31 December 2009

Happy New Year, Everyone!

May 2010 be a good one for all of you....

To celebrate, how about a punchline of an old joke...

"But, teacher, how do I know it's Robert Burns and not Robert Browning?"

and a traditional song!

It was five years ago today that my father passed away

4 January 2005

Thank you for coming today to help us remember my father. Immediately following this service, there will be a chapel service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery on Montgomery Road, followed by a reception downstairs. I must remind you of something that anybody who visited him at St. Margaret Hall already knows:


Before I begin, I want publicly to thank our mother, Rose Marie, for loving, comforting, and caring for our father “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, ‘til death did them part.” You truly lived your wedding vows, and we thank you for that. We love you.

I just want to be “Little Gilbert” again.

I was never an Aeneas. Aeneas, as you may recall from Vergil’s epic The Aeneid, was a Trojan prince and future father of Rome, who dutifully and lovingly carried his infirmed father on his shoulders out of the burning city of Troy. I was never that son. Early on, it was my older and stronger brother, Mike, who, when necessary, did the heaviest lifting. In the most recent years, the responsibility has fallen on the youngest, Anthony, who has been a rock for both our dad and our mom. I never was Dad’s Aeneas; so I want to be “Little Gilbert” again.

I couldn’t be Dad’s “favorite daughter” either. I couldn’t, as only an only-daughter can, make our father light up just by entering his room. Fran could and did, and Dad benefited greatly from it. I couldn’t be Fran; I just want to be “Little Gilbert” again.

Nor did I ever have to be a Frank Sinatra, Jr. I never had to be someone burdened by the weight of someone else’s name (and the responsibilities that so often attend it). Dad, after all, didn’t make his namesake either his first-born or even a junior. Our different middle names (Mario and Leonard, respectively) individualized us and, as he did with all his children, allowed me to be who I wanted to be (even if, as dad used to say – and as only he could – “Gigliotti’s a big name around here”).

He never forced his wishes upon his children. I’ll always treasure his response to my decision to leave law school and teach Latin instead. Despite being confused and probably disappointed, he only said “Your mother and I just want you to be happy.” This was hard-earned wisdom from a man who went to both West Point and medical school but was prevented from finishing either because of familial obligations.

I just want to be “Little Gilbert” again. For, growing up, that’s who I was, and, given my size and my age, it made sense then, even if I didn’t always enjoy it. In high school, when a friend would call and ask for “Gil,” I didn’t necessarily appreciate Mom’s automatic response, “Big Gil or Little Gil?” Nevertheless, as time has gone by, I realize that the name we share is more than appropriate and due more than to the fact our November birthdays are but four days apart.

I am the only male English professor at CCSU who feels underdressed in the classroom without a jacket and tie. I, like my father, have a reputation at the office for being preternaturally cheery…almost to the point of annoyance. Who else but my father, after all, would decorate his walker with Christmas lights and greenery? Well, to be honest, I hope I would!

I, “Little Gil,” more than my siblings, appreciate Dad’s abiding and deep love of old Hollywood and his theatrical bent. I understand his affection for Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby. I was the one with whom he sang and danced to Carol Channing’s “Baby Face” from the soundtrack of Thoroughly Modern Millie. I was the one who went with him to the construction site at the end of Meadowbright Lane for a bivouac (that is, “a picnic in the middle of winter”) because “That was the kind of thing Nelson Eddy’s “Stout-Hearted Men” would do.) I was the one with whom he got up early Saturday mornings to watch and laugh at “Lance Link, Secret Chimp.” I am the child who could most appreciate Dad’s pride in being the lead in Brother Goose, his high school senior play, and his performance of “Yes, We Have No Bananas” in the Angels Follies. And I was the one with whom he shared (and not infrequently performed) favorite lines from films he watched for hours every week when he was young at the Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania movie theatre.

The films he spoke about that take on particular poignancy for me at this moment are both from 1942: King’s Row and Pride of the Yankees. The most famous scene of King’s Row, a better-than-average Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, and Ann Sheridan melodrama, has Ronald Reagan waking up without his legs in a hospital after an accident and crying out “Where’s the rest of me?” I cannot but think that Dad must have asked the same question to himself many times over the years. His response is unambiguously powerful now, some 32 years after he was diagnosed: nothing’s going to defeat me, he clearly told himself, until I’M ready to say goodbye.

