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Joseph Grenny offers tips for reducing conflict avoidance David Maxfield writes about how to design virtual training that performs equally as well as traditional classroom training Joseph Grenny and Beth Wolfson share research that says gender bias is a reality, but recognizing it can spark change A study of 1, employees, managers, and executives found a big gap between what managers say they want their company culture to be and what employees say is truly A new study from VitalSmarts finds a large chasm between how employers and employees view corporate culture July 19, — PROVO, UT — A new study, released today, found a concerning gap between what managers say they want their company culture to be and what employees say is really valued by these same bosses.

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The study, conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Aabaco Small Business spoke with VitalSmarts VP of Research David Maxfield about the top four culture challenges tech managers need to master in order to effect change in their organizations The study identified some key ideas around culture and how it can positively or negatively affect the overall performance of the company. Based on And yet, tech leaders receive little-to-no training or coaching on how to successfully manage these challenges. How can you discuss your feelings about violence like the Orlando mass shootings without upsetting coworkers?

If you want to express sadness for the victims or support, If you have constructive feedback to offer, how do you avoid a "pink slip of the tongue"? David Maxfield shares tips for delivering criticism in a constructive and respectful way According to the If you're like most people you avoid political conversations at all costs but there are ways to keep it cordial. He's been studying the impact of political How acrimonious is the presidential race?

Some appear to be We asked subjects how often they witness a fellow employee underserving, or even abusing, a customer. Then we asked: What happens next? Does someone in your organization speak up and address A new VitalSmarts has come up with a list of what we'll describe as "five career-crushing ways to express yourself," and we've adapted that survey-supported list here.

The conversations and exchanges that require some degree of caution include: offering feedback to a co-worker; discussing race, politics, religion No matter how progressive, open and casual your workplace, there are some conversations that should never take place. VitalSmarts research identifies five conversations to avoid at all costs VitalSmarts research shows we all put our foot in our mouth at work.

VitalSmarts recently surveyed U. What do you say when you disagree with someone who has more power than you do? And if you do, what exactly should you say? Pam S Selection to the annual list is based on the following: Thought leadership and influence within the training industry Industry recognition and innovation Breadth of programs and range of audiences Research continually tells us multitasking decreases productivity rather than increasing it.

Grenny shares five ways you can minimize your workplace distractions Provo, Utah — Feb. This Norwegian publication shares VitalSmarts research that shows gender bias exists for women in business A lot of couples might keep it to themselves when they're mad at each other because they're scared of starting potentially relationship-threatening arguments. But a new study by VitalSmarts has found that avoiding these conversations is actually more likely to do a relationship in The author used Crucial Conversations in a high-stakes relationship with her son.

In addition to using the skills with her family, she says, "I find myself consciously employing the techniques in numerous situations: in a director hire for our charter school, in exchanges about difficult Author Kerry Patterson writes that if you want to create a high-impact learning environment, start with genuine problems and end with real solutions. Avoid solutions that mask tactics as outcomes or call for miracles Arguing may not be such a bad thing. In fact, a new survey by VitalSmarts that found finds couples who engage in healthy conflict are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who ignore difficult conversations Provo, Utah — Jan.

VitalSmarts was recognized for achieving inspiring results with the VitalSmarts Instructional Platform. The VitalSmarts Instructional Joseph Grenny writes that most of us are blind to the many forces that shape our choices. We overestimate the degree to which we are the product of conscious choice and grossly underestimate the power of situational and social forces.

When trying to change your behavior, the authors of Change Anything don't write off willpower altogether. However, they do assert that there are five additional factors that influence whether you will successfully make changes in your life. Learn how to utilize all six sources of David Maxfield, author of Change Anything, has studied failed resolutions.

He's also studied what the successful few do who actually succeed at changing behavior. His research shows those who include six sources of influence in their resolution plans are 10 times more likely to succeed Master these five ways to take control of your environment so it stops controlling you VitalSmarts was named among the best companies to work for in Utah in The key to creating distinguishing customer service is to create a culture where anyone can speak up to anyone Provo, Utah — Nov.

