Archive for the 'Zen' Category

WE LABOR IN THE DARK…

September 10th, 2017

I finished Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance yesterday and for the first time in many years, perhaps decades, I truly came across a new, for me, way to look at planning and goal setting. For most of my life I have relied on the wisdom of Charles Hobbs as recorded in […]

MY DAILY EXISTENTIAL CONUNDRUM…

September 2nd, 2017

A few years ago, when I moved from walkable Cleveland Heights (No. 6) to the unwalkable North Royalton (No. 108), I faced a challenge in my life. I was doubling the amount of gasoline I purchased each week because, where I previously dealt with drive times of 10-15 minutes to see my students, I suddenly […]

WHAT HAPPENED WHILE I WAS GONE THINKING…

September 1st, 2017

So, two weeks ago I went thinking to prepare for the beginning of the school year. My major challenge is that I’ve got an early start this year and I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings—even rising at 0330 which is my routine—to get all the work done that I like. The […]

ANNDDD, I’M BACK…

August 28th, 2017

A most fruitful week. Look for details tomorrow.

GONE THINKING…

August 21st, 2017

I’m taking a few days off. I will check email once a day and rest assured that any posts from Roldo will go up as usual. Go take a walk. Drink some coffee (or tea). Enjoy.

A MINUTE IS A MINUTE IS A… WHAT…?

August 20th, 2017

Here’s an experiment. Find a timepiece with a second hand (or a digital timer that counts seconds), sit down comfortably and at the zero-seconds mark close your eyes and subjectively begin counting seconds: one Mississippi, two Mississippi (or whatever trick you want) until you reach sixty and then open your eyes and see how many […]

NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO HAS THE ANSWERS…

August 12th, 2017

When I was an undergrad at Ohio University during the Reagan years, I learned never to date psychology students because they seemed to be focused on finding cures for what ailed them. Oliver Burkeman, writing in his weekly essay This column will change your life for The Guardian expands my epiphany to include the authors […]

BEST DESCRIPTION OF PROCRASTINATION EVER

July 25th, 2017

Oliver Burkeman, writing in On being tempted by the call of the perverse for The Guardian, quotes a bit of Edgar Allan Poe on productivity’s hoariest demon: procrastination. Burkeman pulls only a few words from Poe but I was motivated to read the entire work—an essay-cum-short story titled The Imp of the Perverse. There Poe […]

OBSESSION WITH PRODUCTIVITY NOT PRODUCTIVE…

July 19th, 2017

So, over the past three years I’ve been gradually working myself through Oliver Burkeman’s opus: This Column Will Change Your Life—yes, the title is tongue-in-cheek—because, like Burkeman, I have a lifelong obsession with being better. For me, the focus began in high school when I stole the book How To Study Better And Get Higher […]

YOU CAN BE PERFECT, BUT NOT EVERYWHERE…

July 7th, 2017

There are many others like myself who find much to admire or even fetishize about Japanese culture. One aspect that came to be aware of decades ago is that Japanese culture is not innovative, but rather perfectionist. Given any foreign development, Japanese will work tirelessly to improve and improve and improve until perfection is achieved. […]

ALBERT CAMUS ON DEATH, GOD AND FREEDOM…

June 11th, 2017

I went on a bit of a Camus jag a few years ago, reading The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus and several other of his essays and then earlier this year, at the recommendation of Charles Johnson in his The Way Of The Writer, I began reading Camus’ notebooks. Doing so led me this morning […]

ACKNOWLEDGING IGNORANCE IS IMPORTANT…

May 22nd, 2017

I tell students that I awaken each morning celebrating my own ignorance because that means I get to learn new information. Yet, back in the ’90s a young man on my staff told me that I was intimidating because I always seemed to have information just waiting between my ears to answer a particular question. […]

READING THIS WILL MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE…

May 19th, 2017

Making people aware of a bad behavior makes people more likely to engage in that bad behavior. Our mothers were wrong: if everybody is jumping off the bridge, of course you’re going to want to jump off the bridge, even if doing so is blindingly stupid. Yes, yes. I know that that is counter intuitive […]

SLOW TELEVISION RIDE ON A SLOW NARROWBOAT…

April 28th, 2017

I only just discovered Slow TV yesterday thanks to PRI’s The World. The Guardian also did this piece: The ultimate slow TV: a 168-hour show on reindeer migration.

EXERCISING PATIENCE IN THE INTERNET AGE…

April 14th, 2017

This may be the most extreme example of a personal marshmallow test I have ever come across. Nadeem Aslam, writing in I take delight that my initials in Urdu look like a pen by an inkwell for The Guardian relates his experience: There are afternoons when I don’t write, using the internet instead. I see […]

DEEP WORK SAY HELLO TO DEEP READING…

April 5th, 2017

From the viewpoint of evolution, distraction is good. If you’re munching on a piece of fruit you really, really want to be distracted by that snapping twig because there might (probably is?) another animal desirous of munching on you. Sitting in your chair at home (unless you were cast in a George Romero film) footsteps […]

TAKING A WALK TO THE RABBIT HOLE…

March 22nd, 2017

I am a lifelong accumulator, a finder of the trivial and unconnected. In my woke mind I assemble a gestalt of bits and bobs that occasionally reach out to each other in momentarily flashes of synergy to pass for genius. This, perhaps, is why I treasured my first library card and spent whole days in […]

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET US SAY GRACE…

February 21st, 2017

Previously…

MANAGER YOUR TIME BY MANAGING YOUR ENERGY…

February 14th, 2017

Occasionally I find a post—rather than a comic—from Scott Adams worth repeating. This post on managing energy to manage time resonates with all the reading I’ve been doing from Cal Newport since I finished his Deep Work last year. The key challenge to the strategy is that most people do are not self-employed and able […]

WHY DO WE WANT MORE THAN ALL WE CAN BE…?

February 11th, 2017

Last year I distributed images to several friends and associates of Superman and Wonder Woman in the power poses described by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk. Cuddy’s concept is akin to the Fake it until you make it philosophy and has come under attack in the years since she first proposed her idea, but […]

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