Sol G writes: Listening club, you say? Also, check out HESA Connect!


If you haven’t checked out the new HESA connect site, I strongly encourage it. The interface is intuitive, and you can use you address to sign up. I find it a little too facebookish in some ways, but it’s clearly gaining momentum, and it’s actually pretty good. There are a lot of ways to customize your experience there, and boards for some of the interesting courses and groups.

One of the things I found that interested me was the possibility of a Listening club forming. A listening club is exactly that- well, no. I know you’re picturing a group of people sitting in silence. Listening is not just, “not talking.” Listening is active, it’s involved, it’s engagement with respect and compassion for where the speaker is coming from. It’s a willingness to suspend judgment and one’s own point of view, and let the speaker have your real attention.

It’s a skill I’m going to need, even if I head for the research side of clinical psychology, and it’s a skill I can always use in my current work and school. It’s something that is never wasted, one of those skills like logic, that comes in handy often and makes a big difference in quality of life. It’s the flip side of a debate club, really: instead of making an argument and convincing, you’re listening and paying attention to someone else’s. It matters just as much, especially since in our society we’re so bombarded with messages that we practice tuning out, rather than tuning in.

I spoke by email with the person setting it up, Bev Boos. Long story short: there’s a meeting this weekend, and an online version, too. Contact her if you’d like to be there, or can’t be there but are interested, or just want more information on where the group is going. Don’t be afraid to ask, even if you don’t want to join yet- someone you know might be interested, or you might take a course and realize that this is a skill you need.

 Right now they’re just settling on officers, etc., so if this is a show you’d like to work the nuts and bolts for, this is a meeting you want to go to. Here’s part of her message to me about it, including links:

“…if people want to come to the meeting, they can contact
me at or (617) 947-7972. It will be
Jan 30th at 6PM at Gutman Library Room 437. However
people ought to rsvp so they receive information about
the session in advance.
Here is a Gazette notice about new members in case you
want more info about our direction.
A Crimson article is at this link: ”

I bring this up not just to promote the Listening club, which fascinates me and I may well join. I bring it up because it’s something many adult students aren’t aware of, and Harvard Extension has a lot of clubs, organizations, and events to bring us together and give us a deeper school experience. What’s more, if you don’t find the one you want, there is always the opportunity to form one. Visit the HESA page to see what’s available, though- Harvard Extension has a lot of clubs and organizations already!

As for the Listening Club, this should be interesting.

One Comment

  1. tell
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Interesting club…thanks for posting.

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