30 Nov 2018

Stories linger

My communication style has mostly Storytelling, even when I did the Your Communication style test 7th times. I do believe, and many others do with me, that Storytelling is in our blood, and not only from our own childhood but stone ages. 

I tell in public the stories of my Great grandmother Paula, even now. It was also my Icebreaker for Leadership Development path. First, I heard her stories she was 92 and I (or me?) only 12. I was telling her stories also on stage, and playing it out even. We both survived Holocaust, in different ways but that is yet another story.

What I did not yet tell, were the circumstances around her storytelling and how much she helped me then, not only all my life. 

My mother language is Hungarian, but the Transylvanian town we lived become Romanian after the WW2, and my parents decided I have to learn the language, sending me to a Romanian school. I knew only a few words Romanian, and two girls of my class begin to bully me, mock me, succeeded to put me aside in our class. 

Not only did I have to fight to understand what the teachers said, learn some French translated to Romanian when I did not understand either language yet, and keep my head out of the water, study harder then ever in my life just to pass, but with time I understood that the name they called me  in my class and what it meant. It was ugly and I was very upset. But the name remained for all the two years I was there, stuck to me.

My great grand mother, blind now for 20 years was living at that time in a hospital room, a hospital my mother worked, and on the way from school to home I passed by and visited her. She did tell me stories from her own childhood, from later when with 7 children, the last one still only 2 years old, she lost her husband, and then other family stories. She told them so well that I see them still in my mind's eyes. 

Each story finished "so you see, Julie, how from something bad, something good came."

What good come for me for those two difficult years? 

Perhaps I learned to study in very difficult conditions. And of course, the stories I was told remained in me and my deep believe of their message, even if each had more then one morale in it, that if I wait enough, something good will arrive from any very bad situation. 

Each time, I got in another place where I was different, it was easier.  

After two years in the Romanian Lycée  I said to my parents "enough" I want to continue in a Hungarian school. Of course, learning in my mother language was easy, and getting almost on top of the class too. This time, it took a lot longer to realize, I am not really accepted there either. I was almost everywhere a "fish out of water". 

Today, I tell "happy we are so many fish out of water in London!" We are even more "fish out of water in online clubs" : members from all over the world in fact. Telling each other our different stories made us realize, how similar we are in fact. 

I opened yesterday, my Level 3 Storytelling project.
Even if not many of us can attain Dananjaya storytelling mastery, who is in the video following this screen, we all can learn to tell stories better every day. Adding dialogue, different voices, descriptions that light up - enough but not too much, so the audience adds their own experience and embeds thus even more in his mind. We can do it using different voices, pitch and pauses, we can do it expressing with our body. Using other projects from Level 3 to improve each time our story, our stories.
Introduction and end can be very short in a story, the project writes even only a sentence to ground the story somewhere, plant the time and character, which of course, in a Personal Story are us mostly. Then the conflict bring about the message and the resolution. I have so many stories of my struggles in my life! It is said there are great moment in our life and there are story moments. There is not much we can say when everything is great and we have no problem.

Sometimes, I even believe, the ugly Pathways Interface come about so we have something to tell later, "at the beginning" but also it does link us to each other. Tell the problems we had as a story, easy to remember and then tell farther to others. 

From one story, another arrises. 

When we open up, others open up. Go deeper, dare to tell. One story leads to another, even in my own mind. Yes, I have many personal stories to tell, but I am still here at 85 ready to tell them. And indeed, in the 20 month since I begun Pathways, I have written a lot, but still a lot of stories waiting to be told. 

I am sure, you do also have already Pathways stories, Pathways topics shorter anecdotes to tell each other. How you overcome difficulties, how you succeeded to help others.

29 Nov 2018

Navigator will be accessible at any time from any device

A part of speech, from D. Rex speech in Sri Lanka.

"We have started a team called the Pathways Digital Experience and since Pathways rolled out, we know that while people are very happy with the educational content, the digital interface is not great.

There are some issues that slow us down in Basecamp, and it can be a struggle for some people.

So this team - it's about six .. eight people right now - are focusing 100% on making that better.

And we have new things that we are going to be rolling out in the coming months that will make the entire electronic experience a lot better than it has been.

The first of those will be The Navigator.

How many of you have heard of The Navigator? You may have printed the PDF file, gone online and viewed it ... what we have done is taken the Navigator out of the 'bucket of software' that it is in, and built it completely into the website so that it is accessible at any time from any device, and with responsive design.


And that is the pattern that we are going to follow - so whether you are using your phone, or using a tablet, or using a full screen, you are going to have easy access." 

So, for the Navigator, in a few weeks, for other improvements in a few months. Thinking Positive: improvements to the user interface, and some other goodies will arive.

