Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lessons Learned Together

I just finished grading the final reflection papers for our class. I love my students! My students aren't at a brother/sister relationship, but they are people that I care about a lot. All I want to see is them succeed and grow.

From there papers I saw three major themes that they learned from the class as a whole:
1) Servant Leader-leading isn't the man in front but the man willing to work
(PS-the word serve, or any derivative of it, was used 64 times in their papers)
2) Time-as college students, life is hectic and I feel that everyone picked one thing that they could do better to get more balance in there life
3) Hawthorne Effect-seeing others how they can become

Quotes from students papers:
"For me, this drove home the point that I need to be the kind of person I want those following me to be..."
"We each can serve as leaders and grow together because of a good experience;"
"I tried to really focus on the Savior and how he would serve them."
"The smiles on their faces is something that will stick out to me from this semester..."
"Being nice to people has made me so much happier this semester."
"We all have something to offer no matter how small it may seem to be at the time."
"I learned that a team must be totally and completely unified in purpose and desire in order for setbacks to be conquered."
"Patience and self application must come first before we can begin to try to influence others."
"Service is something that always makes me feel happier in life."
"There was work involved but I never felt like it was a chore."
"In servant leadership a person is more of a facilitator...You are a facilitator of good things like utilizing talents, uplifting people and helping everyone reach a common goal."
"This leadership course has given me more confidence in myself to be a great leader."

Gems I took from their papers:

-Did you meet your original plan? No, but you accomplished what you really wanted-We sometimes let the specifics over shadow what we really want. Remember Why-What-How? In other words we start to think the how is what we want and forget the why. We get frustrated when the how doesn't go to plan or we meet opposition along the way to OUR how, but the best part is when you get to the end you actually accomplish the why, just in a different way.

-Facilitating is letting someone act. Not giving the load or burden, but room and time to think and act.
-Just about everyone said this was there favorite class or one of there most inspirational classes-My only comment is, if it really has left such an impression, take the glimmers from you reflections and make some goals around them so you don't loose your desire.

-A leader starts by leading his own life.

-"Provo is our home while we are here'progress isn't given all at once."- I have a tough time with Provo, when I come back from Arkansas and Boston, two places that will probably be better, I'm going to focus on making Provo my home while I'm here. :)

-Almost every group faced opposition in there project, that's when leadership qualities came out and were applied. That's when learning took place.

-Seeing who people can become doesn't precede the effort and work it takes to get there

-Optimism isn't always instant. We can recognize and be upset about what is happening, but we think through it for ourselves, then we can choose to be affected or move forward

-My favorite thing was seeing learners becoming the teacher. I just love seeing my students doing what I did. I'm just like them. I'm a student at BYU. I'm trying to be a better person. I want to be happy. I just was blessed to share my story and leadership principles from my perspective, then in class or in there groups it was there turn to shine. My only regret is not getting to watch them shine in there groups.

-In reading the papers I saw the words "I think", "I feel", "I learned", and different variations of those terms. What was cool is a thought I had about I think/feel vs I learned. I think/feel is more theory based. It is knowledge presented that is desired or hoped for in an individuals life. It isn't applied or understood knowledge. I learned is something that has been applied. It is something that one has experienced or seen and knows that it makes a difference.

I wish my students the best graduating, going on missions, and those continuing on in school! Good luck friends!

Stay tuned for the Summertrain 2013!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CONFLICT-Good or Bad?

Have you ever had sour patch kids! They are sweet and they are sour. Sound a little like conflict? I think so!

Have you ever gone through these 
and then found one of these
Yeah, not every day do you find a Swedish Fish in a bag of Sour Patch Kids. I just want you to imagine how great this experience is. Sour Patch Kids are my FAVORITES! I could eat them for days and days and days (until I my tongue gets burnt out). I'm very familiar with the looks of them; big head, mini body. One day as I was eating away, I found a fish in my bag! Not any fish, but a Swedish Fish! It wasn't like the one above. It was covered in the sour powder! I wanted to eat it so bad, but when's the last time you got one of those. So I kept it. That was 3 years ago and I still have it!

What does this have to do with conflict? A wise men once told me, "There is a lot of fish in the sea!" That was after things didn't go so well with a girl, but he was right. There are a lot of fish in the sea, but there aren't a lot of Sour Sweedish Fish and when you find one you want to hold on to it. 

Sooooo, there is this girl. She's great! She is so nice. She is fun and funny. She is spiritual. She is pretty. She's the whole thing! You don't meet a girl like that every day (name that movie)! I went on another date with her this last Saturday. We went to the Jazz game and then went back to her place and just chilled for a little bit. When I was driving home that night from Salt Lake City, I had a lot of time to think about the date and this girl. It really hit me: NOT A LOT OF "FISH" LIKE THAT IN THE SEA! I really like her and I felt like she needed to know, but you know what that means.......CONFLICT. 

