Narrative and Authenticity 11-16-09

Uploaded by gonzagau on 18.05.2010

[ Music ]
[ Silence ]
>> Hi welcome, thanks for coming.
I am not very good at sitting.
I tend to be a little ADHD I think when I am in front of people, so but thanks for coming.
And this is kind of an experiment, we are going to see where it goes.
I want to thank Scott and Gail for doing this and also sponsoring the reception afterward,
which will be the part that I think will be really fun.
[ Laughter ]
It is a great collection of folks and community people and doc students, undergrad students,
faculty, colleagues of mine that are here,
so thank you all for coming and we will see where it goes.
This is the way the format is going to work.
I will share a little bit and contextualize a little bit and give you some of the framework
for how we got here tonight and kind of what is going to happen.
Kaitlin Vaughn [assumed spelling] is right next to me
and she is my co-facilitator, co-moderator.
She is also going to be sharing some thoughts to get the ball rolling
and then we will turn it over to our panelists.
And each of them I offered just a few minutes each to comment a little bit on this intercept
between narrative and authenticity.
Then we are going to open it up to you guys.
We want this to be very dialogic, very interactive and exploring common group
between the two concepts of narrative and authenticity.
So we will see where this takes us.
A little bit on how we got here I think would be maybe kind of helpful.
It started as innocently enough I guess.
Fall 2007, I was teaching a course called Leadership in Storytelling,
I do a lot of speaking nationally on storytelling for leaders,
so it was you know okay sure I will teach a course.
I am really embarrassed to say this in front of colleagues, but most of the syllabus had TBA.
There was like I forget how many sections we had, but there was like introduction,
overview of syllabus, welcoming and then TBA till December when final papers are due
and stuff, because I had no idea what I was going to do with the class.
All I knew was Noel Tichy wrote a book called Leadership Engine talked about three kinds
of stories that leaders can tell to persuade, inspire, motivate, engage and so forth
and talked about who I am stories, autobiographical, kind of narratives,
who we are stories about departments, organizations, groups,
teams and finally future stories, visionary stories,
you give a sense of direction and purpose.
So I was really going to teach the course with that framework in mind
and really keep it a level of tools that leaders can use to kind of communicate more effectively.
Well away we went you know and this really smart, including Kaitlin, this amazing group
of students that were in the class, we got into the who I am stories and that took us
to such depths it really shocked me kind of.
The students were getting into these narratives, experiences that have shaped their lives
and changed their lives in very significant ways, very painful stories, very positive
and exciting stories, just a range of them.
But what happened as they shared their stories, there was a sense of
and I would hear this informally, but a sense of kind of awareness about themselves
that seemed to develop and even confidence.
And I talked a little bit about authenticity at the beginning of the course,
authentic leadership being sort of a framework that I like to use and the kids were
like I feel more authentic, I feel more in touch with myself.
So long story short, we finish at the end of the semester and Kaitlin approached me
and said I have to work on my honor's thesis this spring and would you be willing to work
with me on it and I said well what are you going to do and she said well I want
to talk about the impact of this class.
It seemed to really like have a pretty strong kind of influence on people
and I felt immediately over my head, being around honors kids, it is like
and Tim will speak in a minute here, but they are just really bright kids and some
of them are here tonight and it is kind of intimidating,
but we spent the spring really exploring this notion of why sort of working
on your own narrative gives you a greater sense of, authentic sense of yourself.
Well that spring, we submitted a paper to a leadership education conference
that we presented in the summer of 2008, fall 2008 we traveled to LA
and delivered a paper there, Kaitlin and I on the class and the impact of it.
And we did a roundtable discussion, a huge ballroom with probably 50 other round tables
at the same time and I thought oh crap we are going to get like one
or two people showing up to ours.
Well by the time we started, we had to get two or three more tables,
because we had so many people coming.
It was like what are you guys doing here, people from Africa, Europe, around the world,
they said well this is interesting to us, how do you use a narrative to get people
to be more authentic and I thought huh away we went.
And spring of 2009, we got a paper published in the Journal of Leadership Education,
again focusing on this topic and then we reached kind of a point
where we realized we were starting to get in a little bit over our heads what we knew
and thanks to Kaitlin's connections with faculty across campus,
we began to explore some deeper regions of this narrative and authenticity intersect.
So we first met with Linda, who is just brilliant, especially in Renaissance Literature,
but especially in autobiographies and after meeting with her, we walked out and I said
to Kaitlin, God I feel like an idiot, do I know anything about this stuff.
Man, she is brilliant you know.
In the fall, we met with Tim and then Kurt Bessler [assumed spelling],
who will also be speaking tonight and the two of them really go to school
by a certain philosophy, especially Hettinger's [assumed spelling] notion of authenticity,
which I didn't know anything about.
And again, it was like this deep sigh so we began to think about what
if we brought everybody together and really began to explore this notion of narrative
and authenticity and just see where it went.
So the interdisciplinary sort of faculty dialogue idea sort of came
up so here we are tonight just to explore it.
So enough from me and about me and stuff, but the dialogue is really sort of the parameters
by which we are going kind of go through this evening and the sense of dialogue is a lot
of listening occurs, but also a desire to explore common regions and commonalities,
so that is what we are going to try to do tonight.
So rather than a debate kind of a format, it is going to be very dialogic, so with that Kaitlin.
>> Kaitlin: I think I might knock over chairs if I try to sit up or stand up,
so I am just going to stay sitting.
I probably shouldn't even speak to this, because that is what Father Clancy
and Doctor Bessner are here for, but 80 years ago,
Hettinger said that the most important project of becoming human is striving to be authentic
and that seems really complex, but I can't think of a more pressing problem today
and for people ask themselves what does it mean to be real,
what does it mean to be not false, especially for college students.
Not to say that other people don't grapple with this problem, but why is it so difficult
to choose a major, to decide on a vocation,
to figure out what the heck you are supposed to be doing with your life.
I mean those questions when you are in your twenties are so demanding and pressing
and you feel like in order to know what I want, I have to make these choices
or otherwise I won't become who I want.
And it is this strange thing when I took Joe's class and when I started to look into Hettinger
and what he was actually saying, although I cannot comprehend it because he uses all
of this incomprehensible language and it is all blah, blah.
I don't know, but it is the idea that you don't ever arrive at the idea of who am I,
but it is continual asking and living of that question and to me it kind
of blew my mind when I finally realized.
