Converting the People to People Australia Travel Journal

Well, it's been 8 years now since I traveled the silver skies to Australia as part of the People to People Student Ambassador Program.  I think it is high time that I encode that trip in the fabric of the internet and share my candid thoughts and writings from that time in my life. The journal will not be edited except for punctuation and structure to make the story more readable but none of the content is being changed and the awkward sentences are remaining in the log even.  I am really excited to revisit my month of exploring the coolest country I've ever been to.

If you're mentioned in here and it's awkward... I'm sorry :-)  In other news, I feel sound way more interesting than I expected!


Let's Play For Change

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo. - From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe.

Play For Change - What a wonderful concept.  This video and the campaign that goes along with is has been absolutely inspiring.  Think about it... not just the technical merits but the message of it.  Music is a universal language that we can all speak, that we can all connect to.  Our world doesn't need more war, we need more things in common, more hands to hold, more ways to get to know one another.  Play For Change is the beginning of that mission.

Technically, I enjoyed the video too.  It's really cool that the single song can be brought together all over the world and then put together and work beautifully.  It's like the music group, The Postal Service - each musician recorded their track on a tape and then mailed it to the next to record theirs.  So too did each of these musicians play their part and then got sliced and diced together.

Visit their website at Play For Change to learn more about their project.

Please enjoy these other videos from Play For Change:

Procrastination Nation

Students taking a test at the University of Vi...
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It's 2am and I'm still up.  Tomorrow is the last day of classes for me as an undergraduate.  I want to be in bed but I have procrastinated away my semester and am now paying for it.  That said, there are 18 days 11 hours and 4 minutes until graduation according to my widget... that's foreboding.

What am I procrastinating on right this moment? Well... it's an assignment that was originally due two weeks ago for IS.  I just finished an assignment that was due four weeks ago.  I still have to prep on the concepts of pipes and design a pipe for class tomorrow.  On the up side, I have nothing left except the final exam for finance, and I've completed all requirements for my networking and telecom class except for the take home final.

The way I'm looking at it now is this: I've spent 4 years doing the same gag, I've caught onto the game and now, with the end quite literally in sight, I am sort of hard pressed to stay concentrated.  Truth be told, it's hard to keep attention on any one thing right now.  My head and attention is all over the place.  Oh well.  I'm getting it out of my system so that I can bang out work starting in July but that's for another post.

Now back to my object oriented model building - wOOt.

Twitter is Penetrating My School

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

That's right, the little tweeting bird is all over the place on campus.  Every department, administrative office, and student now has an @ handle.  I walk down Commonwealth Avenue and hear college kids debating whether the posting to twitter is "tweeting" or "twitting" (I'm in the tweeting camp...).  It's just so strange to think that Twitter has become a main-stream(ish) service that the masses, at least at the college age/level, have seemed to adopt and run with.

Last week, my friends @DeanElmore, @JohnBattaglino and Tom O'Keefe (@bostontweet) led the first Boston University "tweet crawl."  Here's a concept for you.  Combine Twitter/social media, with the age-old tradition of imbibing intoxicating beverages and you've got yourself a dangerous combination.  It seems that the crew didn't have a schedule or even a route prepared but they tweeted their next stop and a crowd formed to follow through the standard BU haunts - the BU Pub, Cornwall's, the Dugout.

It's funny to think that I joined Twitter 643 days ago, according to - it was a time when twitter was still VERY new and definitely didn't have the sort of following it does now.  Really, it was just the insiders, the ones that knew about it because they were truly geeky.  To say that you tweet, was an automatic admission of your geekiness and further, proof that you probably were of a technically inclined nature.

Twitter activities here at Boston University and in Boston as a whole have increased significantly of late.  There was even a discussion of which campus in the Boston area was most with it when it came to twitter... I think BU won: Boston tweet debate.  The real question here is whether or not you "get it" and use the service or just use it because everyone else is.

One can see this clearly by the high number of people with protected tweets.  Very few hardcore twitter users will protect their tweets but so many students are worried about what employers can and will see, that they are cutting out the greater twitterverse in lieu of keeping their messages for their close friends.

