Difficult Conversations

In the course I am taking through Harvard Extension, Managing Workplace Performance, we talked about Difficult Conversations tonight with most of class devoted to watching and discussing two difficult conversations from the movies.
In the first, from The Bridge on the River Kwai, Alec Guinness, commander of the British POWs threatens to report the commander of the POW camp, Sessue Hayakawa, for forcing POW officers to work on the bridge in violation of the Geneva Convention. The two talk past each other, focused only on positions, never getting at one anothers' interests even though they both provide ample clues as to what their positions are.
“Do you know what will happen to me? I will have to kill myself. What would you do?”
“I would have to kill myself.”

The Japanese commander makes concessions – only junior officers must work – but the British commander won't budge and eventually the Japanese commander throws him out in frustration.
The more interesting conversation was between Brick and Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as Big Daddy (Burl Ives) comes upstairs from his birthday party to Brick's (Paul Newman) room. Big Daddy just keeps pursuing Brick, trying various tactics to draw him out. He tries bullying, he tries promising the reward of the estate, he tries empathizing – I've lived with mendacity, why can't you? – but it's not until he simply describes what happened in a non-judgmental way – This started when your friend Skipper died – that he gets Brick to open up and engage in the conversation.
Prof. White said it was difficult to decide where to cut the clip and we watched it all the way through the exchange between Brick and Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor)in which Maggie reveals what really happened between her and Skipper the night Skipper killed himself, and then back to Brick and Big Daddy.

Dominic Celebrates Pesach

Our friends Dominic and Molly who run The Shoreham Inn in Vemont hosted a Jewish family for Passover. They asked if Dominic could make them matzah brei for breakfast and Dominic being the consumate short order cook with encyclopedic knowledge of traditional Jewish cooking, replied “What's that?” Here's he is getting lessons. Notice the Blue Nun looking on approvingly.
Dominic matzah brei 1.JPG
Dominic matzah brei 2.JPG