I don’t know what happened over the last three weeks. It was neither my intention nor my plan to go on hiatus, to take a break from blogging. However, I still encountered — whatever one wants to call it — a brain fart or writer’s block. I definitely suffered something because no matter how hard I tried, nothing, not a single idea emerged. My brain housed a big, blank space. I’ve read of this happening to writers but since I’ve only been writing for a couple of months, I didn’t expect this phenomena to visit me so soon. Of course, it would have been easy to just write a subpar article blabbering about nothing, or post some random photos in order to fill up the page; but that would have been unfair to my readers and a desperate attempt on my part to stay the course. My readers would have recognized immediately that the article was written by a drowning woman gasping for air. I only hope that this involuntary, forced inaction will not happen again anytime soon.
Category Archives: Education/Learning
A little over a year ago, I was researching the history of my hometown, Warrenton, VA, when I came across this article about Blind Tom. Black History Month is a befitting time to share the story of this extraordinary man who was born blind and autistic, but came to share with the world his phenomenal recall and musical genius.
Thomas Greene Wiggins was born into slavery in 1849 and sold at auction a year later with his parents and two brothers to the Bethune plantation in Columbus, GA. Since Tom was blind, he was thrown into the sale as a freebie. Tom’s only sign of understanding anything was his interest in sounds and the ability to mimic them. According to Barbara Schmidt, she wrote in Archangels Unaware that General Bethune told Tom’s mother that her son had as much intelligence as the family dog and began teaching Tom animal commands like “sit” and “stand.” One day before Tom was six years old, he astounded the family by reproducing the sequence of chords from memory exactly as he had heard the Bethunes’ musically talented children play them.
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In a quest to do my first documentary, I chose to focus on homelessness because during my business travels, I was seeing more and more homeless people, especially women on the streets of large metropolitan cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, San Diego, Chicago, and definitely here in the nation’s capital.
So, as an aspiring photojournalist, I started out making huge mistakes by making assumptions based on my very limited knowledge of what homelessness does and does not look like. And based on those assumptions, I viewed homelessness as someone who’s dirty, disheveled, or even grungy looking.
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There is a great article on LinkedIn titled, “Why Everyone Needs an Elevator Pitch?” by Deep Nishar. Impromptu speaking can occur anywhere or with anyone — from the CEO of your firm, a foreign visitor, or a news reporter.
In the article, Nishar provides a cafeteria scene where Sally, a senior executive, asks Joe how he’s doing? The article goes on to provide three different responses that Joe may give:
- Short and sweet: “I’m fine.”
- Mumbling: “Fine” and at a lost for words.
- Knowledgeable: “I’m doing great” and expounds on what his team is doing.
However, I want to take the dialogue one step further. Read the rest of this entry »