Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflection Day

For my reflection day (once a month I am suppose to spend a day outside of the LMC reflecting/recharging myself), I took off for the British Library.

Big Ben - closer than I had been before
What I'm in a picture???

Now that I've gotten to actually posting my reflection day stuff I realise that these pictures are around a month old...I just got a haircut and my hair is pretty short now.  First time I've had a "real" haircut in two and a half years.  Real meaning one I paid for...and probably 6 and a half years since getting one from a "professional" and not just a friend in college for $5.  My new hair below...or just a lot less of my old hair.  It'll be a couple of weeks before new hair seems to appear.

So what have I been up to over the last month or so?

A lot... two courses from Bridge Builders - their foundation course, Transforming Church Conflict and a follow up course, Training of Trainers.  The Transforming Church Conflict course took me up to Bawtry (small town near Doncaster) north in England (but not THAT far north).  It took place over the third week of October.  The Training of Trainers course happened this last week from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Transforming Church Conflict course (TCC) focused on our own perceptions of conflict, our preferred conflict "styles" through the Gilmore-Fraleigh profile, and little bits here and there of ways to deal with conflict a little more effectively.  It was very self-focused and is meant as a foundation course to build off of for the future whether or not someone takes another course from Bridge Builders.

Overall, it was a very tiring course.  A lot of information to process as well as self processing.  Beyond the course itself I also was a part of briefing and debriefing each day to give me a flavour of what it will be like as a trainer.  This added with setting everything up on Sunday (course ran Monday to Friday with a meal on Sunday) and taking everything down Friday, travel 3-4 hours up 5-6 hours back (we hit traffic...lots of it), led to an exhausting week.

That being said it was well worth it.  I learned a lot more about myself than I thought I would even though some of the material/concepts were not new to me as I had learned many of them through my time at Goshen College.  However, being a little older, having a little more life experience, and processing the information for a different reason made it a very worthwhile experience.

The Training of Trainers course that I participated in this last week was very exciting for me.  It basically is a course that teaches people how to run a one-day workshop using Bridge Builders concepts and material.  It gave me a bit of an idea of what I will be doing during courses in the future since it was training me on using some of the material that we used during the other courses.  Not only did it prepare me a little for being a Bridge Builders' trainer, but also prepared me for doing such a workshop when I get back to the States at some point.

The material, while presented over 3 days was broken up so that we were presented it, got a chance to try part of the presentation ourselves, and then debriefed each experience afterwards.  If it was going to be really run as a one-day workshop it would need a very special group of people (i.e. VERY very quick learners).   It would be easy to divide the material into a couple of days/workshops.

Now that I've given a summary of some of the work I've been doing I guess I should let everyone know of some of the fun stuff I've done...on to some pictures!!

The following pictures are of Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath and around in the Heath on a wonderfully sunny fall day.


  The next photos are sort of in front of Chinatown, a couple of a church at night, the Thames at night (not a clear shot but the water looks neat), outside a pub on the Southside of the Thames w/the flame/light things...

The next photos are from the fireworks celebrating Guy Fawkes day.  The link for what the day is from wikipedia is below here. It's basically celebrating the burning of a guy who tried to blow up Parliament with a TON of fireworks.  The pictures don't do the show justice, but they're interesting enough.