Education as an Abstraction: Teaching with Real Things

When teaching becomes an abstraction and not something real, the learning doesn’t stick in the student very well.  Imagination must first be grounded in a hard reality.

As we move closer into living in a 24/7 virtual world, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that learning is best fostered using real things, in real-time, in the same, real, room with each other getting real.  That is important in all human interactions, not just the classroom.  We’re always trying to learn from each other and doing it with real objects is a powerful experience that binds.

When you’re teaching about a flower — is it better to show a computer image of a flower, or hand out a flower printed on a piece of paper, or is it best to share a real flower plucked from a garden in your alive hand?

A real flower authentically engages every bodily sense and creates a sensation in the mind.

Continue reading → Education as an Abstraction: Teaching with Real Things

A 30-Year-Old Perfume Poisoning and the Three-Day Sneeze

Is it possible to poison oneself with a spritz from a 30-year-old bottle of perfume?  Can one create their own self-inflicted bioterror attack and suffer the consequences for three straight days of full-body sneezing?  I am here to testify that it is not only possible, it just happened to me!

Continue reading → A 30-Year-Old Perfume Poisoning and the Three-Day Sneeze

The A to Z of Our Handfasting

Mr P and I chose to be hand fasted for several reasons. Most importantly it fitted our belief systems to a “T,” but there were secondary issues to take into account such as the Catholic church’s refusal to marry couples where one of the couple has been previously married and divorced and the nightmare of red tape that would have to be surmounted for a couple of two different nationalities to get married in a civil ceremony in a third party country. We are also both of the opinion that we did not need or want the state to recognise our union.

Continue reading → The A to Z of Our Handfasting

Green Tea's Dirty Little Secret

Green Tea has a dirty little secret — and nothing can be done about it — and that secret is that real, hardcore, proper, unadulterated green tea has, what Janna calls, a “muskiness” that translates into meaning raw, pure-brewed, strong green tea… smells like urine.



I said it.

My favorite drink in the whole world smells — and probably tastes like — uric ammonia, and yet I still can’t swallow enough of the stuff throughout the day to keep me satisfied and quenched because green tea, in it’s organic state, is hardy, pure, musky, magical and powerful and I need its healing warmth in my body every single day.

Continue reading → Green Tea's Dirty Little Secret

My Weekly Friday "Flowers" Struggle At Starbucks

A number of months ago, it came to light at my office that I do not bring flowers home to my wife Elizabeth every Friday afternoon as many Jewish men do, in honor of the Sabbath. One of my coworkers gave me a hard time about this, saying that it was important that I honor the Sabbath this way, as well as doing something nice for the person who was spending so much time getting ready for this holy twenty-five hour period.

Continue reading → My Weekly Friday "Flowers" Struggle At Starbucks

How FTD Ruined Mothers Day

Janna and I learned a hard lesson yesterday: FTD Ruined Mother’s Day!

Incompetence has many feral fathers and its talent for boorishness is born in a variety of floral colors and indigent mothers — but when it comes to ruining Mother’s Day tomorrow — FTD barely edges out the DHL delivery service for the ultimate “I poop on you!” grand prize.

Janna and I ordered a lovely $60.00 USD bouquet for Janna’s mom in Iowa from the online flower powerhouse FTD — I’ll show you the flowers here virtually tomorrow since that’s the only way they’re ever going to be delivered anywhere — and we were incredibly disappointed to learn yesterday the flowers would not be delivered as promised. 

Continue reading → How FTD Ruined Mothers Day