How a Bachman-Turner Overdrive Song Led to My Most Famous Twitter Follower

My son and I were driving back from the gym (well, OK, Planet Fitness) and listening to the radio (WMGK) and the song “Takin’ Care of Business” by BTO came on the radio.

After my shouting out the refrain over and over, the song finally came to an end, and the DJ, Andre Gardner, shared an interesting tidbit about the song.

Apparently while BTO was in the studio recording “Takin’ Care of Business”, they had some pizza delivered. The pizza delivery guy listened to the song and told Randy Bachman that he thought it needed some piano. Randy replied that they did not have a piano player, but the pizza delivery guy said he played the piano, and so Randy invited him to add a piano track to the song. Randy’s initial thought was to just erase the piano part after the pizza guy left, but BTO ended up liking the song better with the piano. So, “Takin’ Care of Business” has a piano part on it played by a pizza delivery guy.

How cool is that!

My immediate thought was that the story somehow reminded me of the classic “More Cowbells” skit from Saturday Night Live, and my second thought was that this sounds like material for a blog post. I asked my son to send me a text message that said “BTO pizza cowbell” so that I wouldn’t forget the idea while driving home.

So the first thing I did when I got home was to hop on Google and search for a little more background material on the pizza delivery story

Unfortunately, the first search result that came up was from Snopes :(

Apparently the intriguing version of events that has the piano part played by an anonymous delivery man was an embellishment on Randy’s part: the mystery pianist was not someone who had just happened to stop by to deliver a pizza, but rather a musician who was already present in the facility because he was working with the Steve Miller Band in an adjacent studio.

So I thought, oh well, it was still an interesting story, but I wasn’t sure I could write anything about it.

I did however decide to send a twitter message to the DJ, Andre Gardner, letting him know what I found. It was the first time I’ve sent a message to a radio DJ (my son has done it a few times), and I wasn’t expecting him to even get the message, let alone reply.

Well, he did; here’s the brief conversation we had:

andregardner

Mind you, this was taking place while he was still doing his show on the radio!

I was impressed that he not only replied to my initial tweet, but he also apparently took the time to read my Twitter profile and discovered that we were fellow vegans.

And then the best part – about five minutes later I received a notification that Andre had started following me in Twitter!

Andre is one of the best and most well-known radio DJs in Philadelphia, and his show on WMGK (102.9) is during the key afternoon drive time. He also hosts a weekly syndicated specialty show on Sunday mornings, Breakfast with the Beatles.

In other words, he’s a big deal, and I’m just someone that tweets out stories from the Wall Street Journal every day.

Needless to say, he is the most famous person that follows me, and I quickly returned the favor.

I’m guessing that after a week or so, Andre will likely mute my Twitter account, after all, how interesting can stories about the Federal Reserve be to someone who has interviewed Paul McCartney multiple times?

Anyway, the exchange made my day, and I ended up getting a blog post out of it after all.

Thanks Andre, and I wish you continued success.

And for those of you were humming “Takin’ Care of Business” while reading this, here you go (interestingly enough, I don’t see a keyboard player…

 

Don’t Write When Angry

Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank, while speaking to a Georgetown University journalism class, gave the aspiring writers a pearl of wisdom about how he writes his biting columns with edge but not bitterness: “We’ve all heard about how you’re not supposed to drive while angry. You also shouldn’t write while angry.”

So as an aspiring writer who also happens to be angry at the moment, I’ll keep my thoughts to myself, sleep on them, and see how I feel tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s something to put a smile on your face:

What Is Wrong with People? Case Study Number No. 4,453,751

amyjoyner

It’s another story that just leaves me thinking, “what is wrong with people?”

There was a very sad incident at a Wilmington, DE high school last week in which a young woman, Amy Joyner-Francis, was assaulted in the girl’s restroom, and ended up hitting her head off the sink and dying as a result of her injury.

