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ancillenodavis

This is perspective

Month

July 2017

Luck, dreams and marriage

If you get really, really lucky, you will meet the person of your dreams. Being made of dreams, they will give you a new one.
The dream of being with them forever.
For many of us that look like marriage.
But like all dreams, when you catch them and try to hold on, they change. They become firm, real, hard in places and soft in others.
No one is perfect and no marriage is easy all the time.
Alma, I love being married to you and learning, growing no changing through life’s challenges together. Te amo.

Everyone else that reads this, I wish you the strength to hold on to the dreams you catch. Leno

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

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Harm

It seems like Anu Garg at “A Word a Day” reads my mind and then finds the words of dead people to echo the sentiment. 

“a long time we have gone along with some well-tested principles of conduct: that it was better to tell the truth than falsehoods; that a half-truth was no truth at all; that duties were older than and as fundamental as rights; that, as Justice Holmes put it, the mode by which the inevitable came to pass was effort; that to perpetuate a harm was always wrong, no matter how many joined in it, but to perpetuate it on a weaker person was particularly detestable … Our institutions are founded on the assumption that most people will follow these principles most of the time because they want to, and the institutions work pretty well when this assumption is true.” -Dean Acheson, statesman and lawyer (1893-1971) 

at the oxymoron museum

I would visit that museum.

Source: at the oxymoron museum

“It’s a F*$<ing African American!"

*Note: if you follow me, you know I avoid profanity. This post does contain a few instances, because they are direct quotes and pertinent to the discussion. Read on accordingly.

Sitting in an office at Peabody Hall on Miami University’s Oxford Campus, I hear the drone of a motorized scaffold (the lift machines that painters can drive around and move up and down to paint the outside of a building).

Most of the morning, I hear the machine and the blasting music from the radio the worker has going. They are painting the wooden frames around and within the windows.

Later on I hear a string of cuss words as the painter working on my part of the building gets upset at something and I go to the window to see what is going on. He is throwing his equipment around and cleaning his hands furiously.

I walk away from the window but realize my window is next and go over to close my blind as his platform comes up. first he seems a bit surprised, then smiles and shouts of the noise.

"You want a ride?"
I look at him, puzzled, bemused. I can hear him clearly, but he takes my lack of response to mean I cannot hear him well because of the noise which must be near deafening outside.

"You (gesturing at me) want a ride? (gesturing at the machine and up toward the roof)"

gesturing to myself and shaking my head, I mouth "Me? no!" I smile with a hand over hand gesture also mouthing "next time".

I close the blinds and return to my seat.

From the window, I hear the audible but unintelligible shout of a coworker to the guy outside my window. (Like Charlie Brown’s teacher on a construction site).

The guy outside my window responds "It’s a fucking African American!"

*Charlie Brown’s Teacher responds*

"Yeah. A Fucking African American! I asked him if he wants a ride!" and he starts laughing.

I cannot really describe what was going on in my head at the time, but there was so much "what?!"

I am posting this to see what your reaction or response would have been. please leave a comment. follow the link to comment on the website preferred.

Thanks.

Ancilleno DavisFounder-BEINGS
(Bahamians Educated In Natural and Geospatial Sciences)
Director at Large – BirdsCaribbean
(formerly The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds)
www.birdscaribbean.org
Doctoral student- Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Rats, pigs, dogs, boys

I find myself in conflict with my growling belly and my gnashing teeth.I cannot separate the eyes and the soul.
I have looked into the face of too many animals.
I have looked with earnest.

some have died on my spear or needle,
some crushed in my hands,
my soul is stained.
I think of them whenever I eat meat.

I choose myself
I choose my selfishness.
to devour

I am the hunter

(in part for Fred C Schaffner)

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. -Ingrid Newkirk, animal rights activist (b. 11 Jul 1949)

Ancilleno DavisFounder-BEINGS
(Bahamians Educated In Natural and Geospatial Sciences)
Director at Large – BirdsCaribbean
(formerly The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds)
www.birdscaribbean.org
Doctoral student- Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Worldview

Some people seem to have a 200 year old oil painting restored over the generations, which they continue to use as their worldview. My worldview involves getting outside and looking around.

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

The six P’s of leadership decisions: Perspective, price, purpose, prejudice, potential, prerogative.

Hello everyone,

This text is going to be shared in video format as well on my youtube channel so check there as well.

As leaders in any field, there seems to be issues related to understanding the needs of your constituents; the costs of your decisions; the reason for making your decision; things that affect our decision making process; the possible collateral damage; and whether we, as leaders actually have the right to make some of the decisions we are making.

