Blockhead or Beautiful Bald Boy?

Killer Bs

Our new ASC team member, RE, has me thinking about ole’ Chuck Brown…

And, of course, fall means football…the Steelers finally won a game…but back to those lovable, bobble-headed Peanuts…

Related imageYou know the story, Lucy plays holder and uses all manner of trickery (MENDACITY!, Big Daddy says) to convince Charlie this time will be his time, his “arrival,” if you will…

So goes Chuck, feet pattering, sneakers squeaking …Lucy(fer) pulls her witchery…+ the ball...and Charlie B. goes prostrate again.

As audience, voyeur, spectator to Charlie’s endless torment…it seems as though we can place ourselves in one of two camps. Ole’ Chuck Brown is either:

A. Blockhead


B. Beautiful, bald boy

And maybe our choice says more about us than these wobbly little iconographies forever lodged somewhere between child and adult, simple and sage.

And this, of course, reminds me of the Cherokee parable, Two Wolves, you may be familiar with it too:

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

So to recap (using a recommended study strategy of course):


I mean thinking has a way of bringing you back around. So, Chickens, I wonder…

  • What camp are you in?
  • Which wolf do you feed?
  • What are you thinking?

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How’you “Goal’in” These Days, Chickens?

Did you know…

  • People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than people without goals

  • All motivational ‘gurus’ agree that goals should be written down

So today, in the ASC, we’re namin’ our goals…in writing. There’s something about ‘putting it in writing’, right? It’s a psychological thing…when we see something in black ‘n’ white it becomes real, tangible…(probably why, when he’s not looking, presidential aides are secretly removing letters Trump has written from his desk to shred them; fortunately, he’s easily distracted…oops, different post. Different blog, actually.)

Add to this sharing your goals with others and we up the ante on our commitment. We become accountable.

I can’t lie, Chickens, I’m not going to win any awards for goal setting. I mean, in the whirling dervish of my thoughts, there are ideas about things I’d like to accomplish…

thought bubble

But friends, this is “goal’in” done wrong. Here’s why:

  1. Pie-in-the-sky, my Poultry-Pals. These are not realistic goals. They’re well beyond my current resources and abilities. Think small. One step at a time.
  2. Outta’ freakin’ control. These are not goals I can have any control over. I cannot control how others label literature and with a last name that is not Kardashian or Beyonce, (is that a last name?) I have no influence on the cultural zeitgeist.
  3. Get SMART. Good goals are smart…specific. What exactly will be done? How? When? And why does it matter?

Por ejemplo: →thought bubble 2

So you can see the difference, right? It’s realistic (you know, provided I actually have an idea for…and want to write…a novel), I can control the outcome (as much as I can control how much sugar I eat), and I know exactly what tangible item I should have when this goal is reached. I know how I will construct my outline, when it should be complete, and it’s value to me in terms of progress and accomplishment, right?

IF this was a real goal (HA! Sigh.)…I would probably want to start making it even smaller…1 chapter a week…benchmarks for soliciting feedback…I mean, the goals get gritty ya’ll…which is why they work.

We’re forced, through the articulation of good goals, to do the “think-work” that’s needed (and often neglected) before, during, and after each “scene” of our lives.

Related imageSo let’s look at what should be a regular goal-setting routine for students…coursework.

   →I will read Chapter 15 of my A&P textbook by Friday.

Okay. A good start, Chic-a-dees. But let’s keep the larger ‘student’ context in mind – learning. What are your ‘learning’ goals for chapter 15?

  → By Friday, I will have read chapter 15 and will be able to name the major regions of the adult brain; list the major lobes, fissures, and functional areas of the cerebral cortex; and explain lateralization of hemisphere functions.

And we can, yep, make that even more specific by naming what strategies we’ll use to accomplish this goal, using colors to label the major regions of the adult brain, creating a mnemonic for the functional areas of the cerebral cortex…

Gritty realism, my Chicken-y Chums, is the genre-du-jour. Uncompromising determination. Not for the chicken-hearted, I’m afraid.

But we are made of tougher stuff. Though Chickens we may be, our bellies be not yellow and our livers be not white.

So stop by the ASC on your campus today and let us know how you’re “goal’in” this semester.

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And we have donuts…


Grab a Wiener and Hold it High!

You don’t have to be Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, Chickens, to appreciate that today is National Hot Dog Day! YUM.

It is good, despite its dubious origins, to celebrate this comical treat.

