Dead

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I wrote this back in 2016, and having no place to put it, left it in draft form. Two years later, I can see no reason not to hit publish.

On a hot and sticky July night in baseball’s oldest, and perhaps most revered ballpark, the Grateful Dead took the stage.

I know. It wasn’t the Grateful Dead. There was no Phil, and, of course, there was no Pigpen, no Jerry.

On a hot and sticky July night in baseball’s oldest, and perhaps most revered ballparks, three former members of the Grateful Dead plus, “the Donna”, a guy who played for the Allman Brothers (well, not the real Allman brothers, but the band that called themselves the Allman Brothers in the late 90’s and early 2000’s) a keyboardist who’s been playing in Grateful Dead spin-offs and the guy who brought this steaming pile to  the American songbook  took the stage on a hot and steamy night in America’s greatest ballpark on a Friday night in July.

And it was wonderful.

Confession time. I am a huge deadhead. Yet my introduction to this music experience sub-culture came late. I first discovered the Dead in 2007 at the age of 28. I had just purchased a VW Passat that had a combination CD/tape deck in it. I happened to pop in one of my sister-in-law’s bootleg tapes of a dead show from the late 70’s and was hooked from then on.

Fenway is a wonderful place to watch a show, but you lose out on some of the tail-gating spectacle that you see at other venues. I use the word lose there, because I’m sure there are some that are looking for that. I’m not one of them.

The show was an early start, the sun was still setting, and it was covering most of the outfield at that point. If this was a ballgame, the outfielders would no doubt have trouble fielding a high fly-ball. The heat, was real, and so was the opening jam. It was sticky, nectary sweet. From the teasing and foreshadowing of “Morning Dew” (turning out to be the penultimate song of the second set) at the :32 mark  into a “Jack Straw” that Bobby sang with all of the heart and vigor of a man half his age.

The percussionists beat the tools of their trade in a mostly in-sync fashion through the night despite the heat. Newbies, Oteil and Chemeti played brilliantly.

There were times when one could sense Mayer was pulling the other, older members along with him and energizes them through a classic late 70’s set. There were also times when you could tell that the old dogs in the group were pulling back on the reins with a, “Whoa…Easy boy…”

Any question of whether or not Mayer is the right guy for this gig have long past. His Bluesy background (omitting is terrible originals) served him well that now. No, he doesn’t have the bluegrass background of Jerry, but there is magic there. He has mastered Jerry’s tendency to park himself on a section of the neck of the guitar, milk it for all it’s worth, and move on to the next section. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And he can do the weird.

 

 

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On the outside looking in

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Ever feel like you’re on the outside looking in?

 

This is the first time since 2004 that I haven’t been a part of an opening of school and a new academic year, and it’s weird. In some ways, I imagine it is what it feels like to go through detox or to lose a limb—feeling things that aren’t there anymore.

The anxiety is ramping up. Butterflies are fluttering in my stomach. I am trying as hard as I can to make use of every available free second I have. I find myself still dreading the changing of the leaves, and the prospect of the crazy opening of school schedule with endless faculty meetings in which everyone is glued to either their phones or laptops, the faculty party in which everyone asks what I did this summer (I worked, dammit!), and the arrival of students excited to see their friends again after the summer break.

My body seems to still be anticipating exhausting travel to sometimes awful and sometimes awe-inspiring but mostly mundane corners of the globe. Shouldn’t I be spending much more time on Delta’s and Marriott’s website? Shouldn’t I be calling my travel agent? Shouldn’t I be calling my counterparts at other schools trying to coordinate some crazy trip around the world?

And yet, none of that is coming for me this year. I’m watching others go through it—friends and past colleagues—and I keep asking myself, “Will I miss it?”

Will I wake up in the middle of some October night wondering where I am as I have done many times each fall?

Will I wake up one morning and momentarily panicked, wondering if I’m supposed to be on a plane, headed to some unknown country?

Will I scan my brain wondering how to say, “Thank you” in the native language while ordering my latte at the coffee shop down the street?

“Will I miss it?”

No. No, I don’t believe I will. But old habits and rhythms take time to run their course.

 

My Facebook Vacation

28126676566_c6dc291645_zI recently took a two month hiatus from Facebook. Now to many, this probably wouldn’t seem like a big deal. For me though, a great deal of my career has been spent using social media professionally to market schools and colleges. In many ways, Facebook was where is started. It was at least one of the first three.

So why did I do it?

