Wolves, Humans and the Errors of Fast Thinking

  So, a few years ago a Nobel Prize winning economic scientist named Daniel Kahneman took a pretty astonishing look at cognitive, biological and psychological habits of minds faced with the need to make judgments or decisions.  His observations show up in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.  Needless to say, there’s a lot in this book.  One powerful trend Kahneman found in human decision making indicates that when we make quick… Read More

Native – nonNative Partnerships: One Step in Making it Real

Yay!  A publication. Lots of you know that I write pretty regularly for scholarly outlets.  I don’t mention that stuff often here, but word just came in from the Teachers College Register (TCR) of Columbia University that a very cool commentary just went live on the TCR webpage for this week.  It’s title — PARTNERSHIP WITH NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES:  CAN HIGHER EDUCATION SHOW UP?  It’s only free for a week, then TCR charges for… Read More

What are the Barriers to Social Justice?

On Friday I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a small group of friends and colleagues about social justice.  It was a time that qualifies for sure as a moment in the story of my life.  And the particular narrative of that time is transition – big transition – so big that I’m not yet prepared to write about it here.  Odd, since this is the place I write and write… Read More

Earth Day – a Week after Boston

Earth Day.  Two days after 4/20.  A week since the Boston Marathon Explosion.  Ten days since the Senate voted against background checks for gun purchases. Pedantic as it may sound, if it weren’t for the Earth, none of these other things would have a place to happen. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how it sounds – it’s simply so.  Without Earth, marijuana would not grow, humans would not… Read More

Montana’s Red Lodge

Yep. On the road again.  This time listening to the wide stretch of country called Montana. Right now I’m sitting with the morning sun where it falls across this tooled leather couch and onto pine floors reclaimed from beneath years of inhabitants, each leaving behind their layers of linoleum, carpet and, in the bedroom where I’m sleeping — astroturf.  It took plenty of my friends Joe and Roxanna’s work to call these wooden boards… Read More

The Paradox of Thrift

My grandparents survived the Great Depression.  My parents were born into the close of that time, but like any time of stress linked with austerity, the aftermath of that economic trauma was evident in newly and deeply established habits of caution. My farming grandmother could make anything out of anything, or so it seemed to me.  She made quilts from squares of rag scraps stuffed with old nylon hosiery (among other softish… Read More

Listening to Rivers

Last week I had the chance to catch up with a friend, Antone Minthorn (Cayuse), former Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).  He told me a story of the Umatilla River.  The focus of the story was Salmon – the fact that Salmon were not able to make it up the Columbia as far as the Umatilla River for more than 70 years while the combination of… Read More

Things that Fall from the Sky

“If you have time to stop for a minute, I’ve got something to show you back at the bus,” my new friend Peter says.  “Something that fell from the sky.” “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” I ask. His blue eyes spark as his usually stone-still face lifts with the hint of a smile. “Yep,” he says, “bigger than a breadbox.” We are sitting across from one another in a red vinyl… Read More

Today’s December 10

It’s the end of the day, and unlike most days between November and July the sky outside my window is vivid with sunset colors – you know those indescribable shades of pink and purple, hints of orange, red, yellow, even bits of green.  I’m in Portland, OR where I live and work – and walk and dance and chit chat with neighbors and laugh and cry with friends.  Today I’ve done all… Read More

Writing as a Woman in a Body — to T Akin et al

I think it’s time to say ENOUGH! I want to say that on two levels.   FIRST –> I and we (women and men) have had enough of you who persist in the archaic notion that you have dominion over women simply because of the differences in our genitals.  Really? I know and understand from experience how difficult it is to have unearned privilege questioned.  It feels like you’re losing something –… Read More