Negotiating and Shopping

I’ve spent almost every waking hour for the last 17 days being part of the Harvard Negotiation Workshop’s January term. I’ve read most or all of five books on negotiation, prepared for and negotiated 13 formal scenarios and at least half-a-dozen impromptu ones, and written 13,000 words in a journal devoted to what I was learning (not all of which I liked). Yesterday was dinner out with my family and then running over to the Grafton St. Pub for an impromptu ‘bar review’ with a chunk of my section, the two dozen people I’ve spent my days with. I had fun learning things about people besides their negotiation style.

Today is the shopping day at The Kennedy School. But the kids are home from their school, and I need to get ready for course shopping at Harvard itself. I was more or less set on what I wanted to do first term.  This term is different. I’m pretty set on Psychology and Economics, taught by David Laibson and Andrei Shleifer. After that, I’m auditioning teachers and topics.

I’m looking at Technology in the Social World, because of high marks for the professor, Adelheid Voskuhl. The Bible and English Authors, because it looks in-depth at Paradise Lost and Moby Dick, which I’ve read in isolation and feel like I missed out on much of their power. The American Novel since 1900, because I now want to understand how we get to “Gravity’s Rainbow” and perhaps see what kind of impact electronic media and digital technology have had on how we tell stories. The History of Modern Science and Technology in East Asia because I’m interested in economic development in non-Western societies (and I’m intrigued that the teacher wants students to submit podcasts and a multimedia presentation).  The Coming of Managerial Capitalism at the Business School, though that one has a 200+person waiting list. Political Economy after the Crisis, to help me think about some likely future directions of economic behavior.  Innovation and Innovation Policy at the Kennedy School, for similar reasons. Poems, Poets and Poetry because of the professor, Helen Vendler, and just because. The Ethics of Atheism or The Rome of Augustus, because who doesn’t want to know about these things? Plus, there’s a class on Media Entrepreneurship at MIT that I have my eye on.
Oh yeah, I’m only going to take three of them. I have to gear up for returning to the real world of freelancing at some point during the spring term.

2 thoughts on “Negotiating and Shopping

  1. Hi Derek,

    It was led by Bob Mnookin, who heads the Harvard Program on Negotiation. He had 12 other people leading sections, as well as TAs for each. My section was led by a former journalist, who took Mnookin’s course when he was at Stanford and she was a Knight Journalism Fellow. She quit journalism, became a lawyer and is now a specialist in negotiation!

    It was very intense workshop and left me with some things to work on. I think it will prove to have long-term impact on me.

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