At the Tone, The Time Will Be … ?


1)  Slightly sleep-deprived 

2)  Very superior to everyone who forgot to do this.

Feel free to condescendingly smile at late friends, stare at late strangers, and generally enjoy that superior feeling, because it only lasts for one day.


For details, you could go to Daylight Savings Time … but really, why bother?  

If you did not remember, you are now and will be officially one hour behind everyone else for the next eight months or so.

If you live in Hawaii or Arizona, just go on about your business … nothing to see here.

Unless you are a member of the Navaho Nation, in which case you fit into one of the two categories above, just like everyone else.

Wondering why we still do this in the Heartland ….


Of Oatmeal and Kaizen …

I was just fixing some instant oatmeal  … honest!

Then it hit me … if I cut off the cardboard flaps on the oatmeal box, they would no longer catch on the sides of the drawer. One quick search for a cutting tool and a few seconds of hard, manual labor … problem solved. In the middle of this little “fix it” moment, I flashed back on my first experience with the concept of continuous improvement.  

Flashback to my first professional position after graduate school:

I was responsible for the safe and effective operation of facilities, supervision of full-time and part-time staff, and charged with making resident student’s lives “better” by enhancing the educational experience of college.   I was also acutely tuned to anything which might help me do all that.  A little grounding in the work of W. Edwards Deming , along with a cursory knowledge of the PDCA Cycle and I was hooked.   Used the concept of continuous improvement in almost every professional experience since, in both paid and volunteer positions, and apparently, my personal life.

How else to explain cutting cardboard in the morning? Continue reading

Recalculating Route …

A few years ago, getting somewhere was a more complicated task …

I remember the military planning with which I used to approach family vacations.  After all, my personal well-being depended on the level of certainty with which I could deliver everyone in our nuclear family safely, quickly, and correctly to our destination of choice.

We often made our decisions about where to go based on nothing more than a pretty brochure or advertisement, a friend’s recommendation, or some mystical quest to “see the sights”.

To actually reach your planned destination, you had to know where you were going ~ The exact street address or the exact name of the place.

Then you had to find someone who knew where that destination was … and accurately record their verbal instructions for how best to reach it.

… or you could try to unfold a map, find your current position, decipher the codes used to represent places and routes, and trace your way from here to there and back again. Continue reading

Generational Clashes …I Think Not

Just had a discussion with one of my sons where he went into great detail to describe the meme of “fail” that permeates the online world at this point.  After listening to a number of examples and a description of what “fail” can represent, I responded with “Like when we used to say something ‘bombed’, right?”

“… Of course, right.”  I just needed a context that I recognized to understand the new term.

Context is important when people from different generations attempt to communicate.

In a recent discussion about generational issues in the classroom, I noted three areas where this can be problematic:

1) Different language

I’m a Boomer and have used Boomer cultural references in my psychology and sociology courses. Sometimes these fall flat with other age groups.  Assuming it’s not because my jokes are too corny to be funny, this has to be due to our language barrier.  

Language in this context includes both words and the images which they convey.

2) Different life experiences

A young person recently out of high school has a whole different set of experiences and interests than someone being retrained for their second, third, or seventh career change.

Some folks are stuck emotionally in high school, with their focus everywhere but on the coursework.  Others are highly focused on getting that degree.  Many balance multiple other roles and responsibilities, while some have nothing else to do but go to school.  Some are married, some are parents, some are bosses.

3) Values

I resist the idea of generational values because we are still ultimately individuals and ranges of behavior and beliefs will hopefully always exist.  However, I do see some differences in what is important and what is not between people of differences age ranges.

Some are conservative and some are liberal, some are outgoing and some are not, some are focused on family and flexibility, others on achievement and effort.   Responsibilities and roles do change as we age – relationships change.

Education, in my opinion, is more constant and germane to all age groups now than it has been in the past. 


In learning environments, I try to treat differences that pop up during discussions as springboards for exploring why people have different viewpoints.

I find this to be helpful in developing critical thinking skills and fascinating from a personal point of view.

TECHNOLOGY ASIDE:  I did not mention technology familiarity since that is usually just a matter of time – in adoption and in speed of usage.   I may not intuitively “get” a new app or tool, but I’ll figure it out:)

Considering my long-held and cherished beliefs in the Heartland …

Actually, I’m in a coffee shop in Frisco, Texas right now, but you get the idea:) ….


A Little Music, A Little Mindfulness …

Seasons of Love

A little musical interlude today …  Just kick back and enjoy listening to nothing but two very skilful users of the human voice do their thing.


Because it’s Sunday and because I like Peter Hollens and Evynne Hollens, two strong vocalists who specialize in A cappella covers of great songs.

In this case, they do the opening number from Rent, one of my favorite musicals.

Oh, if you are in the mood, you can reflect on the meaning of the words, which describe both the richness of a “year in the life” and the amount of change which happens as time passes.

… Then share your thoughts about how this song affects you.

Enjoy the music and the reflection  … that’s what I’m doing in the Heartland ….:)