The Scamp’s Happy Challenge: Day 3

Today I was at a loss. It is only day three of the challenge, and I could not for the life of me think about an activity I could do that would make me happy.

I went to work and then conducted some focus groups for a research project, and while my brain was full of work mode until about 5 pm.

This is where my amazing teammates come into play. As we were walking away from an eye opening session, I made the comment about my quest for one bit of happiness a day, and told them that I was at a loss for what to do.  They asked me about my favorite meal, or movie, and then suggested that we go across the street so that I could have ice cream for dinner.

The fact that they wanted to partake in my challenge meant a lot to me. I really value their friendship, and I welcome any chance I have to spend with them outside the confines of class. Instead of ice cream, we ended up at a tasty taco shop and shared stories of travels abroad, issues we have with our program, and how horrible UK Mexican food is.

I’ve realized lately that I crave human connection. I crave social activity, and time away from my own thoughts, which tend toward the negative. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in the time between doing things that make me happy, and I think I am finally starting to understand what I want, who I want, and what changes I really need to make to be happy.

Some of the choices that I have to make are starting to seem like they are going to suck.

Really really suck.

The Scamp and Comment Cards

This semester is shaping up to be very different than the previous semester. There are still plenty of pages to be read, group projects to be done, and critical issues to explore, but in addition to all of that, we now have to rate our fellow cohort members on how well they did a book report.

Yes, a book report.

It is bad enough that I chose a book that is 800 pages, but having to listen to 20 other reports on books about organizational leadership is torture. The two reports we heard tonight were good, even if the books were not that interesting. My problem is that after class, the professor asked us to write two comments on a note card to give to each of the presenters. One side was a comment of something that the presenter did well, and the other side was one thing that the presenter could improve on.

Everyone who knows me well knows that I have no problem sharing my opinion, but in the case of these presentations, I feel it is unfair for me to judge. The books that we are reading cover a lot of material, and it is hard to fully explore all of the topics in 15 minutes, and with the ever changing guidelines from the teacher, it is really hard to set up an effective presentation. I had plenty of good things to say to both of the presenters, but found it very difficult to find something constructive to write for improvement.

Do I mention the lack of in-depth analysis for each category of effective leadership? The presentation was only 15 minutes, and one of the categories alone could have taken 15 minutes to explain.

Do I mention the lack of visual aid? The professor told us that we should not rely on PowerPoints and fancy visuals to get out point across.

Do I mention the 19 page outline when the instructions say 3-5 pages? The outline is really good, and it allows me to skip reading the book, but still be able to reference it in a paper or essay I will eventually have to write. He took the time to give us all the info he thought we would need. The other outline was only 3 pages, and still very good, but I would have to read the book to really be able to use it as a reference.

In the end, I went with some generic comments about slowing down when speaking and having some sort of visual aid for those of us who learn better with pictures. It feels like a copout though, and I am not sure I will enjoy the 20 other critiques that I have to do.

I also dread the ones that I am about to receive. I know “tone down the sarcasm” will be written on at least one card.

 

The Scamp and a Board Meeting

Tonight I had the opportunity to attend a board meeting at Mt. Sac and introduce myself to the board. I normally would not participate in anything that involves me talking about myself, but part of my homework for the EDD program is to attend a board meeting and observe the governance structure of a community college. Although it was technically cheating for me to go to a meeting at the school I work at, I am going to overlook that fact and check this one off the list.

I feel incredibly blessed because not only did my mom go with me in a show of support, but three of my cohort members went as well. I know that it is a requirement, but once I mentioned that I was going to be acknowledged at the meeting, they jumped at the chance to go and support me.

I tell anyone who will listen that I would have stayed in Scotland had I known how things would have turned out last year, but if I had stayed, I would have missed out on the chance to get to know and grow with these people. I know that I am exactly where I need to be on my educational journey.

My mother had her camera (which should come to no surprise to anyone who knows her) so here are some pictures for the world to enjoy

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This week is almost over, and that means it is almost time for Scotland. I’m giddy with excitement. I have two papers and 3 more articles that need to be compiled, but I have 4 days and an 11 hour plane ride to get my butt in gear and get the work done.

Of course, I could always go to the library in Scotland to work……