I was like oh that is what authenticity might imply and might mean for me
who is a really confused 23 year old who really can't get a sense of what this means,
but then when I took Joe's class, it was like the themes of narrative and the theme
of authenticity in a way that no other subject had for me before,
sort of mirrored the complexity of reality in a way that allowed me to make sense
of all the clubs that I was involved in and all the stories from my past
and all the things I was doing and all the classes I was taking and how all
of that translated to who I was and what I might become and the idea
of narrative really brought all those things together for me.
So for me, it was this exciting topic and then actually the reason I am so excited
about this round table is one because it brings really smart people, like those people together
to talk about what I think are some of the most important questions we can be asking
and also it is interdisciplinary.
It is the reason why I think narrative can hold multiple,
maybe even contradicting truths simultaneously, I mean what else could you ask for.
So for me, I am really excited to be a part of it, because I would like to have my next set
of studies dive in to what these two topics mean and I am also really excited,
because I think there are so many practical applications
that can come from this that you can see.
And the Truth Commission in South Africa that you can see in the work that Joe does
when he works into a corporation or an organization that has people
who just don't get along and that is a nice way of putting it, but he can bridge the divides
between people by getting them to sit down and simply share their stories.
They get bored and they don't care what other people say when they are talking
about their opinions or their views, but when you share your stories with people,
it is like you can't really help but see them as human.
And I will shut up after this, but there is this amazing project that is happening
between Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost someone in the conflict
and all that the project is is bringing people together to talk on a level
that goes beneath the politics and gets to what it feels like to lose a family member
to a conflict that if I am an Israeli mother and you are a Palestinian mother
and we both lost a son, what does that mean.
And those are the kinds of stories and the kind of power
that it is something I can't quite wrap my mind around and I hope that this dialogue
and this discussion helps us find out some of the reasons why it is so powerful.
>> I wanted to do this and I should have just done it before I introduced Linda actually.
A variety of folks here tonight, different interests, different reasons for being here,
I am going to give you 30 seconds if you don't mind just for the person next to you,
this isn't touchy feel hug touch, anything like that.
Why are you here, what is your interest in the topic?
If you would just share that with the person next to you
and again I will give you about 30, 45 seconds to do it.
Introduce yourself and your motivation for being here.
Okay, thank you, real quick, you just met Kaitlin.
Dr. Linda Traneck [assumed spelling] teaches in the English Department here, PhD from University
of Oregon, emphasis in Renaissance Literature; Father Tim Clancy,
director of the Honors Program, Philosophy prof, been here with the University,
God Tim how long have you been here.
>> Tim: Off and on for a long time.
[ Laughter ]
>> Yes, more on since my days, that's right for a long time.
The Honor kids just love Tim.
Dr. Sandy Wilson, who is the Leadership Studies Doctoral Program,
she was the chair actually of my dissertation.
She saved me, I wouldn't be here tonight without her.
She is here and then Dr. Kirk Bessner, Assistant Professor in Philosophy.
So you will get to know each of them a little bit as they share some comment,
but I am going to start with Linda and we are going to kind
of just go down here, so anyway, Linda?
>> Linda: I have literally never used a microphone.
>> Really?
>> Linda: Not one of these handheld ones.
>> Say like are you folks from out of town.
>> Linda: Be here all week.
So the title of this roundtable is narrative and authenticity and the questions that were printed
on the flyer and that Kaitlin just posed to us, why is it so difficult
to be authentic in today's society.
What can we learn about our authentic selves in thinking about our lives and stories,
suggest that we are here to explore how we can use narrative to find
or to find out about our authentic selves.
And this purpose seems to me to presuppose that a) there is such a thing as an authentic self
and that finding it is a good thing and part of a healthy psychological process
and that b) narrative is an appropriate vessel or vehicle for holding
and transmitting such an authenticity.
We think this, we think about this connection because the values we associate
with a good narrative are the same values we associate with a positive self image,
both maintained coherence by blending consistency
with the possibility of change, growth and movement.
In other words, narrative turns the chaotic twists and turns of our life
into a progressive logic of development or evolution.
My scholarship is on narrative and not authenticity and specifically I am working
on a book project on the influence of Protestant theology on narrative structure
in seventeenth century British poetry, but my work is predicated on a different set
of assumptions than I think the ones at work in this panel.
I begin with the understanding that narrative is highly conventional and that whenever one comes
across a good story, one needs to be aware of the hand of the craftsman behind
that story selecting and shaping the raw material into something that is very different
than the evidentiary standards promised by the phrase authentic self.
Furthermore, narrative is historically and culturally determined and contingent
that the prevailing ideas about that makes a good narrative, a good story may be old ideas,
but they are neither innate to the ideas of narrative itself, nor have they been static even
within the history of Greco Christian literary tradition, not coincidentally,
the same thing can be said about the idea of the authentic self, a history that has been explored
by thinkers no less than Freud, Marx and the current guru of authenticity, Charles Taylor.
Nevertheless, I think it is true to say that there is and has been a link between narrative
and authenticity, one that is tied to the tradition of spiritual autobiography
and it goes back at least as far as Augustine's confessions.
However, I would like to reverse some of the connections
that have so far been guiding this panel.
Rather than seeing narrative as a vehicle that can take us to our authentic selves,
I want to suggest that narrative is the trace of the absent authentic self.
It provides no tale of what we really are, no topography of what we really ought to be,
but rather is a sensitive imprint of our desires,
telling us only of what we want to be, but our not.
Those desires come from many sources, our social and historical context, our class, our faith,
the usual suspects, parents, friends, television, magazines, God,
but those sources I think are not from any transcendent truth on what it means to be human.
>> Back when personal computers were first making their appearance, this Jesuit in training
who I was working with, he had his apostolic work
or what we today would call maybe service learning at a homeless drop in center called
in the Inspiration Cafe in Chicago and they got a bunch of Apple Twos donated to them
and so he volunteered to teach word processing to some of these homeless people,
who were really excited about the prospect because computers were kind of a new thing
and it was just kind of fun, so he did that.
They had a room of these old Apple Twos and he was going to teach them word processing
and of course the first question is well what are we going to write
and he said oh write anything, write letters, I don't know, write your story, write poetry.
Well what he really was about was not teaching word processing, what he really was
about was having homeless people write their story and write poetry,
because he was convinced narrative and poetry enable you to pull together into some kind
of loose coherence all of the chaotic things that were happening in their lives
and depending upon the kind of story you tell,
you can find that story telling empowering or disempowering.
