Category: Thoughts

  • Listening is not learning

    Sitting in a classroom while a professor lectures, or sitting at home watching a video of a professor speaking is not learning. It’s listening. Sometimes it’s not even that. Sometimes, as we all know, even in the classroom you are barely paying any attention. But even if you are attentive, you are only using your […]

  • 2025: Where are you?

    A question prompt for students to think about for their term projects. Visualizing your future is a mental process that aids in exploring options and planning a path forward. The key is to visualize the future and the steps needed to get there. Do not fall into the trap of living in the future. Now, […]

  • Learning does not just happen

    Learning does not just happen. No one is born knowing everything or knowing anything. We are all learning, learning all the time. Some people seem to learn so easily, almost magically. We think of those people as really smart. But forget about them. Focus on yourself. Focus on how you learn. I am completely convinced […]

  • 2050: Imagining the Impossible?

    When I started college, the 21st century, the year 2000, seemed so far away: 16 years. For students today, 16 years from today (2036) must seem so far away though as we age we realize that the years go quickly. Indeed, after age 50 we accept the rapid pace and realize that 16 years isn’t […]

  • Skills, money, & the marketplace

    I heard this remark the other day on some video that I can’t remember: “trading your skills for money in the market” Essentially, that is why we work. It sounds so crass. We try to avoid recognizing the brute brutality of what we do for our survival. As an undergraduate, I did not want to […]

  • Remember to breathe, you always have a choice

    Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine, who also meditates and listens to dharma talks. She described how workplace drama still takes up so much space in her head. I reminded her that meditation trains us to push those thoughts away. She replied, “I know… the thing is: when you are in the […]

  • Storytelling in the mid-century

    This essay was first posted on our book design blog on July 5, 2011. That site is no longer active. My daughter Mila, born on the second day of this year, will grow up in an era dominated by multi-touch tablets, with ever decreasing thickness and ever increasing capabilities. (Her adulthood likely will be spent […]

  • My failure in meditation

    If I could tell anything to my 20 year old self, it would be to get serious about meditation. But that would have been so hard in 1985-86. So hard. There was so little information available, especially in those pre-Internet days to a boy living in Tennessee. I was going to Sewanee, an Episcopal college […]

  • Deep Reading

    The following is a message I sent Sunday night to my provost Marc Conner, who is an English professor and scholar of African-American literature. By chance over the weekend, I stumbled across something that he wrote at the end of The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling by Charles […]

  • All those unread books

    “Aย good library is filled with mostly unread books. That’s the point. “