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Mostly Social Book Club and Salon XXXVII...

~Sunday~  Today was both Mostly Social Book Club and Salon.

Mostly Social Book Club met at the Crossroad Panera in Cary, and we discussed A Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which everyone had finished except Sharon, who ironically, was the person who recommended this book.

It's my turn to pick our next book, and I've decided on The Great Gatsby. Janet is the only other one of us who has already read it, so that's good.



From book club, it was off to Salon, which tonight was held at "Salon Headquarters," as Kim was in town for a "face-to-face" meeting. Here are the agenda items I care to share with my answers to the ones for which I had answers:


Salon XXXVII
Salon Headquarters
Sunday, May 19, 2013, 7:00PM


  1. Report on John's Quantified Self Meet-up. [Sarah]

    • I shared what I presented about and about the other presentation that was given besides mine.


  2. John's "A Victim Weighs In" story. [Sarah]

  3. Some students want their Deans fired after poor showing in the U.S. News rankings (http://abovethelaw.com/2013/03/some-students-want-their-deans-fired-after-poor-showing-in-the-u-s-news-rankings-and-one-head-thats-already-rolled/) and (spoiler alert) my rant on misplaced blame and systemic helplessness. [Brad]

    • This is quite the dilemma and a mess. I don’t know enough about the academy to know who really should take the fall, so I look forward to Brad’s rant. :-)


  4. Report on Sarah's TEDxNCSU experience. [John]
     

  5. Do you have a personal or professional "list" of things you try to do each day? If so, what are two or three representative items on your list? This author does, and she makes me feel very lazy: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130326165036-7668018-10-things-to-do-every-workday [Brad]

    • Lots of thoughts and observations about those ten items specifically, and the idea in general:

      • That list seems kind of long, and it made me wonder if that includes everything the person has to do; because if not, it doesn’t seem like it would leave much time to do anything else.

      • A lot of those things are Covey Quadrant II things—important, but not urgent.

      • "Send two emails to touch base with old colleagues." At 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, that’s a lot of old colleagues; 520 to be exact.

      • "Check in with each team member on their progress." Can you say "Helicopter boss?"

      • I have seen, "Have a short non-work related conversation with every employee," fail. It can be awkward, and arouse dread in some employees. I think a better goal would be: "Have a short non-work related conversation with every employee if I actually have something to talk about with them."

      • The, "Take a full minute to appreciate what I have and how far I’ve come" item is about as close to a list that I have called, "10 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day," which I definitely don’t do daily. They are:
        • Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?

        • Have I done something today that improved the world?

        • Have I conditioned my body to be more strong, flexible, and resilient?

        • Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?

        • Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?

        • Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?

        • Have I accomplished something worthwhile?

        • Have I helped someone less fortunate?

        • Have I collected some wonderful memories?

        • Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?


  6. Displaying the Confederate flag http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/29/confederate-flag-nc/2036121/ [Sarah]

    • I think it should only be displayed in a history museum in context.


  7. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/us-news-blog/2013/mar/31/cesar-chavez-google-doodle-easter Easter vs. Cesar Chavez. Really. [Sarah]

    • Conspiracy theory, conschpiracy theory! I have to say that, early on—at the beginning of the second paragraph in fact—an "unreliable narrator flag" went up for me, and the ethos of the article plummeted.


  8. Citing Sarah Egan Warren (Tedx, 2013), "And we know that life is not always sparkly, life is difficult sometimes, it's heartbreaking, and sometimes it's not that much fun. So I try to hold onto this idea that life is not always tutus and tiaras, when things are going poorly and when things are going well.... I hold onto this and think, if I can slog through these moments, I'm going to come out on the other side and there's going to be a tutus and tiaras moment at the end. Do you believe that, if you slog through the heartbreaking moments (life metaphor), that you'll come out on the other side and find tutus and tiaras moments? Yes, no, examples? [Brad]

    • I do! I read this in the context of the better you feel after accomplishing something, the harder it was to accomplish.


  9. Truth? or "Wanh..wanh..waaah?" Teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession... no longer exists’ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/06/teachers-resignation-letter-my-profession-no-longer-exists/ [John]

    • It seemed like a reasonable assessment to me, and it was interesting in juxtaposition to Brad's "Let's fire the deans" article. Overall, I see the mess our education system in right now as a wicked problem. And I don't mean it's from Boston.


  10. After reading the "get your shit together" letter John shared, I wondered, what's the most outrageous assumption made by one of your students (or work colleagues) that defied minimum standards for adult behavior? Let's trade war stories! [Anna]

    • In one of my grad school classes, the professor told us that our final project would be to create a website, and then he stepped out of the room. While he was gone one of the students in the class declared, "I think I'm just going to have to pay someone to do my website. I just don't have time to do that." I thought, "Pay? Did she just say she was going to pay someone to do it? As in, hire someone? As in, who has time for this school stuff, I'm going to sub-contract it out? Did she just say that matter-of-factly, out loud?"


  11. PDA. Thoughts, experiences, and locales (inspired by John's FB post: "I'm hoping some of my straight friends can help me understand this. What are some of the reasons a straight couple would go to a gay (or prominently gay) establishment and proceed to lip lock and rub all over each other? #SeekingToUnderstand -- at The Borough.)" [Kim]

    • I wanted to hear what "meaning" other people might assign to such a scene, as I felt quite certain mine was just that, mine, and probably said more about me than it did them.


  12. “They" often say that high school, or college, are "the best years of your life." Was that true for you? If not, can you identity a year, or more, that resonate as the best year(s) of your life? Or are you quite certain they are yet to come? {John]

    • The best year of my life to-date is the year after I came out, which was in 1994, when I was 35 years old. I don't see it getting any better than that, particular because being healthy is a large criterion of my happiness, and I only see my health deteriorating as I age.


  13. Name the six people (dead or alive) who you'd like to invite to an intimate dinner party. (Excluding Salon members). [John]

    • Barbra Streisand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hillary Clinton, Ben Cohen, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey


  14. Awardy Redux [John]

    • I gave the award to Brad for the most heartfelt forum post, and for his goal to put at least one item on the agenda each month, and for consistently achieving that goal.


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