I guess that means that the real question is why do you use twitter?  I know why I do (a topic for another night), but why do YOU use twitter? P.S. you can follow me on twitter at @jamesconnors.

Rituals That Keep You Grounded

old religion
Image by wanderinghome via Flickr

At the core of most belief systems are a main set of rituals or acts that the group performs either together or on their own as part of their celebration of faith.  Though not a religious act, I have a few rituals that I enjoy and that sometimes stand in the way of moving forward or being productive.

Cleaning My Room

Most mothers would love to hear this... unfortunately my mother knows the real source of this one.  I can't work in my room if it is dirty.  Not even dirty in the sense of dust or dirt, but rather the clutter and chaos of being a college male.

I don't pretend to understand it really.  Perhaps it's something about the energy in the room but I find myself constantly cleaning up the room - putting things away, doing laundry, vacuuming, making the bed, etc. whenever I need to work here - generally on the weekends.

So the next time you need to buckle down and do some work... especially if you need to procrastinate a little longer... consider cleaning your room and doing your laundry!  It's good for at least a couple hours of time killing and the OCD voices in your head will be satisfied.


Shocking, I know!  This might be a hold-over from the military academy thing (as most of these are...) but it's a really productive thing... right?  In all seriousness, there is something about making my dress clothes look THAT much better than they were when I took them out of the drier.  Sure, they're all wrinkle resistant dress shirts these days but that's nothing a little light starch and a good hot iron can't make look 100x better.

One late night of doing laundry sophomore or junior year in South Campus, a girl came up to me and complimented me on my folding skills as I was putting creases into my t-shirts as I folded them on the tables while they were still warm.  She worked at Banana Republic and was trying to get me to come work for them to fold stuff... I thought not. BUT! It did remind me that I take great pride in stuff like that.  At USAFA I had a near perfect record for my military inspections - one of the highest in my flight.

These days, though I do iron more dress clothes than I ever did before, the most relaxing moments are when I go through and heavy starch my CAP uniforms.  There are days when the BDU's (The camo uniforms) can stand up on their own when I'm done.  Razor sharp arm creases, stiff front and back panels - so good.

Polishing Shoes and Boots

How ironic is it that this is THE most zen ritual that I have?  It all started in high school when Civil Air Patrol met every Thursday night and sometimes on the weekends.  In the beginning, I would spend hours trying to get any sort of shine out of my boots but over the years I picked up tricks that got my shoes looking like glass.  Heading to USAFA, I was able to share this with my fellow classmates.

We would bond over late night polish parties.  These polish parties were some of the few times the upperclassmen would leave us alone - maybe that's where the big tie comes from.  These days, I don't have anyone else to shine shoes and boots with so it is a solitary thing that I do to refocus and clear my mind.  It's amazing how making tiny little circles with handkerchiefs and Kiwi polish can flush everything bad out of your head.

These are the rituals that bring me back to center, that relax me, that make me concentrate when I can't normally focus.  What sorts of things do you do to bring you back to center when everything else seems to be going crazy?

We Stand on The Brink

Image via Wikipedia

It is officially the last week of my undergraduate education.  Shit.

The last time I was in a similar situation, e.g.  the last week of high school, I was looking out to this huge adventure that was laying before me.  No, that adventure wasn't the standard orientation, matriculation, and endless hours of waiting for elevators to move into your freshman dorm.  No, I was waiting to hop on a plane with nothing more than the clothes on my back, the strung around my neck, and the knowledge that I was about to enter the military as part of the United States Air Force Academy class of 2009.

Though, slightly less forboding than going out in to the "real world" as I will be in a few short weeks, given the time in my life of each, I think the feelings are incredibly similar.  It's time like these that I start to reflect... and procrastinate.  This week is even similar to the last week in Dublin, Ireland this time last year.  We start counting off our activities as our "Last xyz" where the xyz is something that you would only do there: the last pub crawl, the last business class, the last frat party etc etc.

I am terrified that my list of lasts will miss so many things that I "should" have done while in college.  I didn't have the standard freshman experience, the military had a very different path there.  I didn't live on campus that first year at Boston University.  I didn't have to deal with gang showers (in Boston at least) and I never really frequented the fraternities on Trashford et all.