The second film, starring Gary Cooper, is justly more famous, and the only time I watched it with him is etched in my mind. I was visiting on Thanksgiving, and Pride of the Yankees came on television. I watched with my father and grandmother, and as Lou Gehrig slowly began to experience the symptoms of ALS, the room only got quieter. After Gehrig’s celebrated speech at the end of the movie, we all remained still – recognizing the 800-pound gorilla in the room but not saying a word. Once again, knowing my father as I do, I can imagine his thinking of the family and friends (including his many doctors, nurses, and aides) who had gathered around him throughout his life and saying the same thing the ballplayer said to the crowd in Yankee Stadium: “Today I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Today I stand here, at the very age my father was when he had been diagnosed with MS, to say my father was wrong. He wasn’t the luckiest; we are luckier – because WE had the chance to know HIM.

I just want to be “Little Gilbert” again because I want to be the loving husband, generous father, wonderful grandfather, and loyal friend that Gilbert Mario Gigliotti was. If I can even approach the man he became over his 76 years, I will, like he has, make an impact upon those around me that will be felt for generations to come.

To “Big Gil” from “Little Gil” (but on behalf of all of us):

We love you; we miss you. Godspeed.

26 December 2009

Santa brought the Gigliotti household a Wii...

...and to my dismay, I'm enjoying it tremendously.

My younger daughter thinks my Mii is a perfect rendering of her father, but I'm not sure how to take that.

I'm boxing my brains out (as it were) and have beaten down the aforesaid ten-year-old TWICE not to mention all the sundry Mii competition!

(Sports I've actually played before -- like tennis -- are at times oddly more difficult than I think they should be. I'm not saying I'm good at real tennis, but I'm pretty sure I've never swung a backhand when the ball was going to my forehand side!?!!? Can't figure out what's going on there. Then again, I'm gettin' strikes and spares at unusually high rates, considering my bowling skills.)

HOWEVER, on the plus plus plus side, according to the undeniably scientific gauge of the Wii fitness age calculation...you're reading the blog of a 31-year-old!

Booyah! Wait 'til my cardiologist hears that!

No surprise in the "Singer You'd Most Like to Hear Sing a Christmas Song" Poll

Bing Crosby won with 57% of the vote.

25 December 2009

New Old Frank Sinatra: a GREAT Xmas Gift!

Frank's singin' Body and Soul!

Merry Christmas, all!

Adeste, fideles,
Laeti triumphantes.
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte,
Regem angelorum.
Venite adoremus;
Venite adoremus;
Venite adoremus

24 December 2009

The more things change...

It's like the good Reverend Mather could have been living right next door to us:

"The Feast of Christ's Nativity is spent in Reveling, Dicing, Carding, Masking and in all Licentious Liberty,'' thundered the Rev. Cotton Mather of Boston in 1712, "by Mad Mirth, by long Eating, by hard Drinking, by lewd Gaming, by rude Reveling."

Well, that and a little ping pong!

Result of the Second Annual Gigliotti Family Christmas Eve Ping Pong Tournament

Celeste Gigliotti defeats defending champion Martha Perry, 21-18.

Arnold Stang, R.I.P.

I knew that Arnold Stang, who at age 91 just passed away this week, had co-starred with Frank Sinatra in the Otto Preminger film Man with the Golden Arm, but I didn't know that he voiced the cartoon character "Top Cat," the cat after whom I named my own T.C., during my brief, ill-fated pet-ownership period in Third Grade.

Godspeed, Top Cat!

Happy Birthday, Ava Lavinia Gardner!

Born this day, 1922.

Look forward to a big Ava year in 2010!

The anthology Ava Gardner: Touches of Venus, (featuring poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and song lyrics by the likes of Margaret Atwood, Robert Graves, Allan Gurganus, Pere Gimferrer, Mario Cabre, Alain Souchon, and other authors from the world round) is due to be released by Entasis Press in February.

At Central Connecticut State University, "Fridays with Ava: The Ava Gardner Film Series" will kick off on 5 February at 2 PM with The Killers (1946), starring Ava and Burt Lancaster, and introduced by CSU Professor Emeritus Barry Leeds. The other films are Show Boat (1951), Mogambo (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), and On the Beach (1959).

