love to read?

Last Saturday, my two boys and I packed the car, left at 6am, drove 850 miles, and arrived at 6:30 pm at my parents’ house, in time for dinner, and a few days before my siblings and families were scheduled to arrive for Thanksgiving. We had a long car ride (I was the only driver) … More love to read?

Midnight Prayer (poem)

It is not simply for evening breeze, dark  pond, lustrous inky sky, hum of crickets, cool grass, evensong of creatures, that she emerges. It is the lure of soul awakening, nudging, prodding, drawing her into depths visible only at night. She roams moon-soaked fields, slips in the swirling river. Awakened from death, she finds herself … More Midnight Prayer (poem)

Going Home (poem)

Going Home Sweetness drips, roosts on the edge of the blade, and my feet aren’t hurt. Finding a multitude at any given moment, I am undone, orbiting on an imaginary hammock, swinging and creating my own breeze.  I gaze up to see the v-shaped geese, flying to the same place at perfectly spaced intervals. I … More Going Home (poem)

Small Things

Small Things He smiles through wrinkles She’s in the nursing home now A tear slides down his cheek He brushes it away She doesn’t see He pushes the wheelchair Slowly up the ramp he had built So she could visit her home And he’s never in his home anymore Because he’s with her in that … More Small Things

tea monsoon (poem)

rivers stream down verdant hills   sweetly spiced tears submerge millions in a tea monsoon a paradoxical wine fills the cups on a village farm road, tractor meets ox-cart, moves past women carrying woven baskets on their heads the silk sari shop shares the same doorstep as the old beggar woman in faded blue cotton … More tea monsoon (poem)

Dry River

Just down the street a bit, there is a wooden bench right by the river.  I do not come here as often as I should, or as often as I think about coming. Yet, I have come in all the seasons, except winter; it is not so easy to linger in the winter. Besides the two … More Dry River

Crushed (poem)

Falling, like leaves Dreams pile   In cordate heaps I follow a leaf floating In a wild wind   Like the leaf— Unzipped, undone By words, by a breath Falling to a death Of proportions previously Unknown Surrendered, Fallen, released, Crushed On forest floor. This, the wine of autumn Sweetness released  By dusty copper shards … More Crushed (poem)

Learning Styles

Some years ago, I gave my youngest son a math worksheet with about 20 problems. Since he was in elementary school, it was probably some simple arithmetic. These were timed math drill worksheets, designed to test math facts that we practiced with flash cards, and the goal was to keep learning the math facts proficiently and to … More Learning Styles

Autumn Leaf (Poem)

Beautifully curling upward, Cupping droplets that land on its skin I take my finger, wipe the drop Leaving a skirmish behind The autumn leaf is like a heart Turned toward heaven Changing colors, singing in its death— I wonder, Leaf, how many songs have you sung? * I wrap myself in a coat of leaves … More Autumn Leaf (Poem)

Ask Questions

With communication, we often talk about specific techniques, such as many of those discussed here for the past month in this series. But, there is a critical component of communication that is vital to being a good communicator, and that is “asking questions”. One important way to understand the other person’s point of view is by … More Ask Questions

The Golden Circle

Perhaps you have heard of Simon Sinek and a Ted Talk he did about persuasion and something called the Golden Circle. His purpose was to exhort businesses to consider the core of why customers and employees buy into a company. So what is this “Golden Circle”? Basically, according to Sinek, most businesses do not inspire… they … More The Golden Circle

How to Disagree

Nowadays with the internet and social media, thousands of bloggers, and Facebook posts and comments, people everywhere can join in a conversation like never before.  Usually in writing (or in conversation), but often in writing, people who respond to a post often disagree. If you agree, actually you have less to say, right? When you … More How to Disagree

The Handshake

A consistent greeting in the American culture is the handshake. Other countries greet with a bow, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, etc. Each culture has its own unique form of greeting. But in the business culture, a handshake is the acceptable norm. Did you know you are judged by the quality of your … More The Handshake

The Feedback Sandwich

How often do you find yourself in a position requiring you to provide feedback to someone else, either for a writing project, or a speaking assignment? If you are a teacher, coach, mentor, or editor, you probably do this regularly. Whether this is a regular occurrence, or an infrequent one, there are better ways than … More The Feedback Sandwich

Add Humor (Day 19)

“Knock, Knock.” “Who’s there?” It’s me! Here again to talk about adding some HUMOR into your communication! Do you know that person who always seems to have a clever quip or can remember funny stories and jokes? How easy is it for you to add humor into your conversation, writing, or speeches? It is not … More Add Humor (Day 19)

S.T.E.P.- “Exemplify” – Day 17

We are in the middle of a mini-series on communication tips, specifically a process called “S.T.E.P.”  S.T.E.P stands for “State, Translate, Exemplify, Prove”, and is explained in the book Secrets of Great Communicators by Dr. Jeff Myers, a process that Dr. Myers credits learning from Dr. Lee Polk at Baylor University. Yesterday, I discussed the … More S.T.E.P.- “Exemplify” – Day 17

The Core (Day 15)

In writing cases for Team Policy Debate, I encourage students to be able to explain their entire 8 minute case into one sentence; or better yet, an even shorter “bumper sticker” phrase. It is quite a challenge – but not impossible. Once they are able to identify that core message or thesis statement, then the … More The Core (Day 15)