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Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Nobody gets to be wrong

It's hard to overemphasize the numbing effect of perfectionism on my life. It is all too easy for me to simply avoid doing something that I haven't done before, rather than fail at it. Even with all my improv training, I am ridiculously attached to getting things right.

And it stops me, all the time, from creating and interacting with the world. So here is a self-acceptance exercise at work...an imperfect post...

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Monday, May 28, 2012



All people are social. Even introverts need to touch down in the real world in order to get supplies of physical, mental, and spiritual food. We need to know we are real, embodied, and human, and the only way to know this is through interaction with others.

Gifted people often feel that they are reaching towards something that others cannot touch. As most people are reasonably content with their status quo, they don't understand why dissatistfaction exists for a gifted person. They can only give input on the level of their personal satisfaction. This means while on the outside a gifted person may appear to have it made, or have clear "issues", the root cause inside may be a lack of clear feedback and communication about what is present at the deepest levels.

When you are gifted, it is critical to get feedback and validation at the developmental level you are working on. The only people who can provide that are people who have already been there. This is why, in order to embrace a gifted identity, gifted children and adults must be able to speak and hear and be with each other. The elders must demonstrate and model how to manage the many sensitivities and overexcitablities that can overwhelm a gifted child.

This is the safe and nuturing world of the school I am creating.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Yes, I'm back! Not dead! What on earth can I say about it? And why now?

I just read a blog post here and a light went on. I lost so much of myself in my now-dead marriage, and it's time to reclaim it. Luckily I have a stowaway son who reminds me daily that I'm still in here.

Anyway I'm going to settle in slowly, with my latest poem. Then I'll begin unpacking.

Bird Music

Listen to that bird sing
That bird be jammin
Rockin it out on the edge man
Singing like a mofo
Respecting the legends
Honouring the ancestors
In its own groove
Can't hear most of the genius
With my lame person-ears
My slow person-mind
And it's still platinum
What kind of music
Does that bird listen to

Friday, August 18, 2006


Strange Conclusions

I was thrilled to read this post by the Drs. Eide about a reworking of the oft-quoted study where four-year-old children are given a choice. In the 1960s version, they were left alone in a room with a marshmallow, and told that they could have one marshmallow now, or wait 20 minutes and have two marshmallows. The conclusion usually drawn is that those children who chose not to wait have poor impulse control; and they examined their SATs at 18 and found that they scored lower. Here's the wiki, incomplete but better than nothing.

Anyway this experiment and the conclusions drawn from it about impulse control and emotional intelligence have always bothered me. As a kid, I can quite easily see me not believing a strange adult in a white coat when they told me this story about getting two marshmallows - eventually. Or, believing that my ability to charm the second marshmallow out of them regardless of whether I ate the first or not would save the day. I actually didn't even like marshmallows as a kid, and most probably I would have just sat there with it for 20 minutes, perhaps seeing how small I could squish it or pretending it was an alien or using it as an ear plug. But eating it? Nah.

Now I never took the SATs but I bet I would have screwed their curve right up, as a gifted kid with a huge imagination and an attitude to match. And I bet there are thousands more reasons why a four-year-old might decide to eat a marshmallow, or not, to do with their past experience of strange adults, or even experience with their own inconsistent parents or caregivers. There are plenty of ways to be in the world and most of them are "successful" by one standard or another. The issue here, I think, is which children were more suited to the standard systems and procedures, which involve standard motivations and actions, which are rewarded by standard tests like the SAT. I bet they never had a check-box for "Ate marshmallow. Had a twenty-minute tantrum, inducing mother to buy second marshmallow from research assistant."

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Friday, August 11, 2006


Moved to Calgary

Thanks to Anonymous for pointing out that I haven't even mentioned my move to Calgary on this blog. There's a bit of a story to this....

We decided to move to Calgary and we found a great place for the beginning of May. Now I have my own office in the basement which is great! We have a lot more house for our money here, and I'm loving this town. So why didn't I mention it?

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed a big swatch of nothingness in April and May as we made our move. I felt completely discombobulated by the whole process and I didn't want that feeling to tinge my business. I had no idea how to handle telling people I was leaving the province while convincing them that I am willing to travel anywhere to give workshops. I still don't, although I love to travel - in fact I'm off to Minneapolis tomorrow to do just that.

It seems like a trivial reason now, but what can I say, fear is always irrational. I have those business guru gremlins in my head who are whispering nonsense about stability and establishing a market presence and the value of predictabilty, and this time I listened. Thanks again to Anonymous for making me "come out". Beware listening to your fear!

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006


New Project

Hey guys, guess what! I got a new gig!

I'm going to be teaching communications part-time, on contract, at SAIT starting in a couple of weeks. This is extremely thrilling for many reasons, not least the impact it will have on my cash flow and my social circle here in Calgary.

I am concerned, however, that there will be a whole segment of my experience that I probably shouldn't blog about if I want to keep the job. It's one of those big institutions that I assume has a policy about this kind of thing, and I don't want to get fired for talking about work in public like my dear bloggers Dooce and Meg. I have railed against this unreasonable restriction on free speech here, but now that it might be my neck on the chopping block, I'm feeling a lot less brave.

However, this fear does not extend to the way I'm going to teach these courses. I'm going to make this required first-year course a total blast and substantive learning experience for my students. Everything I have done so far in my business and life has been pointing toward this and it's shown up just in time to save me from having to go back to executive assistant work. I'm going to be able to continue building my coaching business and finish my book, because it's part time. And there's more than enough new work and new people to keep me interested!

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Monday, August 07, 2006


SENG Conference - Part 4

The last thing I simply must share with you was my experience of watching Annemarie Roeper give a presentation on the first evening. It was the most electric, real, and useful session of the whole conference.

The topic was "Growing Old Gifted". There was a great anticipation of her speech because she has been highly influential in the field of gifted education, and shows no signs of stopping now. A tiny elderly lady dressed in white, she was introduced and the interview format began.

Annemarie began to talk as she had planned but soon ditched her format and began to cry. She had just heard the news that she was to be a great-grandmother - that one of her granddaughters is pregnant. This overwhelmed her with emotions. She was profoundly grateful that she had been saved from the Nazis by the incredibly courageous actions of her late husband, and deeply touched that her family and work was allowed to flower in the US as a result. The happy news took her to unexpected memories and a tracing of connections in her life that had made it possible. A reasoned exposition of getting older as a gifted person became impossible - and unnecessary - as she explained to us why this event meant so much to her.

It was the most beautiful thing to witness her presence and emotion - the reality of being gifted, the great sensitivity and deep feeling than so often occur in this population, leading to a keen awareness of the beauty and fragility of life. It was a rare example of someone exposing their giftedness and being extremely vulnerable in front of 400 people. It was true leadership.

Afterwards, I thanked Annemarie for her session and she expressed her disappointment at her performance because she hadn't given any information about growing old gifted, as she had planned. As I said to her, that's why it was so incredibly valuable. She didn't tell us; she showed us.

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