Sunday, July 17, 2016

Codex Vitae

In General
6 blind men and the elephant. We all have pieces of reality – all true, all incomplete, all wrong if considered complete. "You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist." ~Nietzsche
Find something worthy to care about (youth engaged in their education, particularly teens). Then be relentless about being effective in this cause.

Believe everything that David Allen / GtD says (although I find it incomplete). The mind is for having ideas, not holding them. Have a system that frees up one’s mind.
Any commitment made – write it down.
Figure out the roles piece. I can turn projects into widgets and crank them out but not roles – ongoing commitments to hold to some standard.

Calories in / calories out are all that matter for weight loss and maintenance.
But mood and effect of food are caused by much, much more and that in turn affects weight. I don’t have any particular beliefs about nutrition – I treat much of it skeptically.
Always eat protein based breakfast. Less hungry later. Protein tends to keep me in good energy.
Want the ideal cupboard of allotments of the correct calories and best effect on my energy and then eat nothing but.

Physical Fitness
Exercise helps EVERYTHING else – the mind, attitude, psychology, fitness. It’s essential but not sufficient for weight loss. Food plays too big a role. Cross training, aerobic, strength and balance/flexibility cover it all (though despite this belief, I primarily just run).
Run three times a week. No matter what – through injury, sickness, bad weather, any location. Have kept this up for over 5 years.
Do have a similar commitment to all around fitness that includes what I listed in beliefs.

Mental and Emotional Wellness
Proper balance to spiritual and physical. Meditation is best practice for me for emotional wellness. Mental – so important yet don’t do anything in particular to address it. I feel like I am always applying my mind. Love chess, crossword puzzles. But, best application of the mental is to real-life organizational adaptive change.
Meditate every day no matter what.
Design a life where there’s time to indulge in deep thinking.
We are the average of the people we surround ourselves with. Our identities are malleable and are a function of emergence that occurs in interactions with other.
Be nice.
Be nice

Material World
I love things and when having taken a test found that I had a hedonistic value. I enjoy nice things. BUT, I adjust easily to whatever my conditions even when meager.
Carve out my own space – some sanctuary.
Be happy with what I have. Make the most out of whatever I have.

Just a means of exchange. Not meaningful in and of itself.
Save & budget.
Generate a passive income and or “endowment” I can live off of.
I focus on what is functional.
Spend very little on myself regarding things.
No clutter. Nothing more than what I need/want that is functional.

Despise work that I’m not motivated to do – has no meaning for me. But, if I find meaning, it’s no longer work. Others see me as a workaholic but it doesn’t occur that way for me.
Do what I love. Quit what I don’t. Work within my strengths.
Design my career so that it is only flow work.
Doesn’t apply to my personal life. Philosophically I tend towards believing in free market.
Look for market solutions before resorting to government.
Would like to have a much deeper, comprehensive understanding of economics.

One of my strengths. TH White from Once and Future King: “The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
If I’m every confused, stuck, sad…learning something. See above.
Become a learning machine like Tim Ferriss, Josh Wozniak.
Passion Projects
What life is for.
Journal frequently. Don’t feel like I am yet pursuing passion projects as I would like so next best think is to constantly record thoughts, lines of inquiry.
Endless: chess master, languages, school of life (alain de botton), philosophy, economics, theories of emergence, cognitive science….etc.

Politics / Society (my addition beyond template)
The majority of people are well meaning. Just read somewhere that one’s politics is one’s genuine attempt to improve the world.  I think that is mostly accurate (there’s always a small percentage of bad people). The three big domains in society are (a) government (which in turn has balance of power among three branches), (b) the market and (c) public choice (ie., unions that organize, black lives matter). Ensuring the conditions so that all three live in balancing each other is the best approach.
Assume good intentions, be pragmatic, DO NOT demonize others.
Get a better understand and be real articulate about the three domains I described above.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Director & Teaching Positions at Expeditionary Learning School, NM

Director Position Open: August, 2011
Río Gallinas School for Ecology and the Arts, Las Vegas, New Mexico
Expeditionary Learning Public Charter School, First through Eighth grades

Río Gallinas School for Ecology and the Arts is an Expeditionary Learning charter school with a commitment to social justice and experiential learning. We have an excellent track record for hands-on learning inside and outside the classroom, and are experienced and successful in developing engaging expeditions that are interdisciplinary and arts based.
Our School:
            *Public charter school associated with the West Las Vegas School District
            *110 students grades 1st through 8th 
            *emphasis on fine and performing arts and ecological studies
            *a diverse student body in a rural, primarily Hispanic population,
            *77% free or reduced lunch program
            *Two campuses and adjacent Grow Dome greenhouse/learning space
            *Has met Annual Yearly Progress each year
            *7th year charter school, 6th year Expeditionary Learning program

Our ideal Director candidate would probably be:
*compassionate, energetic and visionary,
*a dedicated and collaborative educator,
*inspired by children, sensitive to their social and emotional needs,
*passionately dedicated to equity and access in education and the          transformative value of a caring community
*familiar with and dedicated to Expeditionary Learning approaches,
*interested in serving an educationally challenged and diverse population in a beautiful rural northern New Mexico landscape,
*enthused by the arts and by working toward ecological solutions,
*a strong manager, comfortable handling budgeting and financial matters (in conjuction with a contracted business manager/fiscal agent),
*committed to non-punitive management,
*academic coach
*able to work collaboratively

The candidate must possess, or be able to obtain by August, an administrative license.