It is by all accounts a tragedy, and the school and the city are in mourning. The mayor was in tears during his first press conference about the incident.

But now, to add insult to injury, there are some people trying to profit off of the tragedy.

In a statement issued via Wilmington Police, Amy’s brother sought to warn of the “many sick people out in the world who want to gain money and social fame off my family’s loss.”

Apparently people have set up unauthorized fundraisers and GoFundMe pages, as well as fake social media accounts.

Amy’s brother also noted in the statement that, “They are fake pages and accounts spreading hateful lies, so please do not lose your money or entertain the lies of these cruel people.”

The family should not have to deal with such issues during these difficult times.

What kind of people do this? Do they not have an ounce of empathy or sympathy for Amy and her family? Can they only think of themselves, and how they could benefit from such a situation?

Unfortunately, this is not the first time something like this has happened.

  • The Better Business Bureau tells the story of a fundraising campaign that was created for victims of Ebola, but the campaigns were shut down when it was discovered that the appeals weren’t authorized by the victims’ families.
  • The BBB also shares the story about when the boat that a Boston Marathon bombing suspect was arrested in was damaged by gunfire, more than one campaign was started to help the boat owner buy a new boat – even though the owner had nothing to do with those campaigns. 
  • Forbes noted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross asked the FBI to investigate at least 15 fake websites that were designed to look like legitimate Red Cross appeals for donations.
  • Also from Forbes: after Hurricane Sandy, one charity calling itself the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort, raised $600k for storm victims, but it was all actually a ploy to help a couple of con artists with their own credit card relief.

I’ll never understand what motivates someone to take advantage of another person’s kindness and charity during a tragedy.

Thank heaven it’s a very small minority, and that they don’t stop the vast majority of people from being generous with their time and money.

Rest in peace Amy, and my thoughts and prayers to her family.

 

If He’s Not the Last Candidate Standing, Perhaps He Could Be the Last Comic Standing

lastcomic

I try to avoid writing about the current Presidential campaigns, but this clip of Donald Trump talking about John Kasich’s eating habits, while certainly not Presidential, is seriously funny.

So if Trump isn’t elected our next President, I think he should think about going on the road as a stand-up comic.

That’s an act I think I would actually enjoy. Can you imagine the things he might say if he had absolutely no filter?

I think Trump has found his true calling, and it doesn’t involve building a wall, but building a 40 minute comedy routine.

And I would pay for that kind of building.

I Guess I’m No Warren Buffett

I enjoy following the stock market, particularly tech related firms like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon.

I know that I own shares in most, if not all, of these companies through the mutual funds in my retirement plan, but that’s not quite the same as owning a stock outright and tracking its progress.

So a few months ago I decided to take some cash I had that was just sitting in the bank, and invest in just one of these tech stocks. Since I consider myself bullish on the long term prospects of all of the companies listed above, I figured I couldn’t go too wrong with any pick.

So I did some fundamental analysis of the stocks, and I came to the conclusion that the one that was currently most undervalued was Twitter. I started following its price for a few weeks, and I said that if the stock gets down to about the mid $20s per share, I would buy 100 shares. Mind you, when the stock first went public, its price jumped 72% on the first day, ending that day at around $45 per share. So I thought getting the stock at about $25 would be quite a bargain.

So on November 30 of last year the price hit $25.50 per share, and I went ahead and made my purchase. For the first few days, my hunch seemed to be correct, with the stock increasing about 2% in value within the first week (that works out to be more than a 100% annual growth rate!)

I started telling everyone that there was a new Warren Buffett in town, and that there wasn’t much to this stock market stuff.

Well less than two week later, the stock was down more than 10% compared to what I bought it for, and unfortunately, the trend has continued for the past four months, until today.

Twitter announced its financial and other performance results a few hours ago, and since they were not up to expectations, the stock is plunging in after-hours trading, down over 13% (as of this writing) in just the past couple of hours, to $15.36 per share.