The humble hot dog exemplifies our ingenuity, our resourcefulness, our ability to meltImage result for hot dog vintage whatever we’ve got…together…in a vat…throw in some spice…bind it up, dress it up, chew it up and…OH SNAP! aaaaaaaaaaahll is right with the world.

And this is not to mention the ubiquitous hot dog’s versatility…boil, grill, fry, steam, bake, microwave, or fire-pit it, dress it up or down, footlong, l’il smokie, jumbo…it doesn’t care! The hot dog has incredible confidence…a true sense of self. It isn’t intimidated by new experiences (Puka Dog anyone? How ’bout a Japadog? No? A Cachorro Quente, then?) 

The hot dog is a survivor! A go-getter…ain’t no one gonna’ keep it…or Gloria Gaynor…down…not Atkins, or Paleo, or Keto, or Oz…my neighbors used to eat them raw, for frankfurter’s sake! Slurp up the slimy hot dog water right out of the bag…(those kids had a penchant for eating all manner of raw food…how they didn’t have worms and what they had against a stove I will never know.)

So there are some things we can learn from our familiar friend…let us join hands and reflect…

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My Brain is Melting

Summer is toying with me, Chickens. You?

I’m scratchin’ like a mad hen and turning up nothing but sand.Image result for summer vintage

Spring fever precipitated summer repose, my cheeky Chics…what are we to do with this trance-like state of mellowy-yellow, underconsciousness?

Here at Northern, everyone is out-to-lunch on Fridays during the languid summer months. (Can I get a witness?) Let’s face it…summer is hard enough… nobody…NO-body can get even one eye to focus on Fridays in June an’ July.

What to do, what to do? I mean, the melting is slow enough…I can concentrate for ridonkulous periods of time on, let’s say…my toes…or the dandelion seeds floating outside my window…(along with my motivation to do anything remotely productive).

Related imageI mean, I’ve been writing this post for about 2 weeks now…PA-thetic.

Who’s to say, though, my fowl brethren and sistren??? Perhaps we should not grouse ’bout our sherbet-like upper stories. Newton was, after all, lolling about in his mother’s countryside garden (ya’know avoiding the plague and all)...nonetheless…loafing under the apple trees when the Law of Universal Gravitation knocked the powder out of his periwig. Let’s accept that it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.

There is something instinctual about this staccato midsummer rhythm…it is good, should we feel guilt or frustration, to remember we weight the earth – not the other way ’round.

Image result for slip n slide nostalgiaLet’s slip-n-slide through these languorous summer months with patience and perspective…For never anything can be amiss, When simpleness and duty tender it.

Dream all day…read all night…scratch out your to-do list with sidewalk chalk…our initiative, our industry, is seeding…knee-high by July, brown ears in October.


Embrace that beautiful, bouncing, bundle of…

Congratulations graduates! Hoping this ceremonious step is one towards lifelong learning and success.Related image

Though I have to confess when thinking about my own graduations, high school and college, I felt a little like a popped balloon. After so much hype, the handshake and diploma, the next day dawned. Now what?

It felt like a long, bumpy ride into a dark tunnel…not out of one. I have heard that some people do emerge like starving moles…those enviable folks who knew exactly where they were going and what to do when they got there…sans ambiguity, confusion, ennui. Lucky bastards.

But for some of us, Chickens, transitions are a little more fraught. AmIright?

I don’t want to get all “life’s a journey…” but I think maybe these dark, awkward, punctured transitions are life’s way of providing us with our bona fides…though we’ll receive no embossed, certified document of proof. After years dedicated to proving what we know, it’s these periods that remind us of what we don’t, can’t, know. And what we don’t know has more value than what we do.

In physics, the concept of potential energy states that when an object’s position is altered from its usual equilibrium it’s able to store energy by virtue of its position. So are we objects in space and time who, being removed from our ‘usual position’, are propelled toward our potential.

Image result for let's make a deal goatSo for any of you graduates, curled fetally in your beds, whispering now what, now what?…trust the process. A degree doesn’t actually open doors, but it allows you to participate in the perennial, universal game of ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ (yikes, showing my age) …more doors, more choices…and if you wind up with a goat…know that goats are extraordinary,  resourceful, strong, intelligent, curious, entertaining, good-natured, and extremely useful animals.

Embrace your goat. Wrap up that “kid” like a burrito and bury your nose in its coat.