28 Nov 2018

Daniel Rex about Pathways, streamed from Sri Lanka

As a moderator, now admin, I follow all that appears in our Pathways Discussion Forum

I found a live stream, direct from Sri Lanka, d82 captured by a participant, then shared by another to the Forum. I was not able to capture it yet, so here are some important parts I put in my notebook.

What Daniel Rex, Executive Officer of Toastmasters International said, is urgent, important, interesting right now, will write about pathways stories another time.

I stopped a few times the flow of the video, to write down what I heard. The sound was not the best, so sometimes, listened twice. 

This picture is not from the stream, but it he still looks like this. Daniel Rex has a great conversational style "inherited from my grand-father" he said in another interview.

He begun to speak at 12 minutes, alas I did not understand the TM who introduced him, his accent was too difficult for me to grasp. But will try again later. Rex does speak very clear and not to fast so it is very easy to understand. 


At 16' he begun to tell about some very important improvements that will arrive 

  • 100% effort now to make Pathways user experience easier to use (did I hear well?)
  • new things are coming (I think it was new paths) soon
  • a new Navigator, very improved - or was it Navigation experience?
  • all will be able to see all content not just one level at a time ('as I like it' he said)
  • even will be able to look at them before the assessment (min 25)
  • Navigator been able to see on all devices (smart phones included)
Some experienced toastmasters, are "a little bit reluctant to dive in": "remember, the only constant is change" ! Spend time to experience it. Going back is not an option. Adapt. Move forward. "

Tell us about your Pathways Experiences" He did even ask three of Sri Lanka toastmasters to come up and do it.

At 50 minute, almost the end, Rex spoke about Smedley's Focus, Vision, Altruism and how Stubborn he was. About how much roar the Basic Training (1941) manual brought about, and before it the Chairman booklet (1930). 

Towards the end, Rex showed telephones from old days, first mobile phones, first iPhone, the newest one. I do hope, this was really a hint that we will be able to use Pathways Educational materials also from all mobile phones, we can not yet.

Daniel Rex, suggested to spend 15 to 30 minutes at the end of every club meeting using each our laptops, showing how to login and use Pathways! "Who between you commit to show it in your club?" 

27 Nov 2018

All projects in a Level available to us

I got a message today "please send me an Elective Project from Level 4 as I can not access it before completing the Required Project from my path. So wrong!

I just arrived at Level 3 of Team Collaboration, with the Successful Collaboration, a great Required Project in it. As I already Activated it, and read it twice, in can be opened with Launch.

Then, there are 12 Elective Projects, we can not see indeed, till we do not click on View Details. But as soon as we click on View Details button, we got these Projects, and a lot more that I did not show now.
Activate in the middle of the button if you are interested to read, save, print any of them, then Launch after it was already activated to read and study any project - or all 12 one after other - at any time. As you see, from these in the front, I went to read again the Connect to Storytelling. 

But once inside a Level, all project are available, and for sure, we do not have to finish the Required project before we do, finish any of the Elective Projects.

I could indeed open Successful Collaboration project, that I like a lot. But even if it is a relatively short project it will take some time to "collaborate" creating a small event, or project.

At the same time, I also opened the Connect with Storytelling project, and begun to think, which story to tell and try to find a moment when something important changed for me. 
Something that will tell my audience also the message I want to convey through the story.

Just because the Elective Projects are not Visible, till we click on View Details, it does not mean we can not see and access all of those available in our Level!

It is not the first time I read and prepare a story from this project. Each time, I find something new. Discover how connected it is with other Projects in this level.

This page hints that it would be useful to review Understanding Vocal Variety and Effective Body Language. This is, between others, that was not eliminated from the Printed Path Level 3. And if on web we can access ALL electives, for those with Printed manual it is not possible.
Beside the two projects mentioned, there is also the Descriptive Language that could help a lot for better preparing the story, and, in my opinion, also the Persuasive Speaking or Inspiring Project. 

When I was at Visionary Communication, my first web Path, at the same time, in fact before the Storytelling Project, I did deliver twice, in different ways, the Vocal Variety. Had so much fun with them! 

Of course, me being me, all my Projects Level 1 and 2 where also told like stories.

26 Nov 2018

The different satisfactions of learning

In May, I have already wrote something about .Learning for joy

As I Studied Learning technologies, to understand better how and why Pathways Education was created and what it can offer us, I stumbled on Blended Learning, Learning Architect, exhibitions and conferences about Learning Technologies in modern age. And also, compared, what was always there, and what new methods can be used.

One of the concepts was to explain that we do get different rewards. 

External rewards, good grades, promotion, getting often Level Awards in Pathways.
Internal “intrinsic” rewards,are many. 

  • Pleasure of the activity
  • Pleasure of new capability
  • Anticipation to learn new skills
  • Possibility to display the results
  • And many more
Which is meaningful to any of us, or in which measure, is individual. 