Now you be the judge of whether conflict is GOOD or BAD. I'm going to relate the account with no bias, you decide. Then I will reveal what strategy I ended up using in the conflict:

I let her know we needed to talk. I was planning on driving up to Salt Lake Monday night. She ended up coming down to Provo. She picked me up. We drove around talked about some fun April Fools Day things then parked the car and started to talk. After a little introduction I came right out and told her I liked her a lot! I think she is awesome. It's not every day that you get to meet a girl like her. Then I asked her how she felt. She said she felt the same. She said she really liked me and that I'm the kind of guy she is looking for; however, right now a relationship is not right. She said she just doesn't know where she stands. The fact that she has just got back from a mission 3 months ago, she doesn't know how to deal with all of "this". The whole dating scene seems scary and she isn't really ready to jump into everything. I told her if she was willing I would be 100% in today, but seeing how she isn't it makes me feel good as well that I don't have to rush anything and neither does she, but I would be willing to wait until she feels comfortable. Then she said I shouldn't "wait" for her. We should just keep being friends. She doesn't want to ruin a friendship that we have. She didn't want to disappoint me. Which I really appreciate, but I said, it's all a risk no matter which way you slice it. We both know we like each other and where ever it goes now, one of us might be disappointed with the ending, but that shouldn't keep us from trying. As we talked we knew it was CLEAR that neither of us felt comfortable diving into anything, but (from my perspective) I feel that she was leery about dating in general and I felt like I was ready to date but it was bad timing. 


Now in conversation we definitely made a compromise. 

Compromise-suggests workable middle-ground positions. When win-win can not be found, compromisers suggest acceptable temporary solutions. Their style is helpful in finding fair workable settlements. 
I think this was good. I didn't feel like one or the other needed a solid answer that night nor do I feel it would have been right to make a decision or dig deeper. We scratched the surface and compromised that we liked each other and should keep hanging out. 

The unsettled terms of the future, only time will tell. I don't know how she envisions the future or how she will chose to resolve the conflict of dating in her own personal life, but I have chosen at this time to be an Accommodater. 

Accommodater-compassion and generosity can serve an important interpersonal relations role--as a kind of shock absorber for the group when it undergoes stress. Accommodaters help to maintain goodwill and trust. They provide psychological support and a sympathetic ear and can serve as peace makers to restore harmony. Their style helps soothe hurt feelings and resentment. I'm going to be a friend. Whatever she needs, I'll be there for her. 

I will be 100% honest, it wasn't easy to choose to be an accommodater. It was a decision that had to be made. It was either accommodater or avoider. Avoiders are sensitive to time expense and stress of conflict issues. Their caution can help steer clear of conflict issues that might take up more time than they merit. This is VERY appealing to me. If you knew some of the things I've been through recently you would choose to be avoider, hands down. You might even think I was stupid if you knew, but something says the past is the past. It's time to try something new, lets accommodate, move forward, and see what the future holds.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Real Learning

Start Here-
Have paper and pen?
Any point through this blog if you feel like you need to write something down I invite you to do it.
If you feel like you need to stop and ponder I invite you do it. 
Let's begin:

We all are good. We all have power.

Because you have power what do you feel you can accomplish?

Do you have to go to school to get where you want to go?
Probably to keep up with society. 
But why can't we fix the crashing plane in the air?

I'm not a robot. You can't force feed me. I am an agent. I can make my own choices and decisions.
What would make learning better for you?

So, if you could ask any question now, what would it be?

If you want to find your answer, it's going to take more time. Want to keep going?

What do you feel like you should do?


Real Learning (con't)


Did you learn anything? If you did, how did you learn it?

The Holy Ghost is the Teacher. 
We are his helper. 

If you have learned something, will you share with me what you learned in a single sentence? 
This is a pattern I want to learn and perfect. I strongly believe in it.
If you didn't learn anything, will you share with me what would have helped you learn in a single sentence? 
(sentence in the comments)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dilemma (Ex:1)

There is an apartment of 6 guys: James, David, Bailey, Ty, Andrew, and Ian. Each of these fine gentlemen love to eat chips and salsa. They go through 3 bags of Juanitas and 1 large bottle of salsa just about every week. If they are lucky their salsa will last about two weeks, but that is if they are lucky.

In their apartment they share ALL their food. Ian may buy the groceries one we week and then they split it. Then maybe the next week James will go get the groceries and they all split it. It creates a unity in their apartment, but there is always a debate who should go get groceries. The greater debate though comes into the picture when they run out of chips and salsa before they need to get groceries again.