I was sick of it. I was sick of seeing the ads everywhere. I got really sick of the click-bait headlines from George Takei and others. I was sick of the drama and the feels and all of the junk. I felt like I was just spending a ton of time rotting my brain on useless junk.

So I cut the cord.

I almost did it once on my phone. It’s a scary thing to do though. I pulled back after the first attempt. I wasn’t sure if I deactivated my account if I would lose everything, and I had a lot of stuff there. I was definite an early adapter and as near I can tell, I was onboard with Facebook as soon as it opened to the non-Harvard population.

Second time, this one on my MacBook, I did it. Pulled the trigger and deactivated my account. It was neither as scary or permanent as it sounded.

But I still stayed connected.

It’s true. This wasn’t a social media blackout. I still stayed on social media, I just quit Facebook.  I checked my LinkedIn. I checked Twitter (oddly enough I used to be a HEAVY user of Twitter, but have found it significantly less interesting of late).

#THEINSTA

My primary social media toy was Instagram. I used that and checked it pretty frequently. I liked the visual. I like the simplicity. I like the lack of advertisements and click-bait and especially liked the lack of drama.

So what did I learn?

I learned a lot of this experience and I recommend that anyone who makes use of social media in your marketing tool box should do the same. Overall here’s what I picked up:

  1. I didn’t miss it… I really didn’t miss Facebook at all. The only reason I went back to it is because I felt like I had to for work. That’s it.
  2. Except when I missed stuff. A good friend of mine’s dad passed away. I would have totally missed that news and the funeral had my wife still not been on Facebook. People tend to reserve announcements life altering announcements for Facebook and there was a sense that I was missing out on the big news and changes of people in my life that I don’t see everyday.
  3. A multi-channel approach is essential. Facebook users are becoming less active and checking their Facebook accounts less frequently. It used to be that if you wanted something to be seen, you published it on Facebook. I don’t believe that the case anymore. You need to make sure that you are hitting all of your channels.
  4. Get a website! So many small businesses neglect or don’t even have websites, instead relying on Facebook to fill there need. This got really old after a while. More than once in my two months away, a mom and pop shop lost the sale because they didn’t have a website.
  5. It feels good to not be so connected. It does. It really does. I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Words I said…Goodbye, my friend.

I was given the opportunity to speak at my former coach, Jim Donoghue’s service today. Below are my words:

12525408_904494829688_1262170985509119140_oMy name is Drew Millikin, and I am Jim and Martha’s fifth son. I used to be their fourth, but then Meg got married and Mike bumped me down to the 5th spot.

Jim arrived my sophomore year at Saint Michael’s. I swam for him for three years and was one of his captains for two. After graduating, I coached for his team, Green Mountain Aquatics before joining Jim on the Saint Michael’s pool deck, coaching a team we both love deeply from 2006 through his penultimate season.

It goes without saying that I have been thinking of Jim a lot these last two weeks and reflecting on the special relationship we shared. I have always resisted saying that Jim was a second father to me. I’ve hesitated for two primary reasons, one, Jim and Martha have four wonderful kids; they didn’t need another. And two, I have a wonderful father and I never wanted to take anything away from him. As much as I may have resisted saying, Jim was like a second father to me. And as news of Jim’s illness and eventual passing began to spread, I saw that phrase everywhere, and it came from people whom I had no idea even knew Jim.

What was it about Jim that led so many to look at him in this way? What was so special about this big, stubborn, bear of a man who could never be told that he was wrong? A man who was always ready for a hug, or a congratulatory handshake/high five grasp after a race. A man who did not burn bridges; he nuked them.

Why were so many of us impacted so deeply by this man?

Out of curiosity, how many of us are teachers? Coaches? Educators? Please keep your hands up, if in some way, large or small, Jim Donoghue had an effect on your decision to enter that vocation.

What was it about that man?

I can’t speak for everyone who ever swam for Jim, but I can share with you my theory: It is that Jim saw all of us through a lens, which we could not.

He saw us in our true potential—our full selves. And he demanded that we live up to and carry ourselves with the self-respect and dignity we deserved.

I certainly experienced this as a student athlete at Saint Michael’s, and I witnessed this coaching with him in those years we coached our beloved team together.

One of those moments was what I consider one of the greatest teaching moments I have yet to witness. We were coaching a certain team on a certain training trip in Florida on a certain New Year’s Day. It was quite evident that watching warm-ups that a number of them had been celebrating the night before. It was actually clear that from the stench in the vans on the ride to the pool that they had been celebration the night before and perhaps into that morning.