You can learn a lot about people from how they tell their story.
For example, do they frame themselves as the protagonist of the story?
Are they the actor that is moving the action along?
Part of what this Jesuit was hoping was that some people would write stories
in which they are the protagonist, in which they have some agency over their lives
or are they the antagonist in the story.
Are they the one that is always battling the forces who raid against them
or are they the victim, are they always telling victim stories about the various outrages
that have been perpetrated upon them.
Are there other people in their stories or is the story all about them?
To understand who we are, we need to have a sense of who we are with, where we are,
how we got here, where we are headed.
That gives our identity a meaning and a trajectory, a direction.
Paul Rucker [assumed spelling] interprets Freud to tell their story from the perspective
and the insight and the experience of an adult, which leads to them retelling their story
in a more empowering way, looking at what they have been running away from,
from the point of view of a more powerful self.
And so I am convinced that stories are very powerful
and that telling how you tell your story can be very empowering
or very disempowering depending upon the genre, the character you play, the plots you plot
as you bring some kind of loose coherence to kind of the everyday events that happen to you
and activities that you engage in.
>> I am going to frame this a little bit differently looking at leadership studies
and in leadership studies, we are looking at an interdisciplinary program that focuses
on leadership from the personal self in terms of who was the leader
and also how the leader then interacts within organizational settings and then looking
at the leadership from global social systems' perspectives.
I think the narrative, the stories that we tell in terms
of our leadership experiences are the stories that leaders might tell can be very egocentric,
unless they are actually invited to be their true selves or at least to be
as truthful and honest as they can be.
Because I think we have all been conditioned in some respect to tell what we think others want
to hear and those kinds of story lines are not necessarily truthful
and not necessarily transformational.
I think the one thing in terms of leadership, which is really true about all of our lives is
that it is within a context of human ecosystem.
It is not just the leader by him or herself, but rather it is really the leader
within the context of many human beings, very complex web of human relationships
and our stories are always about relationships, how we relate to not only ourselves,
but how we relate to others and that is a critical factor in our lives personally,
as well as in our lives as leaders.
As well, the human ecology really points to the importance of a cybernetic system,
a system by which we get continual feedback, so that we can self regulate in some way
and I think our stories are about self regulation, as well the human ecology that way
of looking at leadership or our leadership within the context of human ecology is to take
into consideration the life cycle in that things are here and then they are not here.
Things are created, things die and that is an absolutely important part I think of the stories
that leaders might tell or what we might tell in terms of our own personal stories.
The authentic leader is really a leader that knows him or herself and takes
that into the organizational setting or in the institutional setting in a way
that can create a positive ethos for that particular setting and what I mean by that,
I mean that the person is able to actually create an environment that can be creative,
that can accept death, that can generate energy to do the work that has to be done
within that organizational setting and that work is done in a collaborative, cooperative manner.
And that is part of the human ecology.
I think what gets in the way in terms of the authentic leader, it is really easy to think
about what does authenticity mean and I don't know for sure if I know what that means.
I am always trying to be as authentic as I can, but I know that it is a moving target.
I don't know exactly who I am, what is my true self.
I think I get glimpse of that once in awhile, so that might come out in stories that I may tell
about my life, which may be different five years from that point,
because I may have a different view based on my lived experiences.
But I think the authenticity is a goal that something that I think
down deep we really strive for and it is something that we really seek.
We seek to find out who am I and what am I called to do and I think
that those are very important questions that we ask.
I think what gets in the way in terms of us finding ourselves,
James Hillman who is a Jungian psychologist, talked about the notion of growing up
and growing down and he talks about the fact that when we are born
and this may be a different belief system than what you have,
but there is a Damian, the Greeks call it the Damon,
>> [Inaudible].
>> Diamon [assumed spelling] and then there is the Genius that the Romans called and then
in the Christian tradition it was called a guardian angel.
So at birth, the myth in terms of the Greek mythology and the Roman mythology is that,
there was, there is a unique aspect at our birth that we are given gifts, unique gifts that are
with it all through our lives and the problem is was as we grow up,
we get into these other ecosystems, we get into our families, we get into other types
of organizations, we have peer pressure.
We get into communities and all of those things condition are thinking in a way
that may take us away from that genius that depart of from that sense of our real true self,
if that is the core of our being.
And there is a whole thought process that is a systematic entity within ourselves
and David Balm, who is a physicist talks about thought as a system
in that we are not truly free to make decisions as we really believe or based on our true selves
because of the conditionings that we have within ourselves that sort of build
up through our growing up period.
He didn't use the term growing up, but I think that is an important thing,
because we tend to respond to things with an emotional response
that we don't have any control over and that sort of takes over our whole thinking,
which I think takes us away from that true core self, which requires a whole sense
of mindfulness, consciousness to be in touch with that as best we can.
And I really appreciate Lonorgen's [assumed spelling] in terms of growing down,
because growing down means that we then recenter our self.
We recapture what it is that our true gifts might be.
What is our true calling and even though some of you may be young I am not young
and even though I am 65 years old, I still wonder what is my calling?
That is not a question that is just automatically there.
It is a question that continually generates, but Lonorgren talks about the first philosophy,
the fact that we are born with a first philosophy and that is really the human spirit,
something that is not given by humans.
It is something that is beyond the human capacity, but that first philosophy,
which is really part of Aristotle's thinking, which was later turned metaphysics,
it is something that is that we question.
And we are actually born with a sense of questioning and this inquiring spirit
and it is the kind of questions that we ask that can help us to see who we are as a person.
So keeping track of what do we wonder about at a very deep level, why is that important to us
and how do those questions get incorporated into our story,
instead of just outcomes maybe we can tell stories about the questions that we have,
but the whole process of being conscious of what are questions are, are deeply held questions,
what we really, really wonder about and also being aware, being conscious of ourselves
as knowers so that we can gain a sense of who we are, because every question Lonorgren says
that we ask has something to do about our being.
That it is a reflection back on our being in some way, but in the process of trying
to discover the answers to our very important questions, it is trying to be attentive
to the data that we have about ourselves in terms of ourselves as thinkers and knowers
and it is important for us to be understanding so that we gained a deep understanding trying
to seek a truth beyond moving our horizons beyond what we have known in the past
and that we be reasonable in terms of any judgments that we might make
about what data we may have and our understandings and then we would be responsible
that we can take this into the world and live this out in a way that is meaningful
and purposeful and that is part of our story.
