I recently began receiving the emails from friend Majordomo, and have been
overwhelmed by both the content and quantity of the messages floating in
cyberspace! I wish I had known about this before. I am about to post my
first response top a message, and wanted to introduce myself.
I ski, I hike, I read, I watch movies, I pluck poorly at my guitar to the
dismay of neighbors. I call myself a troublemaker, and most people
wouldn't disagree. I love to learn (whatever it may be), and do so with
passion and energy. My Myers-Briggs prayer is "God, please give me the
patience to focus on one thing at a ti - Look, a bird!" I hate structure
(although I know that we can't live without it), and have decided that my
mission in life is to "liberate people from the cubicles of the mind." If
I'm not having fun, I do something about it, and try to bring along as
many people as I can.
In the more mundane vein of things, I work at the Employment and Training
Administration of the US Department of Labor. I've been here a bit over
two years, moving a couple of months ago from DC to our Seattle office.
ETA had the good fortune of having a visionary as our Assistant Secretary
for a couple of years, and this place is less and less recognizable as a
government bureaucracy. The Seattle office is way ahead, having recently
elected the new boss, formed completely into self-managed teams, and
embarked on a "Quest" to move beyond the high plateau on which we have
been for the past six months. (We decided that retreats are for the
vanquished, and we are anything but). We have decided to use the five
disciplines as the underpinnings of this quest.
I've bounced around a bit for the past decade. I'm a baby here at ETA (a
whopping 29). I studied English, history, and other assorted things in
college, including a fair dose of structuralist, deconstructionist,
post-deconreunstructurlist and so on criticism. I thought it was bunk
then, but over the past couple of years have appreciated the critical
tools our philosopher friends have created.
I spent a couple of years teaching troubled high school kids in the
beautiful mountains of Western Massachusetts. I discovered there that
teaching is an irrelevant activity - learning is what is important. I
found ways to create environments in which kids could learn, and have
tried to take these skills into my later workplaces, with a fair degree of
success. It certainly makes it more fun (and less work) for myself, as
well as for my fellow learners.
I have a masters degree in public policy. The three learning experiences
which have been relevant to my life were focused on how messy,
unpredictable, and chaotic the world can be. They were fun, challenging,
frustrating, and surprisingly similar to the world outside of academia.
For any professors out there, give your students a syllabus, and then
change the rules of the game day to day. Drive them nuts, but create
conditions in which they can succeed. They'll want to kill you, but will
come back later with tremendous gratitude. Don't forget to tell them what
you did after they succeeded!
(I guess I'm a bit longer-winded than I thought! Almost done . . .)
Finally, I put my first ad for creative consulting in the local business
newspaper. I'm terrified that noone will respond, and Im terrified that
someone might actually hire me. Tell me I'm not alone!
What are some of the deep, gnawing questions in my soul? They change
pretty quickly ( a bird!), and right now I feel pretty content. I think a
lot about how to motivate and energize people, how to deal with the few
lost souls we have here, how to build networks for learning. As my
questions and passions are aroused in the future, I'll post them (with
Look forward to cyberchatting with you all!
-- Barak Rosenbloom Troublemaker Employment and Training Administration 1111 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98102 206-553-4543 x8030 fax 206-553-2069 firstname.lastname@example.org