Teaching & Learning


Water Is Life — Dreaming toward Standing Rock 1

Water is life. Several folks responded to a recent Facebook Post of mine, expressing a desire to support me in going to Standing Rock. So I’m taking a “leap of faith” and heading west. But I’m going to need your help. See the “How to Donate” at the bottom of this post! And also HERE. I hope to spend 2-3 weeks living in the Sacred Stone camp (near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation), among the people whose heritage I share, representing all of you who stand with them through me. As Stone Camp founder LaDonna Allard said, “We stand with prayer. When […]

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Starting with (my) WHY? 3

Have you heard of the Golden Circle? Simon Sinek described what he called “The Golden Circle” in a TED Talk on marketing and his subsequent book with the title: “Start with Why”.  It’s a simple insight, and certainly not new (as Sinek himself admits). See at the end of this post for a video of Sinek’s TED talk. Yes, I know it’s blue in the graphic below. Next time I’ll make it golden. 🙂     WHAT? Most people, Sinek says, start with the WHAT of a project or task or life vocation. What are we making or doing? The WHAT […]

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Critical Thinking Begins at Home 1

“Critical Thinking” is a desideratum. As is “Diversity.” As is “Community.” I learned long ago that the terms by which an institution defines itself publicly, when interrogated honestly, reveal exactly what the institution is not. Often the terms don’t even describe the true desire or goal of the institution. Beware of the institution of higher learning that claims Teaching as a high priority. Look at the budget. It’s not where the money goes. It’s not where excellence is recognized. It’s not how professors are critically assessed or professionally nurtured. Often the parents’ or students’ or CFO’s pleasure is the defining […]

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Periscoping Pericopes

Last spring Twitter came out with a new app called “Periscope.” If I believed in the fates, I’d suggest that this new application was built just for me. I have begun Periscoping Pericopes on Monday afternoons. Every Monday afternoon—at least for the next four months—I’ll be Periscoping a Pericope. Here’s what that’s about: What’s a Pericope? I’ve been teaching Biblical Studies professionally here and there for, gasp!, almost 35 years now. One of the things we “professional” Bible people talk about is pericopes. That’s fancy-talk for “Bible passage.” (This is how you know someone is a professional: They use fancy-talk […]

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Playdates with Scripture

I’m in a group online that talks a lot about making “things.” Members of the group crochet and knit, paint, create delicate paper sculptures, do performance art, draw cartoons, play the kazoo, make beautiful postcards and send them out to strangers, create astonishing costumes for themselves … All kinds of things. It’s wonderful to see the imagination alive. I like to make things, too. I’ve had a macrame phase (years and years ago), needlework, a make-a-meditation-fountain period, a long obsession with strawbale and cob houses that never got built. My fiction-writing comes out of this drive to “make a thing.” These […]

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TSA Security Checkpoint

Education: Business or Pleasure?

Every educational venture is a journey. There are, of course, different kinds of journeys. When the woman at Passport Control asks us, “Business or Pleasure?” what shall we say? Getting from here to there, when you’re here and need to be there, is one kind of journey. In that event, almost anything that we encounter between here and there is something of an obstacle. A necessary obstacle, perhaps, but an obstacle nonetheless. We want or need to be there. But we are here. Our need drives us to overcome the obstacles: buying a plane ticket, packing a bag, driving to […]

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