And I won't take too much time here, I am kind of going on, but the whole idea
of the narrative is important, but I have some concerns about narrative in that,
again as part of our I think human conditioning that we would tell stories that maybe we want
to hear or maybe stories that we think other people want to hear.
So the question that I have is what is the purpose of the story
and for whom are you writing the story and I think if you answer those questions truthfully
and it is really a true story about yourself then I think you can go at a deeper level,
because we always choose just little bits and pieces of our lives
that we are willing to share at any moment in time.
I am not going to divulge my whole story to anybody.
There is always a sense of vulnerability in telling our story as well
and that people might put us in a box.
They might stereotype us.
They might ridicule us, oh my gosh, did you hear that person's story, I can't believe,
I don't even like her anymore, because I heard her story and it was really strange
or whatever however they may respond to that.
I think also if you are looking at authenticity in narrative,
the question is I mean I think the stories need to be about transformation.
They have to be about that life, death cycle.
They have to be about the struggles.
They have to be about our true selves, about our brokenness, about our healing,
about our redemption and done in a way that isn't with this drama,
because I think in today's world to with the media, we have been conditioned
with all the drama and the sensationalizing perhaps.
I am talking about myself, I am not talking about you and I think that is a danger,
because then it is not necessarily truth telling, it is about trying to impress people
with your very important story, which is a very important story,
but it may be overly dramatized.
So I will quiet at this point.
>> I don't have much to say about narrative, which is good I suppose.
But I wanted to say something about authenticity and my approach to this is philosophically
from Sart and mainly another philosopher
who has received some bad press lately, Martin Hettinger.
[ Laughter ]
So I am a little nervous in trotting out some of his thought,
but I think he has a pretty good track record on this one.
But I think authenticity philosophically speaking is an ideal and I would go back
to the first existentialist who articulated it very well
for twentieth century existentialism what the task was and this is Nietzsche is well known
for saying you must become who you are.
This is obviously a paradox, how can I become who I am because being
and becoming are not the same thing and so if we dig a little bit digger
and ask why is this paradox, this is really a philosophical idea, how can I become who I am
and I think the, what the existentialist
and specifically non-[inaudible] existentialism can do is to at least indicate
where this paradox arises and I think it arises
from what I will call objective time and lived time.
And objective time would be the time of engagements with other people, ordinary time,
meaning we started 5:45, I was late because I was teaching so we have this time
that we share together and we might sometimes even think of it as universal times,
it is a time of events, of happenings, of public events.
But then there is lived time and these two I think are radically different,
because the time of objective time, you have past, present and future
and they are divided up into three categories.
The past, present and future and they are divided up into three categories.
The past was the future will be and the present is now and we are in this
to be an objective time, we are in the present like a pencil is in a cup.
We are all encapsulated just in the present.
That is this notion of objective time, but of course none of live
that way, none of us live time that way.
We don't live time as a series of punctuated now points rather we live time
with the past is always a part of our present understanding and that is useless
without some sort of future orientation.
So we live time so much in terms of temporal moments, but in terms of possibility
and this is what I think Hettinger is getting at when we go to understand ourselves
and how are we going to understand ourselves when those possibilities for my future
and for my being are given to me by my culture.
So the threat always is that I will just take a narrative that is already set,
maybe by the media and just live my life that way.
So I will use some external understandings of my possibilities to then live out my life
and to understand my life in those terms.
And so I think that is the threat of living out these stories
that somebody else has in a sense written for us.
But then what would a kind of authentic temporal ordering be
and I think again it is this challenge of understanding my life as a unity
and integrating my present moments with this overall unity
and the real threat is absorption into the now.
And in philosophic terms the real threat is to stop understanding myself and my temporal being
in lived terms and start seeing it in objective terms.
So when I was looking at these questions, why is it so difficult
to be authentic in today's society?
I think about the ways in which, the way in which I experience time in my daily experience
and I certainly don't experience the objective whole of my life.
What I do experience is much more objective time, I have appointments,
I need to be places, I need to be here.
So you get absorbed into the business of everyday life and this writer is kind of fallen
and he is worried that we get absorbed and we stop thinking about this other amount of time,
this larger lived time of thinking in terms of coherence
and unity, which people are talking about.
So I think the experience we have daily is one of fragmentation
and unless we are forced back upon ourselves to disengage from that way, we tend to never think
about what is any one experience have for the meaning of my entire life and so when I think
about well what would true in-authenticity be.
What would somebody who is truly and completely lost and it would have
to be the experience of one damn thing after another.
There is no coherence to the hold.
And I think that is something we experience ourselves from time to time,
but I don't think anybody experiences it all of the time.
In other words, I don't think there is this complete dispersion.
That is why I think this idea of authenticity is a continual challenge,
because that is how we are seduced back into the business.
That is how we go about meeting our goals and living that unified life.
But then the question is well how do you balance it and I think
that is the more difficult aspect and I will close with this idea.
Is that if authenticity is an ideal and we don't want to say that I have ever achieved it,
the first step in going down the road to having a more authentic way of engaging one's self
in the world is to recognize that not only is in-authenticity possible, but it is likely
and we are always, all of us are going to end up there at some point.
We are always going to be continually running back and digging us out of this hole we are in,
in order to achieve some unity and that I think is really the challenge.
>> Any of you questions for each other, before we pull in.
>> Well I will make one comment, there seems to be a common thread
that we have to avoid our culture stories.
That we have to be original in writing a brand new story and I am probably the way I framed it,
telegraphed it, I think that is overdrawn.
In writing our own story and telling our own story and living our own story,
we can't but rely on the resources of our culture, the genres, the arch[inaudible] stories
and again I think that is how you can come to understand somebody by what kind
of story they tell about themselves.
Is it a heroic story?
Is it a tragedy?
Is it a romance?
Is it a comedy?
And these are all genres, you know.
Christians seek to understand their story in terms of the Pascal's story
of the life, death, resurrection of Jesus.
And when you go on retreats, it is inevitable that the retreat is going to be structured
in terms of awareness of sins, desire for conversion, death to the old self,
birth of the new self, testimony going out into the world.
And so there are these genres within which we work, within which just as there are characters
in our story that we don't have full control over, but we do give them scripts,
which they either follow or don't follow, which might cause us to revise our own script.
So to there are these narrative patterns, these genres within which we have to write,
if our story is going to be intelligible to ourselves, to others.
And finally, another point in my like questions about how
to understand somebody telling their story is who are they telling it to.
