Archive for November, 2010

A day to reflect…

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Well, its Thanksgiving! For my new subscribers from Eastern Europe, Happy Thanksgiving! I’m not sure why you all subscribe but hope you find these posts of some interest.

As I remember my elementary school history, Thanksgiving was a party, a feast, a full dinner at the very least. But as I consider that first event, it was an alliance, a celebration of collaboration between two peoples. I find it interesting that the “weaker” of the peoples pretty much saved the “stronger” of the peoples by teaching them how to survive in a new land….and ultimately, the “stronger” forgot and today those peoples who taught survival are not so visible anymore.

Getting on in the world is usually a collaborative effort. We form alliances, partnerships, joint-ventures in the business world to survive and flourish as companies and corporations, and ultimately the “weak” who teach the “strong” get bought out, or are competed-out of existence in the market and the teachers disappear from history. (What was the name of the two fellows who’s company became a core brand of GM?)

I believe it is the nature of the generous to allow themselves to be seen as not “strong” maybe its because they know…that they know…and don’t need to posture, puff up, or pretend to be strong out of fear. Those who “know” are confident in the knowing and can share their knowledge freely. Maybe because they know their fate is to be forgotten by history? Or are they comforted by that trend?

… I’m off track… Today I remember those who taught me, and thank them. They each helped to make me a person who works to teach, to be a teacher. Not all my interactions with these people was positive…a torn collar here, rapped knuckles there, a few harsh words directed to my rather informal study habits. But Thanks is still deserved to Miss Baezel, who in 1958 helped acclimate me to the civil habits of school attendees. To Mrs Ames, and Mrs. Blanchard, Sister Maria Goretti, who could make the best squirrel sound imitation I’ve ever heard. To Sister Ethelina who I’m afraid, I pushed beyond her patience on more than one occasion; to Mrs. Barranco, Sister Angelica, and Mr. Barry, who taught us words like obfuscate and ostracize…see? I still remember!

To Mr. Lane who taught me to draw!

To Larry and Alice Loh, who taught me to see problems as components, to Ron who showed me Fearless Frank Furness and led me to Owatonna, to Cecil who taught me to teach, to Bill and Jaan who taught me to become comfortable with my limits, and see wonder in the world around me. To Ben who taught me to respect the sun, and Greg who showed me the inner workings of Frank Lloyd Wright.

To Cornwall and Gary and Knule, who taught me patience and steady work.

To Steve, Harold, Fred, and even Bob, who taught me how to build, and how to be a professional. To Seth who taught me (by a series of dubious events) how to protect myself in business.

To my Dad who taught me how to be an adult with your parents.

To Frank and Ron, and Carlos and Mike, who taught me how to (kicking and screaming though I was) to be a scholar in my field.

To Sam and Dan who taught me how to be an entrepreneur in research.

To Ed, and Tom, and Ron, and Eloise, who taught me how to be a team player.

To Melinda and Ginger who taught me that commitment to craft matters, and to Mallory who taught me that a team can work hard and still have fun together. (A lesson that’s hard to keep alive in the team)

To my daughters who teach me strength and courage.

I think of you all, more often than a person might expect and thank you today, for teaching me how to survive and flourish.

Think of your teachers today, history usually only remembers those who vanquished others with their acquired knowledge, maybe this informal e-history tool will let us remember those who helped them survive.

Be good to each other!

Here’s wishing your turkey is perfect, your dressing well-cooked, and that your pie doesn’t start your oven on fire!