The English Learners' Blog

A blog for English learners and their teachers everywhere, initiated in 2010 with the contribution of students from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. More about me on the On-line Profile below. Welcome!

An Anti-creativity List for 2015

From the Harvard Business Review

Five years ago I published a version of this tongue-in-cheek checklist on that highlighted how organizations kill creativity. It really touched a nerve​—​people flooded the post with No.examples from their own organizations of how their managers and colleagues stifled innovation. Even clichés like “We’ve always done it this way” seemed to be alive and well back then. Given all the talk in recent years about unleashing creativity in organizations, I wondered whether the same creativity killers are still at work today.  So, I’m posting a slightly edited version of the original video to ask viewers around the world  what’s changed. What happens in your organization today that shuts down creative thinking? Please post your examples of anti-creativity in the comments section. Thanks, and enjoy.

Filed under: 3►STYLE, 8►BUSINESS, ■ About Organisational Cultures, ■ Creativity, ■ Dream Jobs, ■ Harvard Business Review, ■ Podcasts

Conversation Topic: Dream Jobs

1. Take a look at this cartoon.

In your opinion, what could Santa’s, the snowman’s, the reindeer’s, the spirit’s, and the psychologist’s perks be?
1.1  How would you describe the perks of being a wallflower? (You can read an entire book on the topic.)

1.2  Think back to the jobs you have had/ Think ahead to the jobs you would like to have & discuss their positive & negative aspects.

2. Read & comment on fragments from article from The Guardian (Nov 24, 2011)

Number of young people classed as ‘neets’* hits record 1.16m

Call to tackle youth joblessness as numbers

not in employment, education or training rise 137,000 in the last quarter

*NEET = not in education, employment or training

The number of young people not in education, employment or training has risen to a record high of 1.16m, official figures show. Almost one in five 16- to 24-year-olds in England were “Neet” between July and September this year, according to statistics published by the Department for Education. The figure has risen by 137,000 compared with the same period last year. The figures also show that just over 21% of 18- to 24-year-olds are not in education, work or training. Official figures published last week show there were 1.02 million unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK between July and September this year, also a record.

The Department for Education said: “The number of young people not in education, employment or training has been too high for too long – we are determined to bring the numbers down.

“We know that many young people move between school, college, university and work during the summer, which explains why Neet figures are higher during this quarter. But we will not be complacent and are taking action now to address this issue.

“We know that attainment at age 16 is the most important factor in later participation and our ambitious school reforms will help to prepare young people for success.

“Disadvantaged young people are more likely to become Neet and our pupil premium will help raise the outcomes of this group by targeting funding where it is most needed.”

3. Are you familiar with the responsibilities involved in these jobs:

a) a Master Sommelier

b) a tiger tamer

c) a paper plane designer?

Read more about a) here:

What exactly does an expert sommelier do?

In a good restaurant, the sommelier’s duties include keeping the wine cellar stocked, and knowing exactly which of the jewels in the racks will make the menu shine.

Sommeliers are also experts in the art of serving wine and, in effect, they are professional wine collectors who gets to share the best of the collection with (hopefully) appreciative restaurant patrons.

Sommeliers do not just pair wine with food. The primary duty of this professional is to provide each guest with hospitality and service, no matter what price range or beverage they prefer. Real masters must know about beverage service of any kind, right down to choosing which cigars will complement the after-dinner drinks!

The sommelier’s job can get complicated.

Guests can be both confused and demanding. When these demands override the experience and knowledge of a professional, it may become frustrating for everyone. A good sommelier will listen to what the diner wants, no matter how unclear it may seem, and provide a drink to match the meal and the customer’s tastes.

Providing the best wines and beverages on a restaurant budget is not easy, and trying to educate the wait staff and customers can also be a strain. It is a specialized profession, but in return, a sommelier does get paid to spend the day tasting fine wines and, occasionally, providing a new wine experience to a very grateful guest.

According to 2003 data, from the Court of Master Sommeliers, earnings varied widely—from about $28,000 for a sommelier with limited experience to $80,000 to $160,000 for a Master Sommelier.

More about sommeliers around the Web:

Court of Master Sommeliers
 – Separate sites for the UK and the US. Both sites use Flash, which means they take a while to load. The US site loads faster and has US jobs and classes, but the general information applies to any country. The UK site is a wait, even at high speed. Go get a glass of wine to sip if you’re accessing the Internet through a dial up modem. If you are considering getting certified in the UK, it’s worth the wait.

The International Sommelier Guild – Based in Canada, this International group provides training that runs the gamut from the basics to Masters Certification.

Sommelier Jobs – Post your resume if you’re looking for a position, or search through candidates if you’re hiring. With additional tips on searching for employment and directory of sommelier schools and courses in the U.S.

Featured Sommeliers – Interviews with many of the top Sommeliers from the United States provide insight into this professional and answer some questions on wine and service.

Why I Became a Sommelier – In explaining why and how he became a Sommelier, Mark Storer explains a bit about the knowledge that a person in this position is required to have.

The Young Sommelier Competition – The Young Sommelier Competition promotes the expertise of the young wine and spirit professional and encourages mastery of wine and spirit knowledge. The Young Sommelier Competition is conducted and administered by the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Sommelier-Union Deutschland e.V. – Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If so, this site offers information on the profession in Germany with good links and information.

Associazione Italiana Sommeliers – The Italian Sommelier’s Association with plenty of good information – in Italian.

Read more about b) in the article: Q&A: Katherine Clough, Marblehead native, tiger tamer.

