Wednesday, February 17, 2010


"I love learning," PrettyHair sighed, glasses perched studiously upon her nose as she adjusted her notebook, pen and glass of water. "I woke up so excited that we were in class today!"

Tired, I blinked at her in surprise before managing a smile. Replying to her inquiry over how much I must love learning with a shrug, I returned to my coffee and Kleenex, wondering if I wished more to be less drowsy or congested.

"I guess I burned out," I offered when she continued to look horrified. "I like learning - new experiences, new people and places. But I'm rarely excited to sit in a classroom for 8 hours, filling in workbooks and getting up in teams to practice concepts. It's just not really my thing."

"I guess you've done a lot more - and did it recently - than I have," she said and I felt a tug of guilt for not sharing her enthusiasm. Resolving to be a better sport, I shoved aside frantic worries over all the Urgent Tasks I wouldn't complete, closed my laptop and focused on the instructor and our lessons.

Had I not been so engaged, I certainly would have rolled my eyes over my own behavior, being one of the most vocal and teacher's-pet-y of the group. I did the prerequisite online training! I remembered the story! I could summarize the points! I have feedback! I know the answer! And I all but preened whenever praised for my knowledge or insightful questions.

I realized, rather sheepishly actually, on the way home that the course could have been entitled "how to manipulate people into doing what you want." And if there's anything that could hold my power-hungry little attention span, it's that. Learning to read body language? Understanding how to get around objections? What word tricks are most effective? Dude. Sign Me Up.

I have a workbook filled with notes. I received very good feedback after practicing in front of the group. (I am blatantly and unselfconsciously emotional. Many people respond well to that. Some don't - but I am learning how to manipulate them in other ways!) Had there been gold stars, I'm reasonably confident I would have received one.

What's more, it was fun. I giggled over witty comments and made a few of my own. My brain was busy - and happily so - as we struggled through creative thinking around new topics, learning to see familiar concepts framed through new messages.

"I'm tired," PrettyHair noted at the end of the day, once again contrasting my mood but this time she was sleepy and I was bubbly with enthusiasm.

"We get to come back tomorrow!" I grinned, thinking either Industry had some really well-trained, excellent instructors or I missed classrooms more than I thought.

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