Vainly I looked in online files to find one of my 20 minute driving tours, titled “Gossips’ Guide to Princeton,” but I did find this “Einstein Tour,” written in 2005. It’s longer than 20 minutes if you get out at each stop. I’ve updated it a little. It begins:
Einstein has always been Princeton’s most sought-after celebrity. Visitors from Europe who are visibly unimpressed by “old” buildings like Nassau Hall, and those from other continents who turn a deaf ear to stories of the town’s role in the Revolutionary War – they all know about Albert Einstein and are eager to view any signs of the great man’s legacy.
My current delight is the children’s musical directed (and co-authored) by Tom Shelton and “preached” to Princeton United Methodist Church on February 24. The musical theme is God will be there for you,” and to hear it from these young voices is very meaningful to me.
Do you hate to listen to a recording of yourself? Because you hear the Ums and the Uhs (and maybe the ‘Likes’?)
Eileen Sinett, of Speaking That Connects, offers a three-part training focused on helping speakers drastically reduce or eliminate the “uhs, ums, duhs,” and other fillers that can punctuate our public speaking. “All listeners are not the same,” says Sinett. “Some will focus on your message despite fillers; others will be distracted and count these hesitations as you speak. If you have been told you ‘uh’ and ‘um’ too much, help is here to reduce or eliminate these vocal fillers.”
Sinett is a corporate trainer as well as a speech pathologist. She first became interested in helping people with physical disabilities after watching a Jerry Lewis telethon in high school. “I’m probably one of the few people who can list Jerry Lewis as a career influence,” she says. A counselor suggested speech pathology, and she enrolled at Emerson College in Boston, receiving a bachelors degree in 1971. She earned a master’s in speech correction from Kean University in 2002.
You get hired for your technical skills, you get promoted because you “present” well.
Any skill — hockey, piano, or acting — requires exercise to get stronger, and so does public speaking.
“Strong presentations create a career advantage, and practice helps them build their communication confidence and performance muscles,” says Eileen Sinett, speech consultant with Speaking That Connects.
She offers a speech practice group called Rehearsals, which runs on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 7 to 8:45 p.m., beginning February 6 at the Speaking that Connects Studio at 610 Plainsboro Road. The cost is $30 for a single session or $50 for both in one month. Call 609-799-1400 or visit www.speakingthatconnects.com/programs to register.
“There are few opportunities to practice before groups,” says Sinett, “be it Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie, adult education, or some other corporate training and development companies.”
Rehearsals, says Sinett, “gives speakers an opportunity to practice a presentation before a group of peers and receive their constructive feedback,” as well as the guidance of Sinett herself.
If you are not currently working on a speech, dust off one you have given before – and practice!
I probably won’t get around to answering your cards this year, again. Sometimes I have sent New Year’s cards. Or Valentines. Or St. Patrick’s Day cards.
Instead, here is a list of resources that are helping me face 2019.
At Princeton United Methodist Church, we have embarked on a series called Relationships and Faith, based in part on materials from the Arbinger Institute. to learn the difference between an Inward Mindset and an Outward Mindset. Pastor Jenny Smith Walz is undertaking the important and difficult task — to talk about difficult questions of gender and race within the church. Her challenging sermon series, titled “The Beloved Community,” begins this month, focusing on “What God wants for God’s people.” The ongoing study has workbooks available in the church office. Also here is a link to one of the Arbinger books,
I am also led to discover, and embrace, the work of Julia Cameron. Known for founding The Artist’s Way, Cameron recommends — nay, requires — those pursuing creativity to write “Morning Pages,” three pages written in the morning, first thing, to clear the addlement from one’s brain. I found my first Cameron book in one of those “free libraries” on the street in DC in October, and it has taken me this long to convince myself it might work.
For the evening, I am trying to use a journaling system called Vertellis Chapters, This “mix of mindfulness and stoicism practices” is a Netherlands-based journaling system (the Dutch are so smart!) and I found it at my favorite shopping spot – online.
Then, my old favorite, is the Upper Room Disciplines. a book of daily devotions based on the lectionary — the Bible passages read throughout the Christian church. So often, that commentary, that scripture, speaks to a current sadness or gladness of the day. My small group at PrincetonUMC, the Monday Morning Group, uses these readings for informal study.
Am I reading these, writing these, studying these consistently every day? No.
George was a habit-driven person and I am the exact opposite. He did exercises daily without fail. When it comes to doing exercises daily, I mostly fail.
But I am trying to create these habits. And I feel led to share them with whoever is out there, just as Jenny, Ginny, Gerri, Aimee, Anthony, Ineke, Judi, Mary Lib, Pat, Deborah, Susannah and so so many more have shared their inspirations with me.
I’m so glad about that. When I was working there, our New Year’s edition merely compiled the printed wisdom from the previous year. Remembering people is more meaningful, and I hope the tradition continues.
Among the artists, activists — and, yes, captains of business — that i remember with special warmth are…
Richard K. Rein offered his own list of the departed, people who had influenced his policies for the paper. Dick Hagy was the character that I remember. If you want to work for Rein, or to sell him something, you would do well to read that column.
Princeton engineering professor Alain Kornhauser might seem to dominate discussions of driverless cars; he’s making them and leading the dialogue on their controversies.
Now Princeton prof and Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman has been linked to the ethics of how driverless cars make their decisions about who to hit – cats or people? pregnant women or old man? In this article, Kahneman is cited re his experiment on the psychology of health decisions that extrapolates to the choices that driverless cars will make.
Quoting the Washington Post and NZ Herald (note the British spellings!)
The way questions are framed can often have an impact on the final decision that’s made. The behavioural scientist Daniel Kahneman illustrated this through a thought experiment in which the outbreak of an unusual disease was expected to kill 600 people.
Respondents, in this case, were offered two potential health programmes. In programme A, subjects were told they had a 100 per cent chance of saving 200 lives. Programme B offered a one-third chance of saving 600 lives and two-thirds possibility of saving no lives.
In this scenario, most people went for programme A – the guarantee of saving 200 lives.
However, when Kahneman switched the scenario to lives lost rather than lives saved, the choice respondents made was completely different.
When they were asked to choose between the 100 per cent chance of the death of 400 people or programme B (which remained unchanged), most respondents opted for the latter despite the fact that programme A was unchanged in both scenarios.
What Kahneman illustrated was that moral decisions can be swayed by the way in which the questioning is phrased.
Kahneman doesn’t decide. He illustrates the complexity of the decision. What I am asking? Will driverless cars “see” race?
You could take this as another example of how the whimsical statues of Seward Johnson can amuse passersby all over the world.
The work of the 88-year-old sculptor, J&J heir, and founder of Grounds for Sculpture is scattered all over Princeton. At Princeton hospital, the figures of the caregiver tending the little old lady always give me a start, no matter how many times I’ve encountered them.
In 1983, using a Princeton police officer as a model, Johnson fashioned a statue of a nearly six-foot cop writing a parking ticket. Titled “Time’s Up,” it is one of seven castings, and it was installed at a Dallas shopping center, Central Market, by Lincoln Property Company.
How cute, you might say, especially since another whimsical touch, the eggplant, is nearby.
But since social justice is one of my concerns, I think there could be another motive. If you were an undocumented person — down there in Texas country — how would you react?
Is this just an update of Confederate statues meant to intimidate?
Thanks to Brendan Meyer for the light-hearted reporting, and the amusing details are here. The paranoid insinuations are mine.
(Aside to Princeton residents, don’t worry about current cops issuing parking tickets until after Christmas or even January. According to my ‘reliable sources,’ because of the confusing new system,’ the meter cops are issuing only warnings. But don’t tell the tourists — we need the revenue.)