‘Bull’ An Unexpected Literary Treat

For those who know me you might be able to envision my reaction when I read the opening line from David Elliot’s book, Bull. Sorry Mom, I am just quoting here.

”Whaddup, bitches?”

I literally set the book down.

But like a curious cat the intrigue of why a book would start in this way got the best of me so I reread the preface and started again.

I quickly understood this would be a unique read for me. I seem to stay in the non-fiction genre most of the time and this verse-novel version of the Minotaur tale from Greek mythology piqued my interest early.

With some thematic elements and some literary imagery fit for HBO the story reads quickly and presents the epic in an engaging way. Each of the seven characters communicates through their own poetic form. Another bonus in my mind is given the short stanzas of poetry, the story reads quickly. Continue reading

The Four Tendencies

A recent road trip allowed for some much needed audiobook time. This time around I gave a listen to The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Certainly in the non-fiction self-help genre, but an interesting listen from the start.

In a nutshell there are four tendencies which people tend to naturally fall into. In the book there is a printed version of a tendency quiz, or there is an online version (you will need to give an email address to get the result). Continue reading

Human Being, not Human Doing

Warning: Hypocrite at the keyboard!

My message in this post is to find the happiness to just be. This should come naturally to us as human beings but it seems like somewhere in history we started to try and become human doings instead of human beings. Admittedly, I have not figured out how to unlock the secret to full happiness while just being. I know this level of fulfillment and happiness is possible. I just feel far from achieving this balance. 

In a fitting turn of fate, this blog post has been in the queue getting limited attention for the past few months. Whenever I would think about sitting down to type out thoughts on this topic I also started to think about all the things I “had to do”.  Continue reading

Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh (pronounced shay) is the CEO of Zappos, an incredibly popular online shoe site. In his book Delivering Happiness, Hsieh walks through his entrepreneur career in an informal and biographical way that draws the reader (or listener) in and is very encouraging to anyone hoping to bet on themselves and find success. Hsieh’s journey to a current net worth of $840 million is not purely a tale of “hard work pays off” nor is it the story of “the underdog winning the championship”. Hsieh’s business biography up to the point of this writing is exciting and stems back to his youth.  As a dad of two young boys I wonder if I have the courage, and trust, to let my sons experiment with success the same way Hsieh’s parents allowed him to try several money making ideas before even graduating high school. Continue reading

The Barefoot Executive

Through and app called Overdrive, you can rent audiobooks (and eBooks) for FREE with the use of a local library card. Audiobooks are great for commutes, family car trips, the rare moment of quiet time, and for absorbing some knowledge while exercising. While camping this summer I was fortunate to get away for some long bike rides. On a few of these rides I listened to The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson.

The description for this book being the “Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom” sounded cheesy, but interesting enough to fill some time while turning the pedals on the quiet roads in northern Michigan. Continue reading

Finding God in the Waves

I have known for awhile that reading is not a priority for me. I also know there are many correlations between successful people and reading. One of the final nudges for me to start reading, and sharing my reading with students, is I believe strongly in the “lead by doing” idea of being any sort of role model or leader. In the winter of the 2016-2017 school year I took the lead from a few other teachers in our district and started a classroom library.

Creating this library actually came together quite nicely! Two matching bookshelves were sitting unused in our district’s furniture “storehouse”. I have many personal books I took out of moving boxes to start the collection. I used resources like Donors Choose to order a few dozen science themed books. I was also fortunate to have colleagues share books, or direct book donations my way. Put all these together and voila! The science library begins. Getting students to use it has been a story for another post.

To start populating the science library, I looked at several ‘Top-100 Science Book” pages. Continue reading

2017 Book Blitz: The Beginning

In early May 2017, I got a phone call from my colleague Dave Stuart while I was coaching at a JV tennis match in Big Rapids, MI. Dave and I like to joke around so I probably answered in a flippant way, but his tone seemed a bit more serious than usual. He continued on to explain the reason for the call was he had just recommended to our superintendent that I go to a workshop taking place in Chicago called The Orange Frog.

An interesting piece to this scenario is that Dave had just written in a blog to never “pass the buck”. Even with this being the case Dave knows I someday see myself as some level of administrator and convinced me that being trained as a a future trainer at The Orange Frog work be to my benefit. (Jumping ahead and leaving out details, I think he was both correct and the training on positive psychology came at very good time for me on a personal level.) Continue reading