Continued blog on website

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If you have found your way here and are interested in my blog, please go to Laugh2Learn.com. I have continued my blog on my website.

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Fairwell Oedipus, You Were a Fine Dog

It was 4:30 yesterday afternoon. I was in good spirits, having just completed a successful “Difficult Conversations” training for the Johnson County Disability Support team, when I got the text from my granddaughters: “Oedipus is dead.” My good spirits disappeared and my heart sank. Oedipus, my son’s family’s miniature schnauzer, only nine years old, dead. Some neighborhood dogs had gotten loose and killed him.

Oedipus was the sweetest dog I have ever known. Not the smartest, nor the cutest, nor the biggest nor the bravest, but the sweetest. He loved to cuddle. He would sit on my lap indefinitely, lay his head on my chest and gaze lovingly into my eyes. He was just plain sweet. Now he’s gone.

Sheriff’s deputies located the dogs that killed him, and issued the owners a citation. Perhaps they will be more careful in the future, but it won’t bring Oedipus back.

Today I drove up to Glenn and Michelle’s house to visit the place they buried him.

All loving relationships end in pain. If we want to avoid the pain of loss we have to forego the joy of loving. In the end it’s a good tradeoff. We all loved Oedipus, and in his sweet doggy way, he loved us too. Now he’s gone. We miss him.

Thank you Oedipus for the joy you brought into our lives.

Rest in peace.

Laughter Where You Find It

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love laughter. (It’s even part of my name, Laugh2Learn.) You may also remember that I believe that there should be no invisible people (see my June 12, 2011 post) So last week while traveling in Oregon with my sister and brother-in-law, we ate at the Salty Dawg in Waldport. Our server was a wonderfully gregarious woman named Lorelei. She made us all laugh. At one point, she asked if we wanted anything else, and I told her if she would bring me a glass of water, I’d be so grateful I’d compose a poem for her. She promptly brought the water, and I ripped off a few lines of doggerel.

“I wrote a poem once,” said Lorelei.

With very little coaxing, and after reminding us that it was pretty outdated she recited:

 If Dreams Were But a Penny

 
If dreams were but a penny
what do i think I’d buy??
A night with Kevin Costner!!
Well. At least it’s worth a try.
If I can’t have Mr. Costner,
If he’s not within my reach.
Then let me have Sean Connery
with his sexy, broguish speech.
I cannot have Clint Eastwood
as already he is taken,
and Demi has got Bruce Willis
so that lust must be forsaken.
Since I cannot buy these men
for which i have the hots.
Then i shall take my penny
and make a purchase of Don Knotts!!!!!
 
Needless to say, we all got a very good laugh. I gave Lorelei my card, and asked her to email me the poem so I could post it on my blog.
 
So here’s to you Lorelei. Thank you for the wonderful time, the good food, and your poem.
 
And to the rest of you, take a moment to get to know those “invisible people” who serve your food. You will be richer for it, and you may even get a good poem and a great laugh.
 
And as for Don Knotts, you will never know what you missed!
 

Who needs improv training?

Who needs improv training? Well me, for one. Although I have been doing improv for over 20 years, I am still learning. Last night at Laughing Matters workshop, I had a wonderful time and learned some neat new stuff.

Meanwhile, I’m able to pass on my expertise to help an ever more diverse clientele.

In the next month we will provide improv based training to:

The Shawnee County, Kansas Sheriff’s Department;

The Vestry at Grace Episcopal Cathedral;

 

Johnson County Kansas Development Supports; and

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention

Who’s next? It could be you! Contact me, marv@laugh2learn.com What have you got to lose? All our training is unconditionally guaranteed.

Improv Training

From time to time in this space I have tried to explain how we can use improv to improve performance in many professions. But I have seldom seen it better explained than in this blog by my friend Gina Trimarco Cligrow.

I met Gina last Spring when I attended the Applied Improvisation Network’s conference in Baltimore. Now because she has already said it better than I ever could I’m asking you to read what she has written about the power of improv training. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me!

That blog again

Be true to your school

My son Glenn just called me with a joke that is too good not to pass on. It’s a college fan joke and could apply to any rivalry, but I’m a University of Kansas fan and grad, so I’m going to tell it from my perspective.

Young Marvin went to his fourth grade class wearing KU attire.

“Are you a KU fan?” His teacher asked him.”

“Yes.”

“Why are you a KU fan?”

“Because my parents are KU fans”

“What would you do if your parents were drug dealers and hookers?”

“Then I’d be a Mizzou fan!”

Oh my!

I’m Not Stupid

One of Laugh2Learn’s most popular presentations is “Difficult Conversations,” or “Dealing with Difficult People” (Pretty much the same presentation with a different title.) One of the main points in that presentation is “Deal with behaviors, not characteristics.” For example:

  •  Rather than, “You’re rude!” “I don’t like it when you don’t let me finish my sentence.”
  • Rather than, “You’re lazy!” “I don’t think you do your share of the chores.”

Yesterday, it occurred to me that we also need to apply those guidelines to our own self-evaluation. At least twice in one day I did something stupid.

First I sent an email to the department secretary at KUMC where I’m an Adjunct Professor, asking her to verify a phone conference that I had on my calendar for 9:00. Her reply, “That conference was Tuesday. Your next conference is March 5.”

 Needless to say, I felt stupid.

Next I was working with a guest lecturer who had agreed to speak to my web-based class. I sent him the link to get into the virtual class room, and managed to get everything set up just peachy, except that I couldn’t hear him. He could hear me. The little symbol on the screen showed that his mike was working, but I couldn’t hear him. I contacted KUMC’s excellent tech support team and shortly Susan Bailey was in the virtual class room with us. She could hear my guest, and he could hear her, but I could hear neither of them. So . . . it began to dawn on me. Perhaps the problem was with my computer. I turned my speakers on, and suddenly, viola! all was solved.

Needless to say, I felt stupid.

But I’m not! Everyone does stupid things. Everyone.

Thomas Robinson,

Thomas Robinson

star of the Kansas Jayhawk basketball team got a technical foul in the last minutes of a close game. You did something stupid T-Rob, but you’re not stupid.

A good friend with whom I play Scrabble on-line was having an unproductive day. You were having an unproductive day Sue, you’re not worthless.

Recently some Italian Physicists concluded that neutrinos travel faster than light. They have now found an apparent error in their measurement. You made a mistake guys, you’re not stupid.

We all make mistakes. We all do dumb things.

I make mistakes. I do dumb things.

But I’m not stupid!

Am I?

 

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