Saturday, July 9, 2011

A very real an tangible way...

The past three weeks of the NUF experience have been entirely different than any other point in the past year. We returned to New York the last week of May, and for me, there was the added difficulty of being injured. Complications between the insurance company and my orthopedist's office impeded the process of my recovery, but after finally getting everyone to talk to each other (it only took two weeks to get an MRI done) the actual process of discerning the difficulty took far too long (the results of my MRI didn't arrive to the doctor's office until several days after the scan was taken) all of which left me dealing with a level of pain that, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would assess at 20.5. Fortunately, the day that the scans showed up at my doctor's office, I was also able to get in to see him, and to his credit, he prescribed the best option (an anti-inflammatory medication) which reduced the swelling of the disc and allowed it to move off the nerve, relieving a great deal of the pain.

Fortunately, classes started after I started taking the medication, and had already started on the way back towards being whole. The outlink for this post is to the organization run by one of my professors for this semester, and it is to him that I credit the title. We were having quite an in depth conversation regarding the Human Resources frame in an organization, and how the language in memos, though the requester of a feedback memo might be asking for valuable feedback, might not land just right when it reaches their ear once they've actually begun to read said memo. Truer words were ne'er spake, and as I frequently communicate to the class of 2012; you can redo a budget, you can ask for another strategic plan, you can even reshuffle the organizational chart, but you cannot, cannot, cannot pull back a message.  Especially if it's on the internet. There's a leadership lesson to be learned here.

The past three weeks have been a complete test of endurance: 12 graduate credit hours in 6 weeks, several days out of the week where we are in class for a total of about 9 hrs a day, trying to squeeze in a few workouts in between piles of reading, writing effective papers, statistical analysis, and economic theorizing. As I commented to one of my classmates this morning, I feel as if one of the widely destructive tornadoes that blew through the South last month continues to rage unrelentingly throughout my cranium. So far, we've received back our Stats and Econ midterms, and papers from each of the classes where we need to submit them. Everyone has a clear idea of where they're standing, and is feeling incredibly worn and as if their reserves of motivation are running a bit low. We all do our best to keep each other up, but it's like the last mile of the marathon, where you feel your body on fire, and there's still a climb to the crest of a hill to cross the finish line...

In the midst of all the coursework is the need to find my way into a new position, something which - to quote a classmate, - is renting a lot of space in my head. But, several opportunities are beginning to show up, and I'm confident that something will solidify shortly.

However, these past few weeks have not been devoid of fun, and I'll have to follow up this post with a write up of the scavenger hunt that I designed and led, a couple weeks ago for the incoming cohort of NUFfies. As always, I intend to leave you with a bit of music, but of a different sort: One of the most amazing things in NYC is a program called 'Music Under New York' where the MTA actually pays artists to perform in the subway stations, turning the entire affair into a form of public art (see also Jerry Mitchell). To that end, the video below was one such artist that really reminded me of the spirit of New York the first weekend after I was back in class: