Monday, July 28, 2008

O be joyful

Good news folks
Im allowed to redo my design paper extramurally next year. PRAISE GOD! woop woop! So that means I will not be doing my degree part time and I will graduate at the same time as everyone else so long as I keeps my wits a lot better this semester and not screw up.
I dont know. Theres just something so satisfyingly motivating about failure. Dont get me wrong - I was very lucky and I'm not the type of person to be so lighthearted about my career. But it makes me think of Thomas Edison. Brilliant American. Made thousands of mistakes and only a few successes. I like to think that with those few successes he made (which changed technology in the world forever) I bet he learnt to celebrate well. Old school music, vintage wine, party games mmmMmmm. That is how I'm thinking right now and boy am I joyful. My partner is also happy about this because it means he doesnt have to wait more that 3 years for me to come home (hes in Christchurch I'm in Dunedin).

Second happy thing to report: I am so far on top of my papers. Considering I'm redoing one this semester this is excellent stuff.

Still practicing my finger spelling. Though to be honest I do a lot of it in private or when I'm bored or waiting etc. Need to work on my vowels I think. Ive keep mixing up the english version of A,E,I,O,U to the Japanese version of A,I,U,E,O (I can speak a little Japanese).

Also: My homestay has gone through yay!! So in two weeks I'm going to Auckland to work at a stroke rehab clinic. I'm really excited as I'm really facinated with this line of work and I've also never worked in a community setting before. Looking forward to it. My blessing is that the woman who I'm going to live with, lives in the same suburb as the clinic. How rare is that?! Im gonna save so much on petrol. The downside is that board costs are a lot more than I earlier thought which leaves only $50 left for myself out of my $1000 grant. Dammit! No new pair of sneakers for me then...

Had two tutorials today. Both pretty much the same topics: Leadership styles in client groups and client/colleague consultation. I have to do some quiz that tells me what kind of leader I am. To finish off this blog I already found the answer to that in a quote I found in Time magazine about Nelson Mandela's rules of Leadership:

"Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front"
Mandela loved to reminisce about his boyhood and his lazy afternoons herding cattle. "You know," he would say, "you can only lead them from behind." He would then raise his eyebrows to make sure I got the analogy.

As a boy, Mandela was greatly influenced by Jongintaba, the tribal king who raised him. When Jongintaba had meetings of his court, the men gathered in a circle, and only after all had spoken did the king begin to speak. The chief's job, Mandela said, was not to tell people what to do but to form a consensus. "Don't enter the debate too early," he used to say.

During the time I worked with Mandela, he often called meetings of his kitchen cabinet at his home in Houghton, a lovely old suburb of Johannesburg. He would gather half a dozen men, Ramaphosa, Thabo Mbeki (who is now the South African President) and others around the dining-room table or sometimes in a circle in his driveway. Some of his colleagues would shout at him — to move faster, to be more radical — and Mandela would simply listen. When he finally did speak at those meetings, he slowly and methodically summarized everyone's points of view and then unfurled his own thoughts, subtly steering the decision in the direction he wanted without imposing it. The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too. "It is wise," he said, "to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea."

I would so love to have that man as a grandad...

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