I used to be hooked on smoking – about ten years ago.  I’d come home from work, sit in my comfortable chair and smoke and read and drink soda until midnight.  For a while it was difficult to read because I really wanted a cigarette to go with my book.

I am really conflicted right now.  I am overcome with “shoulds.”

I should find another job (I like my boss, but the office environment I work in is toxic).  I find it sad how unhappy the employees are who work in the office, and yet, at least 25 percent of the employees have worked there over 10 years.  Why would you work in a place for so long and be miserable?

I don’t want to live in a state of  long-term misery, that would be an awful way to live.

People think it’s prestigious to work for a university, and I suppose it is.  And, it’s wonderful to be a part of the excitement that goes on at a university.  On that level, it’s really great.

So, I’m torn.  I could continue to work at the university, get a Ph.D., and be well-educated but would that make me happy?  A Ph.D in my pocket would allow me to teach at a university level, but I don’t want to do that, so I guess the Ph.D., wouldn’t be the best thing for me.  Well, I could do research articles and publish with a Ph.D., and I like research writing a lot, but I like creative writing more.

I love the law.  At least three times a week I think about throwing everything to the wind and try to get into law school.  But, then I come to my senses.

My real passion has always been the theatre and writing.  I am a pretty good actor, but I wasn’t sure if I could write.   The last couple of years, especially since beginning this blog, has helped me realize I can write, but need so much more practice.

I think I’ve figured out what I need to do.  Well, I know what I need to do, but do I have the courage to do it?  That’s the sticking point.  (The bottom line is, I am full of too many doubts; and my ego needs a kick in the pants.)

Should I throw caution to the wind and follow my dreams?  How will I pay the bills?

Maybe I am where I should be right now and I shouldn’t try to ruin a good thing.  And here’s the rub: If I did quit my job and go out on my own, would I have the same kind of regrets as when I left the theatre?

I tell people I had a great career as an actor – and it’s true, I loved every minute of the work.  But, I do have regrets.  I do.  The regret is that I didn’t stick with the theatre longer.  If I’d just given it five more years, moved to NYC, things may have been different.  My friends were making it, the only reason I couldn’t?  Self doubt.  I took the safe way out, quit while I was ahead and got the things that many theatre people don’t have: A nice car and a mortgage.

But, did I leave the theatre so I could have a nice car and a mortgage?  Yes, I did.  And I left the theatre because I was tired of working as a waitress after a show ended and before the next one began.  The time in between theatre jobs could sometimes be months. And I couldn’t stand waiting tables. I really despised the work with every ounce of my being.  I still have nightmares about being forced to wait on tables again.

So now I’m asking myself, what the hell am I doing and where the hell am I going??

The only answer I really have right now is I need to get off this computer and sit down with my book and relax.

I’ll figure out my future tomorrow – perhaps.


rapid eLearning

Another Monday is here and gone and I am just now sitting down to write!

I’ve been sitting at this computer all night, though not blogging.  Instead I’ve been researching how to build a website on Joomla, which is an Open Source Content Management System (CMS).

A CMS is the back-end of a website.   I am learning about what “hosting” means, and trying to decide if I want to pay someone to design a site for me, or if I want to try to build it myself.  Joomla allows you to create a site, or customize one of its templates, so I thought I’d give it a try…. I watched an instructional video tonight and tried it.  But, I did something wrong, not sure what I did, but my site disappeared!  I have a blank canvas.

But, it’s okay, I’ll figure it out tomorrow!

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting my own company for a while now;  and today the perfect idea came to me!  create eLearning – something I love to do!   My company (consisting of only me at first), will create Rapid eLearning solutions for companies who outsource their training and development design, or just need an outside consultant to assist them.

I began to set up my website tonight, and clearly I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing – it’s a bit complicated, but not impossible to master.

I do, however, have a company name:  It’s called  The name has to do with Rapid Instructional Design and eLearning.

In today’s business environment, which is full of rapid and constant change, CEO’s need what they need NOW!  And when they need training, it’s all about how rapidly the training professional can deliver it.  Today it’s literally all about creating rapid eLearning solutions.   Everything is rapid design and rapid development.   Rapid this and rapid that, especially when it comes to eLearning.  There are hundreds of books on the subject of RAPID training and development.  Literally everything related to eLearning these days has  “Rapid” in the title.

