Inconvenience Rightly Considered!
“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” – G.K. Chesterton
Spotlight on Fashion: Today I am wearing the Jay Yarsiah Collection®: classy navy-blue African shirt stylishly paired with trim-fit (for Jay) everyday pants. In the photo above, I am with Calvin Samvee, a friend I have worked with on all four of my trips here.
The audience for today’s workshop was a small group of young adults including my friend, Anthony Kimba. Anthony is the Director of Enrollment Management and International Students at AME University where I taught an incoming freshman class in 2019.
Here is the African Anthony wearing an American shirt standing next to the American wearing an African shirt in my AME classroom.
One thing all of today’s students had in common was that they are being mentored by Jay. This means they are likely future leaders of their community and country. The focus of the workshop was tools for leadership. Jay opened with an appeal to their sense of responsibility and patriotic pride. His primary messages were that excuses are easy to come by, but true change must come from within themselves regardless of why it can’t be done. He set the stage perfectly for my presentation on the 24 Characteristics of a Genius.
My first question for each participant: What is genius? Followed by, do you feel you are a genius? And we were off…
Because it was a smaller group, I took the time to ask lots of follow-up questions and push them for more information. We really got to know each other. They stayed engaged. It was great.
I used our website to highlight key concepts.
I shared findings from scientific books and articles on genius that highlighted the “genius can be developed” message.
I played a few short videos to punctuate certain traits.
I dare you to watch this 3-minute video of Infinite Tucker and tell me you are not impressed with his DYNAMIC ENERGY.
After clearing and discussing each characteristic, I had them write answers to open-ended questions designed to stimulate in them the essence of that particular trait.
We got through all 24 characteristics in this way, with some prolonged and penetrating discussions every now and then. For example, on OPTIMISM (“Geniuses never doubt they will succeed.”) I had each of them describe what their ideal scenario would be for education in Liberia. No limits to the grandness of their vision. For me, this was a big highlight of the event. Each one of them had a reason for their poor educational system and each one of them could imagine a successful solution. Tim listened intently and took many notes.
And we took care to spend more time on the final two, IDEALISM and IMAGINATION. Again, pushing them to grand visions of what could be.
Before you read the successes of the participants, a few minor updates.
The Liberian Electricity Corporation went on strike today. According to Jay, this means the city is without power. Either our hotel is unaffected or the hum I hear in the background is a giant generator.
New food display in the dining room: green bananas ripening on a homemade tripod. Next week’s breakfast?
Someday I and my two pieces of luggage will be one. Someday…
Today, it turns out, will not be that day. There is some fair — not good — news to report on this matter. One of my bags is now sitting in the Brussels Air office in downtown Monrovia. Of course, this is the piece of luggage that is full of posters, clay, stickers, and computer cords. Why isn’t it paired with my other suitcase? I don’t know.
And not that it really mattered, but by the time we found out it was there, it was too late to drive there and pick it up. (Of course!) This means, (I hope!) that my clothes-packed suitcase will arrive tomorrow, and we can pick it up in the afternoon.
My trusty shorts/t-shirt/hoodie/sandals combo will be on full display for one more day.
On to the successes…
Calvin B. Samvee
“I learned the basic characteristics of geniuses and how to apply those characteristics to my present state of mind and aspire to be a genius. I believe that the characteristic of perception will be the most helpful with my studies because I have most often allowed people’s perception of me (to) define my actions and decisions. From what I have learned today, I am definitely on a new path of self-discovery and realization. I am not going to allow perceptions to hold me back anymore from achieving my goals. From today’s section, I enjoyed drilling through the pledge again getting a better understanding of what it means.”
Esi Noelle Duche
“I learned a new way to look at the word ‘genius’ or who a genius is. I understand that genius is within each of us, and we just need to tap into it by developing key skills. Our genius can be harnessed.
I also learned how to be a better citizen of Liberia by now understanding that I have a responsibility in making my country a more suitable place to live.
I think it will be more helpful for me to continuously review and study the learning tools by taught by Applied Scholastics.
I liked that everything discussed was practical. Although not new, but they were delivered with an in-depth meaning and thought-provoking questions to apply what was taught to myself.”
Elvis T. Thomas
“Today I learned that I am a genius… That I was born a genius. I learned that every skill I need is already with me – some more dominant than others – and that if I work toward it, I can cultivate every skill needed to bring out the genius in me.
What would be most helpful to me would be the availability of necessary data/resources and having instructors who actually know how to teach what they teach. I like that today’s lesson was interactive. I learned about geniuses I did not know before and what drove them.
Most importantly, I learned how important it is to ensure that people understand clearly what is being communicated to them… I learned how deep the pledge to the Liberian flag is.”
Jamus P. Bannah
“Today’s session taught me the importance of identifying and acknowledging my inner genius, how to apply them for my own benefits and people around me.
Lastly, I learned the importance of committing myself to improving my country, recognizing the solutions to the existing problems, and helping to solve them. I also learned to abide by rules and regulations that govern my country through upholding my pledge to the flag.”
“Today, the word genius kept turning my thoughts about how one can contribute to his or her setting society by implementing the words of the 24 (characteristics of a genius). When you make the genius 24 as part of your life you can make a difference in the world. I strongly believe and learned that anyone can make a change based on all the educative videos shown. I will use these tools to improve my life and the young people of Liberia. A big thank you to the Applied Scholastics team.”
Willimena L. M. Brown
“The two major things I learned today include:
1. That being a genius is not a gift from God but rather it’s inherent and that everyone has characteristics that make them a genius if they are willing to dig deep and explore those characteristics.
2. I was able to see the pledge of Liberia from a new perspective, and see it more than just a statement to recite but a promise to my country.
-Understanding that there is always something new to learn and getting better understanding of words will help me with my studies.
-Today’s lesson was presented in a simple pattern and made it easier to pay attention and stay in the moment and not feel overwhelmed by information. The lesson was also about self-reflection and that was very interesting to me, because it made me start to see things differently.”
Author: Colin Taufer