I mean telling my story is empowering only if there is somebody listening,
only if it makes a difference that I feel like my story is worth listening to and to do
that I have to use tropes and metaphors and plots that other people can resonate with,
that other people can recognize and perhaps recognize some of their story in my story.
So I need to be distinctive.
I want it to be expressing what is unique, but not expressing what is separate
from anybody else's story, you know, what is my story versus anybody else's story.
It is more kind of the way we weave together our commonalities
that I think give our individuality its uniqueness.
Schlamacher is my hero, even more than Charles Taylor.
Schlamacher defines individuality as a function of style over substance
that my individuality is the style in which I live.
It is how I use and draw together these common elements of my life that are shared
with everybody else in their lives, rather than what I have that nobody else has
or what defines me over against everybody else, which I think is the trap of a very kind
of subjective notion of individuality and authenticity.
>> I would further that.
I would say not only can we not avoid the stories our culture tells us,
but we only know how to tell the stories, because our culture to some extent dictates that
and I think I would go even farther than that and say that from the type
of stories our culture tells us to tell that is where our idea of what an authentic self looks
like that is the authentic self is a function of the story telling that we do
and that story telling is cultural and inherited and determined in all of those things.
>> And this is why story telling can be disempowering is
if your culture doesn't give you the resources to tell your story.
In other words, you don't have the language that, but the only language I have
to tell my story is a language of deviance or abnormalcy or evil.
>> I think you have to want to tell a story, because your story,
your experience doesn't match that cultural norm.
>> But that is the motive, huh?
>> That is what I am trying to argue, but I haven't published it yet, so don't steal it.
[ Laughter]
>> Well we had, when Kaitlin and I met with Linda the first time, one of the questions
that Kaitlin and I wrestled with is what is the drive toward autobiographical writing.
I mean what is behind that, what causes people to want to do that.
You know My Space, Facebook, these are all sort of autobiographical tools out there
that people utilize and so is there a striving toward coherence that makes sense of your life
in a very fragmented kind of culture or is there something else there.
And so there is some of the questions that we have kind of wrestled with.
I am going to turn it over and invite you guys to join us here.
Chris, can I put you on the spot and just kind of kick us off,
this is kind of my plant in the audience.
[ Laughter ]
Dr. Chris Frankavich [assumed spelling] who teaches Leadership Studies
and I mentioned we talked about this a little bit, so Chris question, commentary.
>> Chris: Thanks Joe.
[ Laughter ]
I do have, I mean this is a great and rich topic.
>> [Inaudible].
>> Chris: Try to, this is a great and rich topic.
I don't know if I have a specific commentary right now, but what was just going
through my mind was what Kirk said as I understood him about the phenomenal nature
of our being that we are in this lived temporal experience out of which I continue to grow,
to spark, to metabolize, to be and I speak and I want to speak and certainly that impetus comes
from my culture, but there is also something fundamental about this organic,
I guess you would call it emergent me that continues to rise up that is I think unique.
That is individual.
That is spontaneous and I liked what Father Tim Clancy said that to be I think you said
that I want to be individual, but not separate or not to be
out of community, but to stay in the community.
But I guess my point is I appreciate this conversation,
but I do think that there is rather, we have a tendency I think to forget the phenomenological
and the physical in the right here right now in lived experience, because I would submit
that much of our argumentation and must of our theorizing is done in the realm
of the objective time using scripts and using theoretical frameworks
that our culture has trained us to use, to characterize our life in.
one of the things that I am interested in is being able to work in the classes
that I teach anyway and to see if it is possible through language
and through ideas actually develop consciousness and practices in some sort of way
that I would begin to both speak and live my life in a way that is true
to lived experiences, as opposed to objective time.
That is my point.
That is what I would hope and I would further say that much of what post structuralist,
post modern theory, quantum physics, etc have done for us is create the possibilities
for that conversation, but like Alfred North Whitehead said in 1934,
even then he said to people in a lecture he was giving.
Why are we still speaking with these same tropes and frameworks, when we know that the end
of the nineteenth century upset that whole apple cart and I find myself
in my classes doing the same thing, saying the same thing, why are we still speaking
in those same ways when we know that reality is not as simple as our objective
and propositional logics would have it.
So to the extent that this conversation gets into that,
I think it is terrific and I enjoy telling stories.
Thanks Joe.
[ Laughter ]
>> Anybody want to respond.
Alright, let me open it up.
I want to do something kind of funny here, Claire Rudolph Murphy is here.
Claire is a writer, well published, does a lot of life writing, stories about people.
Claire just sitting there, what is occurring to you,
because you do a lot of biographical writing.
You have written a lot of stories that I think are very authentic
in the stories that you portray.
So how is this discussion landing on you?
>> Claire: Well I was thinking about the narrative arc and how you are always,
when you are looking at your own life and you are looking at other people's lives
that you are looking for that conflict, crisis resolution.
And when we are trying to write about our authentic self,
I think sometimes we think well I am still a work in process.
I don't have any climax resolution, so I think we should be drawn to parts
of our lives, a narrower part of our life.
I have a theory going with my own writing right now, when you are reaching a challenge
in your work on a topic, it is parallel or a metaphor for a challenge in your own life.
And I hate to say it but I finished building a house and you can't get any more cliche
to write a book to build a house, but I think if you look at a narrower part of your life,
we are yearning for some kind of full narrative arc.
And what is it Chris?
>> Kurt.
>> Kurt was saying I think we don't want to look for those arcs unless we are in a class
like you are teaching, because we do live a busy, busy, busy as we go
and the only time maybe we take time to do that is when something isn't going right
and that we are forced to then look to that
and the answers just aren't there and the cultural answers.
We are not getting the jobs that everybody else is getting,
our marriage isn't working, our health, whatever.
So we need to look at a deeper sense in that we are drawn to other people's stories,
because we think well what do they have, what part of their life story can tell me something
and journalist are always saying don't go after any story, go for the story that has an arc.
That has some kind of hope that propels us into the future.
>> You know one of the tools that is used in the storytelling class, Joan Bruner talks a lot
about turning points in narratives.
These moments in our lives that shape us and it is very interesting,
we don't remember everything that happened every single time we brushed our teeth
or combed our hair, but we remember certain events that shape who we are that cause us
to believe certain things or value certain things or career wise, choose certain things.
And it is a very interesting kind of area focus when you look at people's narratives
or turning point stories, every autobiography I read has them in it.
