Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I knew that!

I'm in the library, talking to the Aflac representative, who is here from 9-12 to talk to staff. His first question was, what did I know about Aflac? I said I knew it was insurance, but mostly for catastrophic illness or accident coverage. His eyes got wide and he lifted his hand for a High-5 as he exclaimed, "No one has ever used that word to answer me and it is absolutely correct!!" I responded, "well, I am a librarian...I do know some big words..."

(p.s. This was a synchronicity because right before this V had told me of a similar incident that had just happened to her at work)

Monday, September 21, 2009

If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one painting....or, if you could choose from any painting to own (Impressionist, Old Master...no limits!), which would it be? This was a question posed in the book I just checked out called The Gentle Art of Domesticity: stitching, baking, nature, art & the comforts of home, by Jane Brocket (she actually phrased the question, "Which work of art would you happily steal?" but we are assuming there is a fairy god-mother involved here for our benefit...). I've been browsing the 700's off and on all day and couldn't decide--Vermeer? Wyeth? Monet? Then I saw a book of watercolors and decided my choice would have to be a watercolor, because I personally find that medium very difficult and admire those who can pull it off. I was impressed with the works of Xiaogang Zhu, and actually took a gouache class from him once here at Jubilee. Very Difficult. So I think I would like to own Zhu's Red Umbrella over Arched Bridge (above) or his Waiting for Spring. Lovely. Which would you choose?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Must be the thing to do

Reading a Communications Bulletin for Managers and Supervisors, an idea jumped out at me: celebrate mistakes. By encouraging employees to share their errors with the team, everyone would learn from the mistake, and disciplining would be unnecessary. At the same time as I was mulling the merits of this, I was listening to a book on CD: How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer, and found it sychronistic that it contained these similar messages:

  • Self criticism is the secret to self-improvement; negative feedback is the best kind (Bill Robertie, backgammon master)
  • An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in his field (Niels Bohr)
  • Mistakes should be cultivated and carefully investigated
  • Mistakes are the building blocks of knowledge
  • Unless you experience the unpleasant symptoms of being wrong, your brain will never revise its models.

So, I think Celebrating Mistakes may take the place of the Kudos lists I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to encourage with staff. Now I just have to think of a mistake of my own I can publish to get the ball rolling...

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