The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change Reading Review Paper (40 Points): Read The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun You are responsible for responding to the Topics and Questions for Discussion #’s 1-14 (you do not have to respond to #15) listed in the back of the book, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun. There is no set length requirement for this paper but your answers should be thoughtful and fully answer each question. Papers must be 12 point font, typed and double spaced.
In case your book does not list the questions at the end of the text the questions are listed below.
1. In the opening of The Promise of a Pencil, Adam shares the details of his personal lineage. What elements of your childhood most shaped your present worldview?
2. Adam applied to the Semester at Sea program in order to get out of his comfort zone. Why do you think this is important, and how can you practice getting out of your own comfort zone, in small or big ways?
3. Adam describes the film Baraka and the music of Bob Dylan as instrumental in his informal education. Which films, songs, and albums have changed your life? Are there any works of literature or music that you’ve always wanted to absorb but haven’t yet?
4. In the chapter titled “Do the small things that make others feel big”, Adam discusses the role of the business cards he received as a fundraising coordinator for the Cambodian Childen’s Fund. Which small gifts or acts of inclusion have made you feel deeply connected to a broader whole in your life? Is there anything you could do todat to extend that feeling to others?
5. What do you view as the difference between a tourist and a traveler?
6. Adam began struggling at his management consultant job when his passion for Pencils of Promise grew, but he still had responsibilities to his work. Have you ever been in this dilemma, and how did you choose to balance these competing interests?
7. If you were at the groundbreaking of the first PoP school in Laos how would you describe the experience? Why do you think it’s so important that Pencils of Promise requires local communities to provide 10 to 20 percent of the cost for each school build?
8. The catalyst for the first school was to honor Adam’s grandmother. How can you most powerfully celebrate or honor someone special in your life in the coming months?
9. How would you define an “impossible one”? Do you fit into that category, or does someone you know? What characteristics does this person embody that you can adopt?
10. Why is it important to create separation to build connection? How does Adam practice this, and how can you achieve this in your life?
11. What does “closing the loop” mean? How can you use the lessons that Adam learned about following up with others?
12. What inspired the term “for-purpose”, and how does Adam define it? Can you think of other organizations that use this model? Why do you think so many organizations are blending profit and purpose in today’s society?
13. Adam speaks about the importance of surrounding yourself with the people who will help you grow. Who are positive people in your life, and how can you foster those relationships?
14. Adam refers to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” Which dreams in your current life scare you most, and are you willing to run toward them at full speed?
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