His plane touched down, was delayed on the tarmac for 45 minutes and, due to a last-minute change of gates, Gary missed his connecting flight. Frustrated, tired and still grieving, For me the key to being productive while shuttling around the globe is to think of myself in the third person, as someone I need to carefully and deliberately influence. Here are the ways I do that As author and social scientist Joseph Grenny told Fast Company, it's important to "acknowledge what you know to be true and tell your boss how it caused your conclusion.

Ask how your boss came to her conclusion. None of this is easy, of course! By Kerry Patterson Learn how to deal with interpersonal conflicts. Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield issued a report that detailed "five life-event areas where failure to communicate can damage a child's ability to learn" A recent study explained that there's a significant disconnect between teachers and parents that could affect our children in school. Where do you even start to establish a connection with teachers? David Maxfield, vice president of VitalSmarts, the organization that conducted the study, offered some ideas According to research by VitalSmarts, teachers and parents are great at communicating - just not in the areas each wants to know about.

Parents, for example, say that teachers are not communicating with them on issues like drug abuse or depression. Teachers say that they I am not alone. A recent study by New York Times best-selling authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield found that 94 percent of teachers want to know about a recent divorce but only 23 percent of the parents who are getting divorced told the teachers!

VitalSmarts, a corporate training and leadership development company, surveyed parents and teachers from its national database of subscribers Problems at home — divorce, death, incarceration, illness — feel like intensely private affairs. Wednesday, Grenny's and Maxfield's company, VitalSmarts, issued a report, "Silence at School," that identifies five life-event areas where failure to communicate can damage a child's ability to learn: a death in the family, a major illness, a divorce or another family disruption, mood changes and Provo, Utah — Aug.

The mother then sent her child to school without a chance to tell the teacher, who As part of the study, Grenny and Maxfield conducted an experiment to see if using a brief, framing statement that allowed the speakers to explain their intent before sharing theircontent could reduce social and emotional backlash A new study from VitalSmarts, a leadership training company, found that women who speak forcefully risk losing more economic power i.

The next two, Social Motivation and Ability, relate to how other people affect an individual's Assure the person of your positive intentions in offering your critique. Pain is not an essential byproduct of feedback — it is the result of an absence of safety This finding came about as the result of research conducted in June, which surveyed over 11, people about their experiences in the workplace. Corporate training company VitalSmarts surveyed more than 11, people in June to reach its results, which included this silver lining: Sometimes acknowledging sexism can reduce its effects My favorite conversational model to facilitate effective dialogue is outlined in the book Crucial Conversations Provo, Utah — August 5, — What if your colleagues discriminated against you just for being assertive?

Dave Levin has made keeping top principals a priority for his charter network.

KIPP partnered with VitalSmarts, a corporate training and performance company, to help pinpoint what made principals stick around or leave These actions are sabotaging your career and workplace happiness. A recent study conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of "Crucial Conversations," found that 56 percent of employees refrain from addressing troublesome issues at workfor more than a year David Maxfield recognizes that motivation and ability drive behavior and divides these domains into personal, social and structural sources And what other organizations can learn from KIPP's experiments in taking time for renewal.

That point was confirmed by the results of a recent study on workplace secrets by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, the authors of Crucial Accountability Fed-up colleagues should confront bullies with examples of their bad behavior culled from several incidents, says David Maxfield A new [VitalSmarts] study suggests most staff have at least one workplace grievance that they haven't voiced out loud. How to get them to talk Every unaddressed conflict wastes about eight hours of company time in gossip and other unproductive activities, says Joseph Grenny. Frequent self-examination for the four indicators of the tribal virus — and intentional promotion of these three behaviors — will help you strike the right balance in building your team The book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson is a wonderful resource to help us realize that human interactions can be difficult and that we can often misread the process unless we are willing to get our hands dirty and break down the communication machine Provo, Utah — June 17, — A new study shows employees can be just as dysfunctional as Elaine Benes and the characters on Seinfeld.

A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on Provo, Utah — June 15, — After nearly two decades of both educating and entertaining a worldwide audience with his New York Times bestselling books and monthly column, Kerrying On, author Kerry Patterson today released a new book, The Gray Fedora: Lessons on Life, Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Accountability, tells Fast Company that you should begin by letting your boss know you have their best interest in mind Simple principles appropriately applied can restore trust, create hope, and improve results.