Jim asked me to stop warm-up, which I did, puffing my chest, awaiting a red-faced, full on, chewing out.

Instead, Jim spoke calmly and coolly. He did not raise his voice. He did not admonish. He did not shame, although I suspect that many of them felt ashamed. Jim instead talked about self-defeat. He shared his belief that every practice is an opportunity to improve, as is every set, as is every stroke. They owed it to themselves to take advantage of each of those opportunities and that through their poor decision-making, they had deprived themselves of that opportunity and disrespected themselves in the process.

Jim easily could have torn them down. After we started them on the pre-set, I told him that his reaction was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. His reply was that all that would have done was make him feel better while making them feel worse than they already did. He would not allow those swimmers to deprive themselves of the opportunity to achieve their best. And there were many times when his idea of our best, seemed so out of reach that they seemed ridiculous. I remember that swimming for him. I didn’t understand until I began working with him, coaching with him, that he truly believed in us. And he would try like hell to convince us of the potential that he saw. For Jim understood that the opponent was not the team on the other side of the pool. It was not the swimmer in the lane next to us. Our biggest opponent was that black line on the bottom of the pool—that voice inside our own heads. Our own self-doubt.

I reached out to a number of Jim’s former swimmers asking for anecdotes and memories in preparation for this knowing that there is no way I can speak for all of them. The response was overwhelming and beautiful. And most of the stories, spoke of the same common theme demonstrated on the pool deck that New Year’s day. It is that, above all else, Jim valued and taught self-respect, dignity and kindness.

It was privilege to swim for Jim Donoghue. The opportunity to coach team that I love was a true gift. Coaching with my coach, my friend and my mentor was a remarkable life shaping experiences for which I will forever be grateful

I said that I don’t want to speak for his swimmers, and I won’t. I will however, speak for him, and all of the messages of love and support I received and witnessed confirm what I am about to say. Jim Donoghue loved you all. It didn’t matter if you swam for him for one year or your entire lifetime. He loved every one of you.

Actually, I am going to speak for all of us who swam for Jim. We will miss you, coach.

 

*Updated 2/1/16 to include some ad-libs. 

Travel adventures- a break from the mundane

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Admissions travel can be incredibly boring.  Admissions folks like to say, “The faculty think we’re always traveling first class to tropical destinations where we spend our time in full-on tourist mode.”  I don’t know if faculty actually think this, but, as with all stories, there is some truth and some fiction.

There are most definitely some perks that come with admissions travel.  You do get to see some pretty cool sites that you may not have otherwise seen.  You also rack up the frequent flier miles and hotel points. The downside is, there are far more Worcester, MA visits then there are week-long stays in the Bahamas.

More-often-than-not, travel consists of too-small rental cars, coach seats in the back of the plane, and solitary meals.  It can be hard to keep your spirits up and to break out of the doldrums.  To do so, you sometimes have to be willing to act on the mundane—the object that you might easily drive by, walk by, or completely ignore.

This has happened to me more than once as I’ve spent countless days on the road in my career in admissions. Once while driving down to Richmond, VA from D.C., I saw a little sign on the side of the highway that said Frank Lloyd-Wright house.   I had some time and decided to pull off and see what I could see.  It turned into a great solo tour of Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. Crysalis Vineyards is another found off the road gem that I would return to every year.

The latest mini-adventure started at a taco joint in Denver, CO.  I happened to stop in there for lunch and saw a random postcard by the register.  IMG_4732It had a squirrel and to pairs of cowboy boots and a phone number to call.  I grabbed one, and read the back of it while I ate my two fantastic tacos.

I’m not sure if it was the squirrel, or the “Only $60 a pair!” that caught my eye, but I was definitely intrigued. I googled the phone number and didn’t come up with much except for a seldom updated, campy looking Facebook page.  I put it aside, and then, finally, decided that I would be forever filled with regret if I didn’t call the number and embark upon this adventure clearly laid out in front of me.

I called the number at 9:00 a.m. having about an hour-and-a-half before I needed to head to airport to catch my flight back east.  Of course, the guy who picked up was eating a taco at the same place where I saw his card.  He gave me his address and said he would meet me there in an hour. IMG_4704

I arrived at a small Sears-Roebuck house that was decorated on the exterior in a style that is exactly what you would expect from a guy who’s primary form of advertisement is a postcard with a couple of pairs of boots, a squirrel and a phone number. George, the proprietor, was one the steps, smiling and welcoming my inside.

