mogwai_do: (totoro)
[personal profile] mogwai_do
My last post was over 6 months ago and well... it's been busy.

In that time, I've acquired a second minion, who by virtue of unintentional comparison, has highlighted how inadequate the other is. The other has been a perennial problem; she's not stupid, but she really does not seem to grasp how heirarchies, office-work generally, or our work specifically works - and she's been in the job 2.5 years now... I've had to 'have a chat' with her several times about various things, which was very stressful for me at least the first time (because it was the first time I'd ever had to do that), but it's water off a duck's back. She nods in all the right places and her behaviour changes for a while, but then something slips, or she manages some new, creative and, at least once, potentially catastrophic) screw-up.

The line management thing is a work in progress, but it's getting there I think.

The conference I was organising in Cambridge in March went very well - excellent venue and atmosphere, so that was all good.

I've also now been to Rotterdam (start of July) and just got back from Philadelphia (start of August) attending other conferences (and running events at those too). Rotterdam was frustrating because I felt we could have done so much better if only we'd been attending these things before. Philadelphia went much better. Next year those conferences are in Athens and Vancouver respectively, so that'll be interesting. And now I've experience of both, I'll have a much better idea of how to improve them and make use of my time there.

Rotterdam I extended by a couple of days to visit a friendly dojo - or at least that was my intention. The sensei invited me to teach his class instead... I couldn't really say no as he'd already offered me accommodation for the few days and when I got there he paid for all my meals and stuff. That was nerve-wracking - I only knew 2 people in the class (aside from the sensei) and I hadn't seen either of those in years. I was completely inarticulate for about the first half hour; I'm not sure it improved much either. I did get some complimentary feedback afterwards, but I find that very difficult to take at face value (self-esteem is still an issue).

The teaching offer was at least partly because I succeeded in my 3rd dan in May. It was a very hot day, but at just under an hour the grading was shorter than any of my previous ones for reasons I have no knowledge of, but may have been related to someone else who was grading at the same time. From no martial art ever to 3rd dan in just over 10 years; I'm given to understand this is rapid, but I don't really have a basis for comparison.

Anyway, I'm still slightly jetlagged from Philly, but I'm now trying to get myself back on an even keel. Most of this year has felt like reeling from one thing to the next - first Cambridge at the end of March, then from that into my grading at the very start of May, to Rotterdam at the start of July, to Philly at the start of August. Plus all the other work inbetween. I feel like I've just not had space to step back and take stock - hopefully I can make that time now. I need to, if nothing else.

Well, I've spent the last couple of days trying to get back on track after Philadelphia and I think it's now time for a quiet sit down and some reading... and maybe some TV later.
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