Monday, January 19, 2009


I recently Re-discovered (see link on sidebar)... every Thursday a new prompt is given to inspire artists, wordsmiths, etc... participants may respond to the prompt in any medium they choose. Of course, my media of choice is - the Written Word...

Breakfast... both noun and verb... At breakfast I breakfasted. It's a beautiful thing. Both the two parts of speech AND the meal. I love breakfast. It's my favorite meal of the day. This past week, for example, my husband and I were thinking of going out to grab a bite. But we couldn't figure out where to go... I said I wanted "comfort food" and he asked me what I meant by that. A moment's thought... then I said: Breakfast. So - he made me salty bacon, light, fluffy eggs, and nook-and-cranny-full-of-butter English Muffins! A delightful treat for a Friday night.

I remember Saturday breakfasts at home... the smell of bacon (why does breakfast always seem to involve bacon for me!) would drift down the hallway of our ranch to my room, rousing me from sleep... though not from sleepiness! I would wander down the hallway to take my spot at the brown Formica table and relish the eggy smell on the air as bread crisped up in the toaster. Ranger Rick would be playing on the radio (or another kid's story show), and we'd all be crowded in the 70's yellow and avocado striped kitchen for a happy family meal. Saturdays in the 70's and 80's - another beautiful thing!

I can't think of a most-memorable breakfast off hand (I'm free writing here), but if one comes to mind, I'll add it in.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Magic of 10,000: A Book Review of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I just put this book down.
It took just 3 days to finish - and that with just an hour or two of reading per night.

Gladwell develops a thesis that phenomenally successful people like Bill Gates are NOT, in fact, outliers as we'd like to think. In a neat and fascinating writing style, he lays forth anecdotal and statistical proof that success lies not necessarily in having high IQ or copious amounts of talent (although this helps), but that primarily, successful people made it "to the top" as a result of heritage/culture/community background PLUS opportunities presented AND seized in life.

The "magic number" = 10,000. An especially powerful proof pointing towards how opportunity MORE than innate talent creates geniuses and superstars, was that top performers in ANY arena (musicians, lawyers, computer programmers, writers, etc.) shared a common thread. ALL had logged MORE than 10,000 hours of "practice" in their given field before rising to stardom/significance. In fact, the next "rung" of experts in their field generally fell below the 8,000 hour mark as far as time spent honing their craft. Many of these superstars had toiled the 10,000+ hours in their field long BEFORE an amazing opportunity presented itself - therefore, when in the right place, at the right time (as the saying goes), they were also rightly PREPARED to take advantage of unique opportunities presented. An so, stars and geniuses and millionaires are born, er, NOT born, rather they are "steered" towards success by many, many small but significant happenstances along the way.

That being the case - not only was this a thought-provoking read (I already have 5 people lined up that I want to read this book, including one of my students who is currently reading Gladwell's previous book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking ), but also I am curious to know how many hours I have spent honing my craft of writing...
And... wondering if I could log in 10,000 more hours in the next 10 years, how much further along I will be....

More details from this book will follow... until then, if you're interested, you can purchase the book through my link - it's my first attempt to create a more interactive and productive blog... help me along! :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009, Resolved: to Redeem Time

Resolved. 1. Separated into its component parts; analyzed. 2. Determined in purpose
Determined. Ended; concluded; decided; fixed; settled; directed.

(Above are as defined in Webster's 1828 dictionary.)

By definition, 2009 has no sooner begun, than my resolutions have both ended and decided the entire year.

So many people talk about New Year's Resolutions being broken by the week's end. Perhaps what people fail to embrace is the fact that a resolution is not a daydream or a hope or a lofty ideal. To resolve is an action verb, requiring one to take action on the resolution.

This year, I took a more organized approach to my resolutions. Thinking about how in teaching, we post objectives for the day, and how each objective needs to be specific, observable, and measurable, I created resolutions that followed this formula. If I create resolutions I can see and measure, then I will know if I am working towards that particular resolve.

The theme of the year is "Redeeming the Time" - like the 5 cents on a soda bottle return - our year has latent value. God gives us 24 hours a day - all with potential energy; potential value. It's up to me to cash in on the time I'm given, to make it purposeful and productive. Most of the resolutions, such as my study/reading time, focus on this idea of using time more wisely, setting boundaries for how much time I can afford to "waste" in activities that don't progress me forward.

2009 has been decided. Directed. Purposed.


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