Following that same thought process but bringing it outside of the social education one gets at college, I'm afraid that I didn't make the most out of the absolute gift of education that my parents have helped make possible for me.  It is not the thought that I didn't do my best or that I took the wrong classes but the worry is more along the lines of whether I took the "right" classes or not.  Did I miss an elective that would have been amazing?  Was there a different professor that would have been better?  Should I have stayed in Engineering and not go to business?

Thinking like this isn't productive.

I have decided that I am happy with where I am right now.  I feel confident in my ability to go out into the workforce and do a great job.  I know that I will succeed.  That said, I cannot stop running the what if's in my head.  What if I didn't go the Air Force Academy?  What if Notre Dame had taken me off their waiting list?  What if I had stayed in Engineering?  What if?

Instead of spending hours working through the what if's of life, I have found that it is best to deal with your actual reality.  What did you actually do?  Why did you do it?  Ok, so you've got you past, your present... where are going now that you know these other two parts?  How are you going to change the world?  With that, I'll leave you with one last piece of pondering:

As we are moving away from wherever has been our homes for the last 3-5+ years at school, we need to define where our home is.  Home is where you go to re-energize, where you go to get in touch with yourself, where you feel at ease.  For me, home is where ever I am.  That is home for me because I need me to recharge, and I don't need sentimental ties to arbitrary locations.

How do YOU know that you're in the right place and that you've made the right decisions?  Is it only with 20/20 hindsight that you know it?

Spring Cleaning and Restarting the Blog

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 12:  The Boston University T...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

A blogger I always admired once told me to never apologize for not updating your blog and he was doing very well for himself.  So too, I will not apologize but I will go so far as to say that I have rejuggled my obligations in the internets and this is my sole priority.

It's a wonderful spring here in Boston, MA at Boston University.  Classes are almost out, jobs are being landed, professors are loosening up, and graduation looms on tomorrow's horizon.  Well, not really.  We have 25 days left... that's close enough.  I can almost taste the amazingness of freedom.

Everyone is priming themselves for their next few weeks as we finish school, stumble through senior week, and finally walk across a stage to receive a small piece of paper that validates all of the effort I have exerted for the last four years.  In these few short days, we must finish all of our illustrious classes with famous professors, grit our teeth through the pomp and circumstance that is graduation and finally, move on to bigger and "better" things.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I have a job.  For the last 6 months, I've known that I had a job upon graduation and finally found some information regarding when that new game would begin.  I will be starting with Accenture on the 6th of July, the Monday following the 4th.  I see this becoming an epic weekend.  Along these lines, I am moving out of the coop from the get go.  Some friends and I have an apartment on Beacon St. in Brookline, MA.  I cannot wait to move in with these friends and to begin my life as a professional, a productive member of society.

Funnily enough, I am so excited with bringing my new experiences to the website.  I want to share the new activities and observations to you... if you're still listening out there.  We are all on the brink of something amazing and the die is cast.  Our course is set.  We've been directing our boats for the last four years (or more) and now our course is set.  Basically, that means it's time for autopilot.  It's time to enjoy the moments we get to share with those we love and surround ourselves with.  It is time for celebration.

Please look for to bring more and more content directly to you through RSS and the mighty interwebs.  I hope that you enjoy where we go with this and stick around for the ride.  Warm wishes and good health.  Congratulations to all of my classmates in the class of 2009 and thank you to all of the parents that have made this a reality.

Relaunch And Rebirth - Our Site Moved

Rude Awakening album cover
Image via Wikipedia

To all that may have had an issue getting to the website, I'm very sorry.  We have moved... well, I have moved.  For a number of reasons, the hosting company that I was using,, was not meeting my requirements:

  • Their support personnel, though intelligent, have often been rude when responding to issues.  They have straight up refused to help with an issue that was clearly on their end.
  • Admin work they were performing in an unannounced maintenance window actually deleted my website.
  • The shared hosting service that I was on was routinely overloaded and nothing was ever done to the load even after I had brought it up a number of times.  There were times when my mostly text site would take nearly 40 seconds to load... in internet time, that was an age.

