Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 13: Passionography and Critique

I left very early last Tuesday morning to drive to MS to visit with my mother.  About an hour into the journey I discovered that I had left my computer at home, so I was not able to get a jump start on my leadership assignment.  This week we had to list our strengths, values, skills, and enlist others to provide us with a list of what our top 5 things they most important to us.  Before I left for MS, I sent out my requests to friends, family, and employees for their feedback on those top 5 things and also requested a short paragraph on how they view my leadership. More on that shortly.

Normal vision
Same view with macular degeneration
Forgetting my computer was at first irritating, but in some ways liberating, as it helped me to spend much more time with Mom on this trip.  This was a tough trip for me as I could tell that my mother has declined since my last visit.  She has dementia and macular degeneration.  The short-term memory loss, declination of her eyesight, and recent changes in her medications have made her more anxious - which is understandable.  It's hard to understand what a person sees with macular degeneration, but I found a good example that helps me understand it better as shown in these pictures from Wikipedia.  In the past, Mom relied heavily on my father to keep her medications straight, to help her navigate when in public, and even cover up her memory issues.  With Dad's passing, my brother keeps her medications straight, but she is not wanting to leave her home much because of her sight and her memory issues.  Thankfully, I was able to convince her to go out to dinner one evening and on another day to visit with her sisters (one of whom has advanced Alzheimer's).  All in all, I'm glad I was able to make the trip and have some quality time with her.  Time went by so fast that I missed visiting her sweet sweet neighbors that are the same as family to us, so I'll have to be more intentional on my next visit.

While in MS, Thursday evening, I had a conference call with my learning team where we discussed our Economics assignment.  We had to critique another learning team's paper and be prepared to turn in that critique this Monday night.  We struggled collectively with the balance of not wanting to be too critical of the other team's paper, while making sure that we were objectively holding them accountable to the criteria that we all had to write our papers.  It was a very productive call and I felt compelled to share with the team just how much I genuinely appreciated them.  For the next few minutes, the rest of the team was sharing with each other their same sentiments.  It was a very nice ending to our phone call that evening.

From: kamyabology.com
Upon my return to Austin, I had to catch up on the work that I couldn't do without my computer.  As I began to read through all of the feedback that others had provided for the passionography assignment, I was humbled and appreciative by what I read.  I found this assignment to be one of the more difficult papers that I've had to write so far.  My main struggle was making sure that I would be true to myself and write exactly how I felt and thought in the paper rather than what I would think is expected.  After mulling this over for almost 5 hours (yes, seriously), I came to realization that there were no expectations on this assignment (except to complete it).  I, then committed to write straight from my heart and see where the paper goes.  After all, this class isn't intended to mold us into any one particular shape, but rather, to allow us to discover who we really are individually and then free us to live it out loud.  An hour and half later, the paper was finished.

This evening's leadership class was quite introspective.  We were put into groups of three with other team members and that allowed us to get to know a couple other people that we don't normally interact with regularly.  We took the time to write out specific milestones in our life that were pivotal moments for us on our leadership journey.  I was astounded and inspired by the transparency the two people in my group.  We each ran out of time while telling our pivotal moment, so I hope to hear the rest of their story soon.  As exhausted as I was physically going into this evening, I find that I really come to life in this class.  I absolutely love this class!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got to spend some much needed time with your mom. Great post- I too had a difficult time writting my paper-Passionography.