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Educating Rebecca

on December 13th, 2012 by Rebeccca

What do you do when you have a broken leg, find it difficult to navigate the stairs and sidewalk leading out of the house, and have a cast that forces the leg to be extended whenever you sit? I’ve taken to building a comfortable nest around my reclining chair with the food and drink to sustain me for a couple of hours and then immersing myself in the amazing world of the internet.

I’m watching all these videos, listening to podcasts, reading articles and books. So, am I learning anything? Do you think I should focus on one topic, or just explore whatever I end up finding?

Today it was Emotional Intelligence – starting with listening to a podcast on More than Sound with Daniel Goleman. Then I did a search and found a video interview with Goleman done by Allan Gregg on tvo. But who is Allan Gregg? Checking out Allan Gregg has led me to an interview he just did with Don Drummond, examining Canada’s current economic situation: the “double speak” from the Bank of Canada keeping interest rates low and telling people to get out of debt; the current dominance of western Canada, especially Saskatchewan, with high commodity prices. . . and so I progress through the maze – going wildly off in all directions.

I decide that I really should focus on one topic (would that be one topic per hour, per day, per week, per month??) – explore it, and try to think it through, applying it to my life and the world around me.

So the interview with Daniel Goleman reinforces what I have been thinking about lately. Partly coming from my most recent contract, watching geologists and biologists trying to manage consultations with various groups – their training really doesn’t prepare them for dealing with people. They are scientists. But somehow they are the ones who become heads of projects because of their scientific background, when the project really requires someone skilled in listening and interpreting. Managing people and information.

The trend, ever since I went to university, has been to move away from an Arts degree (what are you going to do with your masters of literature? philosophy?) and focus on more specific, skills-related subjects. Something you can get a high-paying job with. Engineering. Law. Commerce. Goleman mentions that even at the elementary school level, we have moved our focus away from art and creativity to the “three Rs.” And our skills in dealing with people have crashed.

So now I want to list the 5 – 6 traits that Goleman says are important for emotional intelligence, but I’ve forgotten what they are – so I google him and end up following him on twitter. Just before I click on the link to check out, “If leaders today don’t step back to gain perspective, we’ll continue to crash economically and personally,” I pull myself back to my original purpose – finding the traits that Goleman says are important.

Empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills.

I could spend the rest of my housebound time just focusing on Emotional Intelligence. But what was I reading about permaculture? Wasn’t I going to spend this winter educating myself and designing a food forest for our farm? Or what was that Ted talk I watched about cities – how our large cities are where the future lies – how the real progressive initiatives are all happening in cities. And didn’t I want to learn more about coworking – creating a shared office space for independent/freelance workers. And don’t forget the interactive ebook ideas that I want to explore.

Looks like I’ll have to do at least one topic per day . . .

| Posted in ruminations

One Response to “Educating Rebecca”

  1. Heather Loewen
    December 13th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    The wonderful world of time and tangents! Focus can be so elusive, while tangents are so damned interesting.

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