Significant, Lance Armstrong, bang not very interesting guy until he has his bout
with cancer and everything changes from then on.
So these turning point moments are very rich and I think they offer something in terms
of learning more about ourselves.
>> Well, the turning point I think also call upon us to tell our story again.
I mean it is striking to me that in Evangelical Protestantism which is focused
on the conversion experience, the first thing you do is tell your story, you tell the story
of your conversion and that is a different story than you would have told before your conversion.
So you are kind of telling yourself who you are now and it doesn't mean that you are not telling
about your past self, but it has got a different narrative now and it strikes me
that you have got a secular version of that in AA where it is all about people bearing witness
to the depths in which they fell before they decided to turn their life around
and now I think, they have to keep telling that story in order to firm up and make real
that motivation that no, this is now my life, not what it was.
Now this is my life, so I have got to keep telling myself this story.
>> But that is a danger as well, actually interesting
that early American Protestant Puritan congregations
that was actually telling your conversions experience was how you officially got
into the church, so it was considering that was the dominant political structure
of northern North America, it was the mark of citizenship
that you could tell the conversion story.
There is a great model that comes out of Dante's studies
and of course Dante is also telling a conversion story in which you talk about Dante the pilgrim,
who is the character moving through hell and purgatory and heaven.
It is Dante as a character and then there is a second Dante which is Dante the poet,
the person who has had the conversion experience and can now reflect back on that experience
and the talus of the story is when the two come together
and Dante the pilgrim becomes Dante the poet, but there is also that danger
that all stories move toward that end point,
all stories have to move toward the moment of consistency.
The danger seems to me demanding that there is a consistent end point
or you are not living the right kind of life.
>> Let me open it up, thoughts, questions you might have.
>> I just want to follow up with this last thought to get back to this idea of paradox is
when I am telling my story I am no longer the person, you know, there is a distance
between my identity as story teller and my identity as actual person who this is about.
I think that is where the dilemma comes in,
because you need to have these publically accepted narratives
and also public accepted judgments that yes that fits your story.
It is not that any old thing will go and so I have often wondered whether the stories we end
up telling about ourselves are written before we get there.
In other words, obviously I can't tell any story about myself,
but there is some that I could tell and then the question is why do I tell the one that I tell
or why do I have that self understanding when it is undetermined from my experiences
and the events of my life and I just, it seems to me that is a moment
of almost [inaudible] remembrance.
It is already there and so I am not so much writing my story I am discovering it and I think
that is where we get this idea of trying to discover my true self and these moments
of crisis always throw me off my kilter,
because it seems that is the point my story I have telling up until now maybe it doesn't fit
and so we go back, so if it becomes a kind of obsession
to find my story then there is already a faulty step there.
It has to be written in a sense before I get there, I think that is the sense I have of it.
>> Written before I get there, I guess that is the sense of course it happened that way,
like when we say all of the coincidences in our life, like this morning I locked my keys
in my car, but because I locked my keys in my car and missed a meeting and was late,
I happened to catch the bus at precisely the right time in order to get back to my car
at precisely the right time to find a locksmith who was already opening the door for me.
And it is like oh of course that makes sense, isn't that funny and when I thought
about it I was like why am I trying to make sense, why am I having a reason
for why all these things happen, it is like I need it to make sense.
Like I need it to be, well of course I was supposed to lock my keys in my car.
And it is funny too, but is what is really scary is not about ourselves, but when I sit down
and talk to Linda, sorry I keep doing this to you and I fill in all the gaps in the story
that you are telling me, because I need to understand you and so I tell all these stories
that are probably inaccurate, maybe hopefully not too inaccurate, but why is that.
so I get the sense that story can be a way to connect people in a way that arguing
about opinions cannot, but also it is this extremely dangerous endeavor
in which you can hear a part of a story or tell a part of a story about yourself and then fill
in the gaps in ways that aren't honest or that miss what is actually being lived or experienced
and so I think it is kind of interesting.
That is all.
>> Well, that just speaks to the power of storytelling right
that it can be dangerous as well as life giving.
>> Doesn't that also speak to the differences in autobiography and biography.
Like I am not too looking forward to somebody's autobiography coming out here.
I was hoping that Sarah Palin's had already come out.
[ Laughter ]
And I have to wonder how people will tell this story, her story and an outsider telling it
and so I think we are dealing with that too.
>> Well, it also touches on for me, sort of autobiographical memory
and like what do we remember that we included in our story and what do we forget, you know.
And it seems to be a sense of needing a coherent narrative that we could hold on to,
otherwise we fragment and sort of break apart and so we remember certain things
from our history, those meaning making, identity shaping kinds of experiences that like hers
that we want to project to the public.
This is the story I want to say or tell and so I am going to remember that stuff and you talk
to people and they remember certain things and not others,
so this memory thing I find fascinating.
>> I just, did you have a question.
>> Well, I had a comment, I was just going to toss out that this is a slightly different take
on all of this and it is not very deep really, but it is very present in my life.
My significant other is settling for the past two years has been settling an uncle's estate,
the family has been hit by tragedy many times
and he discovered several very unpleasant family surprises in the course of settling the estate.
So here is this gentleman grieving these many turns and unseeingly pieces of his own family,
so when he tells his story, it is as though he is trying to heal himself of it and to grow
out of it versus what you are looking at Kaitlin to become yourself more.
So it is fascinating to me, the different uses, personal uses we have for telling stories.
>> I just wanted to share, is this on and it looks like I am on [inaudible].
She is from Michigan anyway.
[ Laughter ]
But anyway, my mother grew up in a very abusive family
and it was just horrific what she had experienced, so when she tells the story
of her childhood growing up, just the look on her face as she is telling her story,
it is very painful and she sees herself as a victim and you can notice that whole sense
of being a victim in other stories that she tells even
in today's world, in today's life and she is 92.
You know, but we have talked about also her other stories that she can tell at other points
in time and those are stories of great strength and courage to not pass on to us, her children,
what she had experienced as a child and the dedication and commitment that she had to not do
that and those are different kinds of stories and then her whole face changes in terms
of how she has been strong and how she has been successful in doing that.
I guess the point of my story is if she didn't, if she tells the victim stories all the time,
then she becomes the story that she is telling and it is poor me, everyone is against me
and I don't have a chance to survive, because I am a victim, which is really totally different
in the energy that she has, as opposed for that compared
to the energy she has for being really courageous.
