Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Do You Believe In The Myth?

A very sunny day today was, the heat was definitely hitting hard, I think it was affecting a lot of people. I was met by some girls from my class, Soheila, Jenna, and Courtney and we all walked down to Goldwin Smith for our 9 AM discussion as always. Not many people wanted to speak today during discussion besides us; maybe it was because we were already awake since we talked about the book on the way to class. But I swear I could see some people falling in and out of consciousness at the table. Nick did a little more leading since we were more quiet than usual today, and we just talked about the expedition preparation differences of Amundsen compared to Scott.

Amundsen comes from a long line of seamen and mountaineers and explorers so thinking about it, he was basically destined to be doing something like this journey to the South Pole along with all the experience he has. I feel this influences many if not all the decisions he makes because in his mind he is preparing for the absolute worst case scenarios by setting up despots every mile or so, very close and marking where they are every few miles out so that they know where to go using a compass.

Whereas Scott has never done any sort of expedition like this, he was not prepared for this to become a race with the Norwegians, but he still wanted to exemplify his superiority by using different tactic to show he was different and more advanced. Overall he was not very prepared and this was a dangerous expedition for someone not doing proper research and just waiting until the last minute to have everything done.

Joseph Grenny, I feel like this picture says
a lot about him. 
We watched a video during class today about Joseph Grenny who discussed crucial conversations and some of the most dangerous mistakes leaders can make. His focus on one a myth, which is that you cannot both tell the truth and keep a friends or a client. His story was about a childhood friend he had named Patrick, who turned up one day at his doorstep and talked about how he did not want to turn to drugs anymore and turn his life around. Joseph said he would help him and he did, until one day he disappeared again, Joseph had no idea what happened, he also did not connect the dots when his house got broken into. After that to feel more secured he installed surveillance cameras for evidence in case something like this were to happen again since he had a family. His house got broken into again and after he checked the footage he discovered it was Patrick.

One day Patrick was walking down the street when Joseph stopped his car. He said he simply wanted to talk, Patrick said okay. Joseph asked Patrick if he knew that he loved him, Patrick’s eyes started welling up with tears. Then he asked Patrick if knew that he would only do something if it was for his best interest. Here Joseph was telling his friend that he was basically going to send him to jail because of what he did to his family and Patrick was only asked if he would still be there when he got out.

This is an example of a crucial conversation and a difficult one which can happen while still keeping a relationship. It’s about the approach, acknowledging you respect he client’s wishes and their organization, and that you also respect them as an individual, and respectfully pitch your idea. If you do this within the first thirty seconds of speaking you have a ninety-seven percent chance of being heard. So the question is, do you believe in the myth?

Josh, our TA, also made a presentation about his experiencing facilitating activist groups starting from UC Davis and then later Tufts which is where he went for graduate school. He showed us videos of people acting as ‘human microphones’ in the literal sense where they were saying something and hundreds would repeat them. Then the hundreds behind them would repeat. And so on, it was greatly empowering and one of my favorite presentations coming from the birthplace of the free speech movement.

I hope you can feel the blazing heat through this picture.
I stayed for quite some time after class asking him questions about safety decision he had to make as a leader since we often see policemen and tear gas coming out, something that is not discussed. He told me about his experience and how he went after what he was passionate about regardless of what his family believed in. It was great getting some advice from someone who had seen these movements from both sides of the country, and definitely put things in a different perspective for me.

I had a lot of reading to do plus work on an essay so after eating I headed to Olin Library for a quiet space to do some work. When my computer started dying, I hadn't brought my charger so I took it as a signal to go back to my dorm to eat some leftovers. I headed down to the lounge, which is the common area in Balch and just laid on the couch for a little bit texting my best friends since I haven't talked to them in a while. Then Javaria called me so I just asked her to come to the lounge so we could talk and catch up and just vent about life for a little while. Plus I don't see her as much even though she lives a floor above me since she has the same class as Robson, and her class is intense. 

There was a friendship bracelet making class which began around 9 PM and I needed to finish my reading so I grabbed some snacks for us before going to Bella's room upstairs where we were all getting some work done while playing some music. I finished my reading very early tonight and felt very accomplished. This means sleeping early tonight, a productive day indeed. 

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