Ready to Learn

Today I was a peripheral part of a discussion on schools – specifically that now familiar notion applied to preschool and kindergarten aged children, “readiness to learn.”  Hmmm. Ever since G.W. Bush announced the launch of “No Child Left Behind,” with its guarantee of advancing the fiscal security of the standardized test industry nationwide – ever since he said as part of that initiative that “every child will come to school ready… Read More

Awareness is Tattooed and Riding a Harley

In a week of exceptions — a meteorite crashing through an otherwise ordinary Russian sky, a Pope resigning for the first time in 600 years – an unlikely story of a racist street fighter turned modest-but-powerful spiritual teacher beloved by people of all walks of life seems right in line. For context, I’ll tell you about this picture.  This is the sunrise earlier this month over a mountain in southern India.  Surrounding… Read More

What do we learn? What do we teach? The days after Sandy Hook

Love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger.  President Obama Newtown, CT 12-16-2012 The days move by in this the darkest season for the Northern Hemisphere.  Saturday was the day after, Sunday two days after, Monday three, Tuesday four ….  These days will pass into months and years, and those of us still drawing breath in these wild and precious lives will continue.  As we do, we… Read More

How to Listen to Presidential Candidates

My work is in a graduate school.  I am responsible for helping prepare people to be educators, mental health professionals and community leaders.  We need them, so I give my very best to enabling their brilliance and their good hearts. One of the questions I often ask my students is, “What do you want?”  I sometimes have them write for a while – a good while – in answer to this question. … Read More

Listening to “Madness”

I could be referring to life in the U.S.A. this week what with the celebrated obstruction of voting rights in Florida, a spate of sensationalized cannibalism and, from our president and senior legislators astonishing bipartisan horror about  leaks with not even a mention of concern for human life (aka, collateral damage) or the existence of a “kill list” in the first place.  This, my friends, is surely madness whether we are privy… Read More

“We have to talk about these things”

I am back in Portland.  Three weeks, now.  Shortly after my return I receive email with the subject line:  yes-youmadeit/Dr. Dapo!  My dear and long-time friend, Dr. Dapo Sobomehin (voice 90 in 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change), wanted to get together for coffee.  This morning we finally made it to the corner of Hawthorne and SE 37th for a few hours of catching up. Every time we meet, I am compelled… Read More

Turn Around — Another Take on 99%

Last night I got to have a long phone conversation with my friend Barbara Gutkin.  Barbara and Terry have known me more than half my life.  They also happen to be two of the Americans in 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change. Barbara and Terry are experimenting with retirement.  Barbara retired for a while, then decided to go back to work a few days a week because she missed being active… Read More

On the Road in Omaha

Yesterday I drove through rain at the end of 8 hours on the highway.  I drove I-80W again — through what this time I learned is the National Silos and Smokestacks Historic Area. I hadn’t noticed this three years ago and found myself tweeting ( a behavior I still can’t quite square with my sense of self), “Who knew?” Beyond the rain was Council Bluffs, Iowa and a family of four —… Read More

March 4th has it all over Super Tuesday

I drove into Cincinnati from Manhattan.  How many times will I be able to say that?  Not many. And it was no minor feat.  I’m guessing this is not the least bit surprising to any of you.  Still, we say these things out loud to one another – partly as a request for validation – a “wow” that fits with the relative enormity of the accomplishment.  The vast majority of Americans don’t… Read More

Better Than You Believe

Better than you believe; stronger than you seem. Carol Ackerman “What we know is that the more people affiliate with other people, the more their sources of positive experiences and possibilities for energizing and purposeful activity in the world.” This is my best shot at something my mentor, Jane Conoley said to me yesterday morning.  We were sitting in her living room, the Sunday morning light breathing itself across the bamboo floors,… Read More