June 6, 2006

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Quote for the day

We only do well the things we like doing.

- Colette (1873 – 1954), Prisons and Paradise, 1932

The ability to do things I don’t particularly like is important, but
so too is the ability to recognize what I love and pursue that. I’m
not the kind of person who can be equally good at all things. I’m
biased. I love doing some things and drag my feet when it comes to
others. Generally, following my bliss seems to be a good idea.
<grin> I work so much better and so much more happily when I’m
doing something I love. (Duh.)

The trick, I guess, is to find the seed of something I can love and
run with it. When I lose my way, I need to keep going on if I think
I’ll find it again, or switch to something else if I don’t.

More quotes

Random Japanese sentence: 彼女は猫を2匹飼っている。一匹は茶でもう一匹は白だ。 She has two cats. One is brown and the other is white.

Toastmasters: Persuasion project 1

I did my first project from the advanced manual on persuasion. Learned
a lot from it, too – and not necessarily what the manual might’ve wanted me to learn… <laugh>

They remarked once again on my lack of energy. I was too low-key for
them. I decided not to use sugar-high-enthusiasm because I want to
learn how to talk to suits. I’m good at enthusiasm. I can bounce up
and down, wave pompoms, whatever. I need to learn how to speak to
people’s serious sides, not just amuse them with my antics and my
enthusiasm. I need to learn how to provoke thought and establish
credibility. I’m not going to be this young forever, and I want to
learn how to speak properly by the time I need it!

Fortunately my evaluator also pointed out that I used a pleasant pace
- accessible! – not like my usual rush of words. Still, this is the
second time I’ve tried my serious voice on Toast I.T., and the
reaction’s always been iffy. They like me breathless with enthusiasm,
bubbly, sparkling – but I’m more than that! I’m having a hard time
getting past this with Toast I.T., even if I wear a blazer and glasses
and everything. I want to be both. I want to blend seriousness and

Maybe I can save my “low-key” voice for IBM Toastmasters. Hmm…

The three- to five-minute roleplay situation for me seemed constrained
and unnatural. This is strange because I’m perfectly fine with
elevator pitches. I think I just need to get better at roleplaying.

I should probably have tried selling something concrete that I wasn’t
too familiar with instead of selling something intangible. People seem
to think that selling ideas is easier than selling something concrete
because ideas don’t cost money, they just cost time. I wish I could
make _them_ try to sell other people on ideas. Time is money. In fact,
time is a lot more expensive than the gadgets many people would
casually throw money away on.

One Toastmaster was particularly vocal about my being an absolute
failure at “real” sales and how I’d be fired right away if this was
the real thing. He insisted that sales was a hypercompetitive,
cutthroat world and that salespeople are paid tons because of the
competition. Personally, I believe that salespeople are paid a lot
because they clearly contribute to the bottom line in a quantifiable
manner. I also suspect that any numbers-driven sales that’s just
concerned with how much the salesperson makes is totally not for me.
I’m more interested in relationship building. Fortunately, my mentor
called him to task and told him that there were other perfectly valid
ways of selling.

… And this guy also wondered why I didn’t have any flashy slides. After
all, we all know that Powerpoint is _essential_ for sales. Mph. Well,
he was trying to be helpful, and there _are_ some audiences that need
a slide deck. For what I was doing, that was definitely out of the

The same person thought I didn’t control the conversation enough, and
that I let my roleplay partner do too much of the talking. I thought I
did too much talking and not enough listening. I felt that I broke
into too many long passages, and I hate that. I feel that I’m most
effective when I listen to people, suggesting something after I’ve
understood their situation and validated them by paying attention to
them. I hate it when people fake listening, when they just care about
when they get to speak next. I hate it when people pretend they want a
conversation with you but they really just want to sell you stuff and
their message isn’t individualized at all..

Wish I had my mom’s books to whap the guy with! <laugh> Well, he
_was_ just trying to be helpful, and _his_ world is probably the
dog-eat-dog world he described. I’m 22 and I’m new to the subject, but
I get the feeling that there aree zbetter things out there.

Oh well.

I think I know what I’m going to “sell” for project 2 – houses. Or whatever.

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Random Japanese sentence: 机の下から猫が出てきた。 A cat appeared from under the desk.

Quote of the day

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something,
perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone
stumbling on something sitting down.

Charles F. Kettering (1876 – 1958)

Random Japanese sentence: 庭にあなたのネコが見えます。 I see your cat in the garden.

Just realized something really cool!

I just had to wake up from a terrific dream and blog this. =) And yes,
it’s common sense to all of you, and I _know_ I know this, but
sometimes it takes a lucid dream to, well, be lucid – to see clearly.

Life is what I make of it. Duh.

I’ve been dragging my feet the past weekend – the past week – oh, I
don’t know, the past _month!_ – feeling insecure about my research,
feeling lost and out of place.

I’ve just realized how silly that was. Self-fulfilling prophecy. All
that jazz.

The university wouldn’t have accepted me if they didn’t believe I
could hack research, and the truth is, it really _is_ a lot of fun
having an excuse to read through lots of journals and play around with
interesting ideas. The more people I try to explain my research to
(“Well, I’m actually looking for the interesting people I should
talk”), the more I understand it, and the better I actually feel about

Likewise, friends wouldn’t hang out if they didn’t consider me fun, so
I should stop asking them if I’ve kept them too late, etc. ;) Heck,
people would probably stay over for long conversations if they didn’t
have work. What am I worried about? <laugh>

So – yay!

Thanks for putting up with the funk. =)

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Random Japanese sentence: おしゃべりの人は、いつも秘密をばくろしては他人の利害を冒している。 A talkative person is always letting the cat out of the bag and jeopardizing the interests of others.

And lest you all think everything’s going pfft…

… I _did_ have a fair bit of fun getting the visualizations _just_ right. =) So I’m not completely hopeless.

Random Japanese sentence: 休暇中、近所の人がうちの猫の世話をしてくれた。 While we were on holiday, a neighbor took care of our cat.

ACK! David Crow, heart attack!

For those of you who were wondering where that trouble-maker and chief instigator went, David Crow had a heart attack right before DemoCamp. (Nothing else could’ve kept him away, not even a herd of rampaging elephants.)

Best wishes from a fangirl. Get well soon, David!

In the meantime – quick, someone clone him!

Random Japanese sentence: 私の妻はひどく猫嫌いです。 My wife hates cats.