So at this point, the stock is down just about 40% in the five months I have owned it; so much for being the next Warren Buffett.

So now my dilemma is whether I should sell what I own and cut my losses, or buy more stock at this much lower price. At this point, if I were to buy 100 shares at $15, and the price rebounds to $20, I could say that I broke even on the investment.

I don’t want to get caught in the sunk cost fallacy and hold on to the stock with the mindset that I bought it at $25, so I’ve got to hold on to until it comes back to $25. The key factor in my decision is what do I think is the future of Twitter.

Bottom line, I am still bullish on Twitter. I think it provides a unique and valuable service, plus it has over 300 million active users. That’s a lot of people to use as a foundation for growing a business.

So I’ll see what happens over the next couple of days, and then make a decision.

And if you’re looking to buy some Twitter stock, but don’t want to deal with brokers and all that messy stuff, I’ll gladly sell you mine at $30 per share. That’s nearly 60% off its all time high of about $74 per share, so it’s quite a bargain.

In the meantime, if you’re not too familiar with Twitter, let me suggest that you begin by following me at @jimborden. I’m sure you will love my daily tweets linking to stories from the Wall Street Journal.

*image from The Joy of Direct marketing

Hey, Kids

This is the 57h in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the text from that ad.


Just before you go to sleep tonight, check this list:
Did you get up on time?
Did you make your bed?
Did you eat a good breakfast?
Did you read something interesting?
Did you learn something?
Were you polite?
Did you help a friend?
Did you do some work around the house?
Did you try to earn some money to help pay for your clothes?
Did you think about your future?
Did you read a newspaper or watch a newscast?
Did you brush your teeth?
Twice?
Did you tell your parents how much you apprecaite them?
Imagine how good you’ll feel about yourself if you can say “yes” to these questions today, and every day.


Who could argue with anything on this list?

The only thing I would change is the title; why restrict these suggestions to kids? I think they are good words to live by for all of us, regardless of age.

 

Money, Meaning, and Motivation

While there is a great deal of research that looks at the impact of money (an external reward) versus meaning (an intrinsic reward) on motivation to work, I just want to share one of my favorite examples of this.

The following example is based on some research by Dan Ariely, one of my favorite behavioral economists (although apparently that’s actually a misnomer, he’s a psychologist). If you have not read any of his books, I highly recommend them; he also has a column on most Saturdays in the Wall Street Journal.

Anyway, in this experiment, the researchers created a sheet of paper with a random sequence of letters on it and asked the participants to find instances where the letter S was followed by another letter S. The subjects were told that each sheet contained ten instances of consecutive Ss and that they would have to find all ten instances in order to complete a sheet. We also told them about the payment scheme: they would be paid $0.55 for the first completed page, $0.50 for the second, and so on (for the twelfth page and thereafter, they would receive nothing).

In the first condition, referred to as acknowledged, students were asked to write their names on each sheet prior to starting the task and then to find the ten instances of consecutive Ss. Once they finished a page, they handed it to the experimenter, who looked over the sheet from top to bottom, nodded in a positive way, and placed it upside down on top of a large pile of completed sheets.

In the second condition, referred to as ignored, students were not asked to write their names at the top of the sheet. After completing the task, they handed the sheet to the experimenter, who placed it on top of a high stack of papers without even a sidelong glance.

In the third condition, referred to as shredded, once the participant handed in their sheet, instead of adding it to a stack of papers, the experimenter immediately fed the paper into a shredder, right before the participant’s eyes, without even looking at it.

Ariely notes that the researchers were impressed by the difference a simple acknowledgment made. When they looked at how many of the participants continued searching for letter pairs after they reached the pittance payment of 10 cents (which was also the tenth sheet), we found that about half (49 percent) of those in the acknowledged condition went on to complete ten sheets or more, whereas only 17 percent in the shredded condition completed ten sheets or more. Indeed, it appeared that finding pairs of letters can be either enjoyable and interesting (if your effort is acknowledged) or a pain (if your labor is shredded).