A week ago Andrew went to go buy groceries. When he went he bought all the favorite foods, most importantly he bought two bags of chips, but no salsa because there was plenty when he left. Ty and Bailey just got home from a long hard day at school. It's about 3:00 p.m. and they are famished and all they want are chips and salsa.  They look through the cupboards and the fridge. They realize that there is not enough chips and salsa for the both of them. There is only about a small bowl of chips left, mainly crumbs and MAYBE a half bowl of salsa left. Bailey says he will let Ty have the chips and salsa. Very grateful, Ty accepts. Ty finishes the chips and salsa and Bailey eats a sandwich. As they eat they get to talking about where all the chips and salsa went. Ian and James ate chips and salsa last night during a movie. They  ate plentifully (Leaving nothing for the next person)! They also remember David went to visit his family last night and said on the way back he would go to the grocery store on the way home to get some things they NEEDED. David came back with milk and bread, but no chips and salsa. Who is to blame? Who is the cause for the lack of chips and salsa? Who should go to the store to buy more chips and salsa?

Andrew-He could have bought more in the first place
Bailey-He let Ty eat the chips and salsa, therefore he forced the responsibility on Ty. He couldn't have had a sandwich if David didn't buy the bread
Ty-He accepted Bailey's offer and He finished the chips
Ian and James- worked together to leave absolutely nothing for the next person. Do you like it when you are left with the crumbs
David-He said he was going to the store knowing that chips and salsa were low

You be the judge.

James, David, Ian, Andrew, Ty, Bailey

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Light is Everywhere (Part II)

Do you believe that every one has something good inside? I do. Sometimes it may seem harder to find in some people rather than others. As children of God we all have great potential to shine bright and to do good. We don't know everything that people are going through or where they may have been in their lives. I know I have had my share of tough days and weeks and may have been cranky. If you met me for the first time that day you may think, "What a jerk!" You might actually be right, but my mom would beg to differ. She has been around me since day one. She has seen my jerk side and my good side and she still loves me. That motherly love is what we need to practice in day to day living. We meet new people everyday and we judge from the get go. What if we started out by giving someone the benefit of the doubt and second chances from the start? What if we started to see others as they may become?

Awesome w/old people, Very thoughtful, Creative!, Kind, Nice Smile, Really Sweet, Happy, Sweet, Honest

Funny, facebook fanatic, great smile, Confident, spunky, Fun, Makes people feel comfortable, Outgoing, friendly, Thoughtful, Scottish and awesome accent

Dedicated, Hard Worker, Really Nice!!!, Responsible, Smart, Kind, Professional, Observant

Happy, great leader!, sincere, charitable, inspirational, Really Cool, wise, good example

Friday, February 15, 2013

Light is Everywhere (Part I)


Today we decided to share how much we care about each other. It's important to know how good we really are. We sometimes beat ourselves up in the process of becoming. We see all of our flaws and compare them to the greatness of others. If we can look at ourselves for who we are now, especially in the light that we are children of God blessed and destined for greatness, then we will be ever more motivated and guided in our journey of becoming. Elder Richard G. Scott said  , "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." If we see ourselves in the good we are "being" think about how much greater and more consistent our journey of becoming will be. 

Stunning, Happy, Motivated, Bright, Personality, Inspiring and Devoted, Smiles a lot, Passionate, Committed Friendly, Optimistic

Beautiful, Happy, Thoughtful, NEVER Negative, Sweet-makes everyone feel comfortable,  Bright, Sooooo Friendly, Very Welcoming, Happy

Outgoing, Hard-working, Motivated, easy going, wise, dedicated, Responsible

Chill, Hard Working, passionate, Impressive, Trendy, dedicated, super nice, Driven, Cute

Fun, Nice, thoughtful, :) Sweet, Driven, Hard-working, Intelligent, Beautiful inside and out, inviting

Creative, Inspiring, Generous, Super nice, Awesome, Smart, Beautiful
ps Kory wrote about his great roommate now married to Rachel

This is only half of my MAGNIFICENT class.  Aren't they great. The rest will be "appearing" next week in Part II. Stay tuned.  

Behind the Scenes

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Live Life

This last week I sent out the question for the blog to my class. I told them that Tamara Gray, our speaker this week, has left a huge impact on my life. Especially when talking about time management. Tamara doesn't see time management as a way of "making, finding, buying more time". She stresses the importance of slowing down, not over scheduling, and not multitasking.

I love this perspective. Ever since I have been home from my mission I haven't really been a huge fan of multitasking. The closest I get to multitasking is listening to music or a book while I'm driving, cooking, doing more relax homework.

I hope this doesn't become a soap box, but I have a really hard time with the invitation to slow down. I think it is the best invitation that can be given in this time and age (as you will see from President Uchtdorf), but those who receive the invitation believe it is just a far off dream that they can never reach or obtain. People feel like they are in so deep with whatever they are doing (work, school, or hobbies) that they are so convinced that they can't get out.