Offer flexibility, which projects we want to take on, and bring problem solving challenges. Some Just-in-time we need, a problem to sole, others there for us when we will need it. The intrinsic awards require learner autonomy and choice. Probably why, we have only required Projects of the two first levels, and a lot of choices offered later on. 

More I read about or listen to videos about Learning more I understand the choices of our new learning system. The new technologies permit different combinations and ways. It is to us to determine which fits us best. Even more so as we are different. Some beginners, some experts, we do not need same. In plus, we can be experts in one domain and brand new beginners in other. 

Some love to read and reflect, others prefer to experience first. Knowledge and skills are learned in different ways. Alone, together. One to one, one to many. On paper or online. That is what “blended means” it does not have to be only one way. 

25 Nov 2018

"I finished my project?" How to tell?

In every project, we can jump to the Self Assessment-After, or, stop it there while we deliver the speech or last speech of the project. When we open, or let me say, "If we open" the Project Checklist always present in any project's beginning, and again, towards end, the last advice is (now): After having done the tasks and delivered the speech, answer to Self Assessment After questions. 

So, what it the problem, then? I do not always open the Project Checklist... but, in my opinion, the problem are these small rounds and the button "NEXT" who appears and we have to use to progress, instead the right Arrow

When I did arrive at this stage, in my First Path, first Project, after the first answer, I calmly continued with the big right arrow as before. And as too many of you also, alas, remained inside the project, could not Break out of the Icebreaker! 

I am still wondering, why the programmer who created the user interface of our great Pathways projects, decide to play with so many different buttons, instead of remaining consistent with just one or two of them?

I get that we have to choose between 1 to 5 and click, but once we done it, why not continue as before with > Why should we use NEXT 

And, even some other times "More"!

Why sometimes there are 5 Different Questions, other times 7 or 6 ? The questions are interesting and the same as they were given us Before... (only our own eyes) to compare how we changed between Before and After.

As with this "Before" questions, if we want to make sure ALL where answered, we have to SAVE after answering to this last question. ALWAYS, this is the LAST Question in any Project, make sure you do arrive here: "I recognize how this project applies to my life outside of Toastmasters.

Once upon a time, during my pathways experience, I did not believe that for finishing a project, answering or not to all "BEFORE" questions does not matter. And tested it. 

Well, it does not matter. 

I answered only to the AFTER, and my project closed! Before I had finished it! Conclusion? I had to wait 2 long month till I could find a club where we could offer my longer Panel discussion! Yes, during those weeks in my mind was the worry that the Project seemed finished when in fact it was not. It was a good learning!  

It is ONLY answering to ALL questions of Auto Assessment - After and this last one also then SAVING that signals to the Base camp that the project is finished. 

Then, after a little while, Base Camp refreshes and does put an X near the project and then, asks us to Evaluate it. What??? Evaluate? Yes, meaning, to tell what WE did think of the project just finished. Not how we did it, but how the project helped, etc. Would have liked more if they found another word for it. By the way, if you do not answer (I usually do) to the questions, the Project is still finished. After a while, 10 days, it seems, the Evaluate transforms to Launch again as after I answer to the questions.

Of course, when finished ALL three (or later two) projects, we still have to tell "We finished the Level" and ask to be approved this time by VPE or one other of the Base Camp Managers (President or Secretary). 

__________________________________
I did finish yesterday morning, my last Level 2 speech, (Introduction to Mentoring) online, and wrote a letter to the Base Camp Managers of the club I told my story: "please approve it" to my delight, just 10 minutes later, the Secretary of the club approved it. She published the screen, and then I realized that for her it was 2am, middle of the night ! I got a letter from Toastmasters International, that I can open the certificate of completion: for me it was 9 AM. "Go to the Tutorials and look how it is done" was in the letter. OK, I opened the certificate, made a snapshot, then wrote "please add it also to my awards for the club". Done too! And now?
Now, I could open my Level 3 Required Project from my path Team Collaboration! And that was the real gift! I indeed, really really need it NOW ! Need it not "outside Toastmasters" but "outside my club".
Part of the morning was then spend to read the first time, online, every page, even if did not yet begun the tasks given. That Project is what I need now, advice how to "collaborate" and not to how to be a leader. Collaborate, at equal foot with a team. For a small project... a small team... is suggested at first, but the same we learn from it, can be applied for bigger one's, longer one's. 

"You can create together a meeting, or initiate many pathways stories: we have all to agree on the goal and determine together, our skills and talents, and what part each agree to do." There are a lot of useful advices in this online manual! And also asking us to write lists about ourselves, in plus, asking to go and learn some more about one of the topics. Wonderful !

So happy I got through the more or less known Level 2 to arrive here! Really love the Team Collaboration's required project at Level 3. It seems to me as a gift I just got. 

