In the vein of ‘whistle while you work,’ they spice up chores and transport me out of the sardine can of a marshrutka ride home. They set me on new quests for learning, soothe the melancholy of the day, enliven the tedium of a Monday, fuel understanding by challenging my preconceptions, and regale my wit (see what I did there?).
They are the chief way I satisfy my curiosity for a multitude of topics. Some are quite lengthy and others are short and to the point. I can delve deep into one topic or pick up several ideas in quick succession. Continue reading “Favorite Podcasts of 2017”→
My friend, allow me to encourage you by relating my own story. The questions you asked were the same ones I asked of myself at your age. In middle school, I endured daily ridicule, exclusion, taunting, pranks, and physical abuse at the hands of my peers. Continue reading “Dear Keaton Jones,”→
For me, one of the most fascinating realms of research is cognition and the physiology of the brain; what is happening in the brain during certain thinking activities. As such, I often find myself in journals which many would probably use as sleep aids: Clinical Neurospychology, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Brain and Cognition. The studies published in these journals often rely upon brain scans, but not just your run-of-the-mill black and white MRI of yesteryear. Continue reading “DTIs and fMRIs, Oh My!”→
I recently finished reading W. J. Dawson’s “The Quest of the Simple Life.” Dawson recounts his escape from suburban life and pursuing a life fueled by “earth hunger.” Following the examples of such men as Thoreau and Wordsworth, he sought a deeper life than what he found in the metropolis of London.
Although published around 1907, it is striking how much of the issues of suburban life Dawson complained of still ring true today. Take for instance, this excerpt from Chapter 3, entitled: Getting a Living, and Living. Continue reading “Getting a Living”→
Though I had been mulling over the information for some time, once the trigger was pulled, one week was all it took. While visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Illinois, I brought up some changes I had been considering. In the safety and comfort of their home, we spent the week discussing different ideas, posing and answering various questions, and considering the long-term plan at stake.
For about a year I had been considering a change of career. Though I loved being a teacher, it just wasn’t paying toward my goals and aspirations. Further, the last year of teaching had proven quite difficult; challenges to my integrity, mounting stress under exceeding demands, and unresolved conflicts with the powers that be. (I was also quite worn on the windowless office I inhabited…”Don’t Fence Me In” comes to mind.)
After a week of deliberation, conversations, and phone calls, I was thrust into a new world. By weeks end, I had three prospective jobs with different companies and was enrolled in CDL school. After four years of teaching, I was about to embark on a career as an Over-the-Road Trucker (OTR). (I will pause as you recover from choking on your drink or cleaning up now spattered food.)
Why on earth would I leave the prestigious position of teacher and stoop to a trucker? (One trucker, after learning of my previous career, put it this way: Why are you dumbing yourself down?)
Quite simply put, it is one more step in my pursuit of a simple life.
You can blame Joel Salatin. After graduating college and struggling to find work, I stumbled upon a lecture he gave at Google. From there, it was a landslide of books, documentaries, and discussions with other farmers that an acute desire for a simpler, agrarian based life began to well up. Ever since that initial encounter, I have been on a quest to simplify and work towards a future homestead/farm.
I must seem like a lunatic to many. Indeed, I have received several reactions to verify that notion. A college educated, gifted and successful teacher upending his comfortable, white-collar life in the pursuit of the earthy and agrarian. Why?
It will take several posts to explain all of the facets that culminated in the sudden change of careers, but I hope that through my writings, you will understand my convictions and the reasons this change was necessary. Further, I hope that my life and writings will serve as an impetus for soul-searching, stock taking, and perhaps even a similar change in your own life.
From time to time, I will post from my collection of writings I have amassed while on the road, as well as quotes from readings I am undertaking. When the next change comes, I will chronicle my journey into homesteading.
Though the type of desk may have changed, I am still writing.
December was a month of many delays. With the hectic nature of this time of year, progress has been stalled far more than I had hoped it to be. I understand that it has been hard for sign ups to take place as parents and students both have been extremely busy. The weather also has not been our ally as the cold temperatures set in for the winter. However, it has been a great blessing that there has not been much snow fall yet this month! I am still ever more determined to make as much progress as possible before the spring.
However, due to the difficulty of getting sign ups, I have realized that perhaps our sampling of the student body may not be able to bear the full weight of the tiny house project. It has become necessary to seek help from the rest of the student body. Prior to Christmas Break, I sent out a letter to high school students and parents Continue reading “A Month of Delays”→