Upper School Teacher (5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade)

Our ideal candidate would…
            *enjoy collaborative teaching
            *have a passion and experience in outdoor adventures
            *be able to teach in an interdisciplinary manner
            *be experienced in Expeditionary Learning protocols
            *be a creative curriculum developer
            *be ecologically concerned and positive
            *exhibit strong and compassionate classroom management
            *have a love and appreciation of the arts
            *drive a school bus (hey, we can ask)
            *enthusiastic in supporting individual student gifts
            *New Mexico teacher certification grades k-8
            *be cross culturally sensitive
            *speak Spanish
            *want to serve a diverse population
            *love to ski, kayak, bike, snowboard, hike, and / or raft

The position starts August, 2011.  Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.  Río Gallinas School for Ecology and the Arts is an equal opportunity employer.  Río Gallinas School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.
To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume to School Secretary Renay Cole at Río Gallinas School, 301 Socorro Street, Las Vegas, NM 87701.  Letters of interest and resumes may also be emailed to; please get confirmation of email receipt. 
Application Closing Date: April 22, 2011.  The position will remain open until filled.
For more information about our school, please see
For more information about the position, email Naomi Swinton, Chair, Governing Council:

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Professional Development Center and Grad Nation

The Professional Development Center at Eagle Rock School has been working through networks and organizations, bringing together schools in large numbers who are working with disenfranchised youth. We see General Powell's Grad Nation campaign as part of the mission we have been working on for the past 17 years.

Read more at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center for the role we play.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Anger, Blame and Organizational Priorities

In a previous post, I mentioned two educators who widely share their materials on quality professional development. Their blogs show off some nice clips of their own professional development sessions. Meanwhile, I still have photos on my digital camera because I'm not sure how to download them onto my computer (more importantly, I'm never sure where these photos go when I download them or how to manage the files into logical categories). You will notice no nice clips on this blog. Using and integrating technology is not my area of expertise and I'm not always clear on how to direct my own learning in this area.

Recently, I filmed our instructors teaching lessons and wanted to post the video on a school server for other teachers to view. I spent hours one weekend trying to transfer the film from a camera to my laptop and then trying to move that clip to the server. These were hours confronting the difference between compressed and uncompressed film and learning that my conversions to Quick Time only pick up what is in my project library in iMovie. I couldn't transfer film to the server and didn't know how to manipulate the film I was importing. I wanted to toss the camera and laptop in the nearest trash bin, as I experienced the equivalent of road rage.

I wish I had been more reflective in that moment and thought -- "hey, it's my fault trying to do something on the weekend when no one is around to help and I probably should have listened better or taken better notes when I was instructed on how to do all this." those opportunities to reflect just go whooshing by. Instead, I ranted. I sent an email to a colleague complaining about the lack of technology support.

My wise and thoughtful colleague replied, "I'm sure that we all have a perspective on something that could/should work better. I guess the trick is continuing to explore those things with an eye toward the overall priorities. Some things will rise in importance and some we'll just have to live with as is. I do think that in the absence of any guiding principles with regard to organizational priorities, any one of us can become consumed with our own perspective."

He got me thinking about how any one who is experiencing any problem at any time could be prone, as I was, to wondering how others could improve. We operate always and automatically from our own self-interests and forget about the needs of others. How many teachers are teaching right now while I'm composing this blog wishing that I or my department were in their classroom helping them with their instruction, taking more time to provide feedback on their lesson plans or working on their behalf to gather resources they need to teach? I am learning to be more patient in getting my own needs met as well as empathetic about what others need.

Another point raised in my colleague's response, is that some of the frustration could be mitigated if we were all clearer on organizational priorities. That way we would know what is on the horizon for planned improvement and how we were all playing a part.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Take Leadership in School Reform

ACE Leadership High School seeks the founding instructional leader for a cutting edge small high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The New Mexico School for Architecture, Construction and Engineering (NMACE) will open in July 2010 and our goal is to name the Principal in June of the 2010. The Principal position is the most critical initial hire for the school and he/she is considered to be a co-founder of the institution who is chiefly responsible for further developing and ultimately implementing the vision of the school. Our goal is for ACE Leadership to be a catalyst for reform in New Mexico and across the country and the principal will be intimately involved with creating a strategy to make this happen.
The Principal will be a partner to the Executive Director who is chiefly responsible for the business operations of the school and public positioning of the institution as a leader in school reform. We envision a dynamic working relationship that leverages philanthropy, public-private partnerships with the construction industry, and relationships with policy makers to ensure a lasting impact of the school.
ACE Leadership has a three pronged strategy for change:
9-12 high school (325 students) focused on preparing low income young people of color to become leaders in the construction profession
Re-engagement Center (100 students) focused on providing industry specific coursework and support that prepares young adults who wish to re-engage in high school and transition to an apprenticeship upon graduation.
Professional Development Center that will ultimately replicate the ACE Leadership model, provide for the ongoing training needs of the staff and disseminate the best practice to others outside the institution.

