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Posts Tagged ‘Work’

Today is a national holiday in the United States which commemorates the life of civil rights leader (Martin Luther King, Jr.)  who sought to bring “equality under law” to all citizens of our country.  One of the ways he sought to do this was by bringing dignity and equality to ALL work – not just for the well educated or the well paid – but for all who work their best and make our nation a better society for it.  The pursuit of excellence (“doing your best”) in any endeavor uplifts us all.  The following are two quotes expressing this idea:
 
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
 
    —     Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
 
    —     Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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On This Day In:
2022 What Do You See?
2021 Lite It Up
  Some Day
2020 No Answers Yet
  120 Day Health / Weight Update (Jan 2020)
2019 Stationary Target
2018 And Firmly
2017 Nearer My Goal To Thee
2016 Relatively Simple Actions
2015 And Yet, You Did
2014 Difficult Learning
2013 Four Things To do
2012 When I Was Young…
  Emergence
   

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It takes time to live.  Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about.
    —     Albert Camus
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On This Day In:
2021 A Loss Of Happiness
Early Boy Band Choreography
2020 Wear A Damn Mask!
I Can’t Stay For Long
Boxing (#2): First Lessons
2019 A Surprisingly Good Way
It’s Official X-mas (Tree) At Home
2018 Weight / Health Update
What’s Happening With You?
2017 The Great Leveler
Conservative Depressions
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.  The money is the gravy.
    —    Bette Davis
[It normally takes seven to seven and a half years of retirement for the average American to “recover” all of the funds paid into their Social Security retirement funds during their forty odd years of work.  I’m well over half-way there and looking forward to the gravy!    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Four Down, Three To Go
It Still Ain’t
Boosted
2020 Three Down, Four To Go
Twenty-Four ‘Til You
2019 Two Down, Five To Go
2018 Year One, Done!
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

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Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions…, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.
    —     Teresa Amabile
I’m just paid to do whatever I want to do.  Some of the time it’s development, and some of the time it’s just goofing off.
    —    Larry Wall
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On This Day In:
2021 I Better
The Way I Will
2020 Necessary Events
2019 I May Have Started Too Soon
2018 But Me
2017 A Little More, Please
2016 In Full Vigor
2015 A Good Lad
2014 Who Dare Not Speak
2013 I Love Beer
2012 Trial By Jury
2011 First Class
Got Knowledge?