Stay tuned here for more details -- and a sneak peek at the anthology's cover as soon as it's available!

Xmas Countdown

Christmas Must Be Tonight!

23 December 2009

I'm assuming the author of this ESPN.com headline didn't attend the losing school...

No. 1 UConn Tops No. 2 Standford, 80-68

(Publish Date: Today, 08:17 PM ET Duration: 03:17)

So, my fifth-grade daughter comes home from school today...

...where they had just had a holiday party -- on this last day before the Christmas vacation.

At the party, they sang "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," but NO ONE in the class knew (or remembered) the ending of the holiday classic...you know that part:

Then how the reindeer loved him
and they shouted out with glee
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You'll go down in history!"

In short, they couldn't sing the climax of the song, which, as a result, became merely a story of redemption-less cruelty toward a strange-looking deer.

(Granted, the complete song seems to celebrate taking advantage of the odd kid on the block, but at least it recognizes some sort of unified community!)

Xmas Countdown

Enjoy Matt Monro's Mary's Boy Child, a song I didn't know of until only days ago -- which surprised my wife a great deal!

But then again I only learned about Pet Shop Boys' "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" until recently too. Although it does have a haunting similarity to the chorus of the old Folger's Coffee commercial jingle, "The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup!"

19 December 2009

A Matt Monro Christmas Greeting

It's about to start snowing in New Britain, I think, so how about a little Matt Monro holiday wish!

It's one of the books I've always wanted to write!

Matt Monro: The Singer’s Singer
The Life and Music of Matt Monro

By Michele Monro
Publication Date: 29 January 2010
Hardback • 656pp • 9781848566187 • £17.99

Matt Monro: The Singer’s Singer is the never-before-told biography of one of Britain’s most popular and endearing singers, whose songs including Born Free, Walk Away, From Russia With Love, Softly As I Leave Her and Portrait of My Love have been ingrained in the public consciousness, and whose talent was revered by friends and contemporaries including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Sir George Martin.

from Titan Books

17 December 2009

And that would "hark back" all of 9 or 10 months, right?

Headline from today's Hartford Courant's Cal section :

David Archuleta, From The Heart: Christmas Album From 'American Idol' Runner-Up Harks Back To Childhood

15 December 2009

"Do the Tap Tap Tap(ioca)"

In a previous post, I noted the top four highlights of my life as a dancer (okay, okay, even I have to laugh when I read that!).

Here's highlight number 5!

In tap class tonight, after my doing some particularly solid "backward shuffles" and "drawbacks," "Teach" looks at me and exclaims:

Who are you?!

(Full disclosure: Since I had come to tap class directly from the Arts and Sciences Holiday Social, I think it was the wine dancing.)

But imagine how long he could teach if he used a more student-centered pedagogy?!?

From Today's Chronicle of Higher Ed

December 14, 2009, 07:00 AM ET

Lecturer Breaks the World Record

Errol T. Muzawazi, whom we wrote about here last week, is still walking and talking after five days in front of a classroom at Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland. His feat, which is to end today at the 130-hour mark (4 p.m. ET), can be seen live on the Web.

As with all such endeavors, Mr. Muzawazi's marathon mark will not be official until Guinness World Records declares it so, but at noon local time (6 a.m. ET), he crossed over the previous record of 120 hours. He is seeking to raise money for a trans-African educational journey.

Congratulations, Mr. Muzawazi! Now get some sleep.

14 December 2009

Re: Tiger Woods (Parts V and VI)

a) I must admit I've been very impressed with the ability of the various women with whom Tiger "carried on" (as it were) to remain quiet about it.

If I had slept with Tiger, I'd be telling EVERYBODY!

b) Went to see my older daughter in a student-written series of one acts based on international myths, Around the World in Ninety Minutes, at New Britain High School on Friday night, but was somewhat disappointed that the one with two characters named "Tiger" and "Tiger's Wife" had nothing to do with current events.

On the First Anniversary of "Connecticut Wit"

The statistics after one year of blogging:

Total posts: 375

Total "page impressions": 6,726

Total chuckles: 12

Total insights: .5

13 December 2009

11 December 2009

This is why my next anthology idea, "Cotton Mather:...

...The Fabric of Our Lives," for which I've already started collecting material, makes so much sense.!

