Burying the Hatchet for Personal Growth and Professional Development

During the Summer of ’95, shortly after my father died from inoperable brain tumors, I entered a into a life-state that I like to call, stage 1 homelessness (aka couch surfing). A person afflicted with stage 1 homelessness has no permanent mailing address, no reliable form of income, and often has no reliable transportation. All is not lost, however, because friends are still willing to help out, and there are still favors that have not been called in. I managed this tumultuous time with the help of many friends, one of whom is Dr. Jarred McGinnis. Jarred stopped by a couple of times a week so that we could talk about the stuff of life over a cuppa and a few games of chess. Just two more gen-x coffee house philosophers whiling away the time. 

A few months into this routine Jarred and I had an altercation over a girl. It feels like I’m doing my passions an injustice to state it so plainly, but the truth is that simple. It would be more than 17 years before we would reconcile. We have a mutual friend, John, who tried a few times to negotiate the peace between us, but I could not be persuaded. I remember when John told me about the accident that left Jarred confined to a wheelchair. I was conflicted. On the one hand, tragedy often allows people to make amends without the need for specific apologies, so this would be easy. On the other, how does his having an accident excuse any wrongs done to me? I remained steadfast in my anger. At least a decade has passed since that time and I have not thought of Jarred. That is, until today. 

John shared a link to Jarred’s TEDx talk on Facebook. Over the next few seconds the voices in my head sounded a bit like: What’s that? I know that guy. Oh, wait, I hate him! But, why? I don’t remember, but I’m sure I have a good reason. Oh, yeah, I remember! Hmmm, I have not cared about that girl for 13 years. This is silly, I should apologize. Shouldn’t I? 

Today, I did apologize. Granted, it was a 21st century apology via Facebook chat, but that didn’t cheapen the sentiment for me when he apologized in kind, so all’s good. Now, you ask, how is this related to professional development? We live in an age where our personal and professional overlap in ways not imagined even 10 years ago. Everyone is essentially an entrepreneur. You are branding and selling yourself everyday, whether you acknowledge that on a conscious level or not. I believe integrity goes a long way. I realized today that one of my shortcomings is the tendency to hold grudges. I have addressed that and experienced personal growth as a result. It stands to reason that if you improve yourself as a person, then you have also improved yourself as a professional. 

Jarred and I have a lot of catching up to do. Perhaps once I’ve finished my degree I can make my way to London for another game of chess. However, I’m a tea drinker these days.

Jarred’s TEDx talk can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcTM_MrlOR0&feature=plcp

Stop Fretting and Get To Work

As of right now I will stop agonizing over the content of this blog and simply write.

I have dozens and dozens of interests and it is time to explore some of them and the ways that I may be able to integrate them into my professional aspirations as a medical librarian.  What do you have to look forward to in the coming weeks?

Data: Big Data; Linked Data, Data Analysis, Data Visualization

Science: eScience, Science Writing, Open Access

Professional Development: Professional Associations, Public Speaking, Presenting, Social Media, Personal Branding,Mentoring

Emerging Technology: 3D Printing, Near Field Communication, Augmented Reality, Wearable Tech

WWW: HTML5; CMS (Drupal, WordPress.org, etc), Semantic Web, Web 3.0

Other: Disaster Management, Personal Archiving, Genetic Genealogy

Perhaps by the end of the month I may even have some readers.

Quasifesto Relaunched

My name is David Howard. According to HowManyofMe.com  there are 3,512 people (99.75% males) that share my name living within the United States. This does not include those individuals who prefer to be called Dave, exclusively. As you might imagine, it is nigh impossible to find a reasonable variation of my name for a Twitter handle, email address, blog title, etc., without sounding like a Borg designation. Names are an important consideration in any venture and they only become more complicated when applying limitations. Obviously, I wanted something memorable; the shorter the better. I’ve been told that every word in the English language has been purchased as a top level .com domain name. I’ve also heard that there are no 4 letter combinations left for .com domains either. I have not bothered to confirm, but those statements sound reasonable enough.  Moving on, that leaves multi-word domains, gibberish, and wordplay. I chose wordplay. It’s supposed to mean a Quasi Manifesto ( a virtual declaration of thoughts and intentions, as I see it) but Quasimodo meets Uncle Fester isn’t too far off the mark.

At its core, Quasifesto is (or will become) a library blog. It will inevitably stray to other topics of interest, but I hope to entice librarians and their ilk to share a Dialog (heh, library humor) in the comments section.

SRSU Library

David Howard in the snow in front of SRSU library. Apline, TX circa 2007

 

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