Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rapid Fire Learning - November

Old State House - Springfield, ILImage by shersteve via Flickr
Rosa Say leads us this month with the Rapid Fire Learning exercise on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. With a few days remaining in the month, there is still time for learning but a turn to reflect on what has already occurred is a good thing to do. Can you learn something new in the time remaining? Yes, we can!

1 - There are many synonyms for loosing one's job: layoff, reduction in force, etc. When a company makes the decision to simply cut costs, then reduction in force I think is most appropriate. Fortunately, there is a decent severance package in my case, so I will have some time to both enjoy the holiday period coming at us and begin to figure out what and where I should go next. The importance of the network, of our connections becomes clear. While it is never too late to start, once you are out, you want to be part of a group and collaborate sharing tips and tricks to get where you want to be. Can the group provide support and knowledge to successfully find a new position? Yes, we can!

2 - You have likely noticed that music is a recurring theme (no pun intended) here. We started the month viewing the documentary "Young @Heart". The elderly singing group from Northampton, MA generates life sustaining energy from their singing. Studies on the effects of music continue to reveal positive findings. Singing while in a traffic jam can be calming. Should we be singing more? Yes, we can!

3 - Recipes are simply guidelines to recreate something some one once did. I feel comfortable enough around the kitchen to be able to make modifications to recipes that Dolores and I decide to try. Occasionally, I find out something new. Like if you are going to substitute long grain brown rice for white rice, you also need to adjust the cooking time, or partially pre-cook the rice before adding it to the work in process. Does this stop me from making adjustments? Not at all. Should we all add our own twists to a recipe? Yes, we can.

4 - In my contribution to the November theme of giving, I talked of encouragement. Encouragement is an easy thing to do. The benefits can be enormous. As the luck of the calendar would have it, the post was scheduled for the first Monday I would not get aboard the train and report to work. That evening also was the scheduled meeting of our local networking group. We started meeting about 2 years ago and while the group has fluctuated somewhat we have grown from 5-6 regulars to the 16 folks who joined us that night. Having such a network of support, of course in addition to the family and other close friends, is priceless. Will we succeed? Yes, we can.

5 - You have probably noticed the refrain "Yes, we can" and said to yourself, where did I hear that before? I hope you recall it being one of Barack Obama's telling phrases, the one he refers to as the American Creed. The positive attitude he has brought the country and the world is a very good thing. The morning after the election results were final I started a series of sherku:
... to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.


America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Thanks Barack!

There is much to do.
There is much to learn!

Will we succeed?
Yes, we can.

Note: If you would like to revisit the text of Barack's acceptance speech in Chicago on November 4th, the link is here. It also includes the video.
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