President's Message

By Michelle Z. Pedersen
August 2013

Written on August 9, 2013 – International Art Appreciation Day

What’s Your “Term of Art?” 

I have always been fascinated by peoples' use of the word “art.”  It is currently Friday evening, August 9th, and I am confident I am not the only person not out partying, crazily celebrating International Art Appreciation Day, which is today!  With the utmost of respect for this day of recognition, I am equally confident that I am not the only person who was surprised to know this day exists. It does; and sets the perfect tone for the theme of this message - ART.    

Without context, the simple word “art” has vastly varying meanings, definitions and uses to different people and in a variety of settings.  The definitional origins of the word have included statements such as “skills as a result of learning or practice,”  “a business craft,”  “skill in scholarship and learning,” and “human workmanship as opposed to nature.”   My personal favorite, because it represents a certain irony in my mind, is “a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities.”  For purposes of this message, I also draw attention to the 1600’s, during which there are the first recorded roots and references to the creative arts, especially by painting, sculpture and drawings.  This is also the era responsible for the first known use of the expression “Term of Art,” that in 1656 was defined as “a word or phrase that has special meaning in a particular context” or a term that has a specialized meaning in a particular field or profession.  I pause here to think of how many terms of art abound in the field of regulation - particularly since a term of art has since been further described as a piece of technical jargon in a given field that has a meaning specific to that field, which may not be obvious to outsiders.  Without question, when attempting to make a meaningful contribution to a field, it is generally very important to understand that field's terms of art, or you risk making a fool of yourself.  These seemingly common terms of art quickly become “jargon” known only to people who specialize in a particular occupation.  I admittedly laugh a little at this point because, recently, my very sports oriented teenage boys were clear with me; they did NOT want to see a doctor who was “practicing” – they wanted one who knew what he was doing and was done practicing. 

I am privileged and honored to have recently returned from CLEAR’s Third International Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland June 27th – 28th.  Like the first two, this Congress was profoundly remarkable.  The Congress was oversold, with one-hundred and thirty attendees present from across Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.  Speakers included government and OECD representatives as well as academics and senior regulatory experts.  The dialogue amongst attendees was robust, and the interest and engagement was monumental for the organization.  I comment now, much like in my closing remarks, that despite the different languages, accents, dialects, vernacular expressions, etc., the consistency in regulatory “terms of art” felt globally empowering.   I found myself quite pensive by the recognition of common themes, common terminology and meanings, and similar experiences, issues and trends, despite different countries, jurisdictions and languages.  The interest in CLEAR’s next International Congress is overwhelming, and we look forward to similar initiatives in the future.    

This is a natural segue into the St. Louis Annual Conference (October 3-5).  As you view the interactive agenda and the conference brochure, you will quickly see the wide variety of timely and compelling subject matter, certain to appeal to everyone’s taste and interest.  As an aside and interesting piece of trivia for while you are there, the Saint Louis Art Museum was originally built as a palace for the 1904 “Meet Me in St. Louis” World’s Fair, showcasing masterpieces from the Renaissance, Impressionism, Asia and a world-renowned collection of Pre-Columbian art. Its collection of modern art (my personal favorite) has become one of the largest and most distinguished components of the museum’s collections.    

Most of you may be aware that the CLEAR Election process is well underway, and ballots have been mailed to the membership with a return deadline of September 20th, 2013.  Details about the candidates are available online.  In researching how to artfully connect elections and art or terms of art, I admittedly come up empty handed.  As such, one search populated with the following, somehow loosely associated with the word "elections":  A la carte, anti-art, applecart, beauty part, bleeding heart, counterpart, egg and dart, fall apart, flying start, martial art, mini-mart, on one’s part, open-heart, plastic part, running start, set apart, take apart, and yes, good ol’ underpart.  As such, I am electing to keep it simple.  Please be mindful of the voting deadline and thoughtful in your submission.  Thank you in advance for your consideration of those on the ballot.  We look forward to presenting the election results in October. 

Quickly, and FYI, membership dues were recently mailed to your organization.  TBH, don’t LOL, but IDK what I can add other than using TLA’s (my husband owns this one – three letter acronyms), that some generations certainly consider “terms of art” (TOA’s) in communicating.  TIA for your on-going support, which BTW, enables CLEAR to provide a variety of services to its membership and the WRC (I made this one up – Wider Regulatory Community).  

Examples of the many services and events that are right around the corner and precede the St. Louis conference are as follows:

NCIT Basic and Specialized, Raleigh, North Carolina
September 9-11, 2013

NCIT Certified Monitors and Compliance Officers, Louisville, KY
September 9, 2013

CLEAR Call Webinar: Professionalism for the Non-Professional: The Regulator's Role
September 18, 2013, Via Webinar: at your desk! (1:00 P.M. Eastern)

I truly believe that writing hand-written thank-you notes and purposefully showing gratitude is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to sincerely express appreciation and thanks.  While a bit of a lost art, please consider this a personal note, written to thank you for your interest and commitment to CLEAR, and in particular, to the volunteer committee and Board Members who make all of this work possible.  You are also personally invited to serve on committees, with a sign-up form available online.  Needless to say, we CDIWY (Couldn’t do it without you) –

Thank you.

Michelle Z. Pedersen
CLEAR President
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