(It's going to be a hard sell as a follow up to Sinatra: But Buddy I'm a Kind of Poem and the forthcoming Ava Gardner: Touches of Venus, both from Entasis Press, but I gotta try!)

I'd try and use the comic image as the cover, of course.

I already have the one of the comics in which the Reverend appears, but it popped up today on Prof Hacker!

Often I find NPR's "All Things Considered"...

...twee or at least a bit too earnest, like the reviewer last night who was talking about the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in literature, Herta Muller (but with an umlaut). In his description of her work, he said that his hands were almost trembling as he read her prose, a prose so affecting that often he could read no more than a page or two, and sometimes not even more than a paragraph or two at a time! Good thing it was a short book he was using as his example or else next year's winner may have been announced before he finished this year's piece!

Just before I turned off the radio, they were beginning a new segment on the five Americans arrested in Pakistan on their way to a terrorist training camp. (Investment idea to self: Five Guys Burger franchises in war zones.)

This story led me to wonder if the Taliban offers "fantasy training camps" like Major League Baseball does? It'd probably raise a lot of money from middle-aged-wanna-be-terrorists. Well, it's something they might want to consider.

And, if the terrorist training camps are already open, when exactly was the "hot stove" period for them?

08 December 2009

Another life lesson from tap dance class

In class tonight we were doing, from my (admittedly limited) perspective, a fairly intricate tap sequence, and "Teach" noted that some of us were cheating on it (i.e., not really doing all the moves to make all the sounds...), at which point I was going to ask:
Can I really be cheating if I have no idea what I'm doing?
In other words, I may not have been doing the steps correctly, but I couldn't necessarily even guarantee that -- because I really didn't know fully what steps I was performing! I was just movin' my feet. It's then that I realized the truth about what I tell my students about plagiarism. It is what it is intentional or not. The fact that I couldn't begin to say what my feet were doing was a real good indication that I was cheating. And that was BEFORE we started doin' those blasted turns! Arrgh.
(On re-reading this post, doesn't the question above sound like one of those silly Sex in the City questions posed at some point each episode by Sarah Jessica Parker?)

07 December 2009

Quote for the day

Vergil never needed dashes -- or italics -- in his poetry!

06 December 2009

Another sign that I need to pay more attention to the culture around me...

Blake Lively hosted Saturday Night Live last night.

I have no idea who this person is.




Now, it's not completely unheard of that I don't recognize the name of a SNL host or don't recognize her/his appearance (or can't for the life of me figure why s/he has a career), but I have always had some frame of reference for identifying the person.

Not this time -- and I went to bed before I figured it out.

Her name seems to me like it belongs to a character in some 18th-century novel...and that insight should explain the need for this post at all.

05 December 2009

Tiger Woods: Part IV (If I'd send you all of my books for free...)

From today's Hartford Courant:

"Sales of the book Get a Grip on Physics are soaring on Amazon.com because a copy can be seen on the floor of Tiger Woods's mangled SUV in pictures released by Florida police."

I need to hang around, with copies of my books in tow, of course, more places that might turn into tabloidy crime scenes!

Now THAT'D be a good reason to get on Twitter: to learn about tabloidy crime scenes as soon as they happen.

(Note to self: re-think Twitter avoidance.)

03 December 2009

Who's gonna tell Bernie that Bridget's "out"?!

And Mother and Father Fitzgerald will not be thrilled either by the news, I bet.
In her defense, this is no way to find a mate!

Re: Tiger Woods, Part III

Regarding Tiger's "alleged mistress #1":

How does a New York "hostess" one day become a New York "party girl" the next?

I'm not sure what precise characteristics (professional or personal) denotes either one of those titles, but so quick a change?

P.S. Be honest, haven't we all, at some point, left a voice mail message saying,:
"Hey, it's me, Tiger?"

02 December 2009

Re: Tiger Woods, Part II

Do the latest revelations of his "transgressions" mean that Tiger will start will wearing a scarlet letter on Sundays?

01 December 2009

President Obama's Afghanistan Time Frame

From today's New York Times:

"However officials said that Mr. Obama in his speech will give a time frame — something Mr. Bush did not do —for when the United States will start pulling the reinforcements out and begin turning over security responsibilities to Afghan forces one province at a time."

I believe what he'll say in his speech tonight is :

We'll be pulling out of Afghanistan as soon as it has universal health care!