Even in the most complex political environments one can act with independence and integrity to do great things. And when leaders do the work required to mobilize effective behavior, remarkable things can be If your organization has found a way to tolerate or simply live with entrenched bad habits, then it's time you challenged these behaviors and turned them into productive work practices. If you don't, then this research suggests these bad habits will continue indefinitely and produce A study, facilitated by VitalSmarts, shows that an increasing amount of people are losing connection with their lives in order to earn 'Likes' and social media praise Travis Bradberry.

There are five common mistakes you must avoid, and five alternative strategies you can follow that will take you down the right path The only way to win an argument is to never have one in the first place. Joseph Grenny, best selling author, social scientist and co-founder of VitalSmarts, outlines strategies you can take to foster positive change The best-selling book Crucial Conversations, discusses how you can express yourself no matter how offensively and feel heard as long as there is safety.

Learning to become proficient at creating a sense of safety will allow you to help people express how they really feel Leadership development and research firm VitalSmarts recently carried out a survey that revealed a few alarming statistics. About 96 per cent of workers polled had witnessed workplace bullying Since buyers are "tourists" in someone else's real estate, this research may be extrapolated to The results of collaborative research studies conducted by organizations that represent professionals who care for women during labor and birth indicate that health care providers may frequently witness, but may not always report, problems with safety or clinical performance.

Some of these health care providers Last month the thought leaders at VitalSmarts published an article in their online Newsletter about how to avoid making stupid choices because of peer pressure. As suggested in Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, et al, we feel the answer lies within the previous question -- we need to make the conversation safe While this conversation can be uncomfortable, silence is not an option because it implies permission for the undesirable behavior to continue.

David Maxfield, vice president of research at The results paint a picture of a media-obsessed society and found, for one thing, that 58 percent It is possible to handle sensitive topics without the benefit of seeing faces, so long as you can accurately imagine them, and discipline yourself to respond to those imagined cues. When it becomes clear either your imagination or interventions are insufficient, make visual contact as Joseph Grenny, a New York Times best-selling author who has continued to go on dates with his wife during his 26 years of marriage, agrees.

The survey was conducted by behaviorists and best-selling authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of New York Times bestsellers like Crucial Conversations, have unveiled a new study on the way "likes" and the need for other social media praise affect our day-to-day lives. The results of the study, which surveyed 1, people, paint But with the alternative being a life-long series of experiences of unsatisfactory exchanges, stressful moments with colleagues, unproductive business proposals, and other personal and professional relationship problems, Crucial Conversationsstands as a tested and reliable It was designed to capture people's impressions of colleagues who work remotely, and respondents said they thought those remote One in four said that EDIs had caused a serious rift with a friend or family member Joseph Grenny, a co-founder of corporate training and leadership development firm VitalSmarts, conducted a study of close to 1, professionals and found that 97 percent of them admit to having a "career-limiting habit.

Clamping down on workplace bullying could mean saving thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity. So what can companies and managers do to overcome these problems? Maxfield wrote that VitalSmarts collected examples of what the best managers of virtual teams do, and he offered six ideas based on what they learned I targeted six sources of influence pulled from psychology, social psychology and organizational theory, as When I saw the title, Have you ever experienced saying something and, literally as the words were leaving your lips, you knew you would regret it?

KIPP surveyed its principals—current and past—to see what they felt they needed in the job and brought in David Maxfield of VitalSmarts, a corporate training- and leadership-development company, as a consultant. Through its research, KIPP identified four vital behaviors it believes successful school leaders possess According to social scientist Joseph Grenny, workplace gossip cultivates an unhealthy, company-wide social system that can be difficult stamp out To help a family prepare for a discussion of changing financial responsibilities, circulate the book Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson We observe, we tell a story, and then we feel.

These are the claims made in Chapter 6 of Crucial Conversations A good tool for learning how to better communicate with your spouse is the bestselling book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High While many of us assume that the key to changing our habits is having enough willpower, social scientistJoseph Grenny, co-author of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, says our will to change is only a small factor that contributes to our ability to If crummy service seems constant, the common denominator may be you.

I highly recommend the book, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, for those who would like to learn more about the power of and strategies related to influence There is another interesting factor at play in the leadership challenge of trust, and that is the ability to have crucial conversations It may be that they mistake dissent for disrespect. By contracting up front for candor, clarifying your intent before diving into the content of your concerns, and giving your Communication may be an overused word in the world of workplace management, but not all companies do it well. David Maxfield is a Utah business consultant on the most effective ways to talk and engage with employees, especially when it comes to underperforming workers Meet the 50 companies in Utah that received the highest ratings from their employees.