I have distilled these issues into the 6 P’s of leadership decision making: Perspective, price, purpose, prejudice, potential, prerogative. Some of these overlap and some may have a greater or lesser impact depending on the situation. this is just a guideline and your community may have other considerations. What would you add to the list? leave a note in the comments.

here goes.

Perspective:

Many leaders feel they have the big picture view. They have worked in the industry, read all the books, and maybe they used to be the employee or the student they are now representing. unfortunately, it does not work that way. You cannot have had the lifetime of experience you earned and that of even one other person, much less everyone you represent as a leader. Therefore, you need perspective. A leader should consult a financial expert when something impacts an employee’s take home pay, a legal conultant when there is any issue related to the rights of an individual or group, especially government mandated rules and regulations, a health care expert on issues related to human health, well-being, insurance coverage etc. But most importantly, they should consult with the people that they think will shoulder the burden (who pays) and whom they expect will reap the rewards. Remember the perspectives of other groups outside of yours (the other company pays this, the other country did this, the other schools have this) will never be as valuable as the input form your constituents.

So first, recognize your perspective, then get some more perspectives. Consult with as many people as possible. If you cannot talk to any of “those” people before making a decision for/about them, then ethically, that decision is not yours to make yet.

Price:

If there is a decision to be made there is some judgment call. One plan of action must necessarily cost more than the other or have different rewards or there would be no decision to make. Now, you may think it would be easy to make a simple choice of do I buy this or that when the difference is price. If you are a leader though, it is not so simple. the solution you choose may seem a reasonable price to you. Imagine a 1500 price increase to an administrative professional who makes $109,000 per year. This price (approximately 5 days work) seems reasonable for some benefit to that single decision maker. However if you are making a decision that affects several hundred people who all make $19000 per year, that 1500 dollars to them costs alot more. About a month’s work actually. It is also likely that the person with $19000 now has to decide between that $1500 benefit and something else. What if you could use $1500 to get your entire family back to your home country in the event of a disaster, death in the family, medical issues etc. Or you could use that $1500 to have medical insurance for one person in the household of three or four? what would you choose?…Hypothetically. So consider price, but speak to your constituents about what the cost truly is.

Purpose:

Why are you making this decision? Is your purpose to make the experience better for your employees, clients, students, administration, sponsors? Each of these groups will be affected differently by the same decision.
If you do not know why you are making the decision, you are not ready to make the decision yet. If you cannot communicate the reason for making that decision without violating your core principles, you are making the decision for the wrong reasons or without enough information.

example: You have to choose between underwater cement and two part epoxy. Which do you choose? Not enough information? Of course not. You need to know the application. Fresh water, saltwater? If you are attaching corals, is it toxic to corals? Can your employees use it? Does it meet their needs, are they qualified to use it, can it work inside the logistic constraints of their day?

Example 2: Your employees need health coverage. What insurance coverage is appropriate for all of them? Trick question. There is no “one size fits all” coverage best for every age, marital status, pre-existing condition, family size etc.

if you get a fixative that kills the corals you are planting? have you achieved the purpose of your decision? If your employees cannot afford the insurance you are making them purchase and therefore cannot afford vehicle maintenance, food, medicine etc. Are you achieving your purpose?

Prejudice:

Hey, news flash: You are prejudiced. Everyone is. You may have thought about the situation and tried to make an objective decision, but if you made that decision by yourself, it is flawed.
*You remember how that Bahamian student broke their arm breakdancing and they did not have insurance and your office covered their bills? That was one student. Tragic? Yes. Costly? Perhaps. Representative of all Bahamian students? No. All International Students? No. All students of color? No. Representative of all students? No.

Potential:

Chances are, you are focusing on the single, target result of your decision. However, many decisions have significant positive and negative collateral impacts. These are often difficult to predict.
I suggest listing all the positive benefits you can think of and all the costs. Now think of who gets each benefit and who pays each cost. Now think of everyone else in your organization. Who is not getting those benefits. Why not? Look at who is paying. How much are they paying? Are the people not getting those benefits paying less? Is the group with the rewards paying more? How much more? Is this an appropriate amount?
Could your target group potentially get a higher benefit if they pay more? less if they pay less? what will they potentially lose (from their perspective)?

Prerogative.

One of the most important questions to ask: Is this decision your prerogative?
Do you have the right/authority to make this decision? Are you a Health care expert making an accounting decision?
Are you a domestic administrator making decisions regarding international scholars?
An affluent caucasian cis gender male making decisions about the reproductive rights of black and latin(x) individuals from low income homes across the gender spectrum?
Are you (or were you ever) a member of the group? If not, you may need to delegate this decision to a committee that can properly determine and serve their needs.

 

*Any similarity to actual circumstances, real or fictional is purely coincidental, but intriguing. please message me if you see some.

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