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Feynman Learning Technique:
1)  Take a piece of paper and write the concept’s name at the top.
2)  Explain the concept using simple language (show examples to demonstrate you know how the concept works)
3)  Identify problem areas in your explanation or examples and then go back to the sources to review the material / concept
4)  Pinpoint any complicated terms and challenge yourself to simplify them.
Several days ago, I posted a quote and made a comment about excellence in teaching.  (Why We Have So Few Personal Favorites )  Basically, my proposition was that it is extremely difficult to evaluate the competence and productivity of a teacher because of the number of variables and an inability to control them to a point sufficient to determine what are the tools we could provide the “most effective” teachers to make them better (or any teachers for that matter).
I never gave much thought about teaching until I joined the Army and they insisted I learn, participate in and practice “Performance Oriented Training” (POTs training) when I attended the NCO Academy in Frankfurt, Germany.  Essentially, POTs stipulates that until the student can perform the task, the training has not been effective.  There were three elements:  1)  the instructor demonstrates the task to be performed / explaining the objective of the task, the reason for the task, and each step necessary to complete the task;  2)  the instructor then walks / talks the student through each step as they (the student) follows along with each step;  and, 3)  the instructor asks the student to perform the task independently.  If the student fails in performance (step 3), the instructor must return to element 2.  Re-cycle through elements 2 and 3 until 3 can be accomplished independently.  At that point, the student can perform the task and the training has been effective.  (Of course long term retention of the knowledge / skill is a different matter.)
This training methodology served me very well during my working life / career as I was frequently called upon to instruct on topics in the military, and then as a civilian:  from credit card fraud prevention, to correspondent banking, to numerous Information Technology topics (basic trouble-shooting, using spreadsheets, using word processing applications, server and network administration, setting up databases, conducting data analysis and creating web pages to display the analysis / data).
Rather late in my career, I “discovered” (i.e. read about) Dr Richard P. Feynman (PhD) and his personal learning methodology.  Post-employment (i.e. in retirement), I’ve now watched bits and pieces of Professor Feynman’s lectures (on YouTube) and I believe his methodology is a civilian / academic equivalent of personal POTs training.  That is:  how we should expect to teach ourselves and verify our own knowledge / competency in a subject.  I shudder to think of the number of lectures / classes / training sessions I’ve attended where the instructor either did not have this level of personal expertise or expect the student to demonstrate understanding at the end of the session.  Which, (again) is why we remember our few “great” teachers over our lifetimes.
Disclaimer:  The list of four steps above are available in several books and on the web and the exact wording is neither mine nor exclusive to any specific source so I have not bothered to cite any “original” source.  I apologize in advance if anyone reading this feels I have used their exact language describing Dr. Feynman’s technique.
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On This Day In:
2021 Learning And Teaching
Two Loves
2020 Does Anyone Else Look Forward To The Last Lawn Mowing ‘Til Spring?
Only For You
2019 10,000 Tries
2018 Keep America Great – Vote This Tuesday
2017 Old Style Ear Candy
2016 Next Tuesday
2015 Wanna Trade?
2014 Brothers And Friends
2013 So Suddenly
2012 At The Center
2011 Live Long And Thinner
Got Health?
2010 SF Giants – 2010 World Series Champions!!!
52 – 54 – 56 – 58
2009 Diet Update
Pictures from Chicago Trip…

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It may be that the day of judgment will dawn tomorrow;  in that case we will gladly stop working toward a better future.  But not before.
    —   Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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On This Day In:
2021 At Least Not Until Sunset
Rain On The Leaves
2020 At Least A Little Less
Two For The Post
2019 Promises, Promises
2018 You Mean There IS Something Else?
2017 Be Good
2016 Raise Yourself
2015 A Kids Movie Rip-Off
2014 Ready, Action!
2013 Responding To Challenges
2012 Abnormal, adj.
2011 Large Families
On The Brink

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Let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten your labors.  You should sing as wayfarers do — sing, but continue your journey.  Do not be lazy, but sing to make your journey more enjoyable.  Sing, but keep going.
     —     St. Augustine
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On This Day In:
2020 Insensitive To Silence
To All My Friends…
2019 Judging Success
2018 Something Else
Day 21: 10% Loss
2017 Courage
2016 Don’t H8! — I’m With Her!!
2015 $20 Anyone?
2014 And Yet I Still Study
2013 Use Your Own
2012 Strengthen Freedom
2011 Attrition = A Lack Of Imagination
2010 Mind The Fire, Love
Just Beyond My Reach…
Even A Life Of Quiet Desperation!
Acts Of Courage

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Work to become, not to acquire.
    —   Confucius
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On This Day In:
2020 Three Stooges
2019 #Impeach45: Halt The Slide Into Tryanny
2018 Expecting Profit
2017 In Spite Of The President
2016 And Sets
And My God For His Graces
2015 About Character
2014 Your Gain
2013 Look Up
2012 Count Me In
2011 Pirates Four, Three Songs
Sir Charles
Look First, Not Last
2010 Par-a-diddle