As I have been talking with and observing fellow college students, I have seen that there is no humanly possible way to accomplish everything at school and still live LIFE. Let's make a pile of to-dos and responsibilities that come with being a student at BYU. There is tuition (one of the cheapest-I can't imagine this process for another student at another university).  If there is tuition then there must be a means by which it is payed. It could be through a scholarship which gives a learner full time to focus attentions on school. Seeing how a small percentage of college students receive a scholarship we must move to grants and loans.Those help, but sometimes they are not enough and as for loans they must be paid off. Most people in this situation are working a part-time, if not full time job. In that job there are responsibilities that must be met. If those responsibilities aren't met, then you are looking at being fired or feeling guilty for not being able to give it all you have. If a student is working, they must be willing to sacrifice some of the time that is necessary for effective study and preparing for classes. Each class has a syllabus full of to-dos. Depending on your classes, you are either bombarded with daily homework assignments or you are given assigned reading for class. Which if you look at the majority of my readings and at the pace I read it would easily take me 2-4 hours just for a fast pace reading a lone. There are a few more things that some classes may throw at you during the semester just to make it more interesting. Now wait, if you are a BYU student you most likely have a calling. A calling that does ask for attention. That could range from preparing programs, teaching a class, or at least home and visiting teaching for everyone. And if you attend the same services and programs I do, you may receive a strong admonition to date. If you can keep up at this pace you might find yourself in a relationship that will now not only demand time, but honestly some emotional stress as well. But that's OK,  if you skip the dating scene then you have plenty of activities to choose from: ward, apartment, campus activities, campus games and events, movies, community events, the list can go on! This doesn't even include the time we spend on YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix just to stay sane or the time you spend eating. 

  • School: Full-time student status12-18 hrs
  • Work: Part-time2-4 hrs daily/Full-time 8 hrs daily
  • Homework: EASY-5 hours (when done all the way/don't forget the all the TA help you can receive too!)
  • Callings:1-3 hrs a week (can be more)
  • Social life: 1-2 hrs daily (depends on the status of the relationship can go up or down)
  • Activities: Limitless opportunities!
  • Sane: 1-2 hrs daily. 
  • Eating:1-2 hrs daily. 

None of the numbers are hard or solid evidence, put a guest-amation of  what I picture the reality of college life. It is apparent that something is left out of the many options of what is asked or even sometimes demanded from us. 

Now, I want to make one thing clear. I am very  grateful for the blessing and opportunity I have been given to be at a great college where I can be pushed to become better and "smarter". I believe that God has had his hand in me being here so that I can make it through "the system" that exist today, but we are blind if we don't see the problem that exist. We are insane if we don't do anything about it. I simply say I'm going to start by taking control of my life first. President Utchdorf, in his video, pointed to the Savior as the example. I ask what he asked, "[Can you] imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished[?] I can't see it. Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vision for a New Year

I'm so happy to share that I am going around the leadership class again. This time though, I am privileged to be the Teaching Assistant. That means I get to plan the lab for our class and observe the progress of the great students in the class!

I've been a little nervous because last semester the class was mainly freshman and I was the oldest one in the class, but this time I am one of the youngest and I'm supposed to try to "teach" them principles of leadership. This is the great thing about REAL LEARNING. There are two principles we learn in Doctrine and Covenants about teaching and learning:

1) D&C 88:122-Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privellege.
  • Simply put, I'm not in charge of the class nor am I qualified by any credentials to tell anyone in my class what to do or how to be a leader. What I do know is I have been "appointed" as a teacher. A teacher creates an environment to learn and where all can speak.
2) D&C 50:22-Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. 
  • I don't have to be the "talking head" at the front of the class room. I can be and will be one that learns from my students so that we can be edified and rejoice together. 
Since two weeks before the new year I've been working on establishing a vision. I haven't established a vision or a mission statement yet that has been motivating. I have though been seeking earnestly. That may be what you call my mission: To seek earnestly and find what direction I need to go in my life. Why am I taking so much time in seeking. I honestly believe that God has a plan for me and I want to follow it (vision-why).  

I have kept close to me, as well, advice my Dad gave me, "Make sure you do what you love. Find something you are passionate about and do that for a living." That's just what I'm going to do.

To be honest I have been trying to find what I love and what I want. I'm confident I will find it. I'm willing to take all year pursuing what I love and what I want. Then I will know, come next year, I will know where I'm going.

In pursuit I have already spoken to an academic counselor. He advised me to go to some classes just to get a feel for some potential interests I may have. He also advised me to go and interview some professors. I have created a list. I feel like I need to add a few more. Then I will make the appointments. By the end of next week Feb 10 I will have the classes planned to go to and the professors scheduled to meet.