So what have I done?  Well, I've taken action and seen an opportunity here.  Not only will I NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM AGAIN, I will be taking all of my properties over to  I've had good experiences with Godaddy thus far and have even recommended them to clients and friends alike.  Goodbye Bluehost.  Take your slow service and unresponsive techs and keep them to yourself.

The new project is ambitious.  I have left the traditional 'shared hosting' behind for the next step up in the evolution of my digital life.  For the time being, all of the North West Wind Productions properties -,,, and - will be hosted on a virtual dedicated server.  This move has started this past week and will continue through the next month.  Each property will move on its own schedule depending on the critical nature of the content.

I'm proud to say that the old website,, is now relaunched as - hopefully this will be easier for people to find and get involved with.  So far, so good.  I've been able to make some good changes thus far and the site has never been faster.  At the same time, I'm getting some amazing experience configuring in a linux environment and it's really nice to have the added horsepower of a virtual dedicated server.

Hopefully you're seeing improvements to the site as we're moving forward too.  But, I'm curious.  Where do you host your website/blog?  Do you use a hosted service like or blogger?  Do you opt for shared hosting?  Virtual dedicated or fully hosted?

  • Why Choose a Dedicated Web Hosting Company?
  • Types of Web Hosting - Assessing Your Website's Needs
  • Determining the Appropriateness of Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting to Your Needs
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A Moment In History - the First Black President

Inauguration Day 2009
Image by The Visions of Kai via Flickr

Today is a historic day.  We are about to swear in our first black president.  Not too far back in our history, our beloved country subjected anyone of a different race to slavery and worse but now Barack Obama will lead our country into a new chapter in our history.

So, around this country, men and women will pause for a few moments of their day and tune into the inauguration on TV, streamed online, or listen in on the radio.  Thousands more have swarmed to the nation's capital, Washington D.C., to honor our new president and celebrate the closing of our last.

I am sitting here in my apartment, relaxing with a cup of tea, watching the events unfold on NBC.  It's an odd feeling that I have right now.  Am I fond of President Bush?  No, not really.  However, I do have to respect that he has kept our country safe following the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  The circumstances that surrounded his presidency have been the most extreme that I've seen in my lifetime. BUT

It's time for Change.

I am excited for Barack Obama to take office today.  I am excited to see what he says.  I am excited for our country to get back to the business of being a nation leading the rest of the world.  Let's make the change by being the Change YOU Want to See.

MEME: Interview Tag

Grand Canyon, Arizona. The canyon, created by ...
Image via Wikipedia

It's been a while since I posted last and I've been looking for a reason, an impetus to start blogging again.  Well, my friend Jenn over at tagged me in an interview meme.  Of course I wanted to take part, but then I saw the questions.  Oh well - here are the answers to her juiciest questions:

1. How many times have you been naked in public? Elaborate.

I guess the first question is what is public?  I can't really remember any time that I've been out streaking or naked in public on purpose.  The only time that I remember was a hot summer day at Aquabhagan - a water park in Maine.  I was on the racing slide that goes incredibly fast and you race your friend in the lane next to you.  When I hit the bottom pool, my bottoms decided that they had had enough and slipped right off.  My times naked in public = 1. 2. Now that you've been knighted, what else is there to look forward to in life?

As amazing as being knighted has been, there is plenty more to look forward to.  I'm still waiting for "the one" - the woman that I spend the rest of my life with.  I'm still looking forward to my first job and even my last job.  I'm looking forward to having children, a dog, a family.  I can't wait to go skydiving, continue to blog and write.  I look forward to meeting all the rest of the people that will be part of the story known as my life. 3. What is your favorite sound in the world? Why?

I think my favorite sound is the complete lack of sound when I am out in the woods alone except for nature all around.  Living in the city, there aren't many times of quiet... I mean COMPLETE silence.  When my mother's side of the family went whitewater rafting down the Grand Canyon, I experienced a complete silence that was indeed "deafening."  Yes, the river burbled at the shore and the wind blew through the grass but the air was completely devoid of human sounds.  I found the quiet comforting, rejuvenating, and personal. 4. What is the best thing about women?

