Free Miscellaneous Topics in Chicago
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In 1967, at the age of 17, James Balcer enlisted in the United States Marine Corps — a decision that would impact every aspect of his life and lead him to a decades long mission to advocate for veterans and the military. Hear firsthand his experiences as a young recruit, a mortar man in a unit that endured so many causalities they were referred to as the “walking dead,” and a Vietnam Veteran in a turbulent social climate. MORE >During his service in Vietnam, his valor and bravery in helping to carry dead and wounded Marines up a 900 foot mountain, while under enemy fire, resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V Device. He was also awarded three Purple Heart Medals for wounds sustained during his service.
His experiences during the Vietnam War, the time period after, and present-day advocacy are not only remarkable, but inspirational. In a world where veteran and military issues, particularly honoring veterans and ensuring that their legacies are remembered, former PFC Balcer remains dedicated to remembering the past and looking towards the future.
He will not only speak on his experiences in the United States Marine Corps, but his work, and leadership within, various veteran and military organizations, memorials, and parades. Further, he will share his experiences as a strong advocate for the veterans and the military during his tenure as Director of Veterans for the City of Chicago and Alderman of the 11th Ward in Chicago.
Hear firsthand the experiences of former Alderman James Balcer, who served as Alderman of Chicago’s 11th Ward from 1997-2015. Former Alderman Balcer was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1997. This would be the beginning of a successful and passionate career serving the residents of the 11th Ward and beyond. MORE >Hear Former Alderman Balcer speak on all aspects of his career, from the importance of being out the community, drafting and passing city-wide ordinances, working with all city departments and successfully winning four elections by large margins.
His passion for the neighborhood he grew up in, and still calls home, remains just as strong as when he served as Alderman. Growing up, he did not anticipate a career in politics, but found that it aligned with his passion for helping others and advocating for those in need. He will speak on how to leverage passion and politics for the good of residents, neighborhoods, and the city.
In his book "Humanity's Journey Home," Roger talks about the future of the species Homo sapiens and our relationship to the biosphere. It is a provocative view and well received by those who are willing to take off rose-colored glasses and examine the perils we face and the paradigms that got us here. The perspective is hopeful in the long term, but realistic in the short term. MORE >
Neil Postman once said, "Children are the living messages we send to a future we will not see." When we change the life of a young person, we change the course of human history.
In his book, Questions That Matter, Roger Breisch writes, “Putting aside deceitful questions—whose cadence and tone imply an answer—all questions matter. Sentences that end with the ubiquitous squiggle atop a period open the future to new possibilities. Sentences ending with just a period condemn the future to limitation and constraint. Answers have a way of ending discovery and learning; captivating questions open us to unimagined possibilities.” MORE >After spending more than 3500 hours answering calls on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Roger has learned a great deal about what questions truly matter in creating a life that matters.
In her highly acclaimed book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error, Kathryn Schulz says “As far as we know, then, error is uniquely ours. Our fallibility is what keeps us suspended between the kingdom of lessor animals and the kingdom of God.” MORE >How might we be different in the world if we knew a large percentage of what we think we “know” is wrong… or at least off kilter? If we entered the world each day with the understanding there is much to learn and revise about our current thinking, might we be more curious? Better listeners?
The human brain is a pattern making marvel, but the stories we make up based on those patterns are often wrong. We do this every day when we make up stories about others based on very little knowledge of who they really are. Might we find people are far more interesting than our first impressions leave us to believe?
Many who suffer work related injuries have no idea what their rights are. Even worse, because of their vulnerability, they rely on the assistance of insurance adjusters - the very people whose job it is to deny or limit their benefits. There are many risks with this approach that could be detrimental to the injured party's claim. MORE >The lecture will focus on how to navigate a complicated workers' compensation system in Illinois, and the risks associated with trusting insurance companies to do the right thing. It will include common requests by insurance adjusters that seem harmless, but can have real consequences. The lecture will also emphasize the importance of managing a claim proactively.
This lecture should interest any person, group or profession that is at high risk of suffering work injuries.
Although we all know that training can have many amazing benefits, sometimes it can be hard to prove those benefits and attach a dollar value to training. Some topics, like sales training or time management, might have direct, tangible benefits. Other topics, like communication or leadership, might have benefits that you can’t put a dollar value on. MORE >Through this discussion participants will learn about the different ways to evaluate training progress, and how to use those results to demonstrate the results that training brings. Once the training has been evaluated the next step is to modify and updated the curriculum to create a content that is better suited for the participants.
• Understand learning styles and learning cycle
• Understand levels of evaluation
• Be familiar with many types of evaluation tools, including goal setting, tests, reactionary sheets, interviews, observations, hip-pocket assessments, skill assessments, and learning journals
• Understand when to use each type of evaluation tool
• Be able to perform a needs assessment
• Know how to write learning objectives and link them to evaluation
• Be able to write an evaluation plan to evaluate learning at each stage of the training and far beyond
• Know how to identify the costs, benefits, and return on investment of training
• Be familiar with the parts of a business case
Especially if you haven't moved for a long time or feel overwhelmed with change, you will learn how to deal with the challenges home owners face when they are hesitant to sell their homes, even though they know that they should. Join the discussion on what to do and how to do it to make your next move less stressful. MORE >We'll talk about the process of selling your home, getting help with your stuff, the professionals involved and more... A must for adult children and Baby Boomers.
Tragic CTE Dementia Outcome from Concussions in Amateur Football Inspires a New Book: As an athlete, Dick was revered; yet, success turned traitor as the concussions received in high school and Big Ten (MSU) football led to a world of confusion, poor decision-making, and confinement defined by a wheelchair in a long-term care facility. In his multiple levels of impaired functioning, the opportunity for Dick to “get it”—life, that is—was over. He just didn’t know it. Dick was my brother. MORE >Nobody will remember a backup college quarterback, but Dick’s story bridges the glamour of NFL football—its high-profile athletes and its $billion settlement for players with CTE dementia—and the millions of anonymous amateur football players who may suffer with the same concussion-induced devastation of CTE dementia. Unintended Impact covers the drama from childhood to adulthood, including numerous personal and business episodes that serve as warnings that something had been derailed. In 2015, with today’s focus on CTE, lack of knowledge is not acceptable. Yet in Dick’s life, lack of knowledge was just one of the underlying factors contributing to the heartbreak of his tragedy. How many other Dick Proebstles are there?