Essential Facts: Opening July 2010 ∞ 430 students when fully developed ∞ Year round calendar ∞ six annual weeks of staff planning/training ∞ Competitive compensation and benefits ∞ Relocation expenses ∞ Sponsored by the Associated General Contractors, the most highly regarded Construction industry organization in the country ∞ small high school leadership experience and applied learning expertise are the key attributes for the position.

Contact: Tony Monfiletto, Executive Director New Mexico Building and Education Congress, (505) 573-4024,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Participate in Student Exhibitions

We celebrate National Exhibition Month ( three times a year at the nationally recognized Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center ( located in Estes Park, Colorado.

At the end of our trimesters, Eagle Rock students prepare a presentation that displays evidence of their learning during that trimester. The presentations are made before members of the Eagle Rock community and a panel composed of guests who may be teachers, administrators, community members, representatives of participating school districts and higher education, and others who are interested in alternative assessment, education renewal & the progress of Eagle Rock School & our students.

Each student prepares for a 30-minute discussion of her/his learning: 15 minutes for a formal presentation and 15 minutes to answer questions from the panel.

Would you consider being a part of our panel for our winter/spring trimester? The Presentations of Learning will take place on Monday, April 5th and Tuesday, April 6th, 2010. We would be pleased to have you participate on a panel for a morning, an afternoon, or a full day. A reply form may be found here (print and return by mail or fax):

Because of the scheduling involved, we would like to have your reply by March 1, 2010. If the form is not returned by then, we will assume you are unable to join us for our celebration of learning this trimester. Additionally, we may be able to provide overnight accommodations and meals, with prior reservations made with Kelsey Glass ( )

Please learn more about our exhibitions here (including viewing video samples online):

We hope to see you in April in the Mountains!

Feel free to forward this email to other educators who may benefit from learning about schools that promote and celebrate exhibitions as a preferred form of student assessment!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spanish Instructional Specialist / Houseparent

Newest position avaialable at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center. It's a great place to work.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Instructor Component: Develop, implement, and oversee Spanish instruction, coordinate other part-time language instructors (historically we’ve offered Latin, French, Italian, and American Sign Language). Includes opportunity to expand current program; construct curriculum; co-teach interdisciplinary classes; draft and maintain a budget; and mentor a Public Allies fellow (teacher in training). Participate as part of the instructional team. Actively participate in other duties related to a residential, community oriented high school (leading evening and periodic weekend duty, playing intramurals, attending all school events, house parenting, leading an advisory, etc.). Review Eagle Rock's curriculum overview here:

House Parent Component: Depending upon availability move into house parent role (openings occur periodically, candidate would typically not become a house parent until after 1st year on staff). Role includes living in an apartment attached to student housing. Providing supervision and support to up to 8 female and 8 male students. Coordinate the house team consisting of 4 full time staff and 2 Public Allies Teaching Fellows. Review Eagle Rock's living village here:

QUALIFICATIONS: BS/BA required, 3 years previous experience in a high school language department with a wide variety of course designs and program models (i.e., Total Physical Response (TPR), Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS), the Natural Approach, immersion models, and / or the Communicative Approach). Native speakers are strongly encouraged to apply. Experience with interdisciplinary curriculum design, experiential education, project-based learning, and Understanding by Design process helpful. Experience embedding skill development through active-learning within the realm of authentic projects helpful. Excellent collaboration skills with teachers from other disciplines to supplement and enhance projects with language elements, instruction, themes, and products. Experience working with diverse populations including a mix of LGBTQ students; students from low and middle income backgrounds; students from suburban, urban, and rural settings; and students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds all of whom have not found success in traditional educational settings. The successful candidate for this position will possess the following attributes: a deep love for high school students; demonstrated success in collaborative work with external and internal colleagues; adept interpersonal skills; a sense of humor; visionary thinking; a commitment to lifelong learning; and a realization that working at a residential school is more of a calling than a job.

COMPENSATION: Salary competitive based upon experience, excellent benefits, professional development support.

TO APPLY: Position open until filled. Start date August 30, 2010 with possible early start (Summer 2010). Send cover letter (please address 3 components of the job: instruction, community involvement, and house parenting in the letter), resume, 3 professional reference names & phone numbers, and a sample project-based learning experience to Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, Attn: Spanish Language IS Search Committee, 2750 Notaiah Road, Estes Park, CO 80517 or email to No phone calls please. Eagle Rock School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Eagle Rock School proactively seeks a diverse workplace and therefore members of racial/ethnic minorities and other protected classes are encouraged to apply.