For Interest

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One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.

Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.

“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.

Page 11*

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At lunch, Lily was sitting by herself. Kevin looked over at Minji and Carlos. They were talking and laughing and ignoring him.

So Kevin sat next to Lily.

“Hello,” Lily said.

“Hello,” Kevin answered.

They chewed in silence.

*From my next book, Kevin the Complainer

What is School for?

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I’m a teacher and I’m usually loathe to listen to any non-teacher who criticizes education. However, Seth Godin is a teacher in his own right and what he has to say makes perfect sense.

Godin published an education manifesto and I think everyone should read it. It’s made a deep impression on me and I’ve made immediate changes to my teaching. Rote memory is ridiculous. Deducting points off for trivial things is dumb. Let’s teach students how to learn and then CREATE things and take ACTION!

Please, read some of his manifesto or watch his podcast (Stop Stealing Dreams) if you care about education.

Just because it’s hard to make change doesn’t mean we should give up.

On the Daily

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Photo from Debbie Hudson

My optometrist told me about his Corvette Stingray. He got it from a couple who purchased a brand new car and needed space in their garage. Everything in the Corvette was shot: the engine, upholstery, paint, some of the body was dented. They had it towed to his house.

Two years later, his Stingray is on the road. He fixed the engine himself. The upholstery still needs to be replaced, but the car has come back from the dead.  The doc worked on it every weekend for two years.

Sometimes, our dreams might take years, because we “only have the weekends” to work on them. But with diligence and consistency, they WILL actualize.

 

 

True Productivity

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Stay curious. Ask yourself, “What would happen if I dipped the whole side of the brush, for example…”

Flora Bowley, artist

While experimenting with my own brushes and hearing her words, I thought of how critical it is to stay curious in life. It’s so easy (and debilitating) to allow things and people to get “old” on you.

We complain that we’re bored, but maybe WE have become boring.

Stay curious.

Ask yourself, “What if…” (and act on that question!) at least once a day.