Saturday’s Party

I forgot to take my camera but we went to a party Saturday night in Spiez — a few hours away, on Lake Thun, one of the two lakes that flank the Swiss sports-oriented town Interlaken. The party’s hostess sent this funny photo tonight:

The next day we walked with folks from the party from Spiez to a nearby town, all the way along the lake. Mufasa was with us on this outing and thought that was the best part of the weekend. More info on this site, also the source of this photo of Spiez…

Mom arrived this morning. We’ve already washed the dog, bought lots of flowers for the backyard and had pizzas in Lugano’s main piazza. Tomorrow we are off to our favorite hotel in Bellagio. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to rain almost the whole time!

Where next?

I started writing this blog on a Thursday in 2005 in my office in Moscow, Idaho… the site of the latest US shooting rampage.

Everything you’ve heard about Moscow on the news lately is true. It’s an idyllic little place — you really don’t need to lock your doors; people are nice, supportive, progressive, resourceful, connected.

I had the best boss there — I imagine him the best boss in the world… he genuinely wanted to support my growth and development (he suggested getting me a regional opinion column and as a former newspaperman and head of the state’s foremost journalism school he could have), he introduced me around and had parties when I arrived so I could make friends, he made sure other people welcomed and included me as he did, too.

I often tell people I would have stayed there if I’d been married with kids. It was a lovely little town with a great food co-op and independent bookstore, where kids could still run and ride their bikes all through town unsupervised.

And then this. I have to tell you, the news of these sprees makes even visiting the US seem like a bad idea. What kind of culture is so sick that you could be picked off going shopping for a new dress or sitting in class on any given day? The most shocking thing to me, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any conversation about about what to do about it. I read the news coverage and it’s more of the same — so-and-so killed 4 or 11 or 27 people in a shopping mall, church, classroom, wherever. He purchased the guns here, drove to Site A at such-and-such time… blah, blah, blah.

Why isn’t there coverage asking, “How have we become this and what can we each do every single day to stop it?” Gun laws alone are not going to deal with the pervasiveness of this problem (though to not severely restrict gun purchase and ownership at at time like this just seems ignorant). Every parent, every teacher, every employer, every person will need to take this on. That’s my two cents. It’s the same as I said after I left Steve… domestic violence will continue unabated until every single one of us says, “Not in my house, not in my circle of friends, not in my workplace, not in my family, not in my country, not in my world.”

Back in Business

I went on hiatus and forgot to tell you! What could I have been thinking?

Well, thank you, thank you, thank you for showing up anyway. In honor of my gratitutde to you and just gratitude in general because it is so important, click into this great, fun, uplifting piece on NPR. Listen to it. Maybe more than once. It is hysterically funny and inspirational, too.

I gave my last final exam tonight. I think it may be the last final exam I give for a decade, maybe ever. In honor of the occcasion (and because it was scheduled from six to eight p.m.) we had fresh, hot pizzas and a beautiful salad and pastries I bought in town today. A good time was had by all. Even the ones taking the test. How often can you say that?

It’s time to grade them tonight, and then to ponder who I’ll become now that I’m not Professor Self.

I think I’m headed back to the business world, in part because I am committed to issues of social justice and making a difference on the planet and I think if we’re going to do that on a significant scale businesses will have to provide the innovation and capital.

My younger self would be shocked to hear that. My how things change…

That explains it!

This straight from an article in the New York Times

According to the Labor Department, “the average person born in the later years of the baby boom held 10.5 jobs from age 18 to 40.” In 2006, the most recent year for which there are statistics, 54 million Americans, or 40 percent of the work force, left their jobs.

In other words, we are not our fathers’ or grandfathers’ labor force. We’re moving around, trying things out, getting axed or moving on or both or neither. The only constant is change. That sure has been true for me, and I’m at it again.

The author also reports:

After doing hundreds of interviews with people who created their own slash careers by following and combining various interests, I’m convinced we all need to shift around until we find the mix that’s right.

Until it’s no longer right, when we need to start shifting again.

I’m trying to get just the right balance of somewhere I want to live, more than enough money, challenging and rewarding work and making a difference.

I’ll let you know when I’ve got them all…