We had to know how to turn those nasty 'others' that many of us now found annoying, into helpful colleagues whom we respected and valued Dear Interested in Language Tools, How wonderful you have an interest in further educating yourself and your coworkers to find and use the power of words to resolve conflict. The book, 'Crucial Conversations,' has real potential, like an awakening to what one should be doing — to refocus, to be aware of your dialogue and the person you're having a dialogue with.

It's quite comprehensive — and helpful VitalSmarts was ranked No. Joseph Grenny will be in town on the afternoon of Oct. Provo, Utah — October 15, — A national study reveals that 3 in 4 parents overestimate their effectiveness in helping their children navigate school-related issues, and many rely too heavily on teachers or school administrators to fix the problems. While most parents think they are Joseph Grenny, co-founder of corporate training company VitalSmarts, tells HBR that leaders need to dig into their culture and understand why people aren't talking: "Silence usually means people are holding back," Grenny says Stressful conversation is when communication really counts, and when we will either shine or have egg on our faces Getting an early handle on minor issues before they become big problems is the key, according to Joseph Grenny A recent survey conducted by VitalSmarts, a corporate training solutions provider, found that workplace bullies can have better job security.

According to the survey, some bullies have kept the same job for more than 30 years I have partnered with them, applying their methodologies with some of my Career Coaching clients, and have Five crucial conversations that drive educational excellence. By David Maxfield Three out of five people say someone is rude to them on social media more than once a month.

VitalSmarts conducted a survey of 2, people, and 78 percent of those reported an increase of rudeness in the virtual world as opposed to face to face Grenny will be basing the Date Night discussion on decades of research on the topic of accountability and strengthening family relationships. Much of what we are able to accomplish is based on the quality of conversations we have — whether they are personal conversations with family or friends, or business conversations with customers, employees, or your boss.

Based on 25 years of research, Crucial Conversations presents VitalSmarts has agreed to be acquired by Providence Equity Partners. The companies have not disclosed the financial terms of the transaction Problems that involve remote colleagues result in significantly more severe impacts to productivity, cost, quality, and time, according to a survey by VitalSmarts and Training magazine. Here are some steps that can help In the many summits that I have attended, few topics resonated with me as much as one that was featured this year — the importance of having crucial conversations.

Joseph Grenny brought his expertise on this topic to the Willow Creek Stage by saying if Provo, UT—Sept.

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The nursing process offers pathways for nurses to communicate effectively with patients and increase staff unity We also won in and The Influencer 2. Are Americans really being bullied at work? Or are U. David Maxfield joined me for half an hour on the topic of change management for companies and individuals. Would we be more apt to speak up? They teach us how to deal with the problem at hand without harming the relationship — and, possibly Grenny offers these tips to help managers lead through layoffs and emerge with a strong, trusting team of reps: 1.

Downsize with kindness. Be transparent. Build confidence in the future REACH is a three-day event designed for those who work Dos and Don'ts of Comforting Others: 1. Offer your heart, not your brain. Don't offer judgments. Don't give them an assignment, but take thoughtful initiative The revised edition includes updated videos, a new training platform, and greater flexibility in its participant response One study, released in June by Provo, Utah-based VitalSmarts, found that 96 percent of 2, individuals had experienced some form of workplace bullying.

What's more, the survey found 86 percent of bullies have been at it for more than one year and 54 percent have When leaders want to create an open culture where people are willing to speak up and challenge one another, they often start by listening. This is a good instinct. But listening with your ears will only take you so far. You also need to demonstrate Social media has potential for improving organizational performance and driving business, but new research from VitalSmarts, a corporate training solutions provider, found that many organizations persist in discouraging its use in the workplace.

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Rooting out organizations' remaining distrust of social media starts with training Suffice to say, most companies are not adept with dealing with bullies in the workplace. Bad behavior is more often due to a lack of skills than to bad motives. Bullying isn't only a problem for children at school.