>> One of the distinctions I found helpful and I think it was only or someone was talking
about autobiographical writing, it could be archeological going back to dig up the facts
or is it more like somebody weaving fabric and choosing certain threads to include
in a certain tapestry and it seems like it is more of that than an archeological dig.
>> [Inaudible] do you think your mother's story about being a victim, which she probably was
at some point or the courageous, do you think either one of them is more authentic?
>> No, I think both of them are authentic.
I mean her pain is real and that is always going to be with her,
her whole sense of being a victim, because she really was a victim
and that has imprinted her life greatly and deeply, but that is real for my mother
and the other one is real too, because that is another experience that she has had,
so both of them are real and even though they may seen a little bit conflictual,
they are all integrated into how she lives her life today.
>> Sure, one second, go ahead.
>> I just had a question about the authentic leader, using the question authentic
as a good thing, but is an authentic leader actually a good person and the things
that I have seen in my experience is
that an authentic leader may not necessarily be a good person
and they may not necessarily be an individual
and they may not necessarily be telling the truth, but they are authentic
in the interactions with the people that they are telling stories too.
So to be a good authentic leader means that you just make a connection to someone, right,
so that you can tell the story and make different connections to people.
So I guess the question I have is does authentic have to have that meaning that it is good,
an individual does it have to have a good connotation on it,
where it could just be the interaction between the person listening to it and person telling it
and how good they are at telling it.
>> So you could have bad apples as the leaders, there are authentic bad apples, I don't know.
>> Well, they didn't do bad things, they led people well.
I mean the companies I have been in, they have led people well,
but they just were not genuine people.
They got us all motivated and got us to do things that were good and we were successful,
but they might not have been telling the truth when they were doing it.
They weren't breaking the law or anything,
they were just not genuine people as most people would think of.
They were good leaders in my mind.
>> I guess if somebody is using stories to establish relationships that they can then use
for their own ends, cynically, manipulatively, that is not authentic in my view.
>> But authenticity as an interaction, what does it mean to be authentic.
We haven't talked to much about what does it mean to be authentic?
>> Does the person believe you is one way of saying it, right?
>> I think if it is going to be authentic, I mean for me anyway, authenticity is a value.
I mean it is a value term, it is not a descriptive term so much,
which means that it can't simply be restricted to instrumental efficacy to me.
>> Well I am just picking up on that, a lot of what you talked about with authenticity was
about audience and so it seems like at least in part you believe that it is dictated
by community rather than by necessarily how one feels and so I mean it does seem
like there is a portion of it that is external to your own understanding of your story.
And I mean to expand on that slightly, you brought up in directly Freud and Freud speaks
to something that almost everyone has been talking about memory for one thing.
You were saying that memory, we shape ourselves through these important memories,
but Freud would seem to argue quite the opposite
that in fact the most important things are the things that we don't remember
and Freud would also say that it is telling stories that bring these things out,
but it seems to me that Freud is also a perfect representation of somebody who is above,
it is not a source of authenticity,
it is authority that through psychoanalysis you are going to have somebody who is going
to help you and help I put in quotation marks, shape a story that you yourself are unaware of
and he I mean often times Freud would tell you what your dreams meant.
In fact, his early theories were, everybody was molested, everyone who is suffering
in this area was molested and I am going to find where that was in your story.
And I would also say that over the course of his career, he went from the ego, id,
and the superego, which is this increasingly putative form of authenticity,
this idea that your story from within is something that is actually relatively punishing.
So it seems to me that authenticity is really just another way of saying authority
that it is always going to be a disciplinary form of construction.
We had some of the phrases that have come up are self-regulation, framing, these are all ways
of dominating yourself or being dominated from outside.
So I guess, one last thing about that is we talked a lot about autobiography,
but the two most famous autobiographies and going back to the Protestant sort
of these confessions, the two most famous autobiographies are called confessions.
These are, it is about objection.
It is about revelation for the sake of sort of saying this is where I have done wrong
and of course Rousseau is notoriously in-authentic in his confession,
but it seems to me that autobiographies are often an effort of revealing for the sake
of discipline or you know you were talking about Dante or to show
that you have been thoroughly disciplined
and so how is authenticity ever really a positive thing.
>> I would say that there have been a lot of words that we have thrown around here
as if they were positive and authentic is one of them and organic, fundamental, true, real.
I think I am deeply suspect, suspicious of all of these words and I would argue that all
of these words to some extent are mystifying the way society is imposing these value structures
upon us and that we can't get out of that, but this sort of paradox that is in the title
of this, narrative and authenticity.
Narrative is a fictional device.
Authenticity is promising a kind of truth that paradox points to the way that a lot
of these terms are in fact, these external impositions that serve a particular master
and you know if you are looking at Freud it is one master.
If you are looking at Marx, it is another master.
If you are looking at Augustine, it is a third master, but if you are right I think a lot
of these terms end up being terms of mystification.
>> But couldn't any ideal be understood as disciplinary,
so why would it being disciplinary mean that authenticity isn't an ideal.
>> Well, I suppose that assumes that idealism is necessarily a positive philosophy.
>> Isn't that what ideal means?
Something I strive for.
>> Or something outside the material world.
>> I assume you are putting it against a sort of materialist philosophy.
>> You know I am getting worried about time.
I am going to just give one or two people just a chance to jump in, John go ahead.
John Caputo by the way teaches communications leadership here.
>> John: Just the narrative part first, from a communication perceptive,
narrative is the things humans do.
It is the way we communicate through narrative structures.
We have no other system of doing that.
now when Kurt was mentioning the business of our everyday life,
I don't remember your exact words, but somehow takes us out of that self reflexive kind
of mode, but there is an implication I got from the panel from time to time
that a narrative was a written document, but I would like to say that it is the business
of everyday life that is our narrative story.
I taught my class.
I walked to the library.
I came to this room.
How I lived that life, every minute of that business is my story.
It is my narrative.
Is it authentic?
Well for me authenticity, if I think about authenticity I go back to Salinger Cather
in the Rye and I just try not to be a phony.
[ Laughter ]
So authenticity [inaudible] somehow I need an integrated self and I am hoping the person
that I think I am comes through no matter what role, whether I am the teacher or the person
in the audience or wherever I am at.
I don't want to think I have never seen that guy before.
I want them to think that is the same guy I saw in that other role, but I slightly changed,
because I had a different task in that environment.
And I would think if you look at people's behaviors as their story
that you have a better chance of capturing that from their totality of interactions,
as opposed to any particular script that we were given at any point.
