Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wood Badge and the Stubborn Dutchman

I got back from the first of two Wood Badge weekends about 24 hours ago, having had every single button pushed. Additionally, buttons I was not even aware I had had been pushed. I know it's supposed to work this way -- Wood Badge is leadership training put on by the Boy Scouts of America that is meant to throw we leaders out of our comfort zones so we can build empathy for the oboys in our care who are experiencing the same thing. That being said, it doesn't mean my buttons weren't pushed.

By the time we all left Saturday afternoon, I was headachy and a bit short-tempered. Part of that is due to physiology -- I have a personality type that requires great expenditures of energy when I'm required to connect with and be around lots of other people. The only way I recharge is to be alone, and that's pretty tough to do at Wood Badge, both due to the scheduling of as little decompression time as possible and to the fact you can't wander off for long because there's always someone looking for you because you've got places to be. I took to hiding in the toilet because that was the only place you could conceivably find a bit of privacy and have it understood you didn't want to be disturbed for a little while.

Also, I'm not a competitive person. Or a demonstrative person. SO to set me up in times and places where I have to be competitive and then compete with others when there's an aspect of non-competitiveness to be seen is frustrating. And then I'm supposed to cheer and hoot and holler? Oh goodness. LEt me run off screaming into the night. So I can decompress, find energy again, and not have to stand there thinking ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh I have to come up with something spontaneous and filed with energy when IT'S MY TURN AND I'M NOT READY! HELP!

I'm doing better now.

I can see how what we learn at Wood Badge will be beneficial. Seeing how teams form and work and try to get together will be of immense help as I work with teams in the BYU-Idaho online classes I teach. I'm going to have to set up teams quite early and get them working on an unofficial assignment together before they're required to work together on their graded assignment.

But here's the thing: This takes time to sink in. Time to implement. In some ways, it's come too late for this semester ideally, meaning I'll have to find ways to use this new training in less than ideal situations. But that's life: Less than ideal situations.

So I'll be going back to Gilwell, happy land, next week. The stubborn Dutchman in me won't allow anything but that to happen. There is of course that part of me that sees the value, and that part is helping the stubborn Dutchman get there too.


Anonymous said...

You get it.

PS your little captures to type in below aren't actually both words.

949 doesn't cut it.

Marni Hall said...

Came here to check out my son's first online teacher (sniff!). Funny to see this - I was a WB course director 9 days away from 18 months ago. I know that because their tickets are supposed to be completed in 9 days. The course is a stretch for all of us, every time, which is what makes it so great.

Fun to read on your bio that you and your wife graduated in Tech Writing from USU. I did too.

I won't mention my son's name. He doesn't need to start this journey with a target on him already. :)

Mister Fweem said...

Little eyes everywhere. Of course, I should expect that, posting this on a public blog.