A new survey says bullies have job security, usually because people are afraid to confront them. Here's how to shut down the bad behavior Body language affects not only how others see us, but it also appears to change how we see Provo, Utah — June 25, — Brian regularly emailed his direct reports at all hours of the night.

Team members felt afraid, vulnerable, and helpless. Many quit. Grenny is one of 14 featured speakers for Willow Creek Association's The role of the boss should not be to settle problems or constantly monitor your team, it should be to create a team culture where peers address concerns immediately, directly and respectfully with each other. Yes, this takes time up front. But you'll see problems The Summit is a two-day event that seeks to transform leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration from a Christian perspective. Joseph Grenny writes that social media can boost productivity, improve decisions, and drive sales, but the danger is that managers will be deluded into thinking it can substitute for the day-to-day investment in face-to-face connections Can I do it?

Six in 10 respondents to a recent survey said that use of social media in the office improved work relationships, and about a third said that they used platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to further work-related projects Not surprisingly, the key skill that differentiated them from their peers was their ability to deal with these very crucial and oft-dreaded conversations Earlier this month we told you about new research on "Electronic Displays of Insensitivity" -- basically ignoring people in favor of your smartphone.

Today we are lucky enough to have one of the men behind this study in studio today -- New York Times best As part of the acquisition, VitalSmarts will maintain the presence of a Michigan-based office to provide its U. Nearly 9 out of 10 people say that at least once a week, their friends or family stop paying attention to them in favor of something happening on their digital devices. And 1 in 4 say EDIs have caused a serious rift with a friend A new study [by VitalSmarts] suggests ignoring someone to check a digital device may actually damage your relationship.

When did technology start trumping respect? Provo, Utah, March 19, — Sandie sent her husband an email during dinner asking if they could talk. Even though he was sitting across the table, it was the only way she could get his attention as he buried his nose in his smartphone Setting out to learn Arabic as spoken in the Gulf countries, may evoke memories of past attempts at learning a foreign language, be it in high school or college, with all the ensuing tedious memorization of words, and phrases, and grammar rules.

See more ideas about Arabic language, Learning arabic and Arabic lessons. Claire asaktextbook. These three books to easy Speaking Arabic Language.

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Download all audios for free as MP3 files. On the other hand, Arab immigrants to Western countries, worry about teaching Arabic to their children. Here you can learn to read Arabic, write Arabic, learn Arabic numbers, learn to conjugate Arabic verbs, delve into Arabic grammar, and much more. We provide you with free access to the most important educational materials that you will study with your teacher at Al-dirassa. Free Islamic Books. Choose the video format you want from below, and you will then have the option of either downloading it directly as before or downloading a torrent file for each DVD.

This e-book is a completely new way to learn Arabic vocabulary fast! Start speaking Arabic in minutes with the powerful learning methods you will master in this book. Carefully study the past tense verb conjugations table 3. He has written Arabic For Dummies in an attempt to reach an even wider audience with the aim of fostering better relations through education. Arabic Audio Lessons.

We have hundreds of Arabic books for kids such as world classics, short stories, fairy tales and basic picture books for both beginner and advanced Arabic language learners. This Arabic Conversation Book will provide the learners with basic and working knowledge of the Arabic language and enable them to understand and communicate Arabic in an excellent manner. You can pay Arabic tutors for affordable one-to-one video lessons, or find a free language exchange partner! This link takes you right to the Arabic tutors on the site. Do you hate huge paper dictionaries as much as I hate them? While learning Arabic or if you are traveling to an Arab country, I highly recommend getting an Arabic language electronic dictionary.

The first 19 lessons contain both Arabic and transliterated text, to make it easier for you to memorize the vocabulary and focus on learning the language, until you get more used to the Arabic script. Learning Quranic Language. Arabic is one of the world's major languages, spoken in a broad belt extending from the Arabian Peninsula on to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Tags: PDFs: Books Without further ado, let us take a look at the three best Arabic language learning courses and why they can help you master the language. Create an account now and choose a learning plan to start making immediate progress in your lofty goal of mastering the Arabic language.

If there is no "download" button, click the torrent name to view torrent source pages and download there. The first known use of Classical Arabic script was in the 4th century AD, and the language is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic, the language of the people of Ethiopia. So how can you get some Arabic audiobooks in your earbuds? Learning the letters of the Arabic Alphabet is not as hard as you think. We offer a range of over courses for all ages, experience levels, and interests.

