Saturday, March 24, 2012


log*or*rhea: excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness.

Back when I worked at Starbucks when I was going to grad school, and had a few other responsibilities, the movie Akeelah and the Bee was released. Like many CEOs, the good man Howard Schultz like to promote good causes, and promoting this film was one of them. It is a good film, with some of the usual touchpoints: urban child, broken wise elder, frantic mother, all pin their hopes and dreams on a spelling bee. But it could be about anything worth doing, and worth doing well.

This isn't about spelling though.

As part of the promotion. Starbucks sold coffee cups with some of the more challenging spelling bee words on them, and if you want a list, click here. One of the cups I had to own was the one with "logorrhea" on it. If it ever breaks or gets cracked, I'm screwed because it would be difficult to replace.

I thought about that word this week. On Wednesday, I attended a seminar on how to provide Socratic Seminars for academic and professional purposes. I have known about this grand discussion technique for some time, and it was beneficial to witness and practice the process on a large scale. Unfortunately, I had about five or less hours of sleep, and was feeling a bit wonky. The leader had one group of about thirty sit at an inner table arrangement, and coerced a second group to sit in the outer circle directly behind the first, with a one-to-one relationship. He never said to not be a third-man out, but simply commanded us to move our asses and sit behind someone. During the discussion portion, after we read the text (a great short story by Sandra Cisneros, one I have read a few times), he did a poll including both groups, then had the inner circle talk. Through the next twenty or two thousand minutes of talk, I got so excited about what someone said, and wanted to share what my partner had said, too. Before three words left my mouth he said, "It is NOT outer circle's time to talk!" Damn. Damn. Damn. I have not felt that humiliated in years. I turned hot-beet red, feeling the tears well up, every eye in the room on me, and no where to go. The second he turned us loose I bolted back to my table. And stopped playing. Took my ball and went home. What did I learn? When I put this into practice in my own professional life, how to make sure everyone feels safer and welcome.

Now one of my bestestest buddies was there. She is often accused of being a "flake." Huh. Not sure about that. She's responsible, funny, empathic, professional, and genuinely one of the most intelligent and kindest persons I know. I told her later, "You know how it bugs you when people think you're a flake? That's what it feels like when people think I talk too much."

Now to be fair. I do. Mea culpa. Last-word-itis. But folks may not know how often I have listened, deeply, with full focus, on other human beings. No ego. No agenda.

So, to my blog friends out there - I honor every word you say. You are all masterful at putting out the welcome mat, and behaving in civil discourse, and you don't send me to the corner when I talk too much.

Thanks for listening. You are in my inner circle.


  1. You can never talk too much, you go ahead and say whatever you want, whenever. I may sometimes have a hard time catching up but I will.

    But I'm snickering about me participating in civil discourse. I had wanted to link Cee Lo Green as my soundtrack to my version of the ten foot pole post but refrained. So yeah, on second thought I am pretty civil aren't I!

  2. I love that song. Love it. In fact, think I have it as a theme song somewhere...maybe if I shut up once in a while and got this blog organized, I'd know!

    Every time I hear you say your "fcukkktyuttytyt" thing (trust me, I use very salty language) I think of my favorite scene in Stepbrothers where Mary Steenburgen there, and gotten out the water hose...

    And thanks, Tome. Really.

  3. I love everything you say Matty! Even when we don't agree on something! Do I REALLY have to bring up that Tolkein thing again?? To remind you?

    Besides, that's what blogs and comments are for. Open forum. Discussion. Do we have to wait our turn? Noooo, it's whoever can hit that publish button the quickest... for better of for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Write away Matty because you will always have fans who will be hungry for those words and humour you give to the community :)


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