Well, for things like this, I do not mind the awkward user interface, that with time, will change anyway. But projects like this, will remain.

24 Nov 2018

Learning styles and about importance of TIME

From Wednesday, this week I got a speech or a meeting every day. Lots to do! I love the "lots to do" when I do not feel the pressure!

Today, I heard that some say, there are more then just three learning styles: Visual, Acoustic and Experimental (kinesthetic), in fact seems to be seven. Of course, even if one style is more "us" we all have some from each at the same time.

We can not be put in a box!
Looking at the seven styes shown to me today, I only can say which I do have very little part: spacial? musical? linguistic? very little for me. I would not have call it Logical, but I was always good in math even if not used it a lot. 

I love to be as much solitary and social. It depends. 

Physical: experimenting YES. 
I will learn more about those different learning styles in two weeks in Global Trainers Online. 

In all those learning styles, where the Storytelling fits? 

I do believe, most of our learning goes on when we are told stories or tell stories to each other. Also some, of course while we create those stories to tell. And we offer a lot to each other when we share Pathways Stories between us. Or any kind of stories.

Today, back to basics, nth time I spoke from the project "Introduction to Mentoring" for my Team Collaboration path, it was not easy but I found what to tell. Mentoring.

Coaching, Training, Teaching, and so on, we do Offer Time. And when we get it, we are given Time. The gift of time we have to cherish and not to abuse. Time with each other is very precious.

23 Nov 2018

No more "Active"

As soon, as I answered to the Self Assessment - After questions from my Distinguished Toastmaster Project, it disappeared from my Education Transcript's Active page. 

My three recent active paths remained only in the Transcript. 

Where is iT? It was not in the Completed Curriculum, page either. 

I had to look at each category to find it between the many "classes", informational mostly, I have taken. Here it is, finally with the date of completion under it. 

Svetlana, my club's VPE have send the application, which is special, to the TMI already, but I do not hold my breath: it is Thanksgiving weekend in USA. When the Education Awards team will come back from the weekend celebrations, perhaps they will open the mail. Or, they will put in a list, and open it when it's time arrives.

Does not matter. I feel relieved. Heaviness no more there. I will continue lighthearted. 

I already consider my project a success, not only one but seven places we shared pathways stories or pathways topics between us. Others, will follow as times go. Energy comes back to me as I feel I did what I was supposed to do as expected, and even more perhaps. Will speak in more places and "start a movement".

The rest of "more" will be at my initiative but not inside my project. Not this one, at least. I got an online meeting today, will speak in another tomorrow, and will assist also yet others Sunday and Monday and perhaps even Tuesday. 

Wednesday, was a revelation to me. At my brick-and-mortar club, nearby where I live, we spoke about the 10th anniversary of our club. The first President of the club, who last year was VPE and opposed to Pathways presided. Two weeks before, I did hold a Pathways Topic sessions and believed it was not a success, because the huge number of guests, I asked Pathways Experience questions only from a few, our members. The guests, got questions about Change, Transformations. 

This week, our first president, offered the Pathways Pin, to our first Toastmaster who finished Level 1 in our club, and gave a speech telling to all "a new program is there and to remain, and we are looking forward to it!" and linked it to our 10th year anniversary.

The same that in February, was the most difficult to convince to let us, Pathways Ambassador and Guide present the new program in the club, and still did not choose a path for himself, now seemed very convinced: Pathways arrived, Pathways is here to stay. Pathways is the future for all of us. 

I felt, it was the result of the Pathways topics, and topics about Change. At some time, realization arrived to him. If even to him, it will arrive to others, still reluctant too. 

Telling about our experiences in a story like format is always a win! 

22 Nov 2018

Pathways DTM Project Completed

Some of us today, as I told my second speech from the DTM Project, in Witty Storytellers Online club meeting and Graham Evaluated and promptly send me the feedback!

Now, the DTM Project, as I answered to the Auto Assessment -After questions, is no more Active! It can be found as Completed.

Where to put the Evaluation uploaded? I added it to Documents, as it is not inside any Level.

I learned another lesson, again. What is clear in my mind, may be less clear to my audience. Graham asked "instead of one big meeting, many smaller ones: is this good or bad, not clear" He noticed that I spoke about a "movement started" so I believed it was clear. Many meetings, indeed are better then one. And even if my Pathways DTM project is behind me, the movement it started is not, it will continue. I will continue it, my team mates will continue it, YOU will continue it.

Pathways Story Swap, will continue all over the world, in different clubs and meetings.

21 Nov 2018

Thanksgiving for my last 20 month

My daughter, told me Sunday, Thanksgiving is the biggest American festival, weekend.

Begins tomorrow, but last all the weekend. 

Other the eating Turkey, or any other replacement ingredient for vegetarians, and other traditional foods, to remember how happy some of the first Immigrant Pilgrims where, when "Native Americans" Indians, offered them food, after they almost starved, many Americans tell stories around a table full of interesting traditional food, about people to whom they say "Thanks".

