Monday, February 6, 2006

Midcourse Review

It's very strange to have one's life and livelihood examined through the lens of metrics and "qualitative" data.

I just got out of a presentation from a volunteer group through Stanford's Business School. A team of about 8 women are helping GirlSource evaluate itself and see from an objective standpoint where our strengths and growth areas are as an organization.

A lot of my gut feelings were substantiated in the 40+ pages of Power Point presentation. I know that we have a passionate staff that comes with a lot of knowledge around nurturing and maintaining relationships, offering alternative teaching techniques to reach a variety of learners, but we may not be so schooled in management tools...drop jargon regarding metrics and qualitative data. The team presented to us the holes in our systems which our opportunities to document and therefore SOMEDAY down the road replicate the community we have created that is GirlSource.

Super exciting to be in the room with Standford MBAs and MBAs to be in suits and I was in my orange cords and Ladyfest Bay Area tshirt absorbing this presentation, making eye contact with my fellow teammates and forming questions to ask the team. I did not feel less than these women. That is an excellent feeling.

I did notice as I surveyed the room that not a ONE had skin/acne/blemish issues as I do. I will figure this body mystery out, soon enough!

What I think is interesting about how "metrics" work is that there is no appropriate way to record "holistic" data. How does one measure the improvement of leadership skills? self-advocacy? I'm excited to work with this group to quantify these aspects of our program that might be described as "touchy-feely". Our success? The leaders, the young women we empower to grow into our colleagues.

Statisticians have yet to measure people of blended backgrounds correctly (leaving people with the choice of "mixed" or "other" as options if they are not "full-bred").
And then their origins are swept under the rug..."none of the above", and yet clearly flesh and blood. The question of origin is a hot-button issue for individuals such as myself who are blended. Am I supposed to ignore an ancestor? What about the ethnicity versus race question? I am a latina who expresses herself most dominantly in her African ancestry, but does that discount my paternal grandfather's European ancestry? His blonde hair and blue eyes?

Today was a fabulous day. I began the morning with more sunlight streaming into my room and a slight chill brushing my cheek. I had turned off the space heater to conserve energy. My core was warm; I found my blue, barbaloot suit pajamas but need to unearth more socks. My feet are constantly rubbing for warmth. Friction = heat, and this equals much comfort.

I heard my roommate rustling and quickly threw off the covers, reached over the wall of boxes to my closet door to snatch my towel and rushed into the bathroom for my shower.

I read in a health book recently that ending one's shower with a minute of cold water invigorates the skin. I have been sporadically adopting this practice. At the end of the shower I slowly turn down the hot water and begin light whooping as the water turns to cold.

On river I seem to have no problem with this temperature. In the confines of my bathroom, I seem to feel that the cold droplets are daggers penetrating my skin.

60 seconds lasts a lifetime. I splash my face and rub down my arms and legs and torso and arch my back so the stream of cold water draws itself down my spine.


Have I noticed a change in my skin? No.

But I have noticed that I have a slight spring in my step as I leave the house for the day. I have been kicked in the psyche with a jolt of cold water.


I walked down the side walk, passed where I saw young men actually shooting dice on Saturday, passed neighbors who had yet to begin their workdays, and landed at the corner of Maple and Macarthur.

The bar is closed, but the staleness of a seedy bar remains. This busstop is not my favourite. It is a springboard. I either hop a 57 toward 35th or toward Coolidge. This allows me access to the NL bus, which is an excellent and efficient connector between the east and west bays. It circumnavigates the mess that is the 580/24 corridor. (I need to lobby for diamond lanes!!!!)

Today I reconnected with Megan during my busride. We laughed about our dear friend Mike and boys in general. We epiphanied on our friendship and kindredship. She made the commute pass by quickly and easily.

I always love that.

I arrived in the office and spent time tidying and purging from my desk, recapping the weekend with coworkers, drinking tea, eating strawberries, and plotting for my coworker's birthday celebration.

I also sent my bio and pic for the fellows welcome reception on Wednesday at Full Circle Fund. I am nervous, but extremely excited about the opportunity it affords me. I am seeking training and mentorship at a cost I can afford, and here is life presenting me this opportunity.

It's I can shine when I let people see me.

This is an experiment, and it also feels rather good.

I feel the day has flown by. The sunset came before I knew it. Golden before dying into streaks of oranges and guava pinks. It was amazing.

I drank one Swiss Gear bottle full of tea. One more and I make my water quota for the day. Yay.

And now I am about to leave to at least say hello to my friend Kimani. He is a deep man who sometimes takes too much time to introspect for my taste. It should never be a year between seeing folks, unless distance prevents you from doing so. He was my neighbor in Alameda until I moved.

The moon is in Gemini according to my Wemoon Calendar. I don't know what that means.

I've called Martiza back and I called Pia back. I will be housesitting in Glen Park for the week with the COOLEST dog in the world, which is exciting.

Oh, and I will have access to a HUGE library of DVDs at my disposal. That should be fun as well.

Hrm...and I will have to see if Dancho decides to come to the Music Lovers show at Ricshaw on Thursday with Fumi and I. Matthew "Ted" and company should perform an enchanting set as always. I always take furious notes at their shows. Matthew's stage presence is excellent.

My goodness. It's now almost 11 pm. It looks like I'll be walking wherever I go before I am home this evening.

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