Furthermore these books not only for adults. Language Learning Resources - An overview of useful programs and courses for learning languages. Abdur Rahim. I spent some time browsing the Internet looking for a good one. Click here to download your Arabic Alphabet cheat sheet. But we can still target areas in order to accelerate our experience, and using the best language app for learning Arabic will be a great help. Grasp the culture as you master the language. English books to download free. How to Learn Arabic. Rosetta Stone is the best way to learn a foreign language.

Speaking Arabic Language Online. Free download arabic language course in urdu pdf Files at Software Informer. The leading book for beginning Arabic with a FREE companion website, FREE audio to download lessonsVocabularyMore than printable flashcards with audio FREE to download to help you to learn Arabic conversation from the beginning, half of those flashcards are with transliteration for those people who haven't mastered their Arabic alphabet yet. What's the best book to use to learn Russian?

List of most effective books for learning Russian. Here are some links to websites with free information on Arabic, and also media sources with free content that can help you practice Arabic. All words and sentences are spoken by real Arabic natives and this helps you in learning the correct pronunciation. This free small course use transliteration to type the easy learning process. Our antivirus check shows that this download is clean. Even a few minutes waiting for an appointment, or 15 minutes in the back of an Uber, gives you time to complete a lesson.

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Kostelnik, M. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. I would love for this to be a part of my career but I am not sure how I can start. The only bad point is, now I have 10 more tabs open I have to read. First, I identified the titles on my list that have an average review of 4 stars or higher.

Transparent Language Learn Chinese Now! Full transparency: From time to time I use affiliate links for www. Read text and hear audio in the language you are learning, and read the same text in your language to use as a reference. What you need is a medium or long term course with plenty of hours of instruction and lots of practice on your own time.

Learn at your own pace with this fun and free language learning app. Arabic for Dummies. Learn the language with fun and easy lessons. About The Author. To learn more languages, please visit our complete collection of Free Language Lessons. If you are looking to learn the Arabic language online, you have come to the right place. If you've purchased one of the Living Language iKnow programs, or if you would just like a handy phrasebook with over 1, essential words and phrases, click on one of the Download icons below to download a free PDF of the iKnow content.

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My main focus is to teach the Arabic Language to beginners online through various learning methods, and resources so that they are able to speak the Arabic language quickly and for free. Once you have memorized the tables altogether, you will have got a strong feel of how Arabic language works. Amine published his first book, Arabic: A Complete Course Random House , soon after graduating college in order to help Americans understand Arabic language and culture.

The Michel Thomas Method is the fastest and most effective way to learn a new language. The award-winning language solution combines proven learning methods with the world's best speech recognition technology. Use the below resources for studying and mastering the Books 1,2 and 3 of "Lessons in Arabic language" [as taught at the Islaamic University of Madeenah] written by Shaykh Dr.

Free introduction to Arabic. Tap on each word to hear the narrator speak the Arabic words. Maybe I would have listened. But maybe, too, I would have just closed my eyes. Maybe the whole time I would have been wishing there really was an elephant graveyard, except not just for elephants. When I was nine—before I grew up and became a scientist—I thought I knew everything, or at least I wanted to know everything, and in my mind there was no difference between the two. At that age, I was obsessed with animals. I knew that giraffes had four stomachs and that the leg muscles of a locust were times more powerful than the same weight of human muscle.

I knew that white polar bears had black skin beneath their fur, and that jellyfish have no brains. Every month new cards arrived in the mail, and then one day, in October of , the best card of all arrived: the one about elephants. I cannot tell you why they were my favorite animal. Maybe it was my bedroom, with its green shag jungle carpet and the wallpaper border of cartoon pachyderms dancing across the walls. From that Time-Life card, I learned the basics about elephants.

They were the largest land animals on the planet, sometimes weighing more than six tons. They ate pounds of food each day. They had the longest pregnancy of any land mammal—22 months. They lived in breeding herds, led by a female matriarch, often the oldest member of the group. She was the one who decided where the group went every day, when they took a rest, where they ate and where they drank.