Tomorrow, I close my 20 month of Pathways Education cycle, with my second speech from the Pathways DTM. What should I tell? Of course a story. I have so many stories about Pathways! 

I realize also, that I can not stuff my 10 to 12 minute speech with enumerating all those who helped me arrive here, who helped me on my way. So, why not do it in a post? 

I remembered as I woke up this morning, the vacation when I was 12, we were three by room. Hearing my great great mother Paula speak to her God, before going to sleep, I decided to do the same. Thanking God for all the good in my day and asking to care for all I loved. Then, I heard someone add: "please help them all, except..." we then added all whom hurt us recently. 

I will not make a list of "except" even if some irritated me through the 20 month. They do not succeed to hold me back or discourage me. Pathways Educational Program, and the Transition to new, the passion of telling stories and writing blogposts, kept me going and continuing. Those "except" are in my mind, but could not hold me back. There are so many more who contributed to make my 20 month till obtaining a Pathways DTM! 

Where should I begin? 

Let first tell about Michelle Alba-Lim. She created on an impulse, and hearing us talk about it, Facebook group Pathways Discussion Forum where I worked as Moderator for a year. After, she named us all Admins. But in fact she IS the one. In a year from 5 of us to 7500, I spend many hours each day to answer on the forum or in this blog if it was longer. As this blog, now with more then 92,000 visits, all around the glob, it made me feel Connected, not alone. Michelle also named me Club Sponsor to the new Global Trainer Online, observing that I did name only others when I created Witty Storytellers Online club. She also named me Pathways Guide and Ambassador, for District U, lots of interesting adventures we had all around the world and each other there. 

Another pal, with whom we begun end March last year our Pathways journey, Brian Dodd, observed I would need to be Club Coach. Royal Roads Toastmasters in Canada, needed one. But I was living in London. I become the first Club Coach from Afar, and RR got President Distinguished, end June this year. We did encourage and help each other through all our journey in these 20 month. 

VP as Education of my online club I got my club Presidential Distinguished, and Secretary of my land club, I helped with Pathways and increase membership. Introduce Pathways in both clubs. 

I have to mention also Mathew Kleinosky, from Toronto, my Mentor from early days already, and he continues to be and I continue to learn from him "how to be".



I was not able to break out from the first Icebreaker, as I did not understand that I can not continue with the right arrow as before, and have to use More and Next when I arrive to the questions of the Self Assessment. He flew to my rescue all the way from Toronto! Click click click, and my Project was closed and I could continue. Sometimes, later, he helped as much when at my question about Your Communication style he answered "you are a Pathways Pioneer, find the answer! And I did find answers and learned to search for them in Google! He sensed when I felt rock bottom and send me some goodies. Never felt alone, in these 20 month! 

I connected with so many, would be difficult to enumerate all, even if in my notebook, there are a lot more now! Let me add Magda Van Rooyen from New Zealand, who read all my blog posts, a month worth by day, when I asked her to evaluate my blog, the second time around. She was not even yet on Pathways at the time.

I should tell you also of course about the master storyteller, Chief Ambassador of D 27, White E. Paul, with whom we created an world wide storyteller event a year ago, and discovered how each path, can be given a theme, a goal, indifferent almost which path. Because of him and our almost parallel projects, Leadership Development path remains my best memory, and fastest to finish too. It was my third, finished a year ago. He was also that suggested me the name Pathways Story Swap, instead of Pathways Stories Online. Tomorrow, I will relate or speak, not so much about my 20 month feeling so much alive, and so connected, but about the "movement" that begun so well. In less then 2 month, many told their own stories, in a "speech" or a Table Topic answer. And the trend will continue, as my Team decided, to take the lead, one after the other. The DTM Project finishes but my vision continues. Thanks, Coach Carole, Zaldy Co, Assyl Boizhanova!

Thanks to all who created the new Education Program, and even to those who would come in "except" that made necessary to so many to come find answers. With time, the user interface will improve, we will have new Projects and new Paths, and the inconsistencies in the interface will disappear. We will stay connected to each other nevertheless.

19 Nov 2018

Triple crown? How many Awards in a year?

Me? Triple Crown? I even did not dream it!

Three awards in a Toastmasters Year? That was for others, never for me.

In the 7 years before Pathways Education Program, I got DTM and then again ACG, in all about 14 awards, manuals finished. But slowly. Never three in the same year. In only first three month, from 25 March to 29 June 2017, I got my first three levels! My first ever triple crow! At least, in theory it was there, and would have gotten it if I could go to D27.

From July 2017 to June 2018, I got a Triple Crown from District 7 and if it would have counted, at least three, but at least one from District 27, West Virginia. And 2 awards only for undistricted.

