Busyness Is Not A Badge Of Honor

After devoting the vast majority of my writing and thinking to education-related issues and other publishing platforms in the past year or two, I’ve decided to revive the ‘Stew! Out of curiosity, I used Medium to post my latest effort.  Thanks for reading!      

Wealth As Community, Time, and Freedom

I’ll be the first one to admit it: I value financial security and material comfort, I save for retirement, and I sometimes worry about finances. But after reading Ben Hewitt’s book Saved: How I Quit Worry About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World, I’ve been inspired to blog.  Like Bill McKibben’s Deep…

What Do You Do Without A Screen?

I’m not sure when I realized a determination to continue to learn and do things that do not actively require a digital screen.   This desire to be present and hands-on could have been fostered at an early age; I remember putting on a plastic hard hat and hammering away on rocks, shards of stone…

Thailand: Idealism and Reestablishing the Travel Bug

While strolling around a village about 45 minutes outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, my wife Rebecca and I got inevitably lost amongst the dry rice fields, the occasional passing motorbike, and dogs popping out of every other driveway to inspect each flourish of activity. The landmarks on our hand drawn, photocopied map–phone booths, wood carvings,…

Classrooms Without Borders

Imagine a 30 by 30 room, with students sitting silently in rows, ostensibly listening to lectures, text messages covertly being sent inside hoodie pockets, and whispers here and there.  Eventually, completion of multiple choice exams at the end of an instructional unit measures learning.  Sadly, this probably sounds familiar.  While there is a time and…

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Originally posted on Ekostories:
I really like TED talks. I not only enjoy being exposed to ideas worth spreading, but I am also rejuvenated by seeing the passion people have in their work. But it takes a lot of skill to do TED talks  well. It doesn’t matter how exciting the ideas themselves are: One has to convey…

From the Bluegrass to The Navajo Nation

I remember a frying pan encrusted with the remnants of beans and pork fat, empty two-liter bottles, and cautious stares as I worked on construction projects with my church youth group from Concord, NH. I remember piles of empty whiskey bottles, outhouses, and feeling like an outsider. And I remember the leaning, rusty trailer where 18…

Grading these essays will have to wait.
Image from www.philnel.com

The Myth of the Super Teacher

I prepared for my first teaching gig undaunted by my lack of experience.  After all, I had a literature degree from a prestigious liberal arts school, I had been mostly successful at everything I had tried, and I knew the students would appreciate my compassion and creativity.  I’d be a great first-year teacher. I couldn’t…