Where are you in your 2018 Book Challenge? Join me on GoodReads to track your progress.
To support Henderson Memorial Public Library, I signed up this year for the ICON 100 Book Challenge. Yikes! Posting reviews on YouTube Live kept getting shut down midstream, so GoodReads is the place to follow along.
While nearing the halfway mark, and want to highlight some of my favorites so far (in no particular order):
If you’ve memorized the original Star Wars movie trilogy, Timothy Zahn’s work is extremely satisfying. He is adept at maintaining a wide range of delightful characters’ voices, while keeping a fast-paced plot moving and tightly focused. Just like with Darth Vader, Thrawn is written as the villain you love to hate: terrifyingly skilled, yet somehow still has a human (Chiss?) heart underneath it all, buried very deep. The juxtaposition of Thrawn with other beloved Star Wars characters such as Padme Amidala and Grand Moff Tarkin is brilliantly written.
I think in some ways, Thrawn is an autobiographical portrait of the author in terms of his ability to outthink everyone around them in ways that are awe-inspiring, instead of condescending. These newest additions to the bookshelves will have even more Star Wars geeks screaming to see Thrawn on the screen.
At one point, a stormtrooper reflects on Grand Admiral Thrawn’s leadership style: “If he lasted long enough, maybe those lessons would someday become the military standard. If that happened, he suspected, the Empire would stand forever.”
The Star Wars Empire, anyway.
This collection of essays documents the early experiments in applying Montessori’s educational methods to catechesis (religious education). The ideas are practical, refreshing, and inspiring. If you’ve participated in formation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and want to go deeper, I highly recommend this book.
The best commentary on Job & the problem of evil I’ve ever encountered, in a format understandable even by elementary-age children. Read it.
Part storytelling, part sociological analysis, Malcolm Gladwell’s arguments are worth reading all the way to the end, even if you come to differing conclusions. If I were forced to recommend just one chapter, I would make “Seven Seconds in the Bronx” required reading. This is one of those books that might actually save lives.
Montessori children come with the same personalities, challenges, delays, and absurdities as other humans. This book confirms it.
Whether you’re in a Montessori environment or not, this book contains a series of valuable vignettes about developing an inclusive community among children. I have to warn potential readers, though, that the book turns into an argument for Montessori method first and only. If you can tolerate the constant digs against non-Montessori educators, the beautiful descriptions and creative solutions are well worth the read.
Adult literacy providers and supporters in the Cleveland area have two exciting opportunities next week to network and learn:
Want to revolutionze adult literacy by testing out the newest, research-based adult literacy mobile apps? Willing to compete for a chance at $1 million by motivating the most adult learners to utilize mobile learning? Register for free lunch and more information at 1pm on September 12th at Cleveland Public Library, Main Branch.
Not in Ohio? Find out more about the Communities Competition here.
Many years ago, Christine Lee trained me as a volunteer adult literacy tutor, opening my eyes to the depth of the issue and inspiring my future career path.
More recently, Christine continues to inspire awareness and involvement with the crazy, fun idea to host a corporate spelling bee fundraiser to benefit adult literacy.
The whole team at The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland has worked to make this fun idea a reality. On September 13th, CLE-BEE will celebrate its 3rd year with high energy, local celebrities… and of course some good food and drink.
Hope to see you there!
St Patrick came to know God during his years as a shepherd on the Irish hills, later to return and forgive those who enslaved him. Patrick wrote many letters denouncing slavery, and promoting peace among warring clans.
Today, the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh is called the Primate of All Ireland (cool, no?). The cathedral in Armagh is built on the stones of a church laid in 445 by St Patrick himself. Rev Dr Robin Eames held the seat in St Patrick’s Cathedral
during The Troubles in the 80s & 90s when every priest on either side of the border and conflict was burying innocent people, along with some not-so-innocents.
One day, Eames encountered a house fire surrounded by an angry mob with a Roman Catholic girl trapped. Due to his position, he was able to carry her through the loyalist crowd to safety. Many years later, he was hospitalized. One of the nurses said, “Do you remember me? You saved my life. Thank you.” Due to her position, she was able to carry him back to health.
