Don't think less of me because I can't do what you love.
Love me because I can do what I love. - Doug - The context of this quote.
I had been talking with a dear friend about watching someone give less than a whole-heartedly effort in a sport and wondering how they could be so disengaged. I loved sports, especially baseball. How could they not love to play baseball?
Within several days, I sat with the subject of my confusion playing a game of say the line from a movie or play and stump your opponents. I sat there wondering why I felt so disengaged. The person who had shown little interest in baseball, played the word game as if it were their greatest delight. Not only did they know the lines, they said or sang them with enthusiasm and glee.
The next day I found myself pondering the irony of the two situations, hence the quote above and the next question, why do we look at people based on our interests and abilities and not on their interests and abilities?
As a teacher I find myself looking at a student who appears disengaged and thinking that they have an issue. They may, but the real issue lies with me.
I do my best to look at each student as an individual with likes and dislikes, knowledge, abilities, skills, potential, and areas where they simply can't perform.
My renewed goal, beyond teaching the content, find my students doing something well and then nurture their interests. In a line from Mr. Holland's Opus, Principal Jacobs tells Glenn Holland, "A teacher has two jobs; fill young minds with knowledge, yes, but more important, give those minds a compass so that that knowledge doesn't go to waste."
As my mother said last night, "I learn something new every day." I hope to walk in her footsteps all the days of my life.
as I get older I realize obtaining perfection holds little
consequently this year's resolution will reflect Samuel Johnson's quote,
"It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that
we may always advance toward it,
though we know it can never be reached."
hence, I will continue to move toward living in the moment;
continue to move toward appreciating the little things,
good and bad, pleasurable and painful;
continue to move toward showing and feeling
a healthy, strong, pain free, mind, body, and spirit;
continue to move toward showing and feeling laughter and happiness;
continue to move toward showing and feeling patience and calm;
continue to move toward showing and feeling care and compassion;
continue to move toward living in the moment every day of my life.
My life feels a void today.
My life feels full today.
Lew let go
leaving as he lived
on his own terms.
My life feels a void today.
My life feels full from all that Lew shared.
His final words to me
Take care of yourself.
listen to my heart
where Lew resides.
continue the quest;
live in the moment...
It is reasonable to have
perfection in our eye that
we may always
advance toward it,
though we know
it can never be reached.
reflection on an anniversary
(a found poem based on shakespeare's romeo and juliet,
act 4, scene 3, juliet's soliloquy, to take the poison or not)
i have a faint cold fear
through my veins.
shall i be married?
what if it be poison?
there's a fearful point.
shall i not then be
shall I not then be distraught?
i have a faint cold fear
through my veins.
today, the 24th passing
of my fear born
20 march 1977
'twas not poison,
'twas a strong potion
gave growth to
life-option theory revised
imagine the center circle in the above drawing a decision point in your life.
in utopia, you enjoy an endless list of options from subtle adjustments to major course changes. each leading in time to another set of endless options -- at least to a point.
now imagine this concept placed in the "real world" where demo/psychographic factors such as: social-economic status, gender, nationality, religious affiliation, physical and mental challenges, sexual preference, and a slue of other mindless pigeon holes expand or limit your decision options.
take a moment to think about the implications while i make the decision to change course and explore other options.
more to follow...maybe...maybe not...
new year's resolutions for 2001.
live in the moment.
check my work more carefully.
avoid those damn "be" verbs. show my active voice.
living in the moment. an ongoing quest. it doesn't sound that difficult, but the simpler the more complex. each year i come closer. i still find myself between moments. not in one, not in another. not really anywhere. in a state of disconnection. my goal this year requires more active (my word for the week) engagement in every moment. i will make time to reflect, time to plan, time to live. time to rest. i will see, not simply look. i will feel, not simply touch. i will listen, not simply hear. i will savor, not simply taste. i will inhale, not simply smell. i will make every breath, every heart beat, every moment, notes in my concerto of life. i will live in the moment.
check my work more carefully. one must first look in the mirror before remarking at others' flaws and i've noticed too many times this year that i have not checked my work or shown the care required. this smacks of a rant and why not? ok, this rant comes from my own carelessness and uses a recent fill-the-well walk about to address my culpability.
