Thursday, November 28, 2013


I did Deepak and Oprah's Meditation today, as I have been for the past two weeks, which is a miracle in and of itself.  Today's meditation was about gratitude, which is amazing because I missed some days and today's choice was random.  The thought was "being grateful opens up the universe's bounty."  I have always felt grateful because that is the right thing to do, and it keeps me grounded.  I have never thought that gratitude opens up how the universe works.

However, if I transform my attitude into one of gratitude it does reframe my life.  Deepak's interpretation almost seemed selfish.  Maybe employing a bit more self is actually a healthy and worthwhile thing to do.  Others can do their own work in a lot of areas, and I don't need to step in.  I can have emotions but don't need to trounce them onto others.  I can choose to do things which truly bring me joy, not just things that need to be done.

So, I am going to put my attitude of gratitude to work today -- timely, right?  It is America's Thanksgiving.  Back when it all began it wasn't about the Macy's parade and when to start Black Friday.  It was about how survival was good, and how the Native Americans shared skills they knew were important with a bunch of newbies.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I have been very busy since my last post.  It feels overwhelming to think about catching up but not overwhelming to pick some highlights.  Maybe that makes sense for some of you, too.  I think I live in fear of not doing enough and feeling that taking some small steps
will not lead far enough only to find that I am unraveling a big skein of life, and if I don't take those initial first small steps the skein is going to sit there untouched, getting dusty from no use or new observation.  And, when the unraveling begins….WHOA!

There are three words that thread their way through my days




If you think about it, these words can be applied to just about any situation, and even in this order.

I went to a Guidance Counselor Workshop offered by the College Board (think SAT) several weeks ago.  I wanted to increase my credibility when speaking to students, parents or guidance counselors about my game.  It was a RISK to call and ask to come.  It was a CHOICE to follow through and go, and once I arrived to choose a seat, talk about myself and what I am doing, and even raise my hand to offer my thoughts.  I was in CONTROL of how long I stayed, and the fact that I tried to get into the conference that was taking place during the rest of the week.

Go back to my earlier posts and notice the reference to Life in Motion Yoga (The Power To Do Something Meaningful, 9/17/13).  I took the RISK of making a commitment to going to yoga.  That means I go whether feeling wonderful or not and chance falling on my face while trying to balance on one foot.  It is my CHOICE because I can not go at any time because there are innumerable things to do in the place of practicing yoga and so each time I choose to go.  I am in CONTROL because I have chosen not to go a couple of times because more important things came up but then I went again despite having to face the resistance I had built up.  And, ultimately, it helps me because when things happen my feelings of stress and annoyance are much lower.

Go to my earlier post about learning being hard and that will help you prepare to appreciate what a high school student and high school parent faces when the question of IS COLLEGE A GOOD FIT FOR ME? comes up.  Going to high school was a risk but leaving high school for the next leg of the journey is fraught with RISKS!  I don't mean the kind of health and death-defying risks I helped adolescents deal with when I designed and ran an HIV Prevention group.  RISK, like Stress, gets a bad name if not used correctly and carefully.

According to Merriam-Webster, RISK is defined as something bad happening or someone being in a harmful situation.  RISK also means taking a chance which involves discomfort and imperfection.  No pain, no gain--right?  But, I hope we can minimize the pain and maximize the gain by being smart with where the risks get taken.  More about that later…

Today, I am going to exercise RISK, CHOICE, and CONTROL with the belief that we all have THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL.  I am going to risk showing you my Power Point mockup of a game focusing on DISTRACTIONS.  It is my CHOICE, even though it is not perfect and will probably bring about questions.  I am in CONTROL because I have created it, and maybe when it is done it will become meaningful.

ADDED BONUS:  Maybe we need better CHOICES

Monday, November 11, 2013

Yipes! In the US just 56% of students complete a college degree

I am utilizing the verbs FOCUS and ORGANIZE these days as I juggle the growing number of projects I am happily spending time on.  It is essential to know why I am doing this, and who I am hoping to focus on, otherwise I am going to grow old reading really compelling articles but never getting out of the living room.

The thought attached to this morning's meditation:

As is my desire, so is my intention
As is my intention, so is my will,
As is my will, so is my deed,
As is my deed, so is my destiny. (Deepak Chopra)

I really believe that education:

must be experiential
must make sense to the student

 There are a number of other subplots to this, but the bottom line is that when a student is involved (experiential) and knows why it is important to learn something (makes sense) then education becomes alive.

This is about students being involved in the college search and application process.  And, perhaps even more importantly, students knowing how to enter college being about to make it THEIR PLACE.

"The "Pathways to Prosperity" study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011 shows that just 56 percent 

of college students complete four-year degrees within six years.   Only 29 percent of those who start two-year degrees finish them within three years." (Why College Students Stop Short of a Degree by Lou Carlozo, 3/27/2012,

According to this study cost of college is a large factor, but another factor is not being prepared.  I am betting that really understanding what it means to be prepared would help make a wise choice.

I am currently reading "Making College Worth It:  A Review of the Returns to Higher Education" by Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic from the University of Toronto.  I found this article from the College Board Forum conference which took place in New York City a couple of weeks ago.

According to these two guys, "prospective students must give careful consideration to selecting the institution itself, the major to follow, and the eventual occupation to pursue." (41)  That is just the beginning.  I will add more in future posts as I work my way through their article.

How do we PREPARE?  Hhhmmmm….learn how something works, how it's constructed, who uses it or goes there, if we have the skills and talents to do the thing, if we even want to do it in the first place.
For me, the operative idea here is being part, if not all, of the preparation.

Okay, enough of reading compelling articles about things I think we all have some idea about

Switch back to the dinner table, or the living room now.

 You are sitting there with your student/child.  If you ask, "what do you really spend most of your time doing?" what would he or she say (truthfully)?  Is it all about tests and homework?  Is that realistic when you are an adult?

If you ask, "if you could do any job for one day, what would it be?"
Do they get distracted?  Do you or their instructors tell them that is a bad idea and they shouldn't do that?

Do they have their own room?  Have they ever been away from home without you?

Do they know what the overall cost of going to the college of their choice is, for a year?  Do they know how much their loan payment will be at the end of college, each month?

This is what I am working on…students working on learning about things before the wonderful, parental conveyer belt of taking care of things stops.  FOCUS:  Students  MY HOPE:  It will be fun and compelling.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Twitter Address!!

Yesterday I ran into a woman who was walking her dog.  She has a site called and she told me I needed to claim Small Steps Go Places on social media.  She has a lovely site, which you should go see!  And, now, I have a new Twitter called Small Steps Go.

I also have a rough draft for my game context.  It is time to post here again, which I am now going to work on, but I wanted to give you a Tweet update...