But what about the participants in the ignored condition? Their labor was not destroyed, but neither did they receive any form of feedback about their work.

The results showed that participants in the acknowledged condition completed on average 9.03 sheets of letters; those in the shredded condition completed 6.34 sheets; and those in the ignored condition (drumroll, please) completed 6.77 sheets (and only 18 percent of them completed ten sheets or more). The amount of work produced in the ignored condition was much, much closer to the performance in the shredded condition than to that in the acknowledged condition.

The experiment showed that taking the meaning out of work is surprisingly easy. If you’re a manager who really wants to demotivate your employees, destroy their work in front of their eyes. Or, if you want to be a little subtler about it, just ignore them and their efforts. On the other hand, if you want to motivate people working with you and for you, it would be useful to pay attention to them, their effort, and the fruits of their labor (and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do this, but it does take some basic acknowledgment of their work).

There is one more way to think about the results of the finding pairs of letters experiment. The participants in the shredded condition quickly realized that they could cheat, because no one bothered to look at their work. In fact, if these participants were rational, upon realizing that their work was not checked, those in the shredded condition should have cheated, persisted in the task the longest, and made the most money. The fact that the acknowledged group worked longer and the shredded group worked the least further suggests that when it comes to labor, human motivation is complex. It can’t be reduced to a simple “work for money” trade-off. Instead we should realize that the effect of meaning on labor, as well as the effect of eliminating meaning from labor, are more powerful than we usually expect.

The results seem to support Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Yes, people need to be paid a fair amount so that they can meet their basic needs. But beyond that, it is much more effective to motivate people intrinsically. In Ariely’s experiment that motivation is accomplished through simple acknowledgement.

After reading about this a few years ago, I tried to think how I might incorporate such findings into my teaching. One change I’ve tried to make is to write simple comments on every student’s homework, such as “good job” or “nice attempt”. Previously, I would just typically put a check mark on the paper indicating that I had logged it into my gradebook. The students were getting the same grade either way, but I’m hoping the simple comments may provide better motivation towards putting an honest effort into their assignments.

I have no way of knowing if that is the case, but if the results of the experiment above are any indication, my guess is that it does.

It also gives me an idea for a future April Fools’ Day prank…

Appendix: if you would like to read some more about this experiment, here are some details:

The subjects were MIT students who responded to announcements about the experiment that were posted in the student center, where the experiment also took place. Each subject participated in the experiment alone, without the presence of other subjects. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Acknowledged (N= 35), Ignored (N= 35), or Shredded (N= 34). Subjects were unaware of the other conditions. The basic task was the same in all three conditions: subjects were initially given a sheet of paper with a seemingly random sequence of letters and told that they would be paid $0.55 for finding 10 instances of two consecutive letters ‘s.’ Having completed the first page, they were then asked whether they would be willing to complete a second page for $0.50 (5¢ less). The process continued, with wages declining by 5¢ per sheet, until the subject decided to stop working. This ended the experimental session. Subjects then received payment for all sheets. Since we paid the subjects on a per-unit rather than per-hour basis, we accordingly measure labor supply in terms of units produced, not hours worked.

In the Acknowledged condition, the subjects were asked to write their name on each sheet prior to starting the task. The instructions explained that after completing the task, they would hand the sheet over to the experimenter who would examine it and file it away in a folder.

In the Ignored condition, the subjects were not instructed to write their name on the sheets, and in fact none did so. Moreover, the instructions explained that, after the subject completed the task, the experimenter would place the sheet on a high stack of papers. The experimenter in fact did so without examining the completed sheets.

The Shredded condition was the same as the Ignored condition except that the instructions explained that the completed sheets would be immediately put through a paper shredder. As the subjects turned in the sheets, the experimenter shredded them without a glance.

