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Saloniversary III (Salon XXVII)

~Sunday~  Tonight we celebrated the third year of our salon meetings, starting it off with what was supposed to be a "fun and quick" quiz, but which was neither fun nor quick. Discuss. Oh well. I had fun creating it.

Before Kim signed off, she presented me with the TWTS ("That's what they said.") Award, which is given annually to the salon member who creates the discussion forum topic with the most postings in it during the previous year.

My topic was, "Things that made me smile today."

This was the meeting agenda, with my responses embedded in it, where appropriate:

Salon XXVII (Saloniversary III)

  1. Career Suicide or Potential Hero on the Right Side of History: Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. I'm particularly interested in Brad's, Sarah's, and Etta's take on what this professor did. [John]

    • I just thought it was a very, very brave move at the time, and I was wondering if you guys who teach would imagine yourself ever doing that. It seems like such ancient history now.

  2. Holiday updates, particularly the moments that you may have enjoyed most that no one else would have noticed. [Brad]

  3. Kim's report on Sundance! [Anna]

  4. Prompted by one of Eleanor's college applications: What is your biggest weakness? and What makes you special? [Brad]

    • At my September 2008 interview for my current job with NC State, I was prepared to answer that question after refreshing on "good interview techniques," one of which, of course, is to take one of your strengths and couch it as a weakness. I articulated my weakness as, "I can edit something to death. I really have to make myself stop."

    • I've never actually answered that question, but I would have to say, "I think that what's special about someone is very subjective, so I would have to ask the people in my life what's special about me, and I suspect that would be different things to different people." (It was duly noted that that response was a copout.)

  5. What are the elements of our job that would make us exclaim: "Sometimes I really love my job. This morning is one of those times. The feeling may not last long since exams are coming—but I feel lucky to do what I do." (as posted by S.E-W. on Facebook on 11/28/11) [John]

    • Working with a team to get an important task done, and laughing while doing it.

    • Also, a good edit for someone who appreciates it.

  6. 50 Things You Need to Give Up Today: Do any of the 50 items speak to you? Any you feel that you have already done? Any you feel that you can't/won't do? [Sarah]

    • 36. Give up multi-tasking.

    • 38. Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities.

    • 49. Give up trying to avoid risk.

  7. Show-and-tell: Things I read while at the gym. [Sarah]

    • I don't read at the gym for a couple of reasons: 1) I read an article that said it takes away from your workout, and 2) I don't like to read when I'm moving.

    • When doing cardio, I almost always listen to music or podcasts. When I listen to podcasts, it's usually either: This American Life; Fresh Air; Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; or Car Talk.

    • I don't listen to anything when I'm doing stretching or strength exercises.

  8. Thoughts on Taylor Swift's ad pulled for "excess Photoshopping": Taylor Swift's CoverGirl ad pulled [John]

    • My feeling is that it's okay to Photoshop a make-up model, but only before the make-up is put on.

  9. Thoughts on this short article: My Life Without Facebook: A Social Experiment. His statement: "I feel like the only kid on the schoolyard without a TV, lost at sea while other kids recite lines from The Simpsons," is still percolating with me. [John]

    • I would miss not seeing what some of my family members, particularly the son and daughter of my cousins are up to, and of course my sister—I love everything that she posts. And I definitely wouldn't be in touch with the cousin's kids off Facebook, and I'd be much, much less in touch with my sister off Facebook.

    • Like the author, I too would miss the articles and funny pics/ideas that people post.

    • On the flipside, it would give me a ton of free time!

  10. Can I dogpile on [to the previous] agenda item with this HBR article? I'd like to hear how we all feel about our level of participation in Facebook, how we manage time spent there, and what we think we get/lose for it. [Anna]

    • The author says, "In my last post, I noted that Facebok and social media are major contributors to career anxiety." This doesn't resonate with me at all.

    • The author also intimates this trifecta of evil: "1) Creating a den of comparison, 2) Fragmenting our time, and 3) Declining our number of close relationships." Again, this doesn't resonate with me:

      • 1) I honestly and truly do not compare myself to other people. I'm not saying I never have, otherwise I would never have married, wore designer clothes, or bought a BMW. I just don't do it any more.

      • 2) I agree with this to some extent, but overall I am by myself, so when I'm on my phone out and about, it's actually connecting me with other people more than it's taking me away from them. And if everybody's doing it, they may not be interacting with the people they're with, but they are having a shared experience with them. So, it's a "different kind of being with," and who's to say if it's "bad" or "good."

      • 3) This isn't true for me. I have a fair number of friends and a fair number that I'd call close friends. And at least one—what I would consider a—close friend I have, Erin, I wouldn't have if it wasn't for Facebook.

  11. Thoughts on this article. I'm particularly interested in the thoughts of you who have (a) girl(s) or are a "girl." Oh, I guess that's everybody but me—well for the most part. ;-) How to Talk to Little Girls [John]

    • My biggest thought after reading this was, "What about girls that want to be "girlie girls?"

  12. How has salon changed—as an entity and for you personally—over our, now, three years of meetings? [John]

    Other than the obvious membership-related changes (i.e., Etta now participating less than she did in the beginning, and Kim having to participate remotely), these changes come to mind:

    • Entity: Our agendas have certainly become more "formalized."

    • Entity: I think we're all pretty much resolved that we're never going to admit another member>

    • Entity: I think we've become less pre-occupied with ourselves in terms of agenda items (except this one, of course).

    • Personally: I've come to feel less like the "official scribe," which is a good thing.

    • Personally: We've met so long now that I'm starting to forget what we've already had as agenda items in past meetings.

    • Personally: I'm ever more grateful now for calling all of you friends.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
The Salon Quiz
The quiz was fun and just not quick because we were all being difficult. No one wanted to get the questions wrong and admit defeat!


Feb. 16th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sarah!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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