Calling Things by Their Proper Names

Many years ago, I went to Rome for a short personal trip. Being a student of history, I was fascinated by seeing so much history around me. During my entire stay in Rome, I tried to walk around as much as I could. By the time I left the city, I was very much familiar with the streets and major monuments. There was one recurring problem though. As I walked through the streets, I was looking at things that appeared great, but I didn’t really know what I was looking at.

Many years later, I went to Paris for an Organizational Dynamics class trip with Prof. Jean-Marc Choukroun. Before the trip, I had the opportunity to learn about French history and culture. Prof. Choukroun’s personal experiences enriched my understanding of French traditions. Our Parisian hosts shared their experiences. Even our casual walks to and from metro stations were full of insights about street names, building designs, and neighborhoods. It was a joy to know what I was looking at.

My trips to Rome and Paris are metaphors that explain my journey through Organizational Dynamics. Before my years at OD, I was in Rome; I wandered around, and saw things that appeared great but I didn’t know what I was looking at. During my time at OD, my great teachers (such as Jean-Marc Choukroun, Alan Barstow, John Pourdehnad, Nancy Bauer, Janet Greco, Rod Napier, Elijah Anderson, Richard Bayney, and Richard Heaslip) helped me see things as they were. With a taste of Paris, I know what a pleasure it is to “call things by their proper names.”  Thanks to the skills I have learned through OD, I have started to see, think, and speak in ways I never imagined before.

– Inam Ur-Rahman