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Archive for May, 2009

Week In Review

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I had an excellent week in review, even though the blogs have been sparse.  I turned 29 (again), ate a bunch of birthday cake (ok–WAY too much cake), and had the chance to change my personal venue not once, but twice on the weekends and visit some old friends that I haven’t seen since I began law school.  I also had the pleasure of 11 days off from law school–the most time off I’ve had since Christmas break. (We only had 6 days off between spring semester and summer school.)  If ever there was a week to reboot, this was it.

While at first it appears I’m not grateful for the law school experience, that certainly isn’t my sentiment, nor my point here.  My point is simply this: that every once in awhile, it is simply nice to take a break.  We all don’t always appreciate it when we get the opportunity, but I certainly did this past week.

If you have a holiday, vacation, time off, or time of transition coming up in the near future, savor it.  Love it, because it will be fast, fleeting, but give you something not everyone has the pleasure of doing in this tough time, a chance to push the pause button.  Someone said, “Happiness is living each day as if it was the last day of your vacation.”

Although my vacation technically ended today, it will begin to end tomorrow.

The Great Good Place

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Lately, I’ve become a little fascinated by “place” in the context of third space – beyond home and work.  How do we decide the “where” in our meetings and lives if not at home or work?  

I’m in the midst of reading Ray Oldenburg’s book by the same title as this blog, originally penned by Henry James.  

When I say 3rd space to you, what image or space does it conjure?  Restaurants, bars, or a coffee house, perhaps?  Finally, you may ask – so, what’s your point?  Not sure that I have one just yet, other than to draw awareness to your surroundings.  How do you pick WHERE? And, how can we maximize and celebrate the cool WHERES in our lives?  To answer these questions might just tug at the fundamental study of community.  Community in turn is super important to understanding our economy and how we live our lives.

“…the best thing that could happen to this economy.”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I took a lunch break to head to the library to swap out books and found the most recent edition of Time magazine and this article, which holds the secret to the fledgeling economy, along with the future of work. 

What is it, you may ask?  Would it be more bailouts?  More bankruptcies?   I’ll let you read the article to find the secret.  

I can’t agree more with the writers here….and that is why I am completely rabid about teaching EVERYONE about basic entrepreneurial skills–how to figure out your passions, your values, how to write a business plan, how to create your own personal work/life utopia, which in turn can help others get to their personal utopias. This is the only way we will remain competitive in this insane economy.  The days of the 30 years of service at the same building with the gold watch retirement party are D-E-A-D.  RIP, old ways.  New is now and new is here!

Wordle of this blog

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Fun, yet slightly disturbing

Amuse Cerveau

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Over the holiday weekend, I moved only to eat and flip TV channels.  (Yes, you are at my blog.)  Those who know me know as well this is freakishly not me.

This being a HUGE rarity for me, and at first I felt a little guilty about doing nothing over the weekend but re-watch the Star Wars movies (in sequence, thanks MTV) and catch up on my home improvement shows via HGTV (thanks Carter Oosterhouse).  But, I felt better this morning as I read too many things eluding first to burnout – and that Americans, now more than ever, are in need of a real vacation (at least according to this article). Furthermore, just like a little bite of fun for the mouth (via amuse bouche at an upper crust restaurant), I think the brain needs a little bite of fun every now and then as well (hence the title of my blog entry for today).

If you can figure out how to get some brain (cerveau) amuse bouche going on in your life these days, rock it out.  If you can find time for a vacation, even better.  Best of all?  REALLY go on vacation – unplug, leave the Blackberry behind, shut the cellphone off, and quit trying to multitask the corpus callosum into meltdown. Even a tougher thought with the current economic climate, but if we don’t unplug every so often, we are heading to an extra-crispy, burned out, overworked, exhausted place.  Let’s not go there!

Magic Maker

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I have the wonderful, amazing, exciting opportunity to teach the entrepreneurship in life sciences class again this fall at Butler (YAY! I couldn’t teach it last year because of the law night school thing…) and I’m starting to inquire with CEOs, life science leaders, and support rock stars for the role to guest lecture in the class.  I was reminded this morning yet again why I heart this class and the leaders who come and speak in it.  One of the guest lecturers said she’s be happy to come to class, but I’d need to talk to her ‘magic maker’ about a date.

Oooooh, what’s a magic maker, you say?  (Me too – I was thinking – where is the magic store so I can pick me up one, right!?)  It is what one of the CEOs calls her admin.  Not a secretary, not a administrative assistant, but a magic maker.  That is an AWESOME title!

People in charge, if they rock, and ESP. if they built the company with their own two hands, have a wild imagination.  I dig that.  Why?  Because these are the people that dare to dream and bring their dreams to reality.  They take ideas in their head and crank them out into the real world…oh yeah, and usually create vast empires (and jobs) along the way.  

