Learning to Read

We talk about “learning to read” as if it’s something we do and is done. As in “when did he learn to read?” But I’m 52 and still learning to read. In this article I recount my meetings with extraordinary readers and what goes into truly learning to read.

Sarah’s Watch

A man awakes in a cell with nothing but a watch that won’t even truly tell him the time. And secondarily, an experiment in writing using the Hemmingway App

Best Jeremiah Johnson Quotes

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this film, but not enough. Words to live by. The quotes that guided me from childhood into adulthood. You might be asking me whether it was worth the trouble to put this together. Ha? What trouble?

If that response means nothing to you, go watch the movie, then come back here.

Uniformity, creativity and the employee handbook

George Hartzog, the greatest leader of National Park Service understood that creativity can be crushed in the name of “standards.” He killed the employee handbooks and set his people free.

Six Essential Skills Scholars Can Learn from Copywriters

Most people in academia learn a style of writing that is great for precision, but terrible for persuasion, and those habits are deadly when it comes time procure grants, fellowships and jobs.

Getting Things Done by Making Slacking Hurt

At a certain point this year I found myself frustrated and feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere on several different projects, while at the same time feeling like I was working too much and not having enough fun. I needed motivation, and I needed priorities. I came up with something that helps me with both […]

Hitchiking Imitates Life

There’s no stupider way to hitchhike than to stand by the side of the road with your thumb out hoping someone will stop. And yet do you see people do it any other way? Which way are you living your life?

You Can Always Yell Later

My mom taught me as a child, it’s really hard to unyell once you’ve yelled. If you want to get what you want, start soft. You can always yell once that fails, but you once you’ve yelled, it’s too late for the soft approach.

Ice Cream For Dinner: A Graduation Speech

Most graduation speeches are full of clich├ęs, claptrap and wicked insinuations. I have tried to adhere to that model as closely as possible.