For me, summer school is always a syllabus, assigned to me by me as my own teacher. How convenient!
I figure, if I don't have a list of things I want to learn this summer, I shouldn't be surprised if autumn arrives and I haven't learned anything. Perhaps that's too goal oriented for you? (Perhaps you should be reading a different blog?)
Last year's list of assignments was helpful. So, here's this year's line-up for my own private summer school.
Summer School Curriculum:
- How to speak in a Southern accent. I need to do this to portray Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. (Four performances only: June 24-27. More on that another day. For now, save the date.)
- How to turn some of this blog into a book. Every time my age ends in a zero or five, I look at my bookshelf and think: "Hey, I was an English major. Where's the book I've written? Dang. Nowhere to be seen. Someday, I need to write a book." I recently turned 50, so there's the zero — in my age and on the bookshelf. So, after To Kill A Mockingbird closes, I plan to take two weeks and write the book. (I'll write it online, so you can participate.)
- How to keep dandelions out of my yard. I don't think it's because I care so much what the lawn looks like. I just want to win an entire year's battle against the dandelions.
- How to build a bocce court. There's a perfect space in the back yard. And I already have the balls. Really. Bocce balls.
- How to spend an entire day in silence. This is to prepare myself for the inevitable day when I enroll in a weeklong, silent meditational retreat. A friend told me, "You of all people need to work up to this. Don't just go away for a week of silence. It will drive you mad."
- How to monetize SpeakerSite. Rob and I have poured tens of thousands of dollars into this site, with no monetary ROI. We aren't greedy, but we want to achieve our vision of "Every speaker has a message and every message has an audience" — and we can't do it without revenues. We have to turn what is now the world's largest social network of public speakers into what must become the world's most highly functioning marketplace of public speakers. (We think we are very close to unleashing the functionality that will enable this.)
- How to better coach executives to greater effectiveness and engagement. This kind of coaching.
- How to deliver sandwiches to tables in a delicatessen. I think my turn is coming.
- How to build a life where I am in New York City once each month. With Mrs. Isaac as often as possible.
- How to write a country song. Thankfully, Parker MacDonell is my guide and co-conspirator. I'd like to write 20 songs before Thanksgiving.
Let the learnin' begin.
What do you want to learn this summer?