Confessions of a leadership stalker

I have a few problems. They’re serious too.

  • Book ADD
  • YouTube ADD
  • Blog ADD
  • Podcast ADD

If I hear about a speaker, author, pastor, etc. on a podcast or blog, I will immediately go to the library’s website and see how many of their books are available to check out.

Then I go to YouTube and find all of the videos of them speaking.

Then I go to the podcasts site and find all the podcasts.

Then I go to their website and blog.

I'm holding you hostage for your knowledge!

I’m holding you hostage for your knowledge!

This is called leadership stalking. (No, it’s not in any official medical journals, but it should be.)

My illness is in overdrive this week because of the Influence and Impact Summit (link below).

Nothing will stop me from this craziness. I just want to learn from this person–right now!

If your list of acceptable teachers can fit on a Post It note, you need to upgrade to a larger piece of paper.

There’s nothing wrong with having a big pool of teachers. I am a big believer in learning from those around me.

And, a note to my Christian friends who are afraid to broaden their horizons, if you apply common sense and your Jesus Filter (aka The Bible) you can learn from anyone.

In today’s world, there’s no reason for us to not be learning.

You will never arrive at a place where you know it all. No one likes a know it all anyway!

We have so much information at our fingertips that a 13th century monk would be crying if he ever came back for a visit.

Take advantage of all available resources, especially when they’re free!

Don’t be afraid to become an ADD learning junkie.

There are gifts inside of you that the world needs.

Now, get busy learning how to use them.

Influence and Impact Summit:

Remembering a great teacher

One of my former English professors passed away. He was battling multiple myeloma (cancer of the blood plasma).

Dr. Chris Hokanson was a great man and a wonderful teacher.

At first he intimidated me because of his credentials:

B.A., Stanford University
M.Ed., Harvard; M.A.
Ph.D. Indiana University

My first thought was, “I’m going to fail a few classes this semester.”

I quickly discovered, though, that Dr. H wasn’t an academic elitist, ever boasting about his superior education.

He was a quiet, yet confident man who wanted all of his students to reach their full potential.

ChrisHokansonDuring class discussions, Dr. H made an effort to point out your good thoughts and comments. Sometimes he’d even say, “That would make a great topic for your paper!”

(Any time a professor says an idea is a good paper topic, you’d be foolish not to take the suggestion and run.)

Even when I turned in a horrible draft–probably written at 2 AM–for review, he never complained. Sure, he’d joke about the noticeably poor quality of my work, but he always ended by saying that it was well on it’s way to being a great paper.

Dr. H took an interest in his students’ lives beyond the classroom doors.

When my dad came to visit me at Judson (our first meeting), I was late turning in a paper–really, really late. Dr. H asked me how everything was going and offered me an extension.

I deserved an automatic “C” yet I was granted an extension…

Many Judson girls have similar stories. Whether it was a family crisis, sickness, or just general slacking, Dr. H was gracious. He always gave students the benefit of the doubt.

Judson College will not be the same without Dr. Hokanson. He will be greatly missed by faculty, staff, and students alike.

When the Chalk Dust Settles…

I am not a big fan of standardized tests.

Trying to measure intelligence using torture devices such as Scantrons and stuffy, windowless rooms is downright mean. Plus, people go into testing all stressed out because of high expectations. At least, that’s how I felt before every standardized test from elementary school through college. My stress level was through the roof!

It seemed as if the fate of my life rested on if I knew the circumference of a circle or the antonym of ambivalent or the number of protons in Californium.

Please do not take me as an opponent of education or as a slacker who has a vendetta against the education system. I am being a bit hyperbolic in order to prove a point about measuring success. I can remember time after time of cramming before tests and realizing a few weeks later that I did not remember anything. Though it’s quite shameful to admit now, at the time it didn’t matter whether I actually knew the material, only that I could regurgitate the correct answers.

Is it possible that by focusing on test results the quality of education is eroding?  

Some argue that if students were truly passionate, they would want to learn. Others say that teachers are burned out, so they do not make the subject matter fun. The political nuts scream out against corrupt politicians who are stealing money and robbing our children of a proper education. All of these answers have elements of truth, but I do not think that any one issue can be held solely responsible for the problem.

When the chalk dust settles, the real problem is plain: Both adults and children desire the riches of success and the expertise of professionals without putting in the work needed to achieve either.

By teaching children to expect something for nothing, I’m afraid that future generations, beginning with mine, are doomed to fail.