The subjects could cheat in all the conditions, given the absence of monitoring. Moreover, the incentives to cheat are arguably higher in the Ignored condition and even higher in the Shredded condition where the lack of monitoring was particularly salient. Moreover, in the Shredded condition, cheating was not only impossible to detect, but is obviously of no consequence since the sheets were immediately destroyed. To the extent that economic theory makes any directional predictions here, it would seem to predict the highest reservation wage in the Acknowledged condition, which requires more conscientious attention to a dull task, and lowest in the Shredded condition, where cheating is both possible and apparently inconsequential.

Results

The results were exactly opposite of these predictions: the subjects exhibited the lowest average reservation wage in the Acknowledged condition (14.85¢), a higher one in the Ignored condition (26.14¢), and the highest in the Shredded condition (28.29¢). In other words, in the three conditions the subjects completed an average of 9.03, 6.77, and 6.34 sheets and received an average total of $3.01, $2.60, and $2.42. Fig. 1 shows the histograms of the number of sheets completed in each condition. As the histograms show, almost half of the subjects in the Acknowledged condition were willing to work until the wage dropped all the way to zero.

The Wilcoxon rank-order test reveals that labor supply was significantly greater in the Acknowledged than in the Ignored condition (exact one-sided p-value <0.001), while the difference between the Ignored and Shredded conditions is not statistically significant (exact one-sided p-value = 0.24). The magnitude of the difference between the Acknowledged and the other two conditions is quite striking: the subjects exhibit a reservation wage that is almost twice as large when their work is not acknowledged. The difference between Acknowledged and Ignored condition is not nearly as strong, which is somewhat surprising. The act of shredding the sheets without even looking at them is such blatant, unnatural violence toward the product of subjects’ labor that one might expect the subjects to respond much more to it than to the treatment in the Ignored condition, yet the difference between those two conditions is minor while the effect of being acknowledged is strikingly high.

High School Memory of Playing Hangman

I was scrolling through my Youtube playlist today, and I stopped at “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. While it’s not quite summertime, I decided to watch it anyway.

It’s quite a catchy tune, and Mungo Jerry’s look is quite unique.

While I was watching the video, it brought back a high school memory from over 40 years ago.

There was a bunch of us hanging out before school started for the day, and someone suggested we play hangman (if you are thinking, “I bet none of these guys were on the football team”, you would be correct). To narrow down the list of possible words or phrases to be guessed, we decided to limit the choices for the game to musical artists.

I knew that my knowledge of music was much less than anyone else playing the game (I still thought Bobby Sherman, Tony Orlando, and the Archies were cool). For example, little did I know that there was a guy named Bruce Springsteen who would soon take the world by storm, but my sense was that all these other guys knew stuff like that. (Fun fact – he almost played at our high school, but we didn’t sell enough tickets, which were $5).

So if I were to have any chance of not embarrassing myself, I would have to rely on cleverness/shady tactics rather than my command of the world of music.

The game started, and as I expected, I was not much help trying to guess who some of the musical artists were.

When it finally was my turn to pick an artist,  as you may have guessed, I used Mungo Jerry. As I seem to recall, no one was able to guess it, and a couple of the guys thought it was a pretty cheap gimmick using such a name.

Anyway, the game continued, and my limited knowledge became even more apparent.

But when it came to be my turn again, I was ready to show everyone that I could stump them just as easily as they could stump me.

Here’s the set-up:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _      _ _

As usual, people start with vowels, and I’m sure at one point, my drawing looked like this:

_ _ A _ _ I _ _        I _

They may have been able to get a few more letters, but eventually they ran out of guesses by the time they had hung themselves.

At that point I gleefully revealed all the letters:

CLASSICS  IV

A good deal of yelling and complaining and name calling then ensued, along with a couple of dead arms for added effect. I think I also remember someone telling me to go back to listening to the Monkees, which would have been fine with me.

Obviously, if I still remember this event 40 years later, it must have held some sort of significance for me. I’m not really sure what that would be, except perhaps as a way of remembering a rare day when I outsmarted someone in a battle of musicology.

