Herding Cats and Other Species Who Don’t Want to be Herded

I am in beautiful Monterey at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa for the semi-annual residential conference of Saybrook University.

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I’m sure the area is gorgeous but it’s been pouring down rain and we’ve been in conference sessions all day everday so I haven’t left the hotel grounds!

 

This is the start of my 5th semester in my PhD program (how did that happen?) and struggling with focusing my research toward a dissertation. The more I learn, the more interests I find and the more I want to do. So in one sense, my brain is one of the fractious array of cats to be herded referred to in the title.

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My brain.

 

If you’ve ever been around cats at all, you know they don’t really follow any rules of group dynamics or recognize much in the way of authority but their own.

 

Much like the amazingly intelligent, mostly outspoken, and dynamic group of people who want to make the world a better place meeting here at the Saybrook conference. Being here reminds me of the wonderful short story by John Sayles, The Anarchists’ Convention.

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Writer, director, and actor John Sayles

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I became aware of this story from listening to the Public Radio International (PRI) show, Selected Shorts.

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The story was read by comedian Jerry Stiller. If you ask me, he is the perfect voice for the story.

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Jerry Stiller
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The late Isaiah Sheffer, host of the show, working with Jerry Stiller.

 

I won’t elaborate too much, but suffice to say that there isn’t much structure or order at an anarchists’ convention, and not a lot is achieved. But it makes a great story, and I love a great story. Maybe I’ll write my version when this conference is done. One thing we do all seem to agree on is that systems are broken and change is needed. The big question is how do we make that change?

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Meanwhile, back to the cat ranch!

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Peace and hugs. Meow!

 

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