Ultimate Frisbee: Identifying My Management Style

The Topic

Today is easily one of the hottest summer days I’ve experienced during the time I’ve lived in Central Indiana. By luck alone my southern upbringing makes such an occurrence less of a shock to my system, but no less bearable. The weather at the Indianapolis 500’s 100th year anniversary- record breaking by most accounts- wasn’t even this sweltering! Why am I complaining? I’ve been thrust into an exciting leadership position and must lead troops through to victory under these oppressive conditions.

Overenthusiastic frisbee player laying out for a disc.

This+ Sweltering Heat

UIndy Ultimate Frisbee Club, established in the Spring of 2011, is a competitive college club from the University of Indianapolis. We had a successful Spring and decided to take our energy into the Summer League realm. Unfortunately, our team captain had an extensive prior commitment and couldn’t make the first part of Summer season. I’ve been placed as captain for the sake of organization in his place, and it is a different ballgame.

In this post I’d like to discuss how I’ve recently discovered a few unique things about my own personal management style, how it differs from that of convention, and what I consider to be the positives and negatives of each. This unique opportunity has allowed me to rethink and restructure how to approach management in a way that is both true to who I am personally and what is most effective for the team I’m leading.

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5 Communication Principles Rock Taught Me

The Idea

This summer provides me an excellent and exciting opportunity: the chance to get back in the swing of things with my sometime band The Sages. Founded way back in 2008- at the behest of my best friend, go-to drummer, and roommate Mack- the Sages have brought the south side of Indianapolis (and the University of Indianapolis in particular) hours of enjoyable, original rock and roll and blues at a cheap rate. After some struggling with band line-up and focus we hit a stride about 6 months ago, but effectively disintegrated as everyone’s schedule got in the mix and we geared up for graduation. This was more than disconcerting.

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5 Kodály Tenants: On Foundational Branding

The Idea

The good news: It’s been a little over a week since graduation. The bad news: I’m knee-deep in summer schooling, looking for a job, and gearing up for an MBA in Organizational Leadership. While living under the weight of this important time in my life, I’ve tried to alleviate stress in many different ways, from general relaxation techniques to writing free verse in my spare time.

After some careful deliberating, I realized I could put my relaxation time to good use, both by taking it easy on my sanity and learning critical thinking skills in my fields of interest (communication and branding being the primary targets.) The result: This blog post.

My most time-tested way to relax is listening to powerful, meaningful music. I don’t mean the latest top 20 inspirational pop song or some traditional song to get pumped up. I’m talking about the high art of classical composition. As you can imagine, the song that has helped calm me these past few weeks is also the true muse behind this post, and goes something like this:

This song, composed in the early 20th century by famed Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, and educator Zoltan Kodály, retells the somber moments before a young soldier lays down to bed for the night. The young man pleads with God, asking for safety and warmth throughout the night, saying he has “grown tired of wandering/ of hiding/ of living in a foreign land.” Sobering and powerful indeed.

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Papaw on MLK: Historical Memory

Here’s an exciting fact: On Saturday May 7, 2011 I officially graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a BA in Communication (nothing cum laude.) Per usual, the graduation ceremony was filled with an electric anticipation and a general sense of relief. I even lucked out and got a spot in the first two rows, just by taking one extra Spanish class. (Let that be a pro-tip to you up-and-coming learners who may be reading this: take what you’re good at and lots of it, you may end up with a BA and a first class seat at graduation.) The excitement is compounded when you consider we were part of the University’s largest graduating class ever, including over 940+ recipients.

Glitter .gifs Make Everything Exciting

The only disappointment: Our commencement speaker was someone I had NEVER heard of…ever. The Reverend Dr. Kent Millard- I came to find out via the program- was a graduate of Boston University’s seminary and was a local United Methodist minister. After receiving the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree- graciously granted by the University of Indianapolis- Dr. Millard proceeded to address the graduating student body with a speech entitled “Passion+Vision=Transformation.” In the allegorical address, he related to us a winded story about his efforts with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, where he helped the Civil Rights movement advocate for voting rights for black citizens in the south.

Admittedly, I was not interested in this speech. The story itself was labored, and Dr. Millard was a bit too stentorian for my taste. He even relayed a story to us that he himself admitted had nothing to do with the topic. All I wanted to do was graduate, not listen to how someone had mistaken him for Rudy Giuliani on a plane. I apologize Dr. Millard, I’m sure your services are enthralling on Sunday mornings, but I wasn’t feeling this at all.

After a surprisingly quick distribution of diplomas- marked by back-flips, animal calls, and an explosive audience- I regrouped with my family to get ready to go have lunch. I was very fortunate to be able to share the day with my father-who is currently working in the United Arab Emirates- my mother and sister, who live in Wisconsin, and my paternal grandparents who drove up from southern Indiana. We all scattered to our vehicles and headed towards Greenwood to enjoy some City Barbeque. I got paired up with my step-grandfather (whom I refer to as Papaw) and we set off.

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The Commercialization of Mom

Too True

Hello everyone! I want to start by wishing you all a happy Mother’s Day, and I hope you’re getting to enjoy it with your loved ones. I’m currently enjoying the festivities with my beloved mother and grandmothers, so I won’t write much today. I just want to make a brief commentary on the history and transformation of Mother’s Day from unifying, somber national holiday to commercialized kitsch.

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5 Ways Immortality Made Jesus a Jerk

The “Who’s the King Now?” Smirk

Preface

Alright, I’m going to come out and say it now, in an attempt to preface this post. For those of you whom I don’t have the pleasure of knowing well in person, there is something crucial you should know about me before reading this: I’m not a terribly religious guy. Shocked? Didn’t think so. The middle-class son of a pro-feminist, ordained southern Baptist mother, and a left-winged, federally employed, neo-liberal father, I didn’t have much choice in the matter.

Of course- as is typical of all preacher’s kids- I was at church on Sunday every week, earlier than everyone else, and stayed later to help clean up. I’ve seen the dirtier, grittier, hands-on side of organized religion, and let me be the first to tell you, it isn’t pretty. There are a multitude of antiquated, invisible power structures in play, all working against one another, pushing and pulling and contorting the inherent sanctity of religious faith. In most cases, religious organizations and groups- churches most especially- only serve as an auxiliary component of our heightened political and human bureaucracy, rather than as proponents of individual spiritualism and growth.

It is my solemn belief that all people should have for themselves a system of spiritual guidelines and rules, personalized to meet their needs and provide for them a better standard of life. Most of the world’s major religions offer such systems of beliefs in the altruistic effort to make us all a little more holy. Unfortunately, organized religion tends so often to stray from this path, instead offering its followers and blind believers a series of ultimatums, suppressive traditions, and narrow minded perspectives in an effort to subdue them.

Something to Contemplate

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American Unity is Dead

Let me preface with this:

Now, let’s take a quick survey

Did this video bring to mind fear and worry for our troops?

How about the Cold War?

Did you disregard the “liberal media” in favor of a formal presidential announcement?

(from a man you probably don’t believe is American.)

Or did you, perhaps, react like the thousands of Americans on Twitter and in our nation’s capital who decided to celebrate (and in many cases inebriate) over the death of our most hated enemy?

Chances are you’ve been lead to this post via your favorite social media outlet, and it is to you I bring up these points for discussion. There is no doubt that the Twitter Revolution scooped all the major news outlets and the White House press itself. The power of our generation is apparent…and foreboding.

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