I love this post by Lucy and the comments by Sumana and Sanders. Not necessarily because I agree or disagree or have particular thoughts on the matter, but because I love watching this sort of discussion - watching teaches me how to potentially participate in those discussions, down the road, should I choose to say something I have to say. (Right now, I don't have much to say.) I like picking up skills as I need them, and I also like picking up awareness that I can pick up these skills - and a notion of how I could learn them and who could teach me - well in advance of needing them, or starting to learn.

Via Karsten: there's a Center for Non-Violent Communication, and they have books and classes. The definition according to Wikipedia:

Language, thoughts, communication skills and means of influence that serve my desire to do three things:

  • to liberate myself from cultural learning that is in conflict with how I want to live my life.
  • to empower myself to connect with myself and others in a way that makes compassionate giving natural.
  • to empower myself to create structures that support compassionate giving.

Sounds about right - particularly the first bullet point. I'm interested in how they put these concepts together into a teachable framework - how do you get something to the point where you can say "if I do $this_thing, then X% of the people present will $understand in a $short_period_of_time"? And sometimes $this_thing is improvise - sometimes it's "send one of these people because no two classes are the same but they can adapt to anything" - and sometimes what it means to $understand can shift and change from person to person, time to time, place to place - but it's teachable. Deployable. Spreadable.

I'm having some trouble with "release early, release often" right now - my fingers don't want to sit down and type my messy handwritten grad school application notes (whiteboards, notebooks... dating back months! of continuous revisions) into digital form. Wait, Mel, I say. Aren't you supposed to be able to do this stuff? Isn't RERO a cornerstone of open source practice? It is. And it's sometimes really, really hard for me to do, too. And I'm working on it - these have to be typed and uploaded, and the deadline I've set for myself is 8.5 hours from now. Self-imposed last-minute-panic (I always think of this Calvin and Hobbes strip when I say that) occasionally works wonders.

I spent the weekend resting - my variant of it, anyway. A lot of reading, thinking, music (sightreading a lot of Mozart on demand from curious Audrey), cooking, a little working, library run with Melanie, reading through a 2-foot stack of books after dinner tonight (well, okay, more like 1 ft 10 in, but still - felt great). Coffee, of course. And yes, the next day I did get joking "...is the caffeine still in your system?" comments because I'm still hyper and excited, even when I'm resting - but I'm resting. No dancing; no MIT Mystery Hunt, no Sunday bar hangout, nothing requiring extroversion. I needed an emotional battery recharge, and I got it. It's good. I know how to run hard. I'm learning how to run sustainably.

I'm off to sleep, perchance to dream, perchance to see some friends. (I love Calvin and Hobbes.)