I think the best thing about women is that they make men want to be better men - at least when things are going well.  Have you ever noticed that a coed apartment is generally cleaner than the frat house you used to party at?  Have you ever seen the way that men dress when they're trying to impress women?  What about the man that learns about something from a woman and because they said something, they stick to the change.  Recently, my friend Rachel made a cup of tea for me while I was sick.  I've had tea before but her lack of coffee drinking and this amazing cup of tea seemed to spark something within me.  Since that day, I've forgone coffee and slashed my caffeinated beverage intake to nearly none.  Women are great - and they're pretty too. 5. How would you propose to me?

Jenn, the one who tagged me on this, loves to travel.  She went abroad while in college and was in a different city each weekend for a time.  At the same time, I have always wanted to travel with someone I love because I think there is nothing better for two people than to experience something together and make some amazing memories.  This particular trip would be throughout Europe, backpacking style.  In Paris, my favorite city in Europe, we would spend the day seeing museums, the Tower, and lounging by the river eating a baguette.  As night falls we would walk towards the Tower once more and the timing would be perfect where it flashes just as I get on my knee and ask her to marry me.

Okay so here’s the deal. It’s now YOUR turn to be interviewed! Here’s how:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!” 2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. 3. Update your blog with the answers to the questions. 4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. 5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you get to ask them five questions.

Even if you’ve already been interviewed by somebody, you can still play. I’ll be sure to e-mail you new and exciting questions

My Real Education Is Outside of the Classroom

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 05:  Dan McGoff #19 of the B...

When describing how to best take advantage of Podcamp Boston 3, Chris Brogan said something to the effect of, "It's not what people are teaching in the classrooms that makes Podcamp special.  Rather, it is what goes on in the hallways, lounges, and small informal gatherings that makes the magic that is Podcamp" (Loosely quoted).

It was soon after podcamp that I started to learn this same principle while interning for the IT consulting firm, Accenture.  We had formal training, workshops, on the job learning and the rest but what made working for them so special was the day to day interactions passing by a coworker's desk.  It was the informal talks at internal networking talks that provided huge value, not the formal reports and speakers.

As I've entered my final year of college, I've brought the lesson of informal gathering, investing in intertactions, and the value of uniting others to my every day life within the University.  It is easier to parse through the lecture notes and find the important chunks.  Focusing in class is far less challenging now that I know what is important.  All the classwork prepares me to work with peers in the hallsways and on teams.  My experience informs my actions in student groups and guides the decision making I use every day.

So what are the next steps?  Here are a couple:

  1. Find what drives you - focus on it and develop it.
  2. Get extroverted - we all have introverted days but getting outside yourself lets you see the value you have to bring to others and vice versa.
  3. Get involved - you can find something that excites you every day that you're alive, I promise!  Find it and follow it.
For me, I have found a new energy investing in the Student Alumni Council at Boston University.  It wasn't until I took a leadership role organizing our members to assist with the University-wide Reunion and Alumni weekend that I actually rediscovered my love for the group.  I do a lot of grunt work but the few hours of networking and the fun pay-offs of meeting new people were more than enough to jumpstart that drive within.  SAC will be a new priority for me in the coming months.
What are you passionate about?  Have you started to find the value in the hallsways and informal gatherings?  What are you favorite conversations to have in the halls of conferences?


Dublin Meets Boston

Dublin 049-Dublin 056

Hey there everyone.  I wanted to announce that I have just rolled my content from into this site since I will be shutting down JID in short order.  I appreciate all the comments and messages that these posts have brought and to that end, I have imported all of those comments to the posts here.

Hopefully some of you will find value in these posts - everyone can find the articles I wrote in Ireland at Dublin so enjoy!

Lessons From a Weekend of Training Cadets

US Civil Air Patrol members practice searching...

This past weekend, I spent my Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday out in the Blue Hills reservation just south of Boston, MA training the cadets of Boston Cadet Squadron.  These young adults are members of Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer organization that I have been a part of for eight years now.  Our goal for the weekend was to work as a single team while we trained in Emergency Services, survival, and overnight camping.  At least that had been the plan.

