Author Archive

I Received an Old Dollar Bill as Change; A Lesson Ensued

  “Hold on,” said the barista as she studied the bill she was about to hand back to me for change. She looked down at it with wrinkled brow. The she held it up to the light. I joked about counterfeiters probably not wasting time producing dollar bills. The barista couldn’t find her counterfeit-finding pen […]

The Hmong Mountain Village in Thailand

We walked past one-room houses of bamboo stick walls, straw roofs, and dirt floors. Chickens scampered and clucked about. Children played barefoot and parents in flip-flops tended to the babies, prepped meals, or conducted other daily chores. This was a quiet lifestyle. No machines–though it felt as if we had entered a time machine and gone […]

The Minnesota Mike Rowe

  Meet Chris Hensiak, welding instructor at Hennepin Technical College. I met him while researching a story about work being done to help lives in inner-city Minneapolis. His school is partnered with a north Minneapolis nonprofit to provide welding and machining education to local young adults. The demand, on both ends, is high. “They’ll take […]

Teaching Football to Thai Students

  Blue 42; Blue 42!! Our interactions with our sister school in the rural hill country of Thailand went beyond the classroom. Scheduled for two days were: a service project and a sports day. And like my Mom taught me, you do the work first. Then you can go play in the field. *** A service project […]

Why Do Americans Think There Are Way More Gay People Than There Really Are?

  What percentage of Americans are gay? The standard, pop-educated answer is 10% — based on research from Alfred Kinsey from the 40’s that has become stuck into the collective wisdom. The problem is this number is considerably higher than the actual figure. Interestingly, though, people not familiar with the 10% idea are even more inaccurate. In the poll […]

Visiting our Sister School in the Hills of Thailand

  On the morning of May 7, we awoke in our half-star hotel in Thoeng to fulfill the core purpose for our school’s travel to Thailand: meeting our sister school in the rural north. As we had done the day before, we loaded up the vans, left town, and rode the windy, up-n-down road to-and-through the hilly countryside. […]

Forcing Liberal-Leaners to Rethink their Ideology: Ivy League School Discrimination of Asians

  “Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard.” –The Wall Street Journal As was discussed recently when a Minnesota senior was accepted into all eight Ivy League schools, […]

From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and Our First Look at Laos

  Only one letter separates them, but these two places in Thailand were distinct–especially since we had stayed in Chiang Mai the city and we were now going to be in Chiang Rai the rural province. We said goodbye to the beautiful urban for a quieter, less developed environment. This meant fewer “nice” things like […]

Bike Hype

  The announcement is making the rounds. “Minneapolis is only U.S. city on worldwide bike-friendly list“ A Minnesota city making a heralded list of 20 Most Bike-friendly Cities on the Planet has now made news on, Minnesota newspapers, and on my Facebook feed. As I saw Facebook friends sharing the article, I thought about why they did […]

The Art and Artists of Chiang Mai, Thailand

  Long-nose beasts and long-neck women starred in previous posts and indeed highlighted our time in Thailand’s northern star, Chiang Mai. Yet Chiang Mai itself was one, big highlight made possible by the constant beauty of, from, and around the city. Day Two in Chiang Mai had us load up into our vans and lumber up […]

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