29 November 2009

The Season of Advent (Week One)

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point a grammatically superior chorus was changed to one less effective...

The hymn: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

The chorus (as I learned it):

Rejoice, rejoice, O Israel
To you shall come Emmanuel.

The chorus (as it is sung now):

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel.

Now, who separates an imperative ("rejoice") from the entity being addressed ("Israel") by an entire line of lyric -- especially when there's a considerable pause after the first line, which contributes to the confusion?

You might be able to do in Latin because the case endings will tell you "Israel" is in the vocative.

In English, however, word order matters.

The Christmas list begins...

1. Frank Incense

28 November 2009

From Charles Brockden Brown's WIELAND, or The Transformation (An American Tale), 1798

"[Pleyel] urged, that ... to make the picture of a single family a model from which to sketch the condition of a nation, was absurd."

Chapter IV

24 November 2009

"Dancing with the Stars": Mya was robbed!

Donny Osmond?

I don't think so.

Why I'll Never Be a True Guitar Hero

As I was treadmilling last night, the Carpenters' song "Goodbye to Love," with its fairly cool guitar solo, came on my MP3Player, and I wondered if that song was available on any o' those interactive gaming systems. I'm thinking not.

(Forget pretending to be John, Paul, George, and Ringo on LSD, let's play Karen on drums or Richard on keyboards! Insert anorexia joke here.)

The song also brought to mind that, when our family bought a brand new 1975 Chevrolet Malibu Classic with its 8-track tape player (no more am radio for us!), my father complained about the racket emanating from it on The Carpenters Greatest Hits tape. That, and "Better off Dead" from Elton John's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, simply drove him nuts!

We were truly a headbangin' family, in case you you couldn't tell.

23 November 2009

Frank Ad Nauseam

A little bit of serendipity, I guess you'd call it (or the product of a sick mind):

A 45-second "drop" ad that we recently made for "Frank, Gil, and Friends" features an outtake of Sinatra's 1958 recording session for Rodgers and Hart's "Where or When," during which he jokingly sings:

"It seems we've stood and talked like this before;
We threw up on each in the same old way
But I can't remember night or day."

This then brought to mind the chorus of the 1991 Morrissey song "Our Frank," which reads:

"So give us a drink
and make it quick
or else I'm gonna be sick
sick all over
your frankly vulgar
red pullover
see how the colors blend."

The "frank" in the Morrissey title is an adjective describing "conversation" and not anyone's name, but the juxtaposition of it and nausea just seemed too precious to pass up.

I must learn to control my instincts better.

22 November 2009

Another fine production at Playhouse on Park!

Just returned from the closing performance of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories at Playhouse on Park.

I really liked the play itself as well as the performances by Willi Burke and Pearl Rhein. Although I sensed a bit of line trouble by Ms. Burke, her ability to depict her character's vulnerability in Act II was especially powerful, while Ms. Rhein's character matured as the confidence in her talent grew in front of our eyes.

Yet another winning production from POP.

If you haven't seen one of the seemingly 1000 things presented there under the new management in the last few months, check out their website...and go!

Not that I have any say, but here are some things I'd like to see produced:

Bernard Kops's Playing Sinatra
Gershwin and Gershwin's Girl Crazy
Something Greek (Antigone, The Bacchae, or The Frogs)
Peter Schaffer's Black Comedy/White Lies

and, perhaps, an all-tap show with nothing but Sinatra tunes! (Who could collaborate on a thing like that?)

We shouldn't wonder why Americans are so awful at financial planning (and, not unrelatedly, marriage)...

...when in one of the greatest American musicals, Oklahoma, audiences are treated to such brilliant financial minds as Curly, Will, Jud, and Ali, all of whom handle money with the brains of one of the ears of corn growin' as high as an elephant's eye in "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."

Curly and Jud engage in a bidding war, each willing to dispose of his entire life's savings or tools-of-his-trade (i.e., future earnings potential) for a lunch.

Will meanwhile can't hold on to $50 to save his l(w)ife, and Ali, well, considering he actually runs a business, is quite the poor entrepreneur.

We'll overlook the fact that all these financial transactions are thinly veiled attempts to buy and sell women because that would lead us to a discussion of the Goodspeed Opera House's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the educational packet for which includes worksheets for middle- and high-schoolers in language arts, history, and culture.