I am happy to have a crown at least as a picture, perhaps I will get on from each district, if they decide it it is worth sending it to me.

I would like at least to see how it does look.

The names nearby are by alphabetical order of names, I could not dump the rest but it goes on and on. Pathways does offer many of us many awards.

Instead of waiting till 10 projects are finished, in fact we get one every three: that is one of the advantages of Levels.

Some complain, why are those Levels there and closed, but the make their own universe, each. And at the end of each there is an award.

Of course, a huge joy at first one, then, we become slowly biased. At the end, the Projects and the people we met through working with the Paths and through Projects are a lot more important. We do realize, that once we got over the strange user interface, we get so much from it. Just do not give up.

Pathways stories online

This is how the first storytelling begun, at our Witty Storytellers Online club. The theme was Pathways Storyswap. The day, 11 October 2018. We meet every 2nd, and 4th Thursdays, London time at 6 am. and 3rd Thursdays, the 2 pm London time. When the sun comes up in London, it goes down in Australia, and it is very late in evening the day before in Oregon. Despite that, we are all together at the same time and interact with each other.

In the middle, Magda all the way from New Zealand. telling her pathways experience story using screen sharing in Zoom video conferencing. She is also Founder and president of Ablaze Online Advanced club, they all have adopted Pathways with gusto.

Listen to the various stories about our pathways experiences, all three from Pathways projects. 

18 Nov 2018

No UNDO !

From Matthew Kleinosky who published it to the Pathways Discussion Forum.

I really like how clear it puts it in our mind.

"When it comes to Pathways Projects

One can DO or Not Do

There is no "UNDO"

Some Toastmaster Presenter showed how to close a Project, when in fact, the speech was not yet given, the project not finished. But once he clicked on the last part of the Self assessment - after, and saved it to show how it is done, it was no "undo". As me, he had to wait many weeks till the project was really completed, all the way knowing that Base Camp does see it as done.

I described it a while ago, when it happened to me with a Panel discussion: it was not easy and it took time to find a panel and make the project happen. It was not a great feeling. I learned my lesson, not to think that the Self Assessment before not done has any importance. So, we all learn.

It is not SOOO important: the earth will not move. We are not punished. We have to wait to DO, is all. What the Base Camp believes and what we know may be different. They are our projects! It is up to us to DO what we know it is still not done. Most important:

Yesterday, I learned how important an image can be to fix something in mind.


16 Nov 2018

How much body, hands or backgrounds - online?

I have given one hour presentation, part my story and part pathways slides and discussions. At the beginning, I was sitting, then when the need arose I stood up. That is easy and normal on stage, in a room. Online, it is more a problem. 

We can still show "body language" depending how far we stay. 

Here I captured Derick speaking not only with his expression and voice but also his hands and fingers even. 

When you bring them so near, before your face, you have to be careful how it looks. Here is just great. A bit nearer to the screen, and the hands would seem giants relative to the head. 

And if you point - no, do not do it!

Here is another example, Samir arms and hand remain almost same place as his head so they do not seem bigger. 

Of course, it helped that his entire face was illuminated at the same time, as a spontaneous answer to a question I posed.

Taking screen shots as I did in this two case, at the "exact moment" to show the movement, is not easy. But possible. Usually, I take only faces from online meetings, and very seldom anything else. When we go farther, we can be seen from afar and from time to time even stand up.
From a video taken Saturday, here I am showing the little difference, between a printed manual and one that I printed and assembled home, with the screen waiting (should have been closed while I spoke.) In TV videos, there is sometime just a little screen in the left upper corner when you see images, the rest occupied by the speaker.

My 'usual' when I go online is blue on blue. And whatever someone said about is what not true. In this kind of setting, only what it is important shows : my face. And ok, also my white hair. It is near enough to see my smile and usually my eyes also.

When I want to use more my hands, I push my computer a bit farther. And nowadays, very rare put a special colourful background, as I realized that it may not add to what I am saying but distract from it. When I need to say, I am in London, instead of showing the beautiful red London Phone boxes, I change my name and put Julie - London, even if in some kind of recording the name is not shown. Those participating in the meeting do see, without taking their minds from my message, my story. I learned this in a photography class, that days was about Portraits. 

15 Nov 2018

Looking at what is half full!

It is easy to say, sometimes, it is not so easy to do. Usually, I am a half full kind of person, but lately I looked to much of what I thought it went not well, or as well as I hoped. 

I could look out of my window, and the fall is here, almost all leaves are now fallen. Some very stubbornly on the top or the bottom of the trees.

This is a picture I have taken yesterday, showing from farther, with the blue sky and the clouds, the garages that have stuff in them not cars, and all the fallen leaves.

Do I regret the leaves, the years that passed? The energy that sometimes seems down? Or do I admire the sky and the trembling leaves and try to catch some that just falling down?

