clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MNW goes to a leadership seminar

No metaphors about Indiana here, no sir.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen's Home, Office And Hotel Raided By FBI Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

I got a nice fellowship that will fund my research/writing next year. (Oh, good for me.) Tax-exempt, allows me to live in the Twin Cities full-time, the whole nine yards. I’m pretty pumped about it.

The catch? I am now subject to the “Christian leadership” (religiously-affiliated university) training that goes with it.

This morning, that played out in me attending a “leadership seminar” with an overly-peppy (aren’t they all?) instructor who wanted to encourage and facilitate great conversation about leadership in the modern American university. As someone who had to lecture on the entirety of the 1960s and civil rights movement for only an hour and fifteen minutes (far too short, even to hit the highlights) beginning at 3:30, I was in no mood. So I decided to keep a running liveblog on the side of my course-supplied notebook, instead:

1010: synergy

It was used unironically. I had been at this seminar for under 10 minutes.

1016: “I welcome your discourse on this definition [of leadership]”

[internal scream]

That’s not editorializing. I wrote [internal scream].

1021: CONtributing

Look, you’re some nice dude here to teach me about leadership skills that I, frankly, don’t give a fuck about. But THAT’S NOT HOW YOU SAY “CONTRIBUTING.”

I realize, at this point, that I have been here for 21 minutes and my inner monologue has hit “[internal screaming]” and actually verbalizing, in my head, what I’m screaming about.

I then wonder how Indiana Week is going and if, in actuality, I underrated Haydon Whitehead.

1025: TEDtalk Celeste Headlee


1027: “rxns to TED talk” w/ a smirk

I don’t know what this means. I don’t know why I am in a room watching a TED talk from 2015 that I already wouldn’t watch on my own time. TED talks are dumb. Think for yourself or read a book with that self-satisfied smug smirk, you prick.

1054: “capture the essence of groupwork”

Why was I putting things in quotes? What good could this do—was I saving them for some imaginary record, knitting them, Defarge-style, into my memory and saving what it felt like to capture the essence of me and 5 other “leaders” sitting in a circle talking about why I self-defined as “impatient?”

1121: another TED talk

1124: I write “intersectional” for the first time. Oh God.

1134: I have to remember that if they’re coming f/ a diff. place, you need to just understand them...they’re not wrong

No. NO. You stop it right now. When my dumbass freshman tells me “well, don’t we need to think about the positives for slaves, like learning to read and write,” no. No we do not. People can be objectively wrong, just like people who think that candystriped pants are a good look or Dan Dakich is a good commentator. Stop it. No.

1135: a creative writer speaks. I stop listening

1138: “social justice”

1147: notice he has big expanding plastic ball on front table. Oh God.

Spoiler: I don’t stay long enough to find out what kind of metaphor it is.

1200-1305: lunch

I take a second plate from the free buffet. I’ve earned this. Gotta bulk up during spring practice and summer training.

1325: “learning f/ failure”

Happy Indiana Week, kids!

1326: leaderSHAPE defines leaderSHIP

at this juncture these words almost began to make sense to me

there are many ships on the sea, but the best ships are friendships

you gotta be in championSHAPE to win a championSHIP [TM MNW 4/23/18 fuck y’all]

1329: “are you familiar w/ Strength Quest?”

I got Vision, Johnny, and CenturyLink...but no, no Strength. [Side note: Are you a motivational speaker/leadership trainer? Stop referencing obscure motivational pedagogy and asking if people have heard of it. At best, 1-2 other sad people in a room of 30 will have heard of it. Fuck your inside jokes.]

1340: “I thank you for your participation”

Not because we’re done, mind you, but because every. damn. segment. we did ended with the leader thanking us for our honest and thoughtful participation.

I have now sketched my own hanging in a game of Hangman where the word was “leaderSHAPE”

1346: I volunteer for something. Send help.

1357: put a bow on the day that has been today

Why would you wrap up a day like today? Who do you hate this much?

I take advantage of a 7-minute break in the action and leave.

1405: angry walk to office, crop dust happy couple on a blanket in the quad