I can hear the post-performance class now:

"Teacher, what's a 'procurer'?"

"What I want to be when I grow up: a 'courtesan'!"

"Our band's finally got a name -- 'The House of Lycus'!"

Now, those are solid and measurable educational outcomes.

Well, as long as the future recruits' parents ignore the murder-outside-a-campus-dance part

From today's Hartford Courant's "On the Fly" column by John Altavilla:

"[University of Connecticut football coach] Randy Edsall's pregame interview with NBC's Alex Flanagan was the most important recruiting pitch he'll ever give, but no less significant than the halftime feature on Jazz Howard's death, which bathed campus, coach, and program in a most favorable light for future recruits."

20 November 2009

You can keep your Oprah...

...the king of daytime talk for me will always be Phil Donahue. Most just remember the bad years at the end with his wearing dresses and the things that led him to try to compete with Jerry Springer, Morton Downey Jr., etc..., but in his heyday there were few better interviewers and moderators anywhere on television. Part of the problem was he had outpaced and outgrown his audience but refused to allow everyone (including himself) to see what that might mean for his program. And so he'd put on a dress! One of the best episodes I ever saw of his show must've been in the early-to-mid 80s when his entire audience was comprised of sex therapists who were in Chicago for a convention. It wasn't tawdry or sleazy; it was 60 minutes of smart talk about an important subject. And he married THAT GIRL!!!

Maybe the Maya were right, Dr. Larsen...

...but we've just been looking in the wrong place for the end of the world (and just a little bit too late)!

I'm holding out for the "Mind GPS"

The key to successful management is getting things organized—ideas, people, and projects—in order to get the work done on time and under budget.

The best way to do this is with a project chart. And there's no better way to get organized than with a mind map. This article shows you how. You'll learn:


Why use a mind map


How to create a mind map, and


How to use a mind map to manage projects

1. Why use a mind map

Free eCourse


A mind map is a visual outline with the central box as the top-level idea, topics as bullets below it, sub-topics as elements of each bullet, and so on.

A mind map is a very efficient way to record ideas during a brainstorming session and to organize them into a coherent plan, afterwards.

Why use a mind map instead of an outline?
Mind maps are better than outlines because:

  • They are easier to read than bulleted lists
  • They are better for brainstorming
  • They are much more interesting than bullets when presenting your ideas in a PowerPoint® presentation
  • They are much more spatially efficient since you can branch out your ideas horizontally (lists grow mostly vertically)
  • Mind maps let you see what you're thinking; bulleted lists don't convey ideas with the same level of clarity as a mind map

2. How to create a mind map

Let's use the launch of a new product as an example:

Step 1. Start with a Few Initial "Big Topics."

This product is going to be handled by a reseller channel. The big topics are:

  • Recruiting the resellers
  • Training them
  • Creating sales collaterals they can use
  • Generating customer leads for them
  • Using PR to increase awareness about the product

Step 2. Refine each "Big Topic" with a few Specific "Areas of Interest."

We took the original list and expanded on each node with a few increasingly specified subtopics; here's how our mind map appears in outline format:

  • Go to Market Plan
    • PR
      • Press Releases
      • Hire Agency
      • Press Tour
    • Lead Generation
      • Direct Mail
      • Print Ads
    • Product Collaterals
      • Data sheet
      • Web site
      • E-mails
      • Print Ads
    • Sales Training
      • Reseller Kit
      • Video
    • Recruit Resellers
      • E-mail to list
      • Call leads

See how we have much more space to get information across when we use a mind map? Now we're going to take it one step further.

Step 3. Refine, Add More Subtopics, then Repeat.

You can keep iterating through subtopics until you have covered the full set of possible topics. A bulleted list with this much content would become less and less legible, but a mind map remains manageable.

3. How to use a mind map to get projects done

In our example, we used a mind map to identify all the work involved in our product launch plan. The next step, to actually get these projects done, is to:

Convert your mind map into an actionable project plan.
Each of the main topics in our map can be considered a top-level task in a product launch project. The sub-topics are sub-tasks. The mind map can then be considered a blueprint for completing the project.

To get the project started and manage it through completion, we need to view the tasks in the context of a project plan. Here's how:

Make each box in your mind map a line item in the second column of your project chart. Use the first column to number your tasks and sub tasks as shown below. Then add start dates and task durations.