I did also some other pictures, where we can see only a part of the whole. So different! 

If I look at the whole, I did a great job lately. If I look at the whole, I did what I hoped and more. Just not have to spend too much time, about what did not go as I hoped or all the things still to be done. 

Another view, more "impressionist" and for me almost showing the leaves and even the clouds moving. 

Yet another, that I will not add to this blog, only to my flickr images account, is all grey, sad. Even images, photographs are not objective! 

Of course, our lives are even less.

Today, this morning, I had Team meeting, and it gave me a lot of confidence. In my team we have Toastmasters with different experience. I just had to realize how to address each, how to ask their contribution. They know and do many things so much better then I do! And that was a great pleasure for me to realize. 

Toastmasters, Pathways, Working with a Team. I learned so much this past year, and today! My energy is going up again. And hear is a surprise for me, a video I did not know that was taken from my Pathways Presentation in the Division, Saturday morning.
Later, I stood up, and told stories forgetting my leg. It did not manifest itself, till later. 

A great Storyteller wrote "I am happy when one in the audience is touched by what I tell". After my hour, stories and presenting and workshop, at least five come to speak to me and  in different ways, told or showed they were touched. New contacts and members of audience who did need what I was telling. Each, different part. 

14 Nov 2018

We can open Completed Paths any time

Going to Educational Transcript and choosing first Completed then Curriculum we get only the completed paths that we can open any time. Here is how mine looks now. 
Why are they called "Curriculum" instead of Path? I always wonder why would be difficult to change names. Or, if they really wanted to use "curriculum" why they did not say it instead of "path". You can see my five completed path with their dates, plus the Pathways Guide Tasks that is also considered "curriculum" and that I also finished. They are here in order I completed them, Visionary communication at the bottom, finished first, and Dynamic Leadership, a few weeks ago: today I got finally the Certificate of Proficiency from USA. I am not sure why, but it has no date on it like the others. 

As you had seen yesterday, I have three others "en route" but only two of them new. When I go through Motivational Strategies, one project at a time, and through Team Collaboration, it still remains 3 that I did not touch. Perhaps the Strategic Relationship will be the one that will follow, I feeling as passing the other two, finishing with HPL. Even if some love that project: I do not specially. That is my opinion now, but who know, later. 

End of year? I feel tired and my energy down. Have to distance myself a little, to refill my energy. Of course, always energy and time for my blog post! If not in the morning as usual, sometime, through the day. And always something to say! 

My last news? I begin to learn to delegate! And I feel my Team is there in need!

13 Nov 2018

Next three Project's Tasks

Beside preparing the Pathways DTM with my team and my last speech, I got three open path at the moment, each with different tasks and at different Levels.

1. Team Collaboration Level 2 : introduction to mentoring. speech: my story as mentee 5'

I read it through again. The most important "new development" in it is the Virtual Mentor. Before, we could mentor only directly, and usually for shorter time. This project, read again opened up even more for me new vistas, but... still difficult. I was asked so many times to become Mentor, and have been not enough been Mentee inside Toastmasters.

2. Leadership Development Level3 Required : Planning and Implementing. 2' or 5' describing it

This is a task of planning then implementing a small event. Either home, a birthday party or in the club, like a anniversary or Christmas meeting. Alone or together with others. I do not want to tell "done that" as I feel that I have to do it again. Fast now, deciding if it will be a 10 year anniversary of Lewisham Toastmasters, or a funny Christmas memory line storytelling event for my Online club. I love organizing events!

3. Motivation Strategy Level 3 Required : Motivating others 

This required project with a team of 3 is very similar to the one "planning and implementing an event" but it does focus on motivating the team members so no, it can not be done alone. It also proposes some team building games: are they needed? The project itself explains very clear our different motivations. Of course, in real life, each of us are motivated by complex needs. 

Belonging - I think it is always part of it. That is why I felt so good last 10 years in TM
Appreciation - Sometimes, it bothers me, I feel it too much, but even I need it 
Recognition - and Awards are less motivating but not zero at all, a measure of growing

My problem is how to make apart this project and the project I am doing with my DTM project team. Perhaps, reading this project again and again, will help me with it, as the DTM project does suggest. 

As much as they seem very different projects, in fact they are all related! 

12 Nov 2018

Surprises as Pathways Topic Answers

Brian, messaged me "will you come to our meeting?" I answered "yes". Not knowing what will happen at the Royal Roads toastmasters meeting. I have been visiting them from London all the way to Victoria Islands Canada, for long. 
What could you do? I was asked at the very beginning. "May I be the Table Topics Master?" I answered. I would like to ask Pathways Topics today!

Yes. 

A little later, one of the speakers told us "I am not ready" and then I volunteered to give a speech: "my leadership style" from the Team Collaboration path's Level 2. I was ready!

