Part of an Ongoing Quest to Figure Out What I Want to Be When I Grow Up…

Psychology professor? I get an email for an online Masters program in psychology pretty regularly, and today they suggested psychology professor, and that caught my attention. I don’t think I want to be a therapist, but a psychology professor? Maybe. The idea of doing clinical or social psychology research has continued to intrigue me, and teaching and/or writing about psychology seems like something I could be interested in. And if there was any chance of being a TA while I studied (obviously not if I took the online program, but as an opportunity to defray some of the cost) that would be super-interesting to me, as well.

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Restraint

Today was my first post-presidency Toastmasters meeting. I meant to go last week but had illegal fireworks-induced insomnia, and ended up skipping both Toastmasters and work. (You wouldn’t like me when I’m sleepy! :))

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Behavioral Insights

I’m reading Michael Lewis’s latest, The Undoing Project, about Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureates whose insights into the systematic ways that people behave against their best interest, financially and otherwise, changed how we think about how people are wired. I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time— I’ve read a lot of Dan Ariely, the behavioral economist at Duke who designs experiments to prove that we can’t really be objective about money/material goods. I’ve published a book or two on the topic, I’ve built a course on the topic— it’s a key area of personal interest for me.

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A Word to the Wise Is

It’s an interesting thing, Toastmasters. I feel like halfway through my presidency, I’m mostly just trying to finish what I started and ensure a smooth transition. Today, I went to our special, once-a-month meeting. The incoming president has identified another officer to replace her (mission critical) position. Which is fine—there are no rules that prohibit it, and generally speaking, volunteers for the position are the way those transitions go. I have some opinions about how well the transition is going to go, given that I’ve found the need to very actively manage this other officer and his tasks. It’s technically up to her, so I haven’t said something before today, but today, as we watched him mishandle something she’d delegated to him, I thought it important to say that he was going to need pretty hands-on mentoring to get him functional in a role as important as the one she’s vacating. His intentions are good, but his follow-through is pretty lacking, and his foresight is even worse. That’s bad enough where he is— she could find it pretty deadly under her leadership— from where she is today, she is very likely to find herself de facto doing both roles, to keep her boat afloat. She’s got some control issues, so maybe that’s okay with her, but she’s medium burnt out now, and I think she’ll be extra crispy by this time in her presidency, if she makes it that far.

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