Thursday, July 22, 2010

Becoming a leader

WARNING:  This starts out as more of a rant, but it turns into more phylisophical at the end.
For one of my classes, Facility Management (lovingly referred to throughout the semester as my one hated class), we were put in groups of two, and told to do these huge projects.  One project was to come up with the idea for a facility, and see why it would work in a certain area.  We chose to do a rock climbing gym, and the location here in Rexburg, Idaho.  There was a lot of work to go into it.  A lot of research, and putting things together.  My partner was less than enthusiastic about helping.  Also, he missed classes rather regularly, and had the tact of missing the classes where our teacher talked about the important information going into the papers and the project.  It didn't bother me at first, figuring that he had his half of the work to do, and I had mine. As long as he got his half done, I would be okay with it.  We never met out of class (even though it was highly suggested we meet at least once weekly so that we both know and understand the research that was being done), and we hardly communicated.  Oh, and did I mention that I was the one who made sure that everything got done?  The project came due, and he was supposed to email me his half of the work, and I would put it all together, print it out, and bring it to class.  All night, I looked and I looked for his email... it never came.  Instead, I worked on his half, and pulled some stuff together.  It was a horrible job, but at least it was something.  Happily, I found out later that it was some sort of error in the system, and that he had sent it, I just never got it.  The next project included taking that first project, with all of the research, and all of everything that we had just done, and turning it into an essay.  Again, I was the one who had to make sure that everything got done, to suggest ideas, and to put it all together, and bring it to class.  Lastly, for the final, we had to do a presentation about our facility, and try and sell it to the "board members" (aka, the other members of the class) to get funding for it, and show them why it was a good idea.  I had to email him two or three times just to let him know what all was required for said presentaion, and put it all together.  He just basically looked at it, and presented half of the information.  I'm glad that the partnership is done, and I'm hoping that I learned a lot from it, and how to be a better partner.
After our presentation, I stayed after class to talk to our teacher about the essay, and why it wasn't good, and some extra credit that I had done.  She asked me about the partnership, and then made this comment "But you didn't complain at all..."  It made me think, and wonder.  I did plenty of complaining, to myself, sometimes to my roommates and other friends, but no, she never heard about it.  She was almost asking why, but didn't so I didn't offer the information.  I don't know if I would have had an answer at that point in time anyhow.  I have been thinking about it ever sense.  I think I came up with my answer.  I needed to prove to myself that I could be that leader, that I could take charge in a situation and make things happen.  I did a little bit on my mission, and I saw that change.  But on my mission, my companion was motivated, and wanted to go do the work.  This was different.  My parter had no motivation, and was less than enthusiastic about helping out.  So, I showed to myself that I could do it, that I could be a leader, even when they didn't need it.  And I didn't complain.  If it was a professional setting, I wouldn't be able to complain and have things magically change.  I proved it to myself that I could lead.  I could take charge when I needed to.  This has been especially helpful in the last month or so, in a dating and love life sense.  But that is a completely different story, that I'm not quite sure how it worked.  I'm still processing that one.  But, most important from this experience, I learned that I can lead, and I can do it well.  It isn't with force, and making the other person to do it, but how to lead gently, giving timely reminders, and how to let the other person have some accountability, when they need to take it.  I can't be responsible for their success, and I can't necessarily pull them along.  If it is important to me, I will do the extra work necessary, but I can also let things go, and let the other person be responsible for their half of the work load.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reflecting on life

After realizing that it has been more than a month since I've updated, I figured it might be time to update on my life.  Life has been pretty good, all things considered.  It has definitely been weird, and quite unexpected, but honestly, I don't think I can complain.  I'm excited for classes (and one in particular) to be done with.  But at the same time, I'm also going to miss being here, and seeing people.  I started out the semester dreading it, and trying to avoid my roommates, but now, most of them are good friends, and I know I'm going to miss them.  Two of them are planning on a mission, which I can support, but it also means that I'll see them who knows when again.  Especially since I've gotten a lot worse at keeping in touch with people since coming home from my mission.
In my Experiential Education class, we made a alpha-poem.  You know, those ones where you put a word vertically, and have to fill in horizontally other words dealing with the vertical word, and starting with the letters of the vertical word?  Anyhow, we did that today, with the word Experience, and I think that it fits my life fairly well.
in Every

My life recently has indeed been full of challenges everywhere, and of every shape and kind.  I've been forced to become the leader of a (two person) group project, and pull the other member along to get anything done. this has been a continuing challenge, because I hate being the leader.  I know that i can do it, and this helps to reinforce that in my mind, and so its good for me, I just wish it didn't have to happen.  One of my favorite things that happened this semester was that I got the opportunity to work at a ropes course.  I learned about safety and maintenance,  I learned how to facilitate activities there, I refreshed on some of my knot tying skills, I learned a lot of stuff, and was able to spend some time outdoors, when I otherwise wouldn't have been able to.  This semester has been one of my favorite ones up here.  I didn't have to fight my depression as much as I was expecting to.  I ended up with better experiences, and much better roommates than I expected to.
I'm sad to have it be ended so soon.  I learned a lot this semester.  I grew a lot.  I have had a lot of experiences that I know that I needed to have.  People that I know I needed to meet, and get to know.  Life is good.  How could I complain?