The ceramics te…

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Quote from Art and Fear shared by a colleague. So, so true. 

new mantra: Make More Pots

Chris has been watching math videos (huh?!), so I tuned in for a few, including this video introducing differential equations. They’re really easy to watch, follow, and learn from, and the instructor is an absolute delight. It’s impressive to see lessons that are considered ‘upper level’ math presented with such ease and in such manageable chunks. I am sad that my last math class was 8 years ago; these mini-lessons are just enough to fill that void for awhile longer!

Even if you’re not a math person, there are videos for you! The Khan Academy is an online-based nonprofit with a mission to make quality education available to everyone. They have nearly 4,000 videos on topics from biology, to animation, to finance, to history. I love the mission and the execution; two thumbs up. Now go learn about differential equations!

Want to go to Mars? Non-profit mission Mars One is looking for a few good Earthlings

Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age, have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful.

Mars One is not seeking specific skill sets such as medical doctors, pilots or geologists. Rather, candidates will receive a minimum of eight years extensive training while employed by Mars One. While any formal education or real-world experience can be an asset, all skills required on Mars will be learned while in training.

They always tell you to shoot for the moon with your career and dreams; I’ll now start to shoot for Mars. I have always wanted to be involved with a nonprofit entrepreneurial venture…

Want to go to Mars? Non-profit mission Mars One is looking for a few good Earthlings

How to Be a Connector

Nine months ago, I shared an article called Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector. Since then, I have developed and offered a class on just that. It’s been a popular class – surprisingly so – and I’ve learned a lot through teaching it. For instance:

  • People have a hard time realizing their existing network.
  • There’s genuine interest in developing stronger connections with people, but fear of going about it the ‘wrong’ way.
  • It’s a tough sell on why you’d want to go out of your way to connect two people with each other, because people want to unveil the hidden agenda.

I’ve also fine-tuned my definition of a Connector, which I think was a huge self-learning for me in 2012. I didn’t previously parse out what exactly makes me a Connector, nor did I think about why it is an asset that I can leverage in my career or otherwise. Here’s how I define it:

Connector is a person who…

  • has lots of great people in their network
  • naturally introduces members of their network to one another
  • is socially fluent
  • is known and respected in their communities

…and who uses that power to bring individuals in their network together constructively and with overall success.

This year, I have embraced this personality trait and run with it, and I’m proud to have connected people over ideas, shared interests, collaborative potential, accountability, research, and resources. I enjoy connecting good people, and am fortunate to have (or to create) many opportunities for doing so. It’s a science, an art, and an energizing delight. 

Most exciting to me is that connecting people unleashes unlimited potential. I can’t wait to see what partnerships, conversation, and social change are sparked through catalytic connection; the power never stops!

Staycation Retreat

It’s official: my staycation through the end ofthe year has begun! I’m hoping to use this as a sort of Jen Bokoff company retreat, where I look at what’s been accomplished this year and determine a strategy for the future across all aspects of my life. It’s a one-person entity, but as you know, I thrive off of the energy of the people around me and recognize that I operate in a much larger ecosystem. So, I always welcome your feedback and thoughts on, well, me. Constructive comments about stuff you know about – maybe my blog, my career path, my productivity/organization, my personal strengths and weaknesses, my ‘extracurriculars’ – are all really great for me to hear and build off of. So, email me or call me or track me down in Brooklyn. Thanks! I’ll now commence my retreat with an icebreaker…

Mobilizer Academy: New Leadership Opportunity

If you know a Millennial interested in developing leadership skills and tackling community needs, join Mobilize.org‘s Mobilizer Academy to get access to training, mentors and fellow Millennial social change-makers. It’s not bound by geography or background; this is a phenomenal opportunity for anyone looking to make a difference. I have extreme confidence in this pilot program and look forward to following participants’ impact over their careers.

Learn more about the program, nominate someone, or apply today at bit.ly/MobilizerApp. And share this opportunity; applications are due December 19.

Meet Dabbler. Brilliant idea. It’s a no brainer to sign up for this latest Brooklyn Brainery venture; for only $2/month, you get a new hobby every month without leaving your home. I have no doubt that each month will have just the right amount of digestible and awesome information, which will consist of “several billion notes, book recommendations, background, how-to’s, a million and one links for further study, and anything else we think you’d find half-useful.”

Yea, this will be a winner. You can participate from anywhere in the world if you have an email account. Subscribe today. Share it today. Start Dabbling in 3 weeks and counting.