Babies were raised and protected by all the female relatives in the herd, and traveled with them, but when males were about thirteen years old, they left—sometimes preferring to wander on their own, and sometimes gathering with other males in a bull group. But those were facts that everyone knew. I, on the other hand, became obsessed and dug a little deeper, trying to find out everything I could at the school library and from my teachers and books.

So I also could tell you that elephants got sunburned, which is why they would toss dirt on their backs and roll in the mud. Their closest living relative was the rock hyrax, a tiny furry thing that looked like a guinea pig. I knew that just like a human baby sucks its thumb to calm itself down, an elephant calf might sometimes suck its trunk.

I knew that in , in Erwin, Tennessee, an elephant named Mary was tried and hanged for murder. In retrospect I am sure my mother got tired of hearing about elephants. Maybe that is why, one Saturday morning, she woke me before the sun came up and told me we were going on an adventure. There were no zoos near where we lived in Connecticut, but the Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, Massachusetts had a real, live elephant—and we were going to see her.

To say I was excited was an understatement.

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I peppered my mother with elephant jokes for hours:. Why do elephants have trunks? When we got to the zoo, I raced along the paths until I found myself standing in front of Morganetta the elephant. This was not the majestic animal featured on my Time-Life card, or in the books I had studied. There were sores on her hind legs from the shackles.

I was just another person who had come to stare at her, in her prison. My mother was stunned by her condition, too. My mother bundled me back to the car for the four hour drive home, although we had only been at the zoo for ten minutes. This is how, at age nine, I became an elephant advocate. After a trip to the library, I sat down at my kitchen table, and I wrote to the mayor of Springfield, MA, asking him to give Morganetta more space, and more freedom.

He sent his response in the Boston Globe , who published it, and then a reporter called to do a story on the nine-year-old who had convinced the mayor to move Morganetta into the much larger buffalo enclosure at the zoo. I was given a special Concerned Citizen award at my elementary school assembly. I was invited back for the grand opening to cut the red ribbon with the mayor. Flash bulbs went off in my face, blinding me, as Morganetta roamed behind us. This time, she looked at me with her good eye.

And I knew, I just knew, she was still miserable. The things that had happened to her—the chains and the shackles, the cage and the beatings, maybe even the memory of the moment she was taken out of a forest somewhere in Africa—all that was still with her in that buffalo enclosure, and it took up all the extra space.

For the record, Mayor Dimauro did continue to try to make life better for Morganetta. Her home there was much bigger. It had a pool, and toys, and two older elephants. If I knew back then what I know now, I could have told the mayor that just because you stick an elephant in proximity with others does not mean they will form friendships. They are as unique in their personalities as humans are, and just as you would not assume that two random humans would become close friends, you should not assume that two elephants will bond simply because they are both elephants.

Morganetta continued to spiral deeper into depression, losing weight and deteriorating. The moral of this story is that sometimes, you can attempt to make all the difference in the world, and it still is like trying to stem the tide with a sieve. The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it. Toggle navigation. A mother's love. A daughter's search for truth. A mystery that will not rest…. About Leaving Time. Jodi — on Leaving Time.

Book club discussion questions Despite their different backgrounds, Jenna, Serenity, and Virgil form a sort of unconventional family together. What do you think brings them together? Have you ever had a similar experience of finding support from an unlikely source? Can you think of examples from the book or from your own experience of something that fits into that 2 percent? Virgil grapples with helping Jenna when he suspects discovering the truth might be more painful to her than never knowing. Have you ever been in a situation where you knew a truth that it might hurt someone to hear?

What did you do? Do you agree or disagree? If a psychic reading brings someone comfort or helps them grieve, do you think it matters if the message is faked? Jenna meets up with another character at the very end of the book. Why or why not? Alice describes some amazing examples of elephants appearing to exhibit grief and empathy, which are drawn from real—life research. Discuss some of the ways elephant grief is depicted. How is it the same as human mourning? How is it different? Discuss some of the ways the characters in this novel deal with their losses.

Do you identify with any of these coping mechanisms more than others? How do you approach loss? Do you agree with this assessment? Have you ever felt defined in this way by something you wanted? Why do you think Serenity loses her gift? And why do you think Jenna is able to help bring it back? Do you believe in ghosts? If you could communicate with anyone who has passed away, who would it be? What is the literal meaning that Jenna ascribes to the phrase as a baby?

What are some other ways the title could be interpreted?