In the underground castle

http://johnsonmatel.com/2014/September/Smithsonian03/Underground.jpg

I want to brag that I have an office in the Smithsonian castle. In fact, my office is three stories below ground. It is not so bad, as you can see from the picture. It is kind of like a mall. The sunlight filters in. Much of the Smithsonian is underground. They didn’t want to build up too much and change the look of the Capitol Mall, so they dug down. Also underground are the highways. So while you walk in the gardens or on the grass, the cars are driving below and people like me are laboring, Morlock-like, below ground.

http://johnsonmatel.com/2014/September/Smithsonian03/Smithsonian_castle.jpg

Maybe the word labor is not appropriate. I still cannot believe my good fortune in getting the job. My biggest challenge will be too many great opportunities. I have been there only two days and I am already filling my notebooks with ideas for connections and partnerships.

http://johnsonmatel.com/2014/September/Smithsonian03/Mall.jpg

In my business, we sometime use the unfortunate phrase “hit the ground running.” It is supposed to be a compliment, implying getting right to work, taking charge & moving quickly. I don’t believe in hitting the ground running. When you hit the ground running, you often fall down later. Beyond that, you might be moving fast, but maybe in the wrong direction. I think it is better to land firm, take a look around and decide based on what you see, even when you have a long way to go and a short time to get there. A year is a short time when there are so many possibilities. In this case more than most, it will be a great delight to do the looking around.

http://johnsonmatel.com/2014/September/Smithsonian03/Ripley_Center.jpg

My picture up top is outside my office area, a long way underground but well done.  Next is the garden.  I think that my office is more of less under the place I took the picture. After that is the Mall with the Capitol and last is the Ripley Center.  That is how you get to my office, you go down steps and then take the escalator to the bottom.

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