I don’t have a lot of students signed up for the elective.  But if I have one Warren Buffett or one Bill Gates in class, who then goes on to great things, fantastic!  Even if I don’t have either, I’m giving the students a chance I never really got in undergrad – to see life science leaders, live, eyeball to eyeball, and if just a modicum of their magic making dust rubs off on them, I’ve exceeded my goal in teaching the class.  And of course, they also get the chance to develop a business plan – a much needed skill these days for ANY gig.

I’m off to the magic maker store!

Thanks for the Memories…

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

One of the programs I’m going through is the Women’s Fund OPTIONS class IX.  (It, by the way is awesome, and if you are a woman interested in how to maximize your personal philanthropy in Indy, I highly recommend you consider applying this late summer/fall.)  Anywhoooo, we got a FANTASTIC book today on how to actually create a philanthropic plan (Inspired Philanthropy by Gary et al) and as I was tearing through it this evening, I was reminded of a question posed to us in class today:

What is your earliest philanthropic memory?

Two thoughts come to my mind: Turkeys and the Cookiemonster.

Case one:  Turkeys involved the annual turkey supper at the church I attended when growing up.  Every year, first Saturday night in November, the church held its biggest fundraiser, The Annual Monson Chapel UMC Turkey Supper.  We had it in the basement, and every year I think it set another annual record of attendees.  My mom and I worked as servers at it, but although it was a TON of work, it was actually pretty fun.  We had the chance to see people we hadn’t seen since the last turkey supper, and it was a good way to interact with a ton of people, have fun, and raise some $ for a good cause.

Case two: The Cookiemonster.  My grandmother (Fannie) was a philanthropic machine.  Although she never had the money of a Buffett or a Gates, she was ALWAYS doing stuff for others.  She did meals on wheels for awhile, she was super active in her church (she took cassette tapes of sermons out to shut ins), she did a lot of nursing home work, and her most (in)famous role was that of “Cookiemonster”.  She baked cookies (totally anonymously) for school kids at the local elementary school on a regular basis and she LOVED getting thank you notes from the kids to the “cookiemonster”.  I’m still not sure to this day if the kids actually knew it was her as the cookiemonster…

I guess I never really thought about all the ways we acted as a philanthropic family unit before today.  I am grateful for the wide array of opportunities my family presented to me as a kid to get involved and give back.  Now, I’m trying to polish my philanthropic skills and learn how to maximize them, rather than involve chaos theory in my philanthropic sector on top of the other things I do.

Cordially, I invite you to take a walk down memory lane and think about your own philanthropic experiences.  They don’t need to necessarily involve money either.  They can be time, mentoring, volunteer work, fund raising, or involve turkeys or cookies.

Prepare to be Wrong

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I was floating around the internet this morning, on the hunt for inspiration, and landed at the RISD blog.  Apparently, they are lucky enough to get Sir Ken Robinson to come to their commencement.  I was watching the TED piece he spoke on when I found my nugget for the day:  he said the following:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

He goes on to say that kids grow up and this power (to be creative and not be afraid to be wrong) is wrung out of them.

I’ve talked a lot in my blog about failure, but here’s a chance for me to talk about being wrong.  As I have learned over the past year or so in law school, I’ve learned that not only is there varying degrees of gray when it comes to answers in the law, I’ve also tried to learn that it is OK to be wrong in class.  In fact, it is OK to be wrong in life, because when one is wrong, it can be a moment of growth.

Today, I will prepare to be wrong!  (It won’t take long, I’m sure…)

Live Abroad, Boost Your Creativity?

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Perusing the literature this morning, I found this article from The Economist regarding creativity and living abroad.  Which, if it is in fact true (the science seems a tad soft to me, but then again I’m no sociologist or any type of “-ologist” in measuring creativity) gives a really strong argument to employers for having their best and brightest live and work abroad.  In particular, those who creatively produce anything in and around the arts.

Happy Birthday To…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I checked my mailbox in the staff lounge at work today.  Of course, they had not one, not 2, but 3 cakes on the common table, just begging me to try a sample.  One of the 3 cakes was for birthdays in the month of May.  But, out of a large pool of faculty, there were only 3 May birthdays.

I’ve been wondering this for a long time now – does the time of year one is born correlate somehow to one’s profession?  It would be a fascinating study to see if certain professions correlated to certain birth months, or days or weeks.  Gladwell talked about this a bit in Outliers, but I’m wondering about taking it a step further.  For example, are more lawyers born in March?  April?  October?  What about pediatricians? Horse jockeys?  Accountants?

As I stated my study out loud in the lounge one of my colleagues joked I should start researching the idea immediately in my ‘free time.’ Ha!

If you know of such a study, email me.  I’d be curious to see the data…