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Me and my boy, George!

The inside was cramped, onside with used furniture that he was planing on selling, and the other with a shelves of boots—tons of them. I tried on a half-dozen pairs of them without success, my man, George, chatting away the entire time, )He was a talker) until I finally found a pair of gently used, handmade boots from Peru in my size.  They fit great, looked a little different (in a good way), and were the right price. I walked away a happy man, and on time for my flight.

Is there a lesson here? Yes, I think there is. It is that when provided the opportunity to travel, wether it be 10,000 miles from home, or 10, you should do so with eyes (and mind) wide open.

You never know when a great pair of cowboy boots are just around the corner.

 

Tidbits from old notebooks

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Last week I posted about my collections of various notebooks while I was on a crazy trip to Houston, Texas for a school fair. Part of the inspiration for that post were the four notebooks I brought along with my in my carry-on. I’m not really sure why I brought all of them. I could have easily left two of them behind, but I brought them none-the-less.

I’m glad I did too. One of the notebooks was an older one that I had filled a while back with a whole collection of random notes. I did stumble upon some gems from conferences I had attended in the last year. I also had some good notes from Jim Collins’s, Good to Great and Stephen E. Ambrose’s, Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier and President. Below are some of those:

“You have only 11 seconds to make a first impression. Make it count.”
This is from a conference presentation about tour guides given by the admissions team at Maderia. Good advice.

 

“In your first 90 days as a new director, you should force yourself to be uncomfortable and do not allow yourself to regress in the comfortable.”

“Focus your energy on the things that only the director can do.”
“Never check email in the morning.”
These were from a webinar for new directors of admission given by Ben Douglas of St. James School and Andrew Weller of Ridley College.
I don’t have a direct quote here, just some of my handwritten notes I took while reading Jim Collins’ Good to Great. I feel like the power of that book might be diminished a bit after the recession and the fact that a bunch of the companies he references in the books were total criminals, but it still does have value. I particularly like his use of a bus as an analogy to staffing. He describes the importance of getting the wrong people off of the bus, the right people on the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus. Once you do that, then your organization can reach its potential.

And finally, from Stephan E. Ambrose’s biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soldier and President: “…only a man that is happy in his work can be happy in his home and with his friends. Happiness in work means that its performer must know it to be worthwhile, suited to his temperament, and, finally, suited to his age, experience and capacity for performance of a high order.” 

My Notebook Obsession

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I’ve become rather notorious for my notebooks. I have one with me constantly, and I take notes in every meeting in which I am a part.  There’s something satisfying about putting pen to paper rather than just plucking away a keyboard. For me, there is something in the motion that helps me to remember.  Regardless, I figured I’d share my current notebook methodology here.

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Black, medium-sized and squared. This is my primary note taking notebook. It goes with me to every meeting, conference, or any other opportunity where I need to take general notes. I go through about one or two of these a year. I like and the portability of it. I prefer squares to lines because of my doodling habit. It also helps if I ever need to map something out. The pocket in the rear is perfect for storing receipts from travel. I never throw them out and will often go back and review my notes, especially from conferences.

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My Social Media Sabbatical

I took a social media sabbatical last year—not a full on, delete all of my accounts and don’t post anything sabbatical—but for the first time in 7 years I didn’t have a Facebook, Twiiter, or some other school/college account attached to my phone/computer. I also limited my posting to many of my own accounts as well. I didn’t spend a ton of time on Twitter, in fact I hardly posted anything there at all. I did use Instagram a lot, and posted to Twitter and Facebook through that, but otherwise, the Twitter and the Facebook were quiet compared to where they had been years prior.

 

Why did I do this?

After starting social media projects at two schools and pretty much being the social media guy at both, I was feeling a bit stale. I also had started at a new job which was very demanding of my time in other areas. We also had someone who was producing some really good content here for us as a school and we didn’t need more of it. In short, I didn’t need to be on it and thus, I wasn’t.

What did I gain?

No new personal insight, that’s for sure. I did, however, come into the end of the summer refreshed and ready to reengage with social media on an institutional level. It was nice to not have that pressure of creating content for multiple channels everyday.

i thought a lot about collaboration.

How do we spread the work across multiple offices and how do we make sure we aren’t duplicating content? I’m still a big believer in the idea that there should be one main account for a school rather than special interest accounts. While the audience for the Alumni/Development office obviously differs from that of the Admissions Office, but there are similarities, and there’s no reason we can’t tag-team events to make sure we have both covered.