I also asked when my time come to be recorded, and the table topics was recorded also.

The others, you did not see here were at work and did not open their video, assisted in silence, writing in the chat only to contribute. As I had two roles, I will not count the TTM role today, only my speech, which will be evaluated by Sri. 


Most interesting in today's meeting? A very unexpected answer from Brian, the VPE ! At my question, which path or project he liked most, he answered "High Performance Leadership, both times. Because it is not set in stone, I can do what project I prefer." Then he told us what he did last year for the HPL and finished, as to my second path, I will tell about my HPL another time. 

The same project, I try the most to avoid, is the one he likes the most!

Two others, even if they have leadership positions, did not yet begin Pathways, "soon" but Kannan did finish as many path as me! Would you believe? The same five path finished as I did! That shows me once we begin... he prefers all the projects helping him to improve his vocal variety and storytelling skills. We had an interesting meeting, happy I decided to participate online from afar to it.

11 Nov 2018

Login / Logout Plus: read small texts

Toastmasters.org and then ask to Login : if the first time, tell "I have forgotten my password" and you are send one to your email, that you can then change. After Login, a new Welcome Julie appears (well with your name) that you can open and from there, go direct to the Transcript, inside your Basecamp. That is what I usually do: fastest way.

Once you logged in you arrive at that page or if you login differently, when you click on the Education Transcript blue Tile. Lots of things are there! And I show here where we find the logout as for very long, I did not find it myself. After log out from Base Camp, we still have to logout from TMI, or linger and discover what is there (a lot) too.

In small letters, on top of your Paths titles, it suggest us to Open Curriculum to access our project, and only on the bottom it is written on normal and not bold letters "ensure your pop-up blocker is turned off" before launching projects. 

Too long, too many of us, do not read small letter advices that are on the top of a page. We go straight to the Path, Project, Level, etc where we are working. Also we do not prepare our computer, Safari or Opera or IE Web Browser to open all that pops up in a TAB and a great window! That advice not seen anywhere, for me changed my life with Projects. And others, got hours of frustrations with disappearing windows, or windows that did not open up big enough to see the arrows to progress inside Projects. A little knowledge in plus, a little more preparation may spare us a lot of frustration.

10 Nov 2018

Blog Stats for last Month

Post titles and number of visits lately, the stats are different then when I look for all year of course. They show not only when I published them but how many come to look at them also. Interesting to know, I do not look at the statistics often.

And bellow is from where my readers arrived last month, and near it what Operating system they used. USA and UK I knew, but I have also many from Ukraine, India, Australia, Germany and Ireland. And the country I am Pathways Guide: Kenya!

Also interesting, that if 34% read through Windows OS, 27% do through their iPhone! and 16% through an Android device. Blogger offers me the possibility that they can access from so many, I do not have to do anything else, once I chosen the right template, then write the blogpost.

9 Nov 2018

Pathways traîner topics 2 min each


At the Global Trainers Online toastmasters club, I have been Sponsor, but also Sg-at-Arms. Every meeting is a great learning experience. Here, we do Training topics not Table topics. Here are the Pathways Trainers Topics I offered in the club, and the answers.

8 Nov 2018

Motivation Strategy 12th Elective done!

That was an experiment, went very well. I opened and got through all the 12 Electives of the Motivational Strategy Path. Did 11 of them, got evaluated, then declared the Level 3 finished. 

We did work on the 12th elective, "Prepare for interview" but only Tuesday we had occasion to go through the interview. By then, "officially" I was on Level 4. After the meeting, I went back, even uploaded the Evaluation and declared my Project done, at one Level lower then I was.
As you see here, I took the screenshot yesterday, when I have not Evaluated for TMI sake the project. By now, I went back to it and it shows like all the other done projects Launch. Of course, only 2 of the 12 are the minimum, but the system let me do all 12.
And here is how now my Level 3 looks like. Completed 3 Min Required 3 Total items 3 on top, did not change, but if you look at the Elective Projects it shows Completed 12 ! from Total items 12. 

So yes, after we do the minimum and go farther, we can go back, Activate, Launch and Do the tasks from another Elective Project, and even if we are not getting extra credit for it, "do it" and get is acknowledged and done. 

Today, I listened to Nadia's doing again Podcast project from Level 4, and telling us that in her second path, it went better: more conversational and without editing. She even let us listen to 3 interesting minutes of her last podcast. I got courage. Yes, of course, even if it takes me longer, I will do all the Level 4 Elective Projects also for my Motivational Strategy. 

This morning, I was asked "how much we have to pay to be able to get and do all the other Electives"? Nothing. The price is included when we get a path. We get 37 Projects! Yes, only 14 of them are there for "credit", but we can have them all at our fingertips. Open, enjoy, save or print, do and get feedback, then close them. Declare them done.