Thursday, April 21, 2011

Week 4: Reading

Reading Reflection of Chapters 9-12 of The Art of Possibility

I learned in chapter nine that I should enroll people for positive missions, and expect to give of myself in return.  Our perception is like a nudge to a kaleidoscope in that it shifts instantly.  All of the self-help information that is being provided in this book is easy to swallow.  I found myself taking the books lessons to heart and applying them to my life.

Chapter ten was about naming yourself as a board and note a chess piece.  Being the board releases the stresses that come with the measurement of who wins or loses the game.  This chapter made me think of a high school student that makes me angry at times because he contributes nothing to class.  I sometimes feel the student doesn’t belong in class.  Now I’m seeing it in a new light.  He belongs and has more to learn then the students that already get it. I should take this student on as a challenge to help him or accept that his behavior is the way things are.  My favorite quote of this chapter is, “there is no great music-making without such risk taking.” 
Chapter eleven reminds us to do things that are on-track and not off-track.  This books definition of off-track means doing things that contribute to downward spiral behavior.  I’ve listed my favorite quotes from this chapter below.
 “I am here today to cross the swamp, not fight all the alligators.”  
“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
“Leaders who become their vision often seem uncommonly brave to the rest of us.”
Chapter twelve is about focusing on WE as a team or group.  Never label a human being as the enemy.  The only enemy is revenge, fear, hate, and righteousne
ss.  I like the idea that truth, no matter how harsh it is, is better then revenge bottled up and consequently released. 



  1. Your insight on chapter 10 is right on the mark. I try to remind myself frequently to be the board. When dealing with teenagers, winning against them only further alienates them and destroys the relationship with that student. I also find it helpful to remember the book's take on reality and perception as being self created. This helps me to diffuse any anger or frustration I feel when things are not done the way "I" think they should be.

  2. Torrey, your thorough thoughtfulness is evident in this post, like it has been in everything I’ve seen you do throughout the course of this program. It is evident that you are practicing the art of possibilities in your teaching. Hope to meet you on the other side of the swamp.

  3. Torrey, for the student that refuses to do work or participate...I do believe he will change, but not necessarily in your class. He will change when he gets ready and/or cares about the importance of class. Work hard but not too hard to change him. I'd suggest that he is listening to your advice and it takes the culmination of previous advice, your advice and a little more advice from others and he will eventually get it. Little sparks can lead to bigger sparks and then change.

  4. Well said! Thanks Everett for the advice.

  5. Torrey,
    Great you are taking the book lessons to heart and applying them to your life. I am also trying. I think if we do not do so… it is not worthy to read the book.
    I am also glad you only have one student who makes you angry for me there three in the same classroom! But it also made me think of it as a positive way things are, and that I also need to work on it with a new vision.
    I also like the quotes you cited, specially the one that says, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world”… inviting us to give our best not you’re the minimum effort. God help us to keep transforming our lives and others.

  6. Torrey,

    I like your imagery for this post – WE are moving, WE are the wall, WE appreciate your business. This may sound hokey but I think of “We Are The World” from oh so long ago. I got a lot from this chapter as well. Truth and Reconciliation are a cleansing process and this nation needs a heavy dose of the truth at this time in history.

    Great job breaking down the points raised in each chapter. You’ve written a nice summery of the last four practices of the book. Nice job!

  7. great summary and collection of thoughts.