I took a step back.

When you’re focused on creating content you can get hung up and lose sight of the big picture—the why? I used to spend a lot of time tracking engagement stats. It’s important information to have, but if you get too much into the numbers, you can lose sight of the big picture goals you may have.  How are your efforts in social media helping your annual fund numbers? How are they helping enrollment?

Looking ahead.

Now that I’m back on the horse, I’m excited to reengage in social media, if not as a direct user then definitely as an influencer. We’ve started getting to work our multiple offices across our campus can coordinate, collaborate and create while keeping the big picture goals in mind. I’m really excited about the work we’re going to do this year.

 

Deliberate Acts of Kindness

The following is a Chapel Talk I had intended to give this year.  

Were any of you on the Circle when Acts_Of Kindness, that troubadour of good deeds was a sensation during one particularly grey and dreary February?

I loved Acts. For those of you (I suspect the majority) who have no idea what I’m talking about: Winter three years ago, a mysterious email account appeared on FirstClass and began poetically expound upon good deeds around the Circle. These mysterious emails would show up on student conferences once a day. Here’s an example:

a girl is helped in a flash by another
who should have then been singing
sing she does

a boy calls us to call our moms
and some of us do

a little baby stays mostly quiet in a chapel
but lets us know she’s there
in the midst of it all

At one point, a student caught Acts_Of Kindness on First Class Chat and when asked for motives, AOK responded: I have received more beautiful stories about random acts of kindness than everyone in the world.

Speculation ran rampant as to identity of the mysterious emailer until concerns that it was an undercover Al Qaida operative eventually won out and Mr. Gemmell stepped out from behind the curtain to reveal himself as this mysterious bard behind the keyboard.

This was just a few weeks or so in February three years ago, but I have thought about this over and over again since. Both because it was sad to see it go, as it was a little bit of sunshine during what was a difficult time for me, but also because is has me thinking about that idiom, Random Acts of Kindness.

It should be easy, being kind. After all, it’s what we all want others to be, right? Why then does is sometimes seem easier to be the opposite? Can we not be just kind all of the time? Must we rely on the Random Acts of Kindness to make our day?

Flash back to the summer of 1988. My family and I have moved to Massachusetts that previous December from Glens Falls, NY. That June day, my dad, and my younger brother headed into Boston for our first professional baseball game. For all I can remember, it might have been our first baseball game ever.

I did not know was that it was just two years after the Sox blew the World Series in epic fashion. I had no knowledge of Bill Buckner, Bucky “Bleeping” Dent, Pesky holding the ball, Ted Williams and the Teammates, Joe Cronin, Yaz, Rice and Fisk. I had never seen a baseball game before this, and I remember being awed by what is now known as “America’s favorite ballpark.” This was well before the circus of Yawkee Way, the hour-long pregame show and the hour-long post game show. This was back when half of the games were played on Channel 38, free TV. Back before real fans had cards proving their fandom and residence in the some made up nation.

I was struck by that building. That ballpark. I remember the brick, and that unmistakable green paint. Our seats were in the roof boxes on the first base line. To get there we had the option of climbing a whole bunch of stairs or taking the elevator. With a nine-year-old and a five-year-old in tow and the first pitch about to be thrown, my dad perhaps wisely chose the elevator.

At the elevator was a tall skinny guy with a slight afro. He wore a red sox shirt that made it apparent he worked for the team. On the ride up, he asked us if we had arrived early to watch batting practice and get some autographs. Having been raised by two Vermont Hicks (this is not quite as bad as being raised by a pair of wolves in the forest, but when put in situations like these involving civilization, you are equally unprepared), my brother and I replied no. Didn’t know that was a thing.

“Go buy a ball and meet me here after the game.” was his reply.

We found our seats and the beauty of that park struck me. In fact it still strikes me today as it did back then. The green, the grass, the rust colored damp dirt of the infield. I don’t remember much about the game. The Sox played the Mariners, winning 11 to 5. Oil Can Boyd was the starting pitcher, lasting four innings before the immortal Tom Bolton getting the win in relief. I know all this not because I remember it, but rather because I looked it up on baseball-reference.com

After the game, we met our new friend at the designated spot after the game, ball and ballpoint pen in tow. He brought the three of us down the elevator and out of the park onto Van Ness St. This was before the statue of the Teammates was there and was a fenced in area used for player parking. A crowd had already gathered held back by yellow tape, waiting to catch a glimpse or maybe an autograph from one of the Sox players.