(SmartDraw converts your mind map to a project chart automatically with a single mouse-click. You can also toggle between mind map and project chart views for easy editing.)

Click here to learn how to use mind maps and project charts to organize and manage projects using SmartDraw.


How to Manage a Project
Click here to sign up.

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FYI: In reference to "rakes"

"To associate, is to approve; to approve, is to be betrayed!"

:Hannah Webster Foster,
Letter LXXIII, The Coquette (1797)

19 November 2009

from "The Importance of Silly Research"

From the NYTimes "Idea of the Day":

Defenders say oddball findings that get a lot of press — typically promoted by shrewd university public-relations people — are often not the primary aim of research, “just a byproduct of it.” They are hype-rich side dishes, and can yield gravy: The publicity “means more kudos and respect within the research world, which can translate into more funding for other work,” says one of the article’s interview subjects.

What more can anyone ask?!

18 November 2009

Since "Statistical Anomaly Day" went so well...

...and both the 700th broadcast of "Frank, Gil, and Friends" and Thanksgiving are next week, the host will give $1 to the Friendship Center in New Britain for each on-line listener during next Tuesday's show, 8-10 AM on Tuesday, 24 November 2009, at www.live365.com/stations/wfcs

To celebrate, we'll also be giving away copies of Charles Pignone's Frank Sinatra: The Family Album and David Lloyd's The Gospel According to Frank!

Listen and EVERYBODY wins!

Statistical Anomaly Day was a winner!

Yesterday, for my morning radio show, I encouraged as many members of the "Frank, Gil and Friends" distribution list to log on during the show as possible to demonstrate to the student members of WFCS, the radio station of CCSU, how a little leg work in building audiences could produce results. An anomaly indeed!

(NB: TLH stands for "Total Listening Hours")

Some parachutes really are golden!!!!

November 17, 2009, 02:59 PM ET

Cuesta College President Quits, Criticizing His Own Leadership

David Pelham, president of Cuesta College since March 2008, resigned abruptly on Monday. In an e-mail message to people on the California campus, Mr. Pelham criticized his own leadership of the financially challenged community college, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. He will step down in December to take a post running an unspecified college in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

17 November 2009

Life Imitates Art: Yogurt Edition

Before tap class tonight at the Hartt School 's Mort & Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, I bought a Greek yogurt at the cafe.

I picked up a plastic spoon and started eating.

Quickly I realized the spoon, in shape and size, was completely wrong for the food I was eating, and so, immediately and naturally, Joel Barlow's words from Canto Three of "The Hasty Pudding" (1793) came to mind:

There is a choice in spoons. Though small appear
The nice distinction, yet to me 'tis clear.
The deep-bowled Gallic spoon, contrived to scoop
In ample draughts the thin diluted soup,
Performs not well in those substantial things,
Whose mass adhesive to the metal clings;
Where the strong labial muscles must embrace,
The gentle curve, and sweep the hollow space.
With ease to enter and discharge the freight,
A bowl less concave and more dilate,
Becomes the pudding best...

The mock epic, perhaps the best neo-classical poem written in British America and definitely the best poem composed about cornmeal mush, now rings truer than ever for me...

...and I also now know to bring my own spoon to tap class (maybe one of those "Frosty" spoons from Wendy's)!

15 November 2009

(Trying to ) make it rain in Paris!

Who could've forseen the violence in Paris when some company was planning to give away money from a bus driving around the Eiffel Tower?

"Instead of the middle-class Parisians the organizers had hoped for, witnesses said the crowd, overwhelmingly young, male and poor, appeared to be made up mostly of residents of the tough suburbs that ring the French capital, as well as poor students and homeless men."

So, if I decide, on a whim, to give away high grades later on this semester, I'll assume only the better students will come asking, right?

14 November 2009

And, no singing "I Won't Dance, Don't Ask Me"!

Since there's always new exercise regimens being pitched to women like pole dancing, etc...

I've decided to remind men of the great exercise fads that have always been out there for them:

Hey, guys, try dancing

on roller skates

or ice,

or with a hat rack,

or a gun,

or a bank of parking meters,

or a broom,

or just yourself!


(Full disclosure: I'm shaped more like the penguin than anyone.)