Author Archive

Life Learned Abroad 24-hr eBook Giveaway

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To promote the re-release of my book, “Life Learned Abroad: Lessons on Humanity from China,” I’m running an all-day promotion.   Just for today, Sunday March 1, the Kindle version is available to download for FREE. (This can be read on a Kindle or a Kindle Reader app on any device.)   This digital version […]

Don’t Be a Bully: Let e-Cigarette Smokers Light Up

A few years back, I was disappointed when Bemidji State University–the college nearest where I grew up, where I attended music camp, and where my brother graduated–initiated a strict no-tobacco policy. I was disappointed because under the guise of providing “the public with a safe and healthy work environment” the ban included snuff, which hurts no […]

My China Book Revised, Re-released…and free this Sunday

About a year ago, I finished a book about my travels and insights while living in China in 2010-2011. I held two book release events in Bemidji and Minneapolis. (I almost had to cancel the Minneapolis one, because as you recall, last winter was brutal.) But people came out on this below-zero January afternoon, and we had a […]

The African Slum School

Imagery of a primary school includes playfulness, nurturing, and the planting of seeds of education and a bright future. Imagery of a slum is one of struggle, suffering, and the seeds to a short, hard life. Today we put these two together. *** After we had toured the Bwaise slum and visited the residence of a mother of […]

Visit to an African Slum

An African slum. What comes to mind? I was given the chance to visit one of these extreme environments. And for the next two weeks I’ll show you photos and video of the conditions, the lives, and the institutions of a slum in Kampala, Uganda. *** Earlier this day, my guide at the Gaddhafi Mosque had […]

Fifty Shades of Adult Content at Your Local Target

You won’t find adult magazines or X-rated films at Target, but you will find that which is comparable. According to Webster’s, pornography simply is: “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.” For some reason(s), we’ve generally labeled and judged as “adult” or “mature content” only that which […]

Religion in Uganda: I Visit a Temple and a Mosque

What religion are people in East Africa? Christian? Muslim? Tribal mythologies? Witchcraft? How about dread-locked Rastafari? Yes. Contrasting people of Europe or China, those in Africa are especially open to religion. This openness combined with the influence of outsiders over recent centuries, means a lot of different faiths have taken hold. In June, I was […]

Labor Unions: Effective. Political. Necessary?

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I work for a school. Last week there was a board meeting, and as communication coordinator I was there to stay current on new business. Unbeknownst to me, the teachers had decided to attend as well. They came in large numbers filling the library and all wearing blue T-shirts with yellow lettering reading, “Because our […]

New Country, New Trek: Into Uganda

At night I lay sick in my saggy bed in my dingy motel in Bukoba, wishing that buses could leave later in the morning. I wanted to sleep in the next morning, but dawn-departure trips seemed the norm. Surprisingly, I awoke feeling okay. In fact, I was eager to leave this city on the west […]

The Difficulty of School Behavioral Policy, of Policy in General

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This week at my job at a Twin Cities charter school, I was asked to review their new discipline policy. In accordance with the state of Minnesota, and also the school’s own standards, the document stretched 17 pages addressing everything from what constitutes (and how to respond to) food fights, firearms, bullying, sexual harassment, improper […]