We made it to the tape, and our new friend told my dad to wait there as he beckoned my brother and me to follow him under the tape. I remember a, “Who are those kids?” coming up from the crowd behind me. I must have been in total shock. There I was in the parking lot surrounded by the very baseball players I had just seen from our seats high above the playing field. Baseball players that I barely knew, yet somehow revered. And they began driving by me, stopping, rolling down their windows and signing my ball.

Roger Clemons, Dwight Evans, Spike Owens, Oil Can, Ellis Burks, Mike Greenwell, Wade Boggs (the only jerk of the group who barked “Hurry up kid. I gotta get out of here.” This is a prejudice I held as I watched him ride around Yankee Stadium in pinstripes on the back of a police horse after winning a world series with the dreaded Yankees. I did not see who was in his passenger seat.)

And they kept coming, Marty Barrett, Jody Reed and others.

I think about that day every now and then. I still have that ball which sits in my living room. Acts_Of Kindness got me thinking about that day and my friend at the elevator in Fenway Park.

Was that a random act of kindness? Did that employee see two young kids on their first trip to a ball park and decide to give them a magical moment that they would remember for the rest of their lives?

I have decided that I like to think that this was not a random act of kindness, but rather it was a deliberate act of kindness. That’s more inspiring isn’t it? To believe that guy woke up every single day of the baseball season with the intention of giving a kid a once in a lifetime experience for no other reason than he could.

Suppose he did this at every home game for two kids, just like my brother and me. The Sox play 81 home games. That’s 162 kids who had a moment at a ballpark that they will never have again. And what did it take? 15 minutes? 15 minutes of deliberate kindness 81 times a year. Here I am. 34 years old and that is still one of my most favorite childhood memories. Imagine having that impact on 162 other people. And that’s just in one year. Who knows how long he had worked at Fenway.

Doesn’t that make a better story? One guy, a simple job, creating lasting childhood memories for hundreds, maybe thousands of children through deliberate acts of kindness.

This is what I loved about Acts_Of Kindness. It took the random out of acts of kindness. It drew attention to the small acts, and it made, me at least, do one kind act each day during that month of February. Not only that, but also look out for kind acts as they happened. It seems to me that is a pretty good way to go through life, seeking out and performing deliberate acts of kindness of varying size and impact.

I think we could all stand to make a deliberate act of kindness a part of our day. In fact, why not more than one? There are 450 of us in this room right now. If each of us does one act of kindness today, that 450 positive actions. If we do two, that’s 900. Spread the love. Keep it going. Imagine the type of community we could become. To quote a Grateful Dead song, “Let it grow. Let it grow. Greatly yield.”

How hard is it to do two kind things in one day? Two kind things that could help someone’s day be a little bit brighter? I would suggest that it’s pretty easy, you just have to be deliberate about it.

the Online self

I applied for two jobs this year.  Interviewed for both.  Didn’t get the first.  Got the second.

In both instances, during the interview someone mentioned having read either this blog or recent tweets. They knew I was a dad, that I love good beer and occasionally make my own, and even pointed out a typo.

I don’t know why but each time the conversation left me feeling a little uncomfortable.  Certainly, I should have been prepared for just such a conversation.  I have been preaching to students that they should be aware of the manner in which they use social media for years.  This blog certainly is not a journal on my nightstand only to be read by me.

And yet, each time it or some other media was mentioned, I could feel myself blushing and getting squeamish.   Wondering, just what embarrassing item they may have stumbled upon.

My first post in this space was in 2006, and it has a typo in it.  In fact, the first few posts have typos.   Now, seven years later, should I go back and retroactively fix them?

I don’t think I will.  I, rather, see it as an evolution.  It’s pretty clear in the beginning that I was trying to figure out just what to do with this thing.  It’s evolved from short comments on the weather, to a device in which I explored social media and its use in schools, to most recently, my trials through fatherhood.   To go back in time, and revise, remove or reprise previous posts would, to me, take away from the evolution of this space.

All that being said, it was a good reminder that this is very much a public space.  As much as I sometimes treat it like that journal on my nightstand, it isn’t private.  It’s totally searchable, and it’s here for a long time.   If I’m not writing something that I can be proud of and have total strangers read and gather an impression of me, then I  probably shouldn’t be writing it and definitely not here.