Notes from 18F

by | Mar 2, 2019 | Ground Work | 6 comments

Don’t Forget the Earplugs:

The man seated in 19F must be lonely. Hard to believe with the six kids he just told the passenger next to him (19E, it’s a full flight) he has. If he’s not lonely, how could he be so desperate to talk? And talk and talk and talk (and this comes from a bit of a talker, mind you).

We’ve been in the air an hour and 20 minutes, and 19F hasn’t stopped for breath. I’m annoyed, as the chatter is way too loud to fade to background noise, but also awed at this man’s seeming lack of need for oxygen.

Thankfully, there’s a tailwind, and we’ll be off this plane 30 minutes earlier than anticipated.

Note to self – Don’t leave home without earplugs ever again.

Always Book a Window Seat:

That’s the title of one of my Jahns Lectures, and what I always do. But this year, instead of simply enjoying the views of the landscape below, I find myself trying to take pictures too (something I do not always do). It’s not possible, at least for this very amateur photographer, to get great photos from an airplane window (though it must be amusing for my fellow passengers to watch the gyrations I’ll go through trying). I should, as they say, just “sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight,” and the views.


Reprise of the Recovering Perfectionist:

I woke up at 3:20 a.m. a few nights ago. Then I spent an hour thinking about ways to revise the PowerPoints for my Jahns Lectures. Cool ideas, that would take me hours (I’m not great at working in PowerPoint). Hours over the many I’ve already put into composing and tweaking the talks.

Would these changes make the talks better? Yes, I think they would. Enough to invest the time? No, I think not.

Besides, would it be for the students I’m speaking with, or to satisfy this perfectionist who still, apparently, has not quite recovered. Perhaps focusing on authentic communication with and genuine caring for my listeners is the best way to spend my time and energy. Hmmm, food for thought.

And speaking of food…

Step Away from the Cookie:cookies

I love cookies. Especially chewy chocolate chip cookies. You know, the kind you can really taste the butter in. With dark chocolate chips, of course.

Unfortunately, each of those cookies contains as many calories as I can consume in a whole day without having to purchase a new, larger-sized wardrobe.

Seems like every Jahns Lecture visit is accompanied by a platter of these delights. Or hot, melty pizza. Sigh.

I admit the occasional vegetable tray and fruit plate have been offered, but they’re somehow rendered invisible when placed next to the aforementioned sweet and savory temptations.

So, I must step away from the cookie. Well, most of them…after all, nobody’s perfect.

Thanks to all who are helping to make my year as the Richard H. Jahns Lecturer in Applied Geology a fulfilling experience and great adventure. Coming soon to a college or university near you!

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  1. Serin

    Fun post, Deb! Sorry you had to endure such an annoying passenger.

    • Deborah Green

      Put my earplugs in my briefcase this morning – I’ll be ready next time!

  2. Sharon

    So sweet to see your picture as you are doing your lecture. Been thinking of you flying around, sharing your experience and wisdom, and planting seeds that will impact your listeners. Yahoo!

  3. judi

    lecture action shot, love it!

  4. Howard

    In my experience, such chatty people are graduates of UAK, The University of All Knowledge, as they seem to know everything about everything. One of the core requirements for a PhD from UAK is a Masters of Broadcasting All-the-Time (an MBA). One often wonders how they know anything as they are always in the “transmit” mode. So far, I have been unable to determine the exact location of UAK though I suspect it somewhere east of the Hudson River……….

  5. Philip

    Perhaps the gentleman was longing for “adult” conversation when he got out and about. That tends to be my travel experience when I run into some people with a large family. However, they do tend to overcompensate (always carry earplugs) 🙂


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Geologists study the earth and the processes that shape it. Writers study the human heart and the processes that shape it. The GeologistWriter builds a bridge between the two. Come across it with me!

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