As well as a way of remembering that I was a nerd, long before it became fashionable.

And if you’ve never heard of the Classics IV, here is one of their hits:

And remember, even if you don’t like their music, it’s a killer clue for the next time you play Hangman.

 

 

Connecting the Dots, and Meditation

Steve Jobs, in his inspirational graduation speech at Stanford, stated,

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

I had such an experience this past week in my Cost Accounting class (please don’t fall asleep yet, I promise this post is not about Cost Accounting). My two sections are virtually all graduating seniors, and I think most, if not all, of them have jobs lined up for when they graduate (in other words, their level of motivation at this time of year is pretty low… OK, nonexistent).

So it’s a perfect time of year for a guest speakers, preferably former students, to visit my classes and offer their perspective on what the business world is like. Last year I had a former student visit and talk about the use of the Gallup Strengths Finder tool at Johnson & Johnson and another former student speak about how performance evaluation is done at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and the importance of taking control of your career. I previously wrote about how successful those visits were, and so I wanted to maintain that same level of quality, but try something a little different.

As luck would have it, a former MBA student of mine, from about 1988, had contacted me a few months ago, letting me know that he had written a book on meditation, and thought I would be interested in reading it. I ordered a copy, read it (highly recommend), and then we began exchanging a few emails.

At one point Chase, the former student, said that while he lives in Atlanta, he still has a brother in the area, and that he occasionally comes up for a visit. We made some vague plans to connect, but then somehow the idea came up that he would be willing to come in and teach my classes how to meditate.

I had to give it a little thought, because admittedly, that is a different kind of class from Cost Accounting and I wondered how the students would react. That thinking process lasted all of two minutes, and I agreed that such a class could be very beneficial to my students.

So we made plans for his visit, and Chase kindly shared one of the chapters from his book for my students to read in advance. While this was all in process, a story happened to appear in the Wall Street Journal that talked about Deepak Chopra visiting an MBA class at Columbia Business School where he taught the students the basics of meditation. When I saw that article, all doubts were removed from my mind about the appropriateness of having someone teach my students about meditation.

Well this past Wednesday was the big day, and it could not have worked out better.

Chase first offered some background on the benefits of meditation, and then led the two classes through a basic and then a more advanced meditation. Since I sat through both classes, it gave me a chance to do quite a bit of meditating, which was quite relaxing.

We went out for dinner afterwards, and did our best to catch up on the past 28 years since we had last seen each other. When I got home later, I realized how fate had brought us together.

Who would have imagined that a student I taught almost 30 years ago, who then went on to have a successful career in the insurance industry, would one day be visiting my class to lead a seminar on meditation?

Yes, we had formed a good relationship while he was a student (there’s only a year difference between us), but once he graduated we did not stay in touch. But like many connections I make these days, LinkedIn brought us together, and it culminated in the wonderful experience my students had the other day.

And if you are wondering what the students thought about the class, well here is their unedited feedback. It won’t take too much reading to realize that Chase hit it out of the park, or perhaps a more appropriate analogy for Villanova, it was a slam dunk.

I liked the energy that Chase brought to the room. He knew he had the goal of trying to engage us and I think that he made the best of the situation. I also liked how he showed us the benefits of meditation in life. I do believe that with persistent focus on meditation, it can definitely help focus and lead to life benefits. However, for me, I’m not sure I got what I should have out of the presentation. Some of the jokes were a bit forced, which didn’t really help lighten the mood. Also, I’m not sure if I actually achieved a meditative state. Part of that might have been because I was tired coming in and part of that was that I might have not fully understood exactly what I was trying to achieve. It was definitely a good experience, but maybe what I needed was something else. I do like the idea of having a guest speaker like this come into our class during the semester. I think there are large benefits to exploring different options when it comes to mental and physical fitness. I really appreciate everything that I learned from Chase. Next semester, I would definitely try to keep the same sort of lesson in the syllabus, whether it is yoga, zumba, meditation, or something alike. Again, I think this is an important aspect of life, but that each person has their own preferences on what works for them. I hope this helps. Thanks so much for getting Chase to come into our class. Definitely a lot to learn from this type of experience.