So it’s  I really like the name!

I believe it’s a domain name that will be kind of catchy and easy to remember, plus it’s reflective of the business and of what I will deliver in my new “Rapid eLearning”  business.

It will be nice to work for my own company! 

It may take a while to get from the dream to the reality phase.  That’s okay though.  I’m a quick learner!


this is my symphony

It’s Wednesday, which means there are only two more days until the weekend….and sleeping in.

I live for weekends!

It’s not that I don’t like to work, because I do, but it’s not my favorite thing to do – it’s not my symphony, it’s not my passion, but it’s okay.

I like working at a university – it’s both a lovely and fun environment.  The campus is beautiful, too:

The work I do is called Instructional Design.  I write training for employees of the university, not for students, though students are the ultimate benefactors of trained employees.

My work entails analyzing what learners should learn, and how they will learn it.  So, I design and develop curriculum that I break down into relevant chunks, i.e., small sections of learning activities.

Most times, I deliver the material in the classroom, too.  I call on my acting skills to get me through that, as I’d rather be writing and creating curriculum than teaching it. It’s because I’m an introvert, but can easily go into “showtime” mode and turn into an extrovert when I have to, though it’s exhausting at the end of the day.

I have read that it’s fairly easy to tell if you’re an extrovert or an introvert by determining if you feel energized as a result of working or being with a large group of people.  If other people energize and make you happy, chances are you’re an extrovert.  If, on the other hand, it’s exhausting to work with groups of people, chances are you’re an introvert.

What got me started on this?  LOL!  Oh! (I had to look back), I was talking about the kind of work I do and then began to ramble.

I’m tired tonight.  And I don’t really want to talk about the Casey Anthony case because there’s nothing new!

Well, that’s not entirely true…. I read a couple of things.  The law firm handling the Zanny the Nanny case, Morgan and Morgan, concerned that Casey Anthony will skip town as soon as she’s released from jail, want her to be deposed at the jail, before she’s released.  There will be a hearing to determine if this can occur, maybe as early as tomorrow.  I believe they want to depose her on Friday.  It’s an emergency motion that will be heard in front of the Judge in the Civil trial –  Judge Jose Rodriquez.

So, that’s it for tonight, though I did want to leave you with this lovely thought:

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common — this is my symphony.  –-William Henry Channing, clergyman, reformer (1810-1884)

Don’t you just love the line, “This is my symphony?”  I do.

Days are always better when I hear a symphony – real or imagined.


LOL…. LMAO – Well, WTF you know this shorthand language? ROFLMAO! GR8!

I have a “chat room” on this blog so you can use all the nifty shortcuts you want and people will actually understand what you mean LOL (Laughing Out Loud)!  Chatting on the Internet, oops, I mean “Internet’s”….. Oh?  You didn’t know Internet is actually plural?  NP (No Problem)  Yes, as a matter of fact, this is now true.   It’s “Internets”  Yes. Plural.  Ahhhh.  You didn’t know this?  NP I’ll explain. 

According to our esteemed former President…our-in-there-for-eight-painful-years- hiding-in-the-Bushes-taking-away-our-liberties-President!  Him.  “That one.”  LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off)    Lest you forget this very famous one…. He said this in one of his early debates:  “I hear there’s rumors on the Internets that we’re going to have a draft.”    OMG (Oh My God).  The fact is, if this were not so sad, it might be kind of funny.

Okay, okay, this is definitely off-topic… 

So, don’t get me started with Bushism’s because this post will never get written LOL!  Oh damn. WTF  (What the F*ck), here’s just one more goodie and it is rather on point here, IMO (In My Opinion) aligned with all the shorthand language on the “Internets” these days.  This is a GR8 (Great) one.  Remember this:  “Is our children learning?”  ROFLMAO (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off)

Well, Mr. President…. Sorry, nope our childrens isn’t learning because you left them behind, big time!   W/E (What Ever) 

How about this classic: “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”   WSTS (Weeping Silently To Self)


Okay, one more…. He also said…”Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”  GMAB (Give Me A Break). 

You know what?  I’m too depressed now to write any more about chat room shorthand…. %&##!%*@## 

WTF – Have fun chatting and HB (Hurry Back).



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