Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finals week - a bit of reflection

Well, I'm almost done with finals after my first semester of graduate school. Thankfully, I have not gotten that trademark finals head cold that has been my friend in the past. Last night, I was so blessed by a friend. Knowing that I have been holed up writing papers and taking tests, he came by with a 12 pack of Diet Coke, a nacho making kit, and candy. It made my day. I was really blessed by it. Now, if I could get rid of the tummy ache from combining nachos and Swedish fish in the middle of the night I'd be golden.

I've been trying to look back on my semester and see where I have grown. I am thankful to report that my money seems to have been well spent. I have learned so much about myself and my vocation that I can scarcely begin to elaborate. I think I will still be unpackaging what I've learned this semester years from now.

I would like to put out a general apology to the universe for one thing I have learned. I am a horrible listener. I flat out suck at conversations. I hope that you out there in the cosmos accept my apology and trust that I am working on changing there. A few weeks ago I journaled this about being a horrible conversationalist:

I have known for sometime that I have much to learn about conversations. My personal assessmentbrought out character defects that manifest themselves in conversation. Several of Dr. Redman's do's and don'ts hit home for me. Even though I try really hard not to, I often appear to be talking down to people. or to present myself as superior, or to be a know it all. I get excited and want to converse about everything and anything with anyone. I can be a bit overwhelming in that. I pick at things to understand them. People don't like being picked at; don't like having their logic questioned. It takes people time to get to know me, to understand that I see the world through questions, and that I show I care through conversation and question (among other things).

I interrupt too much, think about what I'm going to say before the other person finishes, and assume I know what someone else is going to say. I understand that I am weak in all these areas and am working on them.

I am trying to envision conversation like a dance. I must be in tune with my partner, moving with them as opposed to against them, with a common direction in mind. If I move too quickly, or too slowly, I will step on toes, fall out of rhythm, and lose sight of the beauty and purpose of the dance.

...or, to put it in terms of comic books, only villains monologue, and it's almost always their downfall.

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