Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yoda I Am Not

Some times I have too many feelings. Too many emotions churning around inside. I get confused, trying to pick out how to feel when so many possibilities exist. At times like these I hope no one notices. Such was my meeting yesterday.

The elevator at work was still down and as a result I was still working at home. I was enjoying being at home and working on my home computer. I was missing being in on the 'fresh back at work' feeling that the New Year brings. Conflicting, confusing emotions. But, that's not the tale I wish to tell. I'd arranged a meeting with two young women, both eager and fresh faced, who came downtown to meet with me at my favourite tea shoppe. We had much to do.

I need to back up. I am getting older. I realize, very much, the need to ensure that skills that took me a lifetime to develop - trial and error, chance and circumstance being wonderful teachers but ones who dally about in getting to the curriculum - are transferred and made usable by others. At Vita, given the changes in legislation I wrote about a few days ago, we have been getting regular requests for training trainers in abuse prevention. This groundswell of interest shows that the purpose of the new legislation is already bearing fruit.

Vita's trainers have been doing abuse prevention training for several years and they have had the experience of training others. This though, will be a little different, they are confident but we needed to ensure that we were all on the same page, all teaching the same things, all had a consistent message. Mostly, we wanted to ensure that we all represented our home agency well. So we got our tea, they raspberry scented green tea, me Japanese Sencha, and set about our work.

They had prepared a written document outlining the flow of the class, and we went through it line by line adding in, making changes. I found that they'd come up with stuff that I could see immediately would work well, better than what I do ... I had some comments to shore up what they were doing. This was a curriculum that I developed a long while ago and seeing it here, in their hand and in their hands, was odd. I wanted them to feel ownership of it but I didn't really want to relinquish it either. I could see that they were completely in mastery of the material and that we were now truly, simply, partners.

One works as a trainer to ensure that others have skills. I get that. One works to ensure that mentorship works, that the student becomes a master and then Master becomes mentor. I was seeing that happen. I was seeing myself left behind as my work moved forward. It felt - pick one of a hundred different emotions, not all positive, certainly not all negative. I grew in my respect for them as individuals and as a team. I had already seen them train others and know that they will continue to do well, even brilliantly. But now I was seeing them differently. I wondered, oddly, if Yoda ever looked at Obi Wan Kenobi and thought - damn kid! I'm thinking he did.

Joe arrived just as we were finishing our meeting, several cups of tea later. We chatted briefly and then they were off to where they were going and I was off to the bathroom.

Age. Who's idea was that?

(Once again, at risk of those who feel I promote my home agency here on this blog too much, I want to give contact details for training. I've received multiple emails requesting training information ... so this is IN RESPONSE to requests: training is booked through Domenic Pisante at Vita 416-749-6234 or - that's for any of the training regarding abuse prevention, self esteem, anger management, relationship training, or rights. Training materials developed for many of these issues is available through . Finally, the Tai Chi DVD I use is from the Chair Aerobics for Everyone Series, I also use their Wheelchair Workout DVD ... both suit me perfectly. I've gotten so many requests for all these resources, so here they are!)


Amy said...

Thanks for the resources. I'm also glad you are taking the time to mentor younger professionals. I can't tell you how much I envy them.

Maggie said...

Hi, Dave;

I loved this post, as I've loved many of your posts.

Today, though, I'm writing to mention that white-on-black is hard to read. I made it to the end, with only one break, but now my eyes actually hurt.

Any chance of a change to dark lettering over light background?

Belinda said...

If your were in any way feeling like a "has been," you are as far from that as anyone could be. You are by your very DNA someone with "open eyes, ears and mind" who looks at the world questioningly and dares to challenge the accepted wisdom. There will be a need for that leadership as long as you can gasp out a breath--and beyond.:)

Leave the past behind because there are new fields to be plowed that can only be plowed by you!

Kristin said...

I think you are right and Yoda probably did have that "Damn kid" reaction. You are doing a good thing with your work and your mentoring.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Maggie, I try to accomondate here and I've gotten a number of requests to go to black on white but when I do I get requests from those who cannot read black on white. So I'm six months one way, six months the others. Some have highlighted and pasted into another document. I'm sorry but I'm trying to be accessible to the diversity of needs.

Brenda said...

I loved this post. There's something very special about seeing a part of 'you' being continued on in someone else. And while I'm not in the training field professionally, I am a Mom, and I completely understand that mix of emotions you speak of. It's a little freaky how fast we can go from "Look, she's doing it just like Mommy!" to "Wow, she's doing it all on her own, and better than I ever did...huh." Oh, and by the way...

"Age. Who's idea was that?"

...if you find out, can you let me know? I've got a bone to pick...

Tamara said...

I love what Belinda said.

Hopefully, you will soon come to terms with how exceptional it is to be able to see the lessons you learned the hard way turn into a foundation for others who can carry out, stretch and strengthen your vision in the future.

Maybe you will never truly leave the past behind, but if your vision is now safe in the hands of others, it must be time to start expanding your vision. ... as Belinda said - plowing those new fields and I'm guessing you already know where they are ...

Fun Mum said...

uh... "at risk of those who feel I promote my home agency here on this blog too much"? WTF? Whoever might have made this comment needs to understand this is YOUR blog, YOUR view, YOUR writing. Don't like it? Don't read it! I hope these nay-says don't bring you down!

Maggie said...

Dave, thanks for this. Glad to hear that diversity is being attended to. Also glad to know about other needs I hadn't encountered -- didn't know dark text/light background was a bother to others.

As to 'over-promoting your workplace' ... Feh! People who don't want to know where great work is being done, or don't want contact info for the ones who do it, just can't imagine that they, themselves, might ever need it done.

One of my biggest pet peeves about the old newspaper industry (in the pre-internet days when I worked there) was the idea that it was somehow 'wrong' to include in the story any info that could allow a reader to contact the subject. If we wrote a story about a wonderful chiropractor, or a great amateur singing group that would come serenade your nursing home, it seemed to me we owed our readers a way to get in touch. But no, said our editor -- that would be an ad.

This is your blog, use it any way you like.

And me, I wish I lived a bit nearer to Vita.

Anonymous said...

Dear Yoda, opps we mean Dave!

Wow. We can't express to you what your words mean to us. We are the lucky ones! We are honoured that you have shared your thoughts, ideas, praise, and even the “dreaded” constructive criticism, as that has shaped us into the trainers that we have become. We have grown in immeasurable ways since you have come into our lives, both professionally and personally. No matter at what capacity, you and your work continually inspire us to do well and to teach better!
Thank you Dave for guiding us to where we are today and where we will go in the future… (Oh yes, we’ll continually seek you out for your wisdom oh Jedi master!!)
Thanks to you,
Obi 1 and Obi 2