Monday, April 30, 2012

public space library

TFIOS at The Boise Co-op
To find out more and join the fun... click here.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

and... we're back

 "This money was left here intentionally and specifically for your use. I know it's not much - perhaps just enough to treat yourself to a cookie, coffee, a lottery ticket, or donation to the homeless...
In any case, I hope it changes your day for the better.
 Samaritan Envelope on 13th street

Friday, April 27, 2012

car window, picture by V
The Rainy Day
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast

And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Michael Norton on... How to buy happiness

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection -- or compassionate action.

~ Daniel Goleman

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

public space library

Back in January I read about the International Public Space Library. I knew I wanted to do something like this... So yesterday, on World Book Day, I did.

I added a book plate to the front of each book that reads:

 I left a copy of The Fault in our Stars 
by John Green in front of the BSU Student Union.

I left a copy of The One and Only Ivan 
by Katherine Applegate at Zoo Boise

I left a copy of the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio 
at the Saint Luke's Surgery Center

And... I left a copy of The Mighty Miss Malone 
by Christopher Paul Curtis 
at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial

... more to come!

Monday, April 23, 2012


What would you be willing to give up for your passion?
Would you give up certainty?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

unless and until

April 23rd is UNESCO's World Book Day
In celebration, tomorrow I will be placing books around town.
More to come...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

and no one comes

Today I picked up the book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I was setting it aside to loan out and began thumbing through its wonderful pages. While I was reading, I was thinking of part of a poem by Marie Howe:

... You come upon the person the author put there
as if you'd been pushed into a room and told to watch the dancing -

pushed into parties, into basements, across moors, into
the great drawing rooms of great cities, into the small cold cabin, or

into here, beside the small running river where a boy is weeping,
and no one comes.

One by one the readers come and watch him weeping by the running river,
and he never knows,

unless he too has read the story where a boy feels himself all alone.

Do you ever feel that about a book, "pushed into a room" ? 
It can be wonderful and beautiful... or... I have closed books and thought to myself, "That is not something I need to see."

Anyway, the poem by Marie Howe is called Why the Novel Is Necessary but Sometimes Hard to Read. Wonderful books, beautiful poems... the amazing life of a reader.

Friday, April 20, 2012

old man

I'm reading the book Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World by Tony Wagner.

And though I feel that some part of my mind is always spinning around innovation and education, this book and Seth Godin's Stop Stealing Dreams have taken my thoughts to a new level.

Case in point...

Watch this cool video:

the old man and the sea from Marcel Schindler on Vimeo.

Under our current system of education, here's how The Old Man and the Sea is usually graded:

  • Was there a clear thesis?
  • Does the thesis maintain focus?
  • Were there well-chosen details that ensure clarity and add interest?
  • Was there an interesting, thought provoking introduction?
  • Were there well developed, illustrated paragraphs?
  • Was there varied sentence length and structure?
  • Was there precise and interesting word choice?
  • Was the style appropriate for the subject and audience?
  • Were there grammatical errors?

Here's how I would like to see my child assessed:
  • What was the most surprising thing the student learned from this?
  • What would the student have added if they'd had time or resources?
  • What would they have eliminated?
  • Was the student agile & adaptable?
  • Did they show initiative and entrepreneurship in assessing and analyzing the information?
  • Did the student show perseverance and/or a willingness to experiment?
  • Did the student take calculated risks? Did they tolerate failure?
Anyone can do a Google search on Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea... but only a life long learner can bring dreams to life.

Dreams are difficult to build and easy to destroy.

As Seth Godin says: 
The future belongs to the impatient. To those who refuse to wait and will take things into their own hands, build their own value, and produce that which others will gladly pay for.

You can't change the mission of education without also changing the method.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

give a compliment

SoulPancake: Listen Up!
We're often so preoccupied that we don't take the time to compliment the people around us. And yet, a few unexpected kind words have the power to change someone's day. So SoulPancake set out to give people a fun way to give a compliment.

one small candle

Better to light one small candle
 than to curse the darkness.
- Chinese Proverb

Sunday, April 15, 2012

curious talent

‎"I have no special talent. 
I am only passionately curious."

 - Albert Einstein

Saturday, April 14, 2012

put the money in the bag...

Spoken word poet, Carvens Lissaint, shows how to use language, metaphor and imagery to express a powerful idea.

Friday, April 13, 2012



We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store   
and the gas station and the green market and   
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,   
as she runs along two or three steps behind me   
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.   

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?   
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?   
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,   
Honey I'm sorry I keep saying Hurry—   
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.   

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking   
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,   
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.


Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny--he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally--you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

create a bridge

We build too many walls 
and not enough bridges. 
~ Sir Isaac Newton

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a truth

The worse thing you can say about another, 
contains a truth about yourself.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I'm reading Sally Hogshead's book Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation. According to the online assessment, my primary trigger is Rebellion and my secondary trigger is passion. Find out your Fascination Score.

This finding has me thinking about rebellion and what makes someone a 'rebel'. What makes normal, everyday people challenge 'the way things are', push back against the status quo ... and act. 

We live in a connected age with access to mountains of information. What triggers you to get involved or not?

Michelle Obama, in speaking to an audience in South Africa, said...
"reject the false comfort that others' suffering is not your concern, or that if you can't solve all the world's problems then you shouldn't even try... refuse to remain a bystander when others are suffering."

Take your passion off the back burner; explore what motivates you.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
~ Teddy Roosevelt

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

visual impression

For the love of books and creativity.... and proof that characters exist in books as well as at Knopf.


My copy of E. O. Wilson's new book The Social Conquest of Earth just arrived, and I couldn't be happier. I have a huge love for Edward O. Wilson.

Here's the quick synopsis:

From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career.
Where did we come from? What are we? Where are we going? In a generational work of clarity and passion, one of our greatest living scientists directly addresses these three fundamental questions of religion, philosophy, and science while "overturning the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first" (Discover magazine). Refashioning the story of human evolution in a work that is certain to generate headlines, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to how that group selection, not kin selection, is the primary driving force of human evolution. He proves that history makes no sense without prehistory, and prehistory makes no sense without biology. Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, Wilson presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth's biosphere.

"There is no grail more elusive or precious in the life of the mind than the key to understanding the human condition." ... so begins the prologue.

Referencing this Paul Gauguin painting on which Gauguin wrote the famous title, "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" E.O. Wilson asks, will we ever be able to answer these questions, and answers with a resounding... perhaps.