>> Yes, right there?
>> Well actually, I was thinking about Catcher in the Rye when I read it in high school,
we were talking about how it is kind of a dishonest narrative,
you don't know how much you can trust it, and I was wondering
if dishonesty is the same thing as being authentic.
If you have a desire to perceive yourself as a certain way does that arise
from your authenticity or is that being [inaudible]?
>> Just to get back to this point and maybe draw this in, I think you are right,
you say it is how I go about doing these things that determines a more authentic way
of getting caught up in the business and I think that yes, but the threat always is
that somehow the business will force me to lose focus
or I will stop understanding why am I doing this and I think that strikes me as the point
of where the phoniness comes in where I no longer understand one's daily task as fitting
into some overall notion of one's self.
But I think Catcher in the Rye is a really good example of the intuitive sense that we have
of authenticity and I think these phonies, I mean when I read Catcher in the Rye at 15,
it just seemed every adult was phony, right.
And I think that is telling, because what strikes me is the question of authenticity
and authenticity for who is this most pressing and I think it is for people who are
about to make large life decisions, people in crisis or people
who are coming to the ends of their lives.
So I think the best portrayals of authenticity are in literature and in philosophy,
so the Catcher in the Rye is a good one, the Death of Ivan Tillich is another good one,
it is about a guy who is about to die.
I think there is a movie called About Schmidt, which is a very good portrayal
of an authenticity, the guy is about to retire.
Another one I think is very good is called SSE Punk and it is
about somebody going off to college.
I think that there is something that college graduates and retiring seniors have in common.
[ Laughter ]
That the rest of us working folk don't, right.
We can procrastinate the question of authenticity, because we are caught
up in the business, but those who are about to enter it and those who are about to leave it,
this is a really pressing question of the absorption
and so I think this is a really good way to frame the issue of the ways
in which the everyday world can push us out of those questions.
Why does the meaning of my life have less urgency to me now than it did at 19?
Is it because I have already decided, but I think that is not the case,
because as you were saying at that 65, you still see this sort of forward orientation
and if I understand my future, not in terms of time, because any of us might die at any moment,
it can't be oh I have another 40 years ahead of me or I have another 10 years.
It is that my possibilities at any age still seem open, they are an open question,
what is my future going to mean for me.
And so I think this idea of seeing in terms of possibilities yet to be determined,
whereas when you are working, those possibilities are fairly closed down.
I know pretty much what I am going to be doing for the next two weeks
and there is not a whole lot of play in there.
So to get back to the question, could you restate your question again?
>> Yes, is it possible that I might want to perceive myself as this great guy,
even if that is dishonest from the authenticity?
>> I think the stories that we tell always have to be verified by others.
I mean if it is true that I can't tell a story that is meaningful in the context
and meaning of my culture, right.
I mean I couldn't sit here and tell you how my life as a mountain man has been very meaningful
to me, because I can't be a mountain man.
That is just not a narrative in my culture and it is just not factually possible.
So whatever story I tell has to a) be open to narrative understanding of my culture
and it also has to be verifiable by those who know me personally and so I think and I think
within those realms there is some open room.
What ultimately does it mean and maybe you have had experiences like this
when somebody else tells stories about you that you don't think are relevant, right.
Like when my mother starts telling stories about me when I was a kid, I want to say no mom,
my story started at about 14, right?
[ Laughter ]
All that stuff you say when I was 7 that doesn't have any meaning to my life.
>> That does to your mom.
>> And that is what I am saying so you can be dishonest, I guess if somebody calls you on it.
But what do we say, I have a friend who rewrites his story about every 18 months
and that chaotic life, I kind of give him the business about this once and a while
and he will tell a different story every time
and every time he tells a different story I just think, well we will see
and I know sure enough it is going to run its course.
So sure you can tell phony stories, it is just people aren't going to accept them
and the question you want to ask, what I want
to ask my friend is do you believe your own stories and he does.
But then I think we would have to say that is what kind of phony is.
He is not really owning up to his own past in a way
that we would want somebody to do in a coherent life story.
I don't know if that answers.
>> I am a literature prof so I have to jump in on Catcher in the Rye.
I mean we are really asking a question about trustworthy narrators and I would go so far
as to say there is no such thing as an omniscient narrator in an autobiography,
it is impossible and yet to some extent that sort of goal
of authenticity requires an omniscient narrator in an autobiography, which is unthinkable.
The only omniscient narrators in literature take a god like perspective,
you can't do that from within an autobiography.
>> I remember that Kurt answered the problem of that question by saying that the only way
to really understand your authentic self is to die and then look back at your life
in its entirety and because we can't do that, probably totally saying this wrong,
but we can't ever see the whole of our lives, so how do we make sense of what it means
to be authentically us, we can't and so we can hope.
>> [Inaudible] but that is what I say is a paradox, there is multiple paradoxes there
and I think there is something to be said for the way others tell my story as well.
[Inaudible]said when I die, my life is for others.
If others are going to write my story and that is ultimately the way it goes
and this is why giving a eulogy is such a harrowing task, especially if you love someone,
because you really can't say what their story was.
I mean to really sum up the meaning of their life in whatever time you have seems
to be a kind of violation of that life, but that is what we must do that is the point.
For others my life is always a story and that continues
when I am gone, even when I am not in the room.
>> You know we have to get out of here.
They have got to rehearse.
They are actually going to do a big battle scene so if anyone wants
to be extras, if anybody wants to hang around.
[ Laughter ]
Kaitlin is actually appearing in.
>> Weaving our sister's voices, it has got sneaky sex from the bible.
>> Got to love that.
When does that start, January?
>> The end of January, so they are rehearsing actually tonight and so forth getting ready
for that, so if you want to come back for a cool production, please do that.
I want to thank the panelists, wow rich stuff
and all these folks just did that, oh yeah I would love to do that.
That would be cool.
I think each of you.
Kaitlin and I just were nervous about this and really, really grateful.
[ Applause ]
Thank you.
And thanks for coming, we thought it would just be us, we weren't quite sure you know.
So it is really nice that people showed up.
We are hoping for another roundtable sometime in the spring, probably late February,
a follow up to this and again a broad cross section of folks,
so hopefully some of or most all of the same folks.
So with that I want to thank and Scott and Gail, the bookstore folks, thank you.
Scott, do you want to introduce what is happening next?
>> [Inaudible].
>> Out in the lobby, so thank all of you for coming.