Journal #9: Leadership

Tuesday October 20, 2015

9:40–11:00 am (1hour 40 minutes)


“How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves; but to be themselves praised by posterity, by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on. But this is very much the same as if thou shouldst be grieved because those who have lived before thee did not praise thee.”

This was my favorite quote and I got a chance to talk it about it during class did other students who had a favorite quote to share. This is interesting to because I saw this a little differently. I disagreed with Marcus Aurelius on the wisdom of looking for praise from the historical greats. I think there are times when a leader can take solace in the fact that history will look better on them than the present. I mentioned the case of President Abraham Lincoln whom was incredibly divisive during his time as president.

Wednesday October 21, 2015

5:30pm — 7:30pm (2hours)

Browsing room Founders

I attended the screening of Clash of the Titans. I thought it was a really fun event. The movie was entertaining and there were snacks provided. The intro that Dr.Tozzi gave before the movie was informative in showing some of the reasons a history buff of more modern times like 30s and 40s should take an interest in the classics and antiquity. The other professor who didn’t get the name for had a really cool slide show comparing the original mythology and the form shown in the movie.

9:30pm -11:00pm (1 hour and 30 minutes)

William Deresiewicz’s article on leadership to West Point cadets was interesting to me. Both of my parents had a military background and from what I’ve known about the military: “thinking for yourself” is not the first thing that comes to mind. The author addresses this skepticism head on and ultimately says that the military will need leaders who are able to think outside of the mainstream. The author referenced General Petraeus and how he developed new methods to wage war in a modern era.

To achieve the type of solitude that Deresiewicz speaks of comes from thinking through issues on your own. He claims that it is important because only practice can prepare you to confront those issues later when they arise in a real settting.

  1. Focus- I have a hard time focusing on something until its crisis mode and I simply have to perform. I can focus on a topic and become enthralled with it but it is usually not necessarily what is germane to what I should be working on at that moment. This can make it hard to honestly contemplate questions.
  2. I like to be decisive. Or atleast appear to be decisive. Before I eat a restaurant I look up the menu online so I can order quickly. When someone puts a decision before quickly , I like to answer quickly as well. I often will continue to contemplate the decision after it has been made especially when it is something relatively inconsequential. This is not really a virtue when attempting to find solitude and answer one of the great questions listed in the article.
  3. Sometimes I dont want to have answer or an opinion on a topic. There are certain things that I just cant bring myself to give much thought over. Who is the best basketball player of all time? Well surely there have been many many great basketball players. Why not take the middle road and appreciate them all or so thinking goes sometimes.
  4. This relates to the previous one but i think there is also a part of me that wants to be palatable to as many people as I can. So sometimes its easier to not have an opinion at all. Chalk it up to my political background. Obviously this runs counter to what is said in the article. Worrying about what others think is the antithesis of solitude.
  5. There is also a part of me that wants to have the most amount information before coming to a conclusion. If there is no time limit one can always find new information that can sway ones opinion. This is a challenge for me regarding solitude.

Thursday October 22, 2015

9:40am-11:00am (1 hour and 20 minutes)

Class: We discussed the MLK Jr. Monument here in D.C. We focused on the question of whether the memorial did an effective job at showing MLK’s legacy. Also whether it showed him as a political or spiritual leader. I came to a mixed a conclusion. It is somewhat overlooked but the simple act of building structures to honor political leaders puts them in an almost religious light. Sure most visitors arent worshipping MLK but many of the monuments in DC take on an almost shrine-like tone. My classmates were much more skeptical. They said that the monument did not do a good job at representing Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy. More than a few people say that it was a too sanitized for their liking. I think that quotes and the memorial itself does a pretty good job considering that it was intended for a wide audience. However I can see where someone might argue that the monument is a missed oppurtunity at showing the lesser known aspects of his life to the expected wide audience.

One of the things that was pointed out was that the suit makes it somewhat ambigous which direction the creators were going for. Additionally the scroll could be that of a speech from a politician or a sermon from a preacher. I think this might have been deliberate. It is possible that MLK Jr could be aware of his influence in the political arena while still retaining the personal belief that he was more of a spiritual leader. Also there was the controversy regarding the “drummer” quote that people didnt like because it made This discussion brings to mind a comment I read somewhere a while back that claimed that President Obama reportedly , despite being President, doesnt consider himself to be a politician. It is probably important to remember that someone is likely to not want to be identified as something that they personally abhor.

Friday October 23, 2015

5–8 pm (3 hours)

Work downtown DC gym job.

I was at my job Train Like A Pro and there was ally of downtime as usual so figured that I would be productive and get some review. I reread parts of phaedo and meditations by Marcus Aureilus.

Sunday October 25, 2015

8–11pm (2hours)

dorm room.

I tried to organize all of my notes pages that I compiled from notes taken on my ipad. The hope was to put the notes in chronological order which might help me remember details and main points for the exam.

Monday October 26, 2015

7–8:45pm (1 hour and 45 minutes)

Founder’s library

I met with a group of students from class and we had a discussion over topics that we didnt have a clear picture. Topics that i needed assistance was keeping straight the differences between all the different accounts of Socrates life. There was also an attempt to clearify some of the greek words to be able to utilize them in my essays.

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