5 + 1 Amazing Things I learned at TEDx Hilliard

I learned 5 AMAZING Concepts at the Hilliard TEDx event on August 9, 2019:

  1. Social Media is like going on 50 First Dates. Not the movie, but actual first dates. Remember those? You kept your conversations to positive, superficial topics even though just that afternoon a colleague stole your biggest client which sent you down a deep, deep well of self-doubt! You wore Spanx under a dress that you bought at Saks 5th, because heaven-forbid anyone would discover you’re a REAL person.  Stefanie Jackson tells us in her refreshingly honest style how the never-ending first dates of social media are killing our FLOW! DO NOT MISS IT! Watch this TEDx talk AS SOON AS it’s posted online! (In 5 weeks.)
  2. Around-the-House Football is a thing! Maybe that wasn’t the big idea Brent Wise wanted me to come away with, but once you put your ideas out there, you no longer control them! What is around-the-house football? Instead of playing backyard football between the trees, young Brent and his friends incorporated the front AND backyard for their games which included over-the-roof passes and circular yardage. Get it? You don’t have to stick by any arbitrary rules of the game if they don’t fit your purpose. It’s just slightly possible I got stuck on the ‘around-the-house-football’ thing and missed the major point…you be the judge when you watch Brent Wise’s TEDx Hilliard talk online. It should be posted tomorrow next week in 5 weeks! 
  3. Data solves a lot of not-problems. Bill Balderaz listed a number of them: getting the make-up you ordered on-line quicker than driving to the store; finding website suggestions on your smartphone; seeing Facebook ads that fit the exact thing you were looking for next! These are fixes for not-problems, but Bill says the same data and algorithms can be used to predict and prevent urban blight, hunger all over the world, and the addiction crisis. How? you ask. Bill will tell you when you watch his TEDx talk …Statistics are showing that people want to see that now, but that 95% will wait the entire five weeks until it’s posted. 
  4. I should take an Improv Class! Again, that’s not the message that Mihaela Jekic was trying to send, but once your message is out there…  Mihaela’s message had more to do with using our humiliating experiences to transform ourselves into fearless critters who will try anything at least once. What does that have to do with Improv? Well, you’ll have to find out when Hilliard TEDx hits the web. And when will that be, you ask. IN ABOUT 5 WEEKS!
  5. Talent’s just another word for ‘work’. That’s what I learned from the youngest speaker on the TEDx stage, Elise Byard. That girl can sing! But beyond that…she can play piano while she’s singing! And beyond that…she can do both while remaining on tune, in rhythm, and error-free! And she says it’s because she doesn’t quit when it’s hard. Pshaw! She got ALL the talent, that’s all! You be the Idol Judge when you watch Elise on the TEDx Hilliard stage…when? IN FIVE MORE WEEKS! 

AND, (you should be hearing a drumroll) the PLUS ONE AMAZING THING I LEARNED AT TEDx HILLIARD:

Our math teachers lied to us!

Raj Shah’s talk on using video game principles to help children love math made me fall in love with math! If you want to know the secret lies that our math teachers told us…that’s right, you have to wait the requisite...5 weeks! 


Columbus Jazz and Ribfest

I highly recommend that anyone living in the Central Ohio area to put the Jazz and Ribfest on your calendar for next July.

Saturday evening was a humid 89 degrees in Columbus, but in the shade with some cool jazz music coming from Funky Worthy on the Main Stage, I didn’t notice the heat.

After the sun went down, I stood in line for about fifteen minutes for my BBQ Brisket and cornbread which I enjoyed at a picnic table while listening to the Squirrel Nut Zippers, a band whose name confounds and amuses me.

I know the point is to listen to jazz while enjoying ribs…it’s all in the title, but even those of us who do not eat meat on the bones can enjoy the event, brisket, saxophones, and all.


Elton John

elton-john-style-gallery-2017-billboard-1548It’s a little bit funny…this feeling inside…I’m not one of those who can easily hide…so when I felt overwhelmed by the amount of talent in that one human being, I didn’t even try to hide it!

I screamed, shouted, raised my hands toward heaven, danced, clapped to the music.

I came close to crying when he sang Believe after a brief little monologue about how mean the world has gotten and that the only thing that can heal us is compassion and kindness because, although I’m not always kind or compassionate to others and even less frequently kind and compassionate to myself, I do believe that Elton John is 100% right about what we need to heal our world…love.

In the famous…or infamous…Milgram Experiments in which participants were asked to deliver an electric shock to another person, the researchers discovered 3 groups of participants: 1) those who obeyed and justified their behavior in some way, 2) those who obeyed and blamed someone else for the results, and 3) those who rebelled and refused to deliver the shocks.

The rebels usually said that there were higher ethical, moral and spiritual imperatives that they followed and that contradicted the needs of the experimenter. I’d say, they believed in love too. This is the group I hope I’d be in when it came time to make a choice about hurting someone else, but sadly, I’ve been in the other two groups more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve stood by silently while someone was bullied; I’ve used insults and hurtful humor to express my anger instead of just expressing my feelings in a straightforward manner; I’ve been in a circle of ‘mean girls’ and participated in hurtful behaviors. I’m not proud…just being open and honest.

Listening to Elton’s words, watching his fingers glide across the keyboard flawlessly, letting the music and the lyrics seep into my heart and soul, I was reminded of who I am at my core and how I want to show up in the world.

I want to show up as someone who accepts others just as they are without judgment because none of us can live up to our higher calling when we’re surrounded by judgment.

I want to show up as someone who listens with compassion, holding space for others while they process through difficult times knowing that I know that I know that everyone can find the right answers if they only have space, time and encouragement to find them. Advice only clutters things up.

I want to show up as someone who helps people smile and laugh and enjoy life.

Elton John rehearses for a full week for just one performance, but life isn’t a performance…it’s life! I can only practice showing up by showing up; I can only practice compassion and kindness by learning from my mistakes when I’m less than compassionate and kind.

Unlike EJ, I’ll play sour notes, make mistakes and once in a while sing off tune, (maybe more than once in a while).

Nobody’s perfect. Not even Elton. Though, after this concert, I really can’t prove that!


I attended the concert with friends I have known for over 20 years. We all remember when rock was young, so when Sir Elton pounded out Crocodile Rock on his Yamaha piano we danced.

We were Still Standing, better than we ever did…looking like true survivors, feeling like little kids…

Because that’s what love, friendship, compassion, joy can do for you.

They help you stand, dance, run, celebrate life…which we did…

until he disappeared beyond the Yellow Brick Road.


Thank you, Sir Elton John for providing a soundtrack for my life.

Thank you, Friends for providing the accompaniment to my life with love, acceptance, kindness and compassion.

Thank you, God for providing the substance of my life, the many blessings that bring me joy…


my family


and the ability to go to an Elton John concert

Really an amazing experience.

Namaste, Sir Elton John…
May you know peace;
May you know kindness;
May you be well;
May you experience joy every day for the rest of your life in full repayment for the joy you’ve brought to all of your fans.