I found the presentation to be interesting, beneficial, and quirky. I found his quirky humor to be a tad awkward but beneficial in breaking the ice in the room because he was confident with himself. His PowerPoint on meditation was informative and interesting but I found myself trying to take too much information at once while
thinking about the meditation that would soon come. The meditation itself was well lead by him and I was able to relax by attempting to follow his instructions. I found myself calm and composed after the first round of meditation and truly enjoyed the experience. I had trouble with the second round but found it enlightening. Overall, he is great and confident presenter. I would recommend you keep this meditation day for future semesters.

Just some quick feedback about yesterday’s presentation. He was very enthusiastic and engaging which was good to keep everyone’s attention. I liked the topic and presentation because it was different and it helped me relaxed especially coming towards the final weeks of school. This may not be for everyone but if you are able to concentrate and stay focused it was a good break from the busy world around us. 

I liked the presentation! I thought Chase was a colorful and fun person to be guiding the meditation. I found it very relaxing.

 I enjoyed yesterday’s presentation, it was very different than what I would have expected. While I don’t think I did very well meditating, I still enjoyed the speaker.

I really enjoyed Chase’s presentation yesterday! He was definitely not the conventional guest speaker that usually comes to VSB classes, which made it that much more enjoyable for me.He also was very personable, which made it more interesting and engaging. I have been extremely stressed lately, so having the opportunity to meditate during class from a professional and to hear the benefits of meditation was helpful for me! 

I enjoyed the presentation yesterday and think it would be worth doing again. I thought that it was slightly long winded and found myself zoning out at points. A shorter presentation might have been more captivating. Also Chase said you can’t meditate wrong, but I think I’m an exception to that rule! I could not find my subconscious anywhere in the house at the end of that path. 

I thought the guest speaker was definitely interesting to learn from and was a good use of class time. I did think he could have gone more into how meditation can help when entering the workforce, specifically.

I enjoyed the fact that yesterday’s presentation was not related to accounting. I think it is easy to get tunnel vision while in college and prioritize your major course more than others, so it was refreshing to learn a little bit about something that is not directly related to the business world but could still be beneficial. I thought the presenter himself was very friendly and pleasant. I think I would need a lot more practice to break through my mind and be able to successfully meditate but it was fun to learn the basics! In general, I always appreciate having a guest speaker. Thank you for bringing him in to speak with us! 

This guest speaker was certainly different compared to almost all of the guest speakers I’ve had throughout my Villanova career, but I found what he was talking about very helpful for me in the long-run when it comes to stress management and improving one’s mental health. I truly got a lot out of class yesterday and he definitely convinced me to at least try meditation in the future.

I really enjoyed yesterday’s presentation. I’ve been quite interested in meditation, and have begun practicing it and using it regularly over the past year. I thought the speaker was really knowledgable and engaging which is definitely necessary when teaching a topic many are skeptical about. I really have no negative comments I could make on it at all, and I believe that it is definitely worth continuing to do this in future semesters.

I really enjoyed today’s presentation on meditation. The presenter was very engaging and entertaining. I honestly needed this class at this point in the time of the semester with graduation looming and seemingly all work due for my classes. It was refreshing and relaxing to be able to sit and meditate for an extended period of time, and alleviated my stress levels. I think either meditation or a yoga class should be used for future students.

I thought at first it was going to be super weird, and it was a little weird, but I enjoyed it. I think it is good to learn to relax and destress, especially for college students about to enter the working world. He was also a good presenter so it was fun to listen to.

I thought the presentation yesterday was very interesting. The guest speaker did a great job keeping us engaged and explaining how meditation can reduce stress and build emotional intelligence. It is definitely a practice that I will utilize going forward. 

