Installment 20: New Adventure, New Opportunity

October November 24, 2019

Good afternoon VFOT friends and followers. It’s a cold, snowy, crappy day in New England and on top of that, I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to remedy some internet problems this afternoon. Not exactly how I planned on spending my Sunday. No good act goes unpunished as they say….and having a WiFi outage while there’s a lot of schoolwork being done in the house is causing some stress. First world problems, right?

The past couple of weeks have been eventful. Lot’s going on and more travel….so let’s get to it.

Pro-Reading

Most of my pro-reading during recent weeks has been tied up with staying ahead in the textbook that my students are using for our Leadership in Context class. In the past couple of weeks, we covered chapters on Transformational Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Servant Leadership, and a couple of other theories.

I’ve found myself being distracted with recreational reading, so I haven’t made too much progress with either Blink or Lethal Force. I just have to get my head in the game and push through both of those.

Other Reading

I finished The Operator, and moved on to Lions of Kandahar, by Major Rusty Bradley (Bradley, Rusty. Lions of Kandahar. 2015. New York, NY: Bantam Books.) That inspired me to move on to another similar title, Level Zero Heroes, by Michael Golembsky (Golembsky, Michael. Level Zero Heroes. 2014. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.) This one was fascinating. Golembsky served as a JTAC controller with a MARSOC Marine Unit, during some intense fighting in Afghanistan. Both of these were great reads.

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Other Learning Opportunities

In addition to continuing to work with my students in this semester’s Leadership class for the college, I also had the opportunity to travel back to Gainesville, FL during this period. This was my 8th trip to Gainesville to work with GPD’s in-house leadership academy. This is always an impressive group and I’m grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to work with them. I know that there’s going to be some changes for next year. I don’t know what that will end up looking like, but I hope that I get to continue this association.

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After returning from Gainesville and taking the weekend to catch up and rest, I spent the beginning of last week participating in the RISE program at the Kripalu Institute. RISE is a mindfulness and resiliency training program focused on using breathing techniques and movements to stay centered and connected. It was a great program and I wish that I had taken it when I had earlier opportunities. I took a lot out of the three days.

FUN

Despite all the travel and training, the past couple of weeks haven’t been without fun. C and I celebrated our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. We started with a lovely dinner out at the Gramercy Bistro. I had not been before. I don’t know how I managed to not know about this great little restaurant. It’s a great atmosphere and the food was phenomenal. We continued the celebration on that Tuesday night with a quite night at home.

While I was in FL, of course I took the opportunity for a night out with my colleagues from GPD. Those guys are always a good time and I really enjoy the time that I get to spend with them.

When I came home, we had dinner plans with another couple that we’ve become friends with. They turned it into a little dinner party. Coincidentally, the other couple invited consists of one of my work partners and his wife, so a little professional socialization was accomplished as well.

Date night this week was at our old standby, Flavours of Malaysia. It’s always good….and good for the soul.

Through both of these busy weeks, I still managed to fit in a few sessions of Jiu-jitsu each week and I’m grateful for that.

Well, with the WiFi still down, I’m limited as to where in the house I can work. Maybe that’s a sign that I’m just supposed to relax and watch some football. That sounds like a plan. So, until next time…

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*

Installment 19: New Adventure, New Opportunity

October November 10, 2019

Good afternoon VFOT fans and followers. Happy Sunday. I hope that you’re having an enjoyable weekend, as we celebrate the 244th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps today and recognize Veterans’ Day tomorrow. To all of our Veteran’s…thank you for your service.

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This reporting period has been marked by some significant challenges and difficulties. I’m not going to go into all of it here, but let’s just say, there have been some disappointments. In addition to continuing to work with my new class at MCLA, I also headed back to Chicago for the Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference. I came back from that trip with some respiratory crud that just won’t let go. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get to it.

Pro-Reading

School work continued to occupy much of my dedicated professional reading time. However, I did complete No Visible Bruises, while I was traveling. On top of that, I’m still slowly working my way through completing Blink and Lethal Force.

Other Reading

In addition to my pro-reading, I finished The Last Punisher, by Kevin Lacz (Lacz, Kevin. (2016) The Last Punisher: A Seal Team Three Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadi. New York, NY: Threshold Editions.) I moved on from there to The Operator, by Robert O’Neill (O’Neill, Robert. (2017) The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama Bin Laden and my Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner.) I just wrapped that one up and am moving on to a new title today.

Other Learning Opportunities

IACP presented a lot of learning opportunities. I attended several very interesting sessions and made it to the Annual Critical Issues Forum, concentrating on the epidemic of law enforcement suicides.

Once I made it back, it was right into the normally hectic rotation of work, training and teaching. Last Tuesday, I took a training team on the road and we attended a workshop on Responding to Veterans in Crisis. On Wednesday, I covered the weekly in-service training rotation and sat in for my required in-service on Stress Survival and Suicide Prevention and Animal Cruelty. Not fun topics.

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Perhaps the most important occurrence of the last 2 weeks and the part that wasn’t finalized until Thursday morning, was that I withdrew from my Doctoral program. For a wide variety of reasons, I realized that particular program was not for me. I’m going to have to do a lot of self-reflection and examination to decide if I want to try another program. That was a difficult decision.

On Friday afternoon, I attended a Police Academy Graduation and welcomed 3 new officers to our Department.

The fact that all of this was going on in the midst of a local Mayoral election just made it all the more stressful.

FUN

Despite the stresses and disappointments, we have managed to have some fun. C flew out to Chicago to meet me on the Saturday of the Conference. We explored a little bit of downtown Chicago, attended Host Chief’s Night at the Science Museum, sampled Chicago deep dish pizza (stuffed) and took and architectural river cruise to explore the City. This week was getting back into a routine, catching up and getting some Jiu-jitsu in.

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Well, that’s probably enough for now…plus, I’ve got some class prep work to do…so, until next time….

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*

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