Showing posts from February, 2015

Listen to understand

Arlington is a city in Virginia, famous for the Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon.  It lies on the River Potomac, directly across the nation's capital Washington DC. In fact, they're so close to each other that to me, they seem to be one city - Washington DC. But they are not, I've been told. So I took a bus to DC and then the metro to Arlington's Crystal City, where the American Management Association has its offices.

The seminar that I chose to attend was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I believe everybody has read the book by Stephen Covey, watched the videos, tried to follow the advice more or less successfully and so have I. But I wanted to find more about how to be more effective, communicate effectively, how to build good relationships with people, good rapport with colleagues, how to model the way, how to motivate and be motivated, how to say no, how to balance the private and professional lives.

There were only six of us and I really enjoyed workin…

Weeks 26 & 27: From the East Coast to the West

Humphrey Fellows are provided with a wonderful opportunity to attend conferences anywhere in the US. With so many educational conferences taking place all over the country we're spoilt for choice. The budget however is not unlimited so careful planning is necessary. I planned a bit too carefully so my conferences didn't go as I had originally planned. As a matter of fact, less than three weeks ago I felt totally discouraged, depressed, pessimistic and let down.

Yet in the end it all turned out well. I just arrived home from my trip across the US - from Washington D.C. through Nashville to San Francisco. Each of these cities, conferences and visits deserves a post of their own, so stay tuned.

Week 25: Wisecrackers and Superbowl

I don't have a TV in my apartment, but Super Bowl watching was organized in the commons area of our community. So with chips and dips, a cosy fireplace and comfy easy chairs, Humphrey fellow Wafaa and  I spent nice 3,5 hours trying to understand the ins and outs of this still incomprehensible sport. Luckily, Croatia won - the coaches of both teams have their family roots in Croatia and the winner will be treated to a vacation in Croatia by the Croatia Tourist Board.

Anyway, the commercials and Katy Perry's halftime performance along with Lenny Kravitz were spectacular and really worth watching. The commercials are unbelievably expensive - my friend Myra told me that the placement cost is $1,500,000 for 30 seconds!!!

This week I was invited to a fundraiser for the Mid State Literacy Council (where I've been doing my community service). It was held in the Wisecrackers Comedy Club where three stand up comedians performed. One of them was Billy Garan, who is extremely talente…