Poetry and professionalism

This morning, we had How To Behave Like a Grownup 101, in the form of presentations on Professionalism in the Workplace and Integrity In The Workplace.

Some interesting things I learned:

  • Some people knowingly wear their clothes dirty, ratty and even inside out in professional settings.
  • Our 10-second “first impressions” of various photos were frighteningly accurate in some cases.
  • If you’re going to buy a month’s worth of beer, do it in a neighborhood your “kids” won’t be shopping in.
  • Don’t wear your rock concert duds to the board meeting, or a suit and tie to apply for a 2-week camp counselor job.

Thankfully, our group seemed to have a pretty good grasp on the finer points of not looking like a bum or an off-duty hootchie when working around at-risk youth and their families or meeting with donors, and no one seemed to be confused by the reasons behind these requirements. The biggest hurdle might well be finding replacements for the omnipresent Chacos that everyone here seems to wear 24/7. I must have missed that fashion memo, but I seem to be the only one (which is what I get for spending the last 4 years holed up in a geek-cave huddled over my computer and talking only to virtual friends).

The second part of the day we took the potluck dishes that we had prepared for yesterday’s cancelled boat trip to a riverside park and spent the rest of the day doing a writing/painting/crafting/introspection workshop led by one our 2nd year members. It was pretty interesting, and we came up with some cool results – poems, books, paintings, abstract art and so forth.

There were several activities, each with their own theme – names, animals and the values they represent, a guided meditation that led to us getting a “gift” from our spiritual guides, inner critic work and some breakout poetry based on the poem How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird, by Jaques Prevert (you take a line from the poem to start your own, then read yours as the poem reader comes to your line).

Toss into the mix a few high-energy kids who were invited to play with the craft materials, a guy with a big dog who loved to jump in the river chasing sticks (the dog, not the guy), lots of bugs, a loud lady training a German Shepherd and you have a fun afternoon!

Tonight, I spent a few minutes setting up a Yahoo! Group for our team, to help keep us in the loop once we separate into our respective assignments. Tomorrow I’ll start collecting updated email addresses to send out invites. Also, learning how to fill out my first insurance claim for prescription meds. After my deduction is spent up, I’ll get some reimbursements back. Nifty!

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