 Just six months after returning from Tyler, Texas, Marblehead native Katherine Clough will be traveling back to Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge in November for second internship.

Tiger Creek is a non-profit organization in eastern Texas that strives “to provide rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected or displaced,” according to its mission statement.

In 1995, Tiger Creek began operating out of a one-room cabin with a few enclosures. It has been expanding ever since

The organization’s current project is to build larger habitats for the cats, according to Clough. Tiger Creek hosts five interns every three months.

Clough traveled to Texas this past February to learn about the cats, adjust to living away from home and endure the physically demanding labor. In November, her focus will be learning more about the role of a keeper.

Clough summed up her first internship experience at Tiger Creek in one word, “incredible,” and is eager to return. She recently answered a few questions while preparing to return to Texas.

How did you become interested in this internship?

I went to Salem State, which is now Salem State University, and graduated in December 2009 as a biology major. I always loved big cats, but I didn’t know how to get into that career. I knew there were refugees and zoos and have worked in both types of places. I also had two professors that I really loved who helped me out. I worked at Stone Zoo, a rescue place in Maine and searched online for different opportunities. Then, one of my coworkers suggested I do an interview at Tiger Creek. I was such a homebody that I never thought I would be able to leave, but I did the applied anyway and got it.

What was that experience like?

Leaving for the internship, I was absolutely petrified. I thought I would miss my family, friends and boyfriend too much. It was almost like a culture shock. I was crying at the airport and finally told my family to go. My roommates were other interns and showed me around. Tiger Creek provided us with a car and housing a half a mile away. We only had to buy our own food. And I am actually going back this November to intern again at Tiger Creek. I would like to learn more about what keepers do. My first internship was more general, but this time they are going to really focus my internship. This is huge and super exciting. […]

What are your career goals? 

I would love to work at a place just like Tiger Creek. I love the rescue and refugee concept for big cats. To see the animals that have been neglected or abused now loving life is so rewarding. I love that whole reward part. Big cats are kind of my calling. One cat named Amara was forced to fight dogs as a cub. After being rescued, Amara was happy to see me every day, which is so rewarding.

What was your favorite moment at the “no-kill” refuge? 

You have to figure the cats out and they figure you out. Interns change every three months, so they are meeting lots of new people. Cats are looking at you, thinking, “Can I trust this person?” and you are looking at the cat thinking, “Can I trust this cat?” When the cats gain your trust, that’s the best moment. Connecting with the cats is the best part. Who can say they can have a connection with a lion or tiger?

Do you have a favorite cat?

I love each and every single one. There were 29 tigers, five lions, four pumas, two bobcats and two leopards — that’s a lot of love. As an intern, you get to train the cats for medical purposes. It is not just teaching the cats “cutesy” tricks like sitting but more like opening their mouths [to check for] missing teeth and rising to check paws. I trained a female lion named Kenya who I couldn’t look in the eye because she has talons, which was hard. I also trained Kahil with a rare coat, golden tabby. He was a Bengal tiger. He’s my boy; I connected with him. There is also a puma who steals my heart named Tin Cup but everyone called him T.C.

What were your daily tasks?

This was the most physical job I’ve ever experienced. I would come in at 7:45, and some people would be sent into the feed room and some people are out with cats. In the feed room, you spent time prepping the food for the morning. There was a ton of food. You would also prep food for the next day. We feed the cats a poultry-and-beef mix. Outside, you would go get a bucket and long metal stick and pick up poop. You would drag poop towards you from outside the enclosure and then when it was close enough to the edge, you would use metal prongs and get it. You also changed the water and walked around to check on everyone. Then it’s feeding time. The cats get really excited and start running around when they hear the motor start up to the truck that helps feed them. I was so scared at first because they are so excited about food. They are food driven. After they eat, you pick up scrap food from enclosures with the same long metal stick. Then it is cleaning time. We do a deep clean of their enclosures where we take cats out and move them into a different area while we deodorize and sanitize everything. You can also be called in by radio to do a tour because that is how we bring in money, by doing guided tours. They usually last 45 minutes to an hour. Other jobs include training and helping maintenance.

What was the biggest challenge? 

I never lived with anyone besides my family, so learning about people’s ways and living with other people was a challenge. I thought it was crazy. People come in with their own way of doing something and you have to find a compromise. Also, conquering a day’s work and getting that under my belt was hard work. It took me a while but eventually I breezed through it. Training Kenya was hard because she was the most difficult lion. She tested my patience.

Did the cats ever get aggressive?

Simon, a male Bengal tiger, was mostly blind and he gets startled a lot because he can’t really see, so it is hard for him to tell what is going on around him. The first time I fed him, he roared really loud in my face. We have a food tray, which we slide into the enclosure and back out. The system is made so that my hand can’t get in the enclosure and his paw can’t get out. After you feed a cat, you have to get the food tray back out, but his foot was in the tray, so I took the tray handles and he was growling. He let out a huge roar, which just about knocked me over. His breath was hot, and it stunk. I almost burst into tears.

Copyright 2011 Marblehead Reporter. Some rights reserved


4. When was the last time you completed/ updated your resume?

What is the difference between a letter of intention and a resume?

Read about Ten of the best career sites here.

Do you think things may have changed since then?

5. Think of jobs that disappeared – are now extinct, and about recently invented jobs or jobs that might emerge in the future.

6. Activity: Choose a job & then organise a group interview with the other people present. Ask questions that will help you decide who to choose. Announce the selected candidate and motivate yor decision.

Filed under: 3►SPEAK▼, ■ Dream Jobs, TOPICS▼

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