Sunday, June 27, 2010

Connections in Unlikely Places

This week I have been lucky enough to be given an opportunity to attend Girls State, a government simulation for girls all over California. Although this program has no correlation to the Ivy Scholars program the ideals are very similar.
The Girls of Girls State
Yesterday we had a speaker by the name of Michelle Jackman attend the opening ceremony. She shared with us her wisdom about life, which she had broken down into five steps and titled The High 5. The amazing thing was that Jackman’s process for success lined up exactly with those of Never Eat Alone author Keith Ferrazzi. [One of the required reading of the YISP] Both pushed the ideas of communicating with those around you, getting acknowledged for the work you’ve been doing, and getting along with your coworkers. Both views have changed the way I will tackle the challenges to come. Thanks to their push I have sent out emails to the people I know in my immediate family and in my network of close friends that have attended colleges I am interested in. Although that will not do the work for me, their information may hone my research in a manor that I didn’t expect.

Of all the books I’ve read so far, Never Eat Alone has had the most direct influence on me. Although Cyrus the Great was a marvelous story, I felt the authenticity was lost knowing that the author had chosen to change the original tense to first person. However, I was still captivated by the progressive views of a leader from so long ago.
I look foreword to continuing my reading and finding more connections to it here at Girls State and the world around me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Assigned Reading

The assigned reading for Yale has proved excellent so far. I was worried that the books would be dry and boring, but the two I've read so far have proved me wrong.

I finished reading "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, which Yohanna recommended. I wanted to dwell on passages to reread them over and over again, but I needed to keep my reading moving as well. There was a lot of excellent advice on leadership and war that I want to apply in Marching Band at Pinole Valley High.

This is the best part about all of this reading. I can really relate to the text and use the information in real life, which is why I'm so excited about this program. Grand Strategy, whether it be in the classroom or in the Oval Office, is something that will be useful throughout my life.

Now I'm reading Cyrus the Great, which I can safely say is one of the best books I have ever read. It's easy to read, entertaining, and filled with excellent advice. I love how it's written. Cyrus narrates his campaign against the Assyrians like he's telling a group of children around a campfire.

I'm two-thirds through the book, and I already plan to read this book again. If I ever have children, this will be their bedtime story. There's so much to learn from it, I'm sure my children will become better people if they grow up with this story.

Or, they'll end up conquering countries and such.

I plan on finishing Cyrus this weekend, and then I'm going to start reading "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi. Or maybe "Genghis Khan", because Yohanna recommended that one as well. However, Mr. Gosney also recommended the history of the Peloponnesian War.

Whatever is next on the list, I look forward to reading everything.