Visual Data – Truth or Dare

For all you graphic data nerds out there (and I freely admit I stand among you), a few thoughts on statistics. Perhaps a good starting place – correlation. Correlation is the way fluctuations in measurement of separate variables or outcomes match up. Like the way we keep seeing cigarette smoking correlating highly with lung cancer. The problem with correlation – or perhaps better said, the inherent limitation – is that correlation alone may… Read More

Christians, Muslims, Jews and the Return of the Light

It’s the winter holiday season. The eight days of Hanukkah have already come and gone. Malid un Nabi, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the turn of the year to 2016 are not far away. And, yesterday we in the northern hemisphere turned the corner from increasing dark to increasing light. Winter Solstice. The shift will be gradual, but the sun’s time above the horizon will grow and grow until, of course, it turns again… Read More

On Robots and Listening

  As ever, change is afoot. Autumn is heading for winter, for example. Starbucks is well into shifting its holiday paperware (the plain red paper cups a significant and publicized offense to a few “Christmas-only” types). Oceans are heating up, children are growing taller and Artificial Intelligence is animating robots to replace workers around the globe. There’s much more – and too much of it troubling. But you know that. So, this… Read More

in memorium: Nohemi Gonzalez – 10.19.1992/11.13.2015

Nohemi Gonzalez in her words: I am Mexican American and I also happen to be first generation born in the United States.  I grew up in Whittier [California] and had a very hard working mother that raised me to be extremely independent. If I had to describe myself in a few words I would say I am very high spirited, clean, orderly and self driven. Nohemi was a student of design, studying… Read More

Halloween, 2015: Brought to you by…

A few days ago, Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Oregon.  With that proclamation, she urged citizens of Oregon to join in observances of the vast contributions of American Indian peoples to the well-being of the state and country. Essentially, this is a reminder.  Each state’s governor may issue state-specific proclamations related to designations of months to honor groups of people.  November has… Read More

Listening for a Change

Here’s a way things are working in the U.S.  On January 21, 2009 I got in my car and drove south – then east – then north – then west.  A rough rectangle of American highways.  10,000+ miles.  I drove to listen to what people had to say.  My question:  What do you mean when you say the word change? In the process, my purpose led to my own enormous gain.  That… Read More

Report from Afghanistan

Guest Blog:  Zaher Wahab, Ph,D, zwahab@auaf.edu.af NOTE:  This just in from my mentor, friend and colleague, Zaher Wahab.  This is Zaher’s second guest blog to this site.  He continues as the director of the graduate program in Education with American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).  While still a professor in the graduate school at Lewis & Clark College, Zaher gave years of service to the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan.  That led him, upon retirement,… Read More

Identity and Work

I was going to title this Identity, Work, Motherhood and Death, but that seemed a touch too ambitious.  Nonetheless, all apply. On August 31, at the turn from midnight to midnight-01, and for the first time since I was 15 years old, I became unemployed.  Sheesh. Actually, I’m self-employed now and giving a good go at establishing this new career.  Still, there’s the tenacious pull of my 30-year academic career.  And it’s… Read More

Standing in Wildfire

Yesterday, my husband Gary and I began a drive to Montana.  We live there parts of the year.  Just outside a really small community tucked into muscular folds of the Intermountain West.  With water and trees, with big mammals like Elk, Moose and Bear – with Eagles and Hawks, and this past spring, with a mama hummingbird nested just outside our window. It was early when we left Portland – the place… Read More

3084 Miles of Road

“We’ve just driven the entire length of Interstate 84,” Sara said, “and we’re only in Utah.” She was in the driver’s seat at that moment, and we were 500+ miles east of Portland, Oregon – the hometown we’d left at sunrise, encased in a rectangular cube of mostly yellow – a rental truck filled up with Sara’s 28-year lifetime of belongings. For a mom and daughter, this is one of those big… Read More