I thought today’s guest speaker was great.  I have a lot of work this week, as I’m sure most students do, so this was a nice break to completely put that stress out of my mind and focus inward.  I enjoyed it as I have never really tried anything like that before.  Also, I think the tactics he taught will be useful as I have had some trouble sleeping recently which I’m sure is due to worries about graduating soon.  I’m glad I got to practice with a professional so I have some experience in quieting my mind to help me sleep.  Overall I enjoyed the experience and would recommend you use it next year as well.

I enjoyed the speaker today. He was engaging and enjoyable. As for the meditation, I felt relaxed and calm, but I’m not sure I really “experienced” anything, especially during the more advanced meditation. Even though I didn’t experience anything, I still think meditation is an interesting concept and that it can have positive effects. Thank you for planning this!

Have to admit that I was skeptical of this at first but I really had a great time today. I’ve meditated in classes before but never had a great guided experience like that before. Really opened my eyes to how beneficial meditation really can be. Thanks for a great day!

I really enjoyed today’s presentation! It was a very unique experience. I had never done a legitimate meditation before so that was a great introduction that made me want to explore it more. I didn’t realize that there were so many types of techniques and I was very impressed with Chase’s passion and knowledge for meditation. Thanks for inviting him to our class! It was a great way to end the semester.

I thoroughly enjoyed today’s meditation session. After experiencing it I truly realize how anxious and stressed I get over small everyday things. When reading one of the articles on google prior to the meditation I read that the normal person experiences a “fight or flight” response 11 times per day. I definitely see this in my everyday life and absolutely want to look more into meditation to try and help it. Thank you again for giving me this experience.

The presentation today was interesting. Definitely out of the norm. I’m not sure if I really got that much out of it and I’m not planning on taking up meditation, but I have had a stressful week and it definitely calmed me down and I felt much better leaving class than I did when I entered. So maybe I should take up meditation?? But overall I’d say I liked it, even if parts of it did feel a little hokey. I do appreciate you trying to get new and diverse speakers each year.

Still here? Well if so, thanks for reading all those comments, and a big thank you to Chase for teaching me and my students a valuable life skill.

And who knows, perhaps 28 years from now, I’ll reconnect with one of the graduates of the class of 2016.

If you’d like to learn more about Chase and how he might help you with meditation, here is a link to his web site.

*Photo of Chase helping two students with the meditative process.

Dining, Au Naturel

Coming to London this summer for just three months – a pop-up restaurant where diners have the option to eat in the nude. And so far, over 15,000 people have signed up for tickets!

The restaurant, the Bunyadi, will have both clothed and unclothed sections, and diners will have access to gowns, changing rooms, and lockers.

The restaurant will offer both vegan and non-vegan entrees made with all-natural ingredients, and served on handmade clay plates with edible cutlery.

The founder states that, “People should get a chance to experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and even no clothes if they wish.”

I wonder if there will also be rules against makeup, deodorant, perfume, and plastic surgery.

If I had to choose between eating at a place like this or one where there are lots of chemicals, artificial colors, electricity, gas, phones, and people wearing clothes, I’ll choose the chemicals every time.

I’ve often reminisced about what it was like to go out to dinner when I was a kid; it was a big deal, and we usually got a little dressed up for the occasion.

Now when I go to a restaurant it seems like everyone must must be taking a break from doing their laundry, and as a result were stuck wearing clothes that probably shouldn’t be worn in public.

I guess there are two ways to deal with such a problem; one is to require some minimum dress code – no jeans, collared shirts, no cutoffs, etc., or, go the Bunyadi route, and skip the clothes entirely.

I think I have a new appreciation for those people who at least have the dignity to wear a shirt when they go out, even if there’s an obscenity on the front of it.

But just in case this au naturel dining becomes a trend, I’m going to start doing a few extra minutes on the treadmill…