Sunday, November 18, 2018

Hank Schrader was blinded by love

In Breaking Bad, some people consider it an extreme mystery that sharp minded DEA investigator Hank Schrader could not work it out that his brother-in-law was Heisenberg. It's no real mystery to me. Hank loved Walt so much that he could not possibly imagine his brother-in-law as a drug lord. Even when every single shred of evidence pointed straight to Walter.

I'm old enough to know that sort of love in a dozen different ways, to all sorts of people. Big tip - being loved by me is not particularly much fun. I'm too old, really, to think of love as that starry-eyed infatuation that teenagers tend to have.

However, the truth still remains that love makes us do stupid things.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Try to bring energy to your interactions

I have only so much energy. I try to bring energy to the interactions I have, but I only have so much. I've had three interactions with past students over the past day:

1/ An ex student saw me in a meeting and broke in to say how much they had enjoyed their last year with me - in front of a client. A very nice thing.

2/ An ex student saw (on Facebook) that I was in the airport and found me - because they wanted to catch up. A very nice thing.

3/ An ex student - who was never that good - wanted to discuss at length the nature of the course we finished eight weeks ago with what they thought could be better.

Which of the three do you think iare students I wish to have ongoing engagement with? When someone asks me what I think of student X, Y, and Z in little old Adelaide - what do you think my candid feedback will be?

A lesson I've learned in life. Always try to bring more to an interaction than you take out. Energy, skills, capacity, goodwill. In my own case if I disturb the people I've interacted with - then it's very deliberate. Sometimes one can't make an omelette without cracking eggs.

Or perhaps I've just totally screwed up my interaction - it happens.

I remember Dr House was once told "You need people to like you" to which he replied "I don't care if people like me".

"You need people to like you because you need people" [to do things for you]

I need people to like me. And tbh I also like people to like me, without sucking out my life force.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The downside to service and an extraction plan

I have watched from the outside once or twice and come to the understanding that it is possible to be too selfless. It is possible to do to much in the service of others, so that the system is actually made worse.

I am no saint; and any of the things I do for other people up purely by choice. An upside is that it can be my choice to discontinue service. There is a personal cost. Talents that one can take outside and convert into thousands of dollars or personal reward - those talents are used to benefit communities that really don't know the value of what they are receiving. When a person starts to dwell too much on those things, it's time to leave. And so it's time to leave.

But a more insidious effect comes when a community benefits from volunteer efforts that are concentrated in too few people. The community never really gets to take charge of its own stuff. The kids get to stay kids and the volunteer adults become further entrapped. There's a time for the young ones to take over.

It's when I make decisions in the cold light of day that those decisions are most far-reaching. I had a moment of clarity last night where I coolly decided to extract myself from a particular branch of volunteer service that I've been doing for about 5 years. Instead of a polite thank you I was requested to pursue an ever decreasing spiral of minor errors.

And so I have arrived at a better idea. I think I'll stop doing this altogether. It will take me about 8 months to extract myself from this area of volunteering, however the decision has given me a sense of peace. And I'll have extra time and headspace for the next crusade. The extraction begins.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My most recent detractor

It's been a while, but could I have forgotten how exhausting it is have a person close to you that despises you? A person who uses every utterance, measures your comings and goings and categorises everything once discussed when you were friends?

After I sat through a 45 minute diatribe the other day I had been given plenty of free character assessments. Many of the criticisms where just, others were simply wrong, but the most hurtful where the ones where my detractor didn't know what on earth he was talking about.

I was accused of short-changing my students in my university teaching but the guy has nothing at all to do with university teaching. He took a quote of mine "I give them the answers in the exam; how on earth can they fail?" and took it to mean that I simply phone it in.

I have close to a thousand students a year - from school leavers through Chinese postgraduates to middle and senior SA managers who are likely to disagree. And a few detractors.

As I come off a pair of super engaged one-on-one meetings where one of them gave me a spontaneous hug on leaving (I'm not a huggy type) I can honestly say this to my detractor:

"Spend a bit of time looking inwards before you start trying to find too much fault outwards"

Or is that the problem - you looked at yourself and it scared you? Never mind - we all get that, too. And I'll introduce you to the rest of the club of my detractors. They're mostly good people - I think you'll like them. And at least you'll have a conversation starter.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Love Takes Care

I forgot how much I liked this song and also forgot how much I really liked having Doc Neeson in the world. The doc died about 5 years ago and I've barely shrugged. This explosive, theatrical frontman of The Angels was an important part of my early years.

I saw the angels last night with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as I sat there with my sister and brother-in-law. Dave Gleeson could not be a better frontman now; comfortable in his own skin and feeling the need to prove nothing.

But fuck I missed the doc. It was very nice that the Brewster Brothers dedicated this song last night to Doc Neeson and Chris Bailey.

And the song. When I first heard it in the 80s I thought of it as a love song to a girlfriend. But as it is for these things I find it equally applies to way I feel about my inner family - my inner circle - these days.

Sure, I am always off on my own tangent. I won't - I can't - smother you, but I would never leave you lost or fending for yourself. My mum gave me the emotional room to make my own stupid decisions for myself, and grow  I knew she was there for me; my biggest fan.

Love takes care of its own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a national treasure, and great value for money.

I like to have balance in the sources of news that I consume. So, I have a subscription to the Australian and to Sky that pretty much takes care of my "right biased" sources although they are often a little more balanced than I would expect. This screenshot is a perfect example.

My right-leaning sources cost me money. Sure, only about $30 a month but my "right" sources are far more expensive than my "left". The government funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation is an extremely cost efficient way for me to get my left leaning news. The price is argued to be something like 15 cents per day - about $5 per month. And for my $5 I listen to a huge amount of talkback radio and have the fantastic iView service. We have Insiders, The Drum, AM, PM, 7.30, and great specials such as the "War on Waste". All of these are top-class journalistic efforts and so much cheaper then the "right wing" content that I buy.

I agree. We should protect our ABC. It's a national treasure.