I have been instructing these same topics for a number of years now but of late, my lessons have focused on learning through my teaching.  Working with cadets that are from ages 12 to 18, I have found it a challenge for me to properly orient my instruction and leadership style to suit the varied needs of the cadets in our squadron.  Timing can be ironic - I'm currently a teaching assistant and candidate for Teach for America.  This means that I've been working in the "teaching" area for a while now and I am just starting to notice the issues that come along with being a teacher.

There are such varying levels of support needed by our cadets - everything from complete autonomy to complete and total supervision.  There are a few that I would trust to be out in the woods for weeks on end but others that I would prefer to have a physical leash to.  How does one cope with these situations?  How do I change behavior when I don't have the "full" story on cadet conditions, attitudes, and history?  Answer: you do your best and work as a team.

In order to make legitimate change with these cadets, I need to alter behavior.  Through my experience, I have found this to be a difficult task, though not impossible.  The United States Air Force Academy taught me many things about leadership and one of the most powerful tools we experienced was the power of peer accountability.  This is the idea that you are responsible for the actions of your teammate, and they are likewise responsible for yours. 

We are making changes in the way that we work within the group.  I am changing my role within the power structure.  We will go back to basics in order to obtain the correct temperment and attitudes.  We will remove priveledges such as talking, break times, and "fun" activities if need be.  We will provide structured rituals such as current event and news reviews, squaring of corners, and the buddy system.  Finally, we will delegate responsibility to the lowest level possible while enabling those levels to make good decisions.

Hopefully, these changes will create the environment necessary for proper learning to take place, for friendships to form, and leadership to flourish.  My goal for these kids is for them to develop into leaders with a sense of purpose, drive, and self respect that their peers in inner-city Boston do not have.  I want them to be constantly thinking about the group, not just themselves, I want them to work as a team.

If you have suggestions for making this process easier, please email me at james(dot)m(dot)connors(at)gmail(dot)com or leave a comment here for people to share.

[Edit: removed "children" from first paragraph 10.10.08]

Go to Office Hours

It's a lonely place here in the School of Management Starbucks... I'm all alone while waiting for students in my IS323 class to come and pick my brain about their projects.  Let's be honest, they're not coming.  The only team that stopped by today did so when I wasn't even officially having my hour.

Yet here I sit, waiting to make their lives easier, impart knowledge and experience, and maybe -just maybe- make their days a littl ebit brighter.  The SMG Cross Functional CORE Curriculum is a challenging experience for everyone involved but I'm here to make it easier.  The school is literally paying me to help make students' time easier, yet no one is here.  I shouldn't be surprised, people rarely take advantage of this "free" help.

But why?  Why don't students admit that they could benefit from some help and keep me company and learn something.  I promise, I'll even crack a few jokes when you're really feeling down about your homework.  Office hours are your chance to get in touch with students that have gone through and been in your shoes if they are for your Teaching Assistant.  We're not worht THAT much, but what about your professors.

Academia is probably the only place where genious professors, people with high knowledge and value are literally being paid to sit there and talk with you.  It doens't matter what you talk about; the weather, the Red Sox, the financial crisis, or even your *gasp* assignments.  Take advantage of your professors - their time is worth a lot more than you can afford.

Responsibility, Hazing, and the Lawyer Nation

Since when have we lived in a state where people are so afraid of litigation that we purposefully change our lives (that are well within the rules) just to appease those that stand to sue us?

Today, I experienced for the first time the empty feeling of caving into someone else.  We had traditions, all of them legal and safe, but they must be broken because of the mere threat that an administrator would choose not to like our activities and censure us.

The laws pertaining to hazing in this state are broad, open, and seem to encompass just about anything that one could possibly want to do.  They set forth a few examples of common issues but then throw in a wildcard stating that "any other activity or practice" that harms mentally or physically another person is considered hazing.  Take that a step further.

Boston University is so afraid of litigation that they have taken the wildcard and applied it to all manners of activities from scavenger hunts to dress codes, wearing greek letters to how we term certain things, and everything in between.  It's ludicrous .  Now, on a mere rumor, we are changing our process because of the possibility that it maybe out of line w. their interpretation of the laws/rules etc.

Individuals need to take responsibility for their organizations.  We aren't hurting people, honest.  Our practices do serve a purpose.  We are indeed helping them learn and though we are open to changing, why are you forcing us to because you're afraid of being sued?  Shouldn't the student experience mean something?  Shouldn't the fact that we are preparing our members for the real world be important?

