Blog postings

I write about themes of interest to me: personal development, education, addictions, technology, parenting, and creativity. If you like what you see, feel feel to leave a comment or get in touch to continue the conversation.

Lightning and Thunder in Creativity

It's October now, the beginning of the season of storms in the Pacific Northwest. Lighting and thunder will chase each other over this landscape many times over the next few months. In meteorological terms, lightning and thunder result when the electrical potential between earth and clouds (or between separate ...

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Breakwater (In Memoriam, Tony Milobar)

In springtime, snow melt from the surrounding mountains gathers in streams, cascades down verdant slopes, and swirls across the surface of the lake. The waters rise, nudging ever closer to the stones first laid down by Tony and his children. A wheelbarrow full of stones for each of them to ...

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Sentence Composition Checklist

This is a short list of considerations to use when seeking to write well. Review the following items in order, after writing the first draft of every sentence.

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The Reinvention of Teaching

Some popular views: the primary school system stifles creativity; high school is a minefield of bullying and conformity; university is a treadmill for earning increasingly irrelevant acronyms. The education system done be broke.

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Words and Wells

My recommendation for beginning writing is as follows: do not start with sentences, with the easy and fluid liaisons of phrases, with the heft of lines upon lines stacking up. Instead, start with words, or perhaps with a single word. Find the words first. Then make of them a haiku ...

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Literary Traditions and the Modern Writer

Moby Dick was published in 1851. Arguably the first modern novel, Moby Dick is a work of astonishing psychological depth and diversity. It is perhaps the foundational work of the literature of North America. And yet, most of the creative writing students I have worked with in the past few ...

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Mentorship in Conflict

Conflict is inherent and healthy for organizations (and families). Working through conflict is one of the most important (perhaps the most important) social skill to possess. Here are a few suggestions for understanding and applying basic principles and strategies for conflict in the workplace. These strategies are grouped by the ...

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Convocation Address for Kwantlen Polytechnic University

There is a crossroads, and a gate, in all the old tales. On one side lies the known, the practiced, the familiar. And on the far side, unseen and unimagined, lies the Other: the one we left behind, who has been waiting all this time. That threshold is a holy ...

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The Nervous System, Addictions, and Childhood Development

The nervous system possess habits of consciousness and action. These are developmental, and might be (somewhat arbitrarily) grouped under four themes:

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Thoughts for the Upcoming Semester

Anyone who has spent time in a classroom will know that traditional teaching methods -- authorial, minimally interactive, focused on individual effort as opposed to collaborative experience -- are not the best way to learn what we need to know. Accordingly, we forget much of what we learn in school and remember ...

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A Brief Rumination on Teaching

The essential task of a teacher -- whether in the school system, the family, or the community -- is not to impart information. A teacher's knowledge of a given subject area is almost incidental. A teacher does not, in fact, teach.

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Five Books Every Runner Should Read (Plus Three More)

The art and science of running are improbably complex and impossibly arcane. So many principles, controversies, and practices populate the landscape of running that no one person can hope to explore them all. And yet, you can make a pretty good start. Here are the five books -- in the correct ...

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First on Four Legs

The oldest artifacts of human endeavor – cave paintings at Lascaux and Altamira, tools in the Blombos caves, Venus figurines so fantastically old we hardly recognize ourselves – are works of art. Creativity is the imprint of humanity, from the outline of a hand painted with ochre on a cave wall, to ...

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Best Trail Runs South of the Fraser

This from the list of subjects for which I really should write an article but seem never to get around to it. So, here are the bullet points:

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Steps to Better Writing

The oldest and greatest poems, epics, and songs – the original roots and branches of all literature – are articulated visions. They are dreams, glimpses of other worlds (real or imagined), archetypes of clear seeing. This clarity of vision defines good literature, and is therefore the ultimate aim of practicing ...

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