have you noticed the large building across the street from the train station in downtown san diego? it's the sdg&e (dc power plant) building. above each large wooden door lay an inscription, "pioneering in service". when i first saw the inscription i walked past as hundreds do daily. but, the rules of a fill-the-well walk about dictate seeing and recording not just looking and ignoring. i felt an obligation to go back and note its existence in my sketch book.
having entered the words i allowed them to ferment as with any good fill-the-well artifact.
i pondered the concept of service.
did the inscription represent another time, another mindset?
did a time really exist when service took precedent? when people really cared about the customer? when service meant value added?
i know people care, at least at our core we want to do the right thing. what's happened?
bean counters? we've always had bean counters and for much of our existence they actually counted beans. in most regards life has improved. employees enjoy rights that never existed even 20 years ago. business and government have better technologies and delivery systems. customers have more options. the economy grows steadily. at least it did until the presidential campaigns got going in full--oh my god, those are our choices, what do we do? puppets really do exist.
have i just become jaded? to quote my nephew (imagine an overtired cranky precocious seven-year old traveling in italy with four adults saying this) i don't thiiiiiiiinnnnk S O O O!
i credit technology, take overs, big business, short-sighted harvard mbas, and greed. when it comes down to it, you are welcome to add unions to the list. of course, lawyers receive full credit as well. oh, i almost forgot, the media.
in many regards life has never been better. i would not want to go back to--hell, i wouldn't want to go back to any time--life, for many, affords more advantages than thought possible. for many, not for most, not for all (another rant for another time).
so why do i feel...empty? perhaps i want all of the benefits of an advanced technological society with more humanity. where we have time to fill-the-well. time to talk. time to share. time to live. time to drink from the well. time to live in the moment. time to do the right thing, because when it comes down to it, the right thing matters. at least the time to do our best.
all of this leads me back to the beginning of this rant, one must first look in the mirror before remarking at others' flaws. my goal this year and from now on, check my work more carefully. don't just accept my first effort and go on, but truly do my best to do my best.
avoid those damn "be" verbs. show my active voice. this one means what it says and implies my desire to communicate more clearly. i've worked on this for a while and know that i need to continue the effort by living in the moment and taking more care in my work.
i have written it. you have read it. now i have to live it. i'll keep you posted.
We hear the word no... (a flash movie)
a simple request for teachers.
i started to write about the meaning of life...i know...i'm old enough to not even want to go there. i just transitioned to 50. but there i went. within moments the six-minute video played at thanksgiving popped into my random synaptic mind game. the video, the biography of my recently departed uncle. uncle herm, or doc, devoted his life to education. not teaching, but educating and mentoring. sharing his passion for literature, writing, theatre, art, life with would-be engineers from all over the world, from all walks of life, all of whom topped the scale of left brainers.
ever since i can remember we received news clippings and reports about uncle herm's accomplishments and awards. the state of new jersey devotes a day in his honor.
why? because he shared his passion. he illuminated dimly lite lives. he cared about people. he brilliantly inspired humanity.
all well and good, but the point of this little rant...i never wrote him a note, a letter, a thank you, anything.
every one of my well-meaning teachers along the way managed to implant in my mind that i couldn't write.
do i blame them? yes.
do i take responsibility? yes.
as a teacher, coincidentally i just received a letter verifying that i have completed all of the requirements necessary for recommendation for the california professional clear single subject: art with clad emphasis credential. wow. but am i a teacher or am i an educator, a mentor, a beacon that stimulates, guides, and supports my students, peers, friends, and family?
i make my best effort every day.
and rather than go on and on and on and on about my philosophy of life, i simply request that teachers stop teaching and start learning.
learn about your subject,
most importantly learn about your students.
learn about their fears, their
learn about their interests, their passions.
let go of your importance as a
provider of knowledge.
conversations, books, magazines, television, videos, cds, the internet all provide information.
embrace your importance as a provider of stimulation.
embrace your importance as a provider of guidance.
embrace your importance as a provider of support.