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Aside from a moral obligation to treat workers well and pay them a living wage, there’s nothing to prevent more companies from jettisoning full-time employees and shifting to lower-paid gig workers.
They’d just be following what has been happening for decades in other fields.  Just as manufacturing shifted overseas for cheaper labor and as gig economy apps drove down wages for taxi and delivery drivers, the pandemic has hastened the gig-ification of white-collar jobs.  The gig economy might have been a crowded space before COVID-19, but the booming economy masked its workers’ struggles because many of them could find other jobs to supplement their income.  Now, that extra work has dried up, and their desperation is more evident than ever.  When gig work is the only pie that’s available to millions of people, sharing it means that some don’t even get crumbs.
     —    Alana Semuels
In her article:  “As the gig economy grows, its workers’ paychecks shrink
In:  Time Magazine, dtd:  1-8 June 2020
This article also appears online with a different title:  “‘It’s a Race to the Bottom.’ The Coronavirus is Cutting Into Gig Worker Incomes as the Newly Jobless Flood Apps
The specific link is:  https://time.com/5836868/gig-economy-coronavirus/
You may have to go through a paywall to view the online article.
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On This Day In:
2021 Momentary Offering
Happy Noise
2020 No Crumbs
Too Many Detectives On This Case
A New Day Is Coming
2019 Or In This Case – What’s Wrong
2018 Just Passing Through
2017 True Torture
Happy Thanksgiving – 2017 !!
2016 Overtaken
2015 Alone Praying
2014 A Full Man
2013 Off Defending The Universe
Taking Precautions
2012 Never, Never, Never
2011 Testing 1, 2, 3

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If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’.  I didn’t like to work.
    —    Yogi Berra
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On This Day In:
2019 Better To Do
News: Drunken Party Girl Saves Seoul
2018 Keep Moving
2017 Fighting Good
2016 Size Matters
2015 Maybe The Best Thing
2014 Ready To Be Fried?
2013 A Real Lover
2012 Winning Wars
2011 A Different Lesson

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So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.
    —    Peter Drucker
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On This Day In:
2019 Of Course, You Still Have To Listen
2018 Coming Home
2017 It’s Just Around The Bend
2016 In What Direction?
2015 Embarrassing Myself Again
2014 I’ve Never Have Had
2013 Glory Days (part 1)
2012 Feeling Old?
2011 Even When I Wish Really, Really Hard
Skeptical Fathers
Cha-cha-cha-changes

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Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
    —    Anonymous
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On This Day In:
2022 Do People Know What You Stand For?
2021 The Republican Party Can Survive Trumpism (If It Wants To)
Don’t You Ever Ask Them Why
2020 Art Work
One Person (Republican) Can Make A Majority
2019 Hopefully, Closer To Noon
Can You See The Bottom?
2018 Stock Market Sets Another Record Under #DumbDonald
#LyingDonald: About That Special Prosecutor Testimony
2017 We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
2016 But You Have To Learn It Feels Good
2015 Never Stop
2014 Caution
2013 Treat Her Like A Lady
2012 Build New Worlds
2011 I Grok Elegance
Standing Relish

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Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
    —    Peter Drucker
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On This Day In:
2022 And Even Fewer Regrets
2021 Today Counts
I Hope You’ll Understand
2020 Maybe #IncompetentDonald Really Is A Great Manager
2019 Your Only Choice
2018 A Good Definition
2017 Getting It Done
2016 Getting To Know Me
2015 Why I Pay Taxes
2014 Inequality Of Sacrifice
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

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I am an artist at living, and my work of art is my life.
     —    D. T. Suzuki
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On This Day In:
2021 Losing One’s Edge
Can I Get An Up Front Seat?
2020 Are You Sure?
Who Could It Be?
2019 Living Art
Day 7: Week 1 – Mathematics
2018 Hey, #45: Are We Sick Of Winning, Yet?
Day 40: Wrists
2017 Heart Vision
2016 A Labor Day / Pre-Election Hope
Trust Me, Too
2015 Without Hope
Things Known And Unknown
2014 A Wall Too High, A Bridge Too Far
2013 Glory = Danger
Chicago Magic
Feelin’ It
2012 How Did We Get Here?
2011 Labor Day Weekend Mishmash
More, More, More

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One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
    —    Sigmund Freud
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On This Day In:
2018 Painted Into
2017 Prayers, Miracles And Lottery Tickets
Roman View
2016 Dignity And Grace
2015 Is It Warm Enough For You
2014 What The Right STILL Wants
2013 Embrace Serendipity
2012 Your Order, Please
2011 Well Enough Anyway

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