Eames’ tenure saw a great deal of controversy, but he was adamant about one thing: no victory flags.
Parades, protests, and rallies only sow further division. As recently as 2006, when 3 boys were burned in their beds, he responded: “In the name of God, please leave the hill at Drumcree. You’ve made your points.”
Studying that period, particularly areas where true social change was achieved in a period of unrest, I have taken this to heart:
the way to peacefully resolve conflict is through prayer, relationship, and diligent research. Heated dialogue, years of study, sure. But be aggressive about uncovering Truth, not defeating people.
This is how we pass along the torch of our noble Irish and Christian heritage: by celebrating those who uphold the dignity of the human person, and strive for integrity in the life of faith.
New tech tools are released every day to enhance education. What are some best practices and easiest-to-use applications?
Are you in the Greater Cleveland area? Bring Your Own Device to join me on Friday, February 16th for a FREE workshop hosted by The Literacy Cooperative. Register ASAP to attend (limit 30 participants). Bring your own device to this workshop and add some new solutions to your toolbelt.
Not in the Greater Cleveland area? Sign up for the online version of the workshop and follow along LIVE from home or work, anywhere with an internet connection.
Both in person and online, our focus will be on interactive technology: tools that can improve communication and build relationships. In particular, we will play with creating online courses, polls, short instructional videos, and live quizzes. Meanwhile, we will learn about transactional distance, formative assessment, zone of proximal development, and blended learning… in a fun environment of exploration.
New book review available! I’ve enjoyed KK.com for a while, and finally finished this longer work on the verbs that HUMANS will be doing in our new digital age. I’m having a little trouble with YouTube Live, so there’s a delay in posting, but I have a third book review video hopefully processing now on Little Book of Conflict Transformation by John Paul Lederach. I’m also in the process of reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and Laudato Si by Pope Francis.
Please support this read-a-thon by subscribing to the YouTube playlist and sending a donation to Henderson Library Association, 54 E Jefferson St, Jefferson, OH 44047.
As you know, I love books, and I love serving my community, which leads to a natural love of my local public library. So this year, I’ll be joining Henderson Memorial Public Library’s 100 Book Challenge…with a twist.
I’m going to vlog my book reviews on YouTube live, at the pace of 2 books per week. This read-a-thon is also to raise funds for Henderson Memorial Public Library Association: a small town library with a big furnace problem.
Check out my first edition, and subscribe to see them all:
Let me know: What are your quick reading suggestions for 2018?
Are in Ohio or another state moving to three High School Equivalency tests? Get a jump on the new content with this exclusive one-day offer:
Use the coupon code: CYBER.
Learn about key differences between the tests, consider how they will impact your adult education classroom, and ask your questions or comment to share with other online participants.
This training is also available as a facilitated webinar, but space is limited. Contact Meagen at 216.973.4977 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot for 2018.
Each of us has a very real choice of being “tricked” into hatred, vice and death or choosing to “treat” one another as loving neighbors.
You see, Christianity is in many ways the least original religion of all time. It comes in to new spaces, and says, “Oh hey, tell me more about that. That’s pretty cool. Here’s how I would do that in light of my relationship with Jesus…”
Christianity tends to be counter-cultural…
…but that doesn’t mean culture-destroying.
Not all Christians have been gentle, but I would argue that Christianity has largely spread as an organic force, just as Jesus described: a seed that grows, a yeast that rises within. Organic cultural contact is an irrevocable element of being human, and an inevitable part of being religious.
Still, there are limits when “organic” turns to “toxic.” Christianity can only grow as long as it values and redeems the lives and symbols and societies it touches.
But that change comes by transforming our lives with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, not merely by external traditions (or their rejection).
I get this idea from the way Jesus described the Kingdom of Heaven as:
Because not all the dead are holy.
YOU have the choice between good or evil, between love or hatred of neighbor, between worship or mockery of God.