In-Depth – Week 3

Unfortunately, I have not made a lot of headway on my project yet. With my workload in school and being made to write about my in-depth more than I am being made to work on it, I’ve not had much time to sit down and get to work. I still need to meet with my mentor to discuss ways to start, however with the inclusion of the integrated essay in my life I may be a little more prepared for that meeting. My initial learning on the topic has increased marginally, though frankly research is not much of a replacement for an actual mentor.

Because I kind of forgot to actually talk about why Karla is my mentor for this project in my last post, I will do that now. Karla’s full time job is not restoration, however she has been restoring items that she has been skillfully integrating into her home for many years. I don’t intend to be doing anything quite too drastic in my restoration, such as rebuilding half of the piece. Most of my projects will be hopefully be cleaning, refinishing, painting and possibly a bit of light carpentry.

Because of my lack of actually meeting with Karla yet, I am not really sure how I can talk on how I’ve integrated the first three habits of ‘How to Have a Beautiful Mind’ in our discussions. However I will do my best:

1, 2, & 3. How to agree, how to disagree, and how to differ

In some project topics, this topic would be much more relevant. However, in restoration, the project is almost entirely process-based, and much like doing math, there is one right way to do it and many, many wrong ways. It is also a craft that, while somewhat teachable through books and research, is primarily learned through experience and doing projects repeatedly. Because I have no experience, and Karla has a lot, really her word on anything restoration-process based is gospel to me.

Hopefully, week four will bring with it a little more substance to write about.


John C. Maxwell’s 360 Degree Leader- The Myths of Leading from the Middle Questions

The first myth of leading from the inside, the position myth, poses the question of what a peer has taught you in the past year. In response to this, I look to the student directors who teach me in my drama classes, they are peers of mine in eleventh and twelfth grade who direct me in my drama class, they give me notes and teach me lots about acting. The second myth – destination, asks how do you become the person you desire to be. I believe this can be achieved only through hard work and goal-setting, you must first decide to set goals that will act as stepping stones towards your final goal of becoming the person you want to be. After your goals are set, you must work hard to achieve each one.

The third myth was influence, which asks me what prompts me to follow someone. I personally follow someone if I am: Getting paid to do so, or if they genuinely have a powerful vision I can buy into. I tend to follow people who are less of a boss and more of a leader, a distinction I make based on whether they work alongside their team or let the team carry them.

Myth number four was inexperience, and queries what prompts me to consider another persons opinion. I typically listen to another opinion if they are well-spoken and obviously genuinely care about what they’re talking about. Of course… listening to another opinion is easy, but that doesn’t mean I will agree with it. The fifth myth was the freedom myth, and asks whether I agree that when you move up in an organization, does your responsibility increase? I think it depends on the organization, if you are the CEO of your own company, you have very few responsibilities, however they are larger. I think that most CEO’s mostly are able to coast as long as they fulfill major responsibilities like large fiscal decisions and avoiding being filmed paying for the services of an escort.

Myth six (potential) asks what I am capable of achieving, and what reaching my potential would look like. Frankly, I believe this question is unanswerable, I do not believe that many of the people who arguably reached their ‘potential’  (Einstein, Steven Hawking, etc.) ever knew what they were capable of, even when they died. I think that short of premonitions, this question is impossible to answer factually.

Myth seven is all-or-nothing, and the question is: The reality for most people is that they will never be the CEO. Does that mean they give up leading altogether? To this I say, no. The entire point of this book( and of the philosophy of John C. Maxwell) is that being in a leadership position doesn’t make you a leader necessarily, therefore I think that people shouldn’t give up on leading, after all every charity, foundation, and other organizations besides business needs a leader.

In-Depth Introductory Post

Last year, my in-depth project, spoken word poetry, was wildly successful in my opinion. Hopefully, I can replicate that success with my in-depth topic this year, restoration.

Specifically, I want to restore furniture and other home items, hopefully I will be procuring these items from friends, family or otherwise at garage sales and other such places. Through the help of my mentor, I will go through the steps necessary to restore a piece on a case-by-case basis. If this item is something I intend to keep and is not belonging to another person,  I may add my own touches to it, which will probably be all aesthetic. When this is over, I will return the item to it’s owner, however I will be taking before and after pictures of the item and keep a record of who it’s from for potential use in my learning center.

I wanted to do restoration because most of what I do is performance and art based. My passions and primary interests are theater, spoken word poetry (last year’s in-depth really worked out for me) etc. so this year I’d like to do something entirely new. I will be working with my hands mostly, which is something I don’t really do all that much. I’m not sure, if like in poetry, if I will carry on doing this after the project has ended, but I think it should be fun and interesting for the duration of the project.

My needs for this project will be a lot of careful guidance from my mentor, as I know very little about restoration currently. I will also need a good flow of items to restore, one every two weeks or so.

My mentor for this project is Kharla Thompson-MacDonald, (otherwise known as Emma MacDonald’s mom!) I still need to meet with her, however she has committed to mentoring me and we will sort out logistics in our first meeting.

Finally, as I said before I will be trying to restore one piece every week or so, depending on the size of the item.

I am looking forward to getting to work!