Sphere College Project

A New World of Learning

Spinning Plates

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When I was a kid I remember watching some guy on TV doing this impressive plate spinning trick. It was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, or some variety show. Hang on, time to google…

Ok, a minute later and here it is: Erich Brenn “Plate Spinning” on The Ed Sullivan Show. (I’ll avoid my normal tendency to go off on the topic of how changing media has completely transformed our society in ways that are very difficult to fully comprehend and save it for a future Sphere College class discussion. We made some headway with this in the afternoon class on Thursday, by the way.)

This segment comes to mind because it reflects how I feel these days. Well, actually, for the past year. There’s so much to keep track of! I have to keep my eye on a bunch of spinning plates, making sure they don’t slow down too much and fall. There are really so many that it would be futile to try to list all of them. I would end up leaving out some major, major ones. But hey, you may be interested in knowing about some of them, so here goes:

* Maintain the quality of the classes at a reasonable level
* Do what I can to get word out about the fact that a truly amazing individual has joined the faculty
* Manage the details associated with bringing on Michael Reddy, and keep track of details associated with another potential faculty member
* Work with Virginia, student of Sphere College and my part-time assistant, to keep track of what the Steering Committee of the college is working on
* Make sure the Fundraising Committee is on track, and go ask for donations of items for the raffle for our First Anniversary Celebration at the Colonial Theatre as I said I would do
* Put some finishing touches on the Sphere College Business Plan, and get it to the people who need to see it
* Do what I can to see to it that our fundraiser at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in Phoenixville is getting advertised (please print out the coupon in the link and join us at the restaurant this Wednesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. A portion of your bill will go to support Sphere College!)
* Get “Thank You” notes, as well as correct legal acknowledgments, out to the people who have been donating funds to the College (they’re starting to really come in now, even from people I’ve never met at all—very exciting! Saying “Thank You” is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, but I want to do it right and that takes time.)
* Make connections in nearby Norristown (birthplace of Jaco Pastorius) with people there who are already interested in starting a branch of Sphere College
* Update the blog
* Respond to email (972 unread; apologies if you’re waiting on a response from me!)
* Prepare for the Sphere College Advisory Group meeting coming up on Monday night
* Continue getting the word out for the Sphere College Short Film Contest so people will make and submit videos (please help with this!)
* Renew my membership in the Phoenixville Area Time Bank
* Continue developing relationships with Phoenixville area businesses
* Pursue finding a solid space for the classes (while we are very appreciative of the space that has been donated to us so far, we really need something more conducive to providing a good learning environment)
* Continue pursuing immediate contributions to support faculty, staff, administration and space while we are trying to grow
* Deliver what I said I would deliver to Sue Kern, who has begun donating her time as coordinator for the College; we’re off to a very good start, I think!
* Make sure to maintain my own life/work balance

Again, I realize that some of my posts could come off sounding like complaints, but they’re not. I truly enjoy a challenge—particularly one that I’m passionate about, feel there is a need for and am certain will be successful—and I keep saying that I’ll be learning as much as anyone in taking the College to the next level.

Whoops, there’s a plate slowing down…


Author: Richard Liston

Musician, computer scientist, educator. I'm creating a new educational environment for adults.

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