three-quarters of a bicentennial
went out fast, but steady --
strong, smooth, and steady
for 112 miles.
groin left, groin right,
right hand, left hand,
v-8 and the best 7-up i've ever
lunch, i don't think so.
resurrection, it must mean you've died before.
yes, at 112, 121, 126, and 132.
i still can't account for the green leaf.
the top of resurrection -- more v-8, shade--95 degrees, and bananas.
snake losing his lunch --
amazing he had a lunch to lose,
but in front of everyone at the rest stop.
i at least chose a discrete,
semi-discrete launching pad.
i did feel better...yeah right.
i thought i could make it all the way.
what the hell do i know?
groin left, groin right,
right hand, left hand,
right hamstring, oh, that's a stopper.
150 miles, a personal best.
and the point is?
davis double century for most, a century and a half for me, 20 may 2000
in the end it proved that you can't always get what you want, but friends are the best under pressure. thanks jeff. you are a legend...what happened to the rider on the back of the tandem...i don't know, i heard his heart-rate monitor go flat line and when i looked back he wasn't there...
a special thanks goes to Robin and all of the volunteers from the Davis Bike Club who made every effort to make this a great ride.
A little new year's commentary
How do we accurately access
Do we add up all our hard
homes, cars, stocks, bank accounts, toys...?
Do we add up all our intangible
family, friends, feelings, deeds...?
I have my health, although I
I, again, looked at the fragility of life.
Had I not landed as I did?
Had a car run me over?
What would be the outcome?
What would be my epitaph?
Does it matter?
I'm alive every moment until I pronounce myself dead.
To be alive I must:
Savor the warmth on my cheek at
this very moment;
Revel in the sparkle and moving reflections of the tacky green and red Christmas decorations; and
Even welcome the twinge of heartburn from the Motrin I'm taking to
reduce the swelling in my body from yesterday's asphalt lunch.
For yet the third year running
my new year's resolution is to live in the moment.
Worry not, about
For self worth evolves from
living in the moment.
Out on a limb - where you find the fruit
Tribute to Lew - a slide show of a live well lived.
Collaborations - a series of collaborations started with Sarah Rose, the artist I'm trying to rediscover and continues with Simon and Jarrett.
Doug's Experiment - a series of pastel-like drawings inspired by the California Central Coast and Sarah-Rose.
We hear the word no... (a flash movie) - this particular piece represents the beginning of a series of flash collaborations with melissa.
Photos from Africa - pictures taken on a camera safari in 1976.
Sketchbook - a well filled with daily insights and random thoughts
Sketchbook, The Beginning
Bio - A bio is pretty much what you would think it would be, a bio.
Vita - For those of you interested in my professional background, this is the place to see if I'm for real or just a digital fabrication.
The adventures of my pal Pete - Many years ago, many lives ago, I created a character - "My Pal Pete." The character was based on my dog and best friend. As a result of life's mysterious journey I had to leave Pete in California while I learned the ways of design in the Big Apple. Just recently, while taking a Spanish class, I resurrected some of my drawings for a children's bilingual story (still in development). Permiso, mi español es muy malo. So, I received help from several friends, Lily Perez, Keara Sease, and Jackie Schuller. Let me know what you think.
Partial portfolio - A few more facets.
EdTec - A look at my experiences with the SDSU masters program.
Nephuncular conversation - The result of an outing with my nephew.
Doug Went Off - I've been known to go off on tangents...
San Diego Jewish Academy - SDJA is in the process of growth. After 20 years of educating San Diego's Jewish community, starting in San Carlos and moving to La Jolla, the Academy is expanding into a new facility in Carmel Valley. The SDJA web site is one of many changes taking place at the Academy.
SDJA logo development - The San Diego Jewish Academy is in the process of exploring its corporate identity. This page shows several initial concept logos which finally led to the logo seen on the SDJA site created by Nadine Benrey.
WriteDesign - A collaborative effort to integrate across disciplines (enough edu speak for you, yeah me too) a very cool site that shows what happens when two people share their passion for writing, art, design, and technology.
Melissa - The earth mother of inspiration through her words and deeds.
Gallery - Work created by students, past and present, and a few great friends.
E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org