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 12:  Brian McGuirk #28 of the Boston University Terriers is surrounded by teammates Kenny Roche #6, Tom Morrow #21 and Pete MacArthur #16 after McGuirk scored the game winner during the Beanpot Tournament Championship Game on February 12, 2007 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston University defeated Boston College 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brian McGuirk;Kenny Roche;Tom Morrow;Pete MacArthur

Before you flame me, yes, I understand the issues involved.  Number one - hazing is a VERY touchy subject... no one is contesting that.  However, we are not hazing.  No one is being hurt by our process, no one has complained, no one is distressed or altered.  Number two - Boston University cannot afford litigation and even if not a lawsuit, the bad PR that would stem from the mere alligations of Hazing.

So I leave you with this thought for the evening: When did we become so sensitive to hurt feelings that we are allowing ourselves to compromise our missions and objectives?  Why are we so trigger happy to sue when most issues could be worked out with a mature conversation?

Getting Back on the Horse - I need to Write

18-Story Accenture building located at One Fre...

So... it's been a while hasn't it?  So many things change with time; school has started, my internship has ended, I'm applying to jobs, I have offers - there's so many things that have moved forward in my life since the last time I made time to write here.

I'm not going to apologize for not writing - I've been filling my time well, I promise you that much.  This summer I worked for Accenture, a global consulting firm, doing systems integration and technology consulting for EMC.  It was an absolutely amazing experience and has given me much more than employment, but confidence, ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and perspective.

One thing that has been missing, however, has been the thrill that I get from writing on a regular basis.  Back in Ireland, I was writing for the University College Dublin paper - the observer.  In addition, I was blogging often, podcasting weekly, and had all the time in the world to engage audiences online.  In contrast, the summer has been amazing but busy - I barely had time to deal with anything outside of work and a rather interesting social life.  My goal is to write every day, either here on or over on but hopefully both.  I want this to be a part of my life that doesn't go away anytime soon.

So best of luck to me and best of everything to all of you - thank you for continuing to read and stay involved!

Learn to Let It Go...

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Maybe it's that time.

How do you know when it is time to let go?  I find this to be one of the hardest things to do in my life.  Whether it be parting ways with that extra snack that you were about to eat, or saying goodbye to a close friend.  Sometimes the RIGHT thing isn't fun or interesting or even popular.

I believe that the way that we make decisions is a direct reflection of who we are as individuals.  So many times in our lives we give into the group, let our "friends" influence our choices, or otherwise forfeit our ability to choose for ourselves and be independent.

I'm making a choice.  I'm letting go.

Maybe it was the crappy weekend that you had.  Perhaps it was a fight you had with a best friend.  Perhaps you were let down by someone that you thought you could trust.  No matter what the issue was, it's time to let go.  Dwelling on the past doesn't bring more insight - just pain... especially when it's a bad memory.

I have made many mistakes in my life, done a lot of things that I wish I could take back.  That said, I am starting to let go.  The United States Air Force Academy was a really hard and sucky place to live.  I decided that the straight up misery I experience wasn't worth the end result (I had decided I didn't want to fly anymore).  So I left.

After leaving, I had to learn how to be a human again - I was a robot.  Cadet James Connors now needed to become a normal person again.  For a long time I hurt and was down about my decision.  I had nightmares about the sucky parts of the Academy, the affects it had on my life and my relationships.  Eventually they started to fade intot he noise.

Now, I only remember the good parts of the Academy.  I have let the bad stuff go.

While in Ireland, I had repeated dreams of going back to USAFA and rejoining.  The visions would leave me restless in the morning because I honestly wish I could go back most of the time.  Then again, most of the time, I don't remember the bad parts.  So it's up to me to remind myself of why I went and why I left.

Everyone has challenging situations and experiences in their lives.  Some of them turn out really well, some totally suck and still other scome out with a mix of both.  Let go of that nasty bits.  They aren't going to help you move forward with you life.  Do yourself and everyone around a favor, let it go.  Just be.  Stop worrying - you can't change it now.

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