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Archive for April 17th, 2010

Last Monday was absolutely beautiful.  I met up with a journalist who wanted to follow me around while I gave out my $10.

We met at Union Station and walked over to the Capitol.  I answered questions on camera while we walked around the Capitol grounds.  As we were walking I saw a woman about 50 yards off the path who had an easel set up and was drawing the dome of the Capitol Rotunda.  I made my way across the grass and introduced myself to Janet.

Janet sketching the Capitol (Photo: Reed)

David, the journalist, stayed about 30 yards away and filmed the interaction.  

Janet welcomed me with her calm voice.  I explained what I was doing and she agreed to participate.  She is extremely talented and passionate about her work.

Janet started her artistic career doing pottery.  She took up drawing and painting about nine years ago while living in Israel due to the minimal equipment needed to draw and paint compared to sculpting.  Janet and her husband lived in Israel for about five years and in Italy for a year. 

She said she would love to go back to live in Jerusalem.  It tops her list of cities to live in.  New York and Rome make up second and third respectively.  Originally from Houston, Janet clearly enjoys traveling and visiting new places and cultures.

She and her husband are no strangers to giving.  From helping refugees in Gaza to donating items for women imprisoned in Juarez, Mexico, they have made a clear choice to help others.  Janet also went into areas of Sri Lanka where media were not even given access and provided art supplies to orphans of their civil war.

Photo: Reed

The sun’s position in the sky was changing.  Janet was studying how the light and shadows fall upon the marble and white slathered limestone of the Capitol walls.  She was gracious and polite; however, I tried to wrap up things quickly.

I took some pictures and came back to the question of what she was going to do with the $10.  She told me that she had recently found $20 on the street and her husband decided to put it in an olive oil jar.  So she said that she would add the $10 to the jar.  I asked her what she intended to use the money for in the end and she said that she didn’t know yet.  “My husband says he will break it open some day though.”  Well, maybe she will remember me when that day comes and drop me a note about what they do with it.

David and I walked to a near-by bench and sat down and talked some more.  It wasn’t five minutes after we had sat down before another person walked up the grassy knoll and started up a conversation with Janet.  Despite all the interruptions she is certain to have, she manages to create beautiful work

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I have been receiving lots of emails inquiring about my job process.  I wish I had something to update you on.  I am actively looking for work and am participating in several hiring processes right now.  I will certainly post an update when I know something for sure.  Thanks so much for all of your thoughtful messages.

Last Sunday evening I was taking a walk around my neighborhood and looking for a recipient for my $10.  I approached a woman near the Dupont Hotel.  She was kind and said she liked the concept but didn’t feel like she was worthy of receiving the money.  I explained that she could do anything she wanted to with it, including giving it to someone else.  I used all of my negotiation training but I was not successful.  As I was finishing talking with her, a very elegantly dressed couple walked by holding hands.  I thought that they would be interesting to talk to so I chased after them.  It turns out that they had recently got engaged and they were going to get their picture taken.  They didn’t stop so I had to deliver my 30 second elevator pitch as I walked at a good clip next to them.  They seemed completely uninterested in the Year of Giving and said I could talk to them until we reached the next corner.  I thought at first that they would accept the $10 and I would have the shortest time to date to get information from a recipient, but that wasn’t the case.  As we got to the corner they simply blew me off.

Slightly dejected I scanned the street to find someone else and my eyes found Carlos.  Originally from Madrid, Spain, Carlos has lived in Washington, DC for the last 18 months working for an international organization.  I shared with Carlos that I used to live in his country in the city of Valladolid. 

Carlos near Dupont Circle (Photo: Reed)

Carlos was quite tired and jet-lagged having just flown in a few hours earlier from a trip back to Madrid.  I didn’t want to take too much of his time and quickly asked him what he would do with the $10.  He contemplated the choice some and finally settled on donating it to a Clinic in the Adam’s Morgan neighborhood that helps immigrants receive medical treatment.  It sounds like a great organization and I asked him to drop me a message when he donates it and get’s the exact name of the clinic.

I got my camera out to take a photo of Carlos.  While I was doing that I asked how he thought the people of Madrid would react to the Year of Giving.  He thought they would react positively to it and try to do something meaningful with the money.

Giving is not foreign to Carlos, in fact his employer offers an opportunity at the end of the year to donate a portion of each employee’s salary to a variety of nonprofits.  He said he usually participates in this program.

We shook hands and I said “goodbye” to Carlos.  He was probably very tired.  If he was still on Madrid time, it was well after midnight.

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