Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Potpourri

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Part of the problem is having diverse interests and a brain that struggles to synthesize them into a whole. My thoughts are often chaotic, as are my written notes, and I obsess about finding a continuity. Well, after all, there’s a connection being made somewhere in my mind or I wouldn’t have thought it! But sometimes it takes a while for all those cognitions to come together like jigsaw puzzle pieces and make a coherent picture.

So I’m trying to lean on that old saying ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’ and learn to share the flow with all of you. This hasn’t been easy, probably because I’ve been too careful. I’m learning that I can’t review everything and integrate all changes in advance because you bring so much to the dialogue.

And as I try to be concise, I run the risk of obscuring what I mean. Especially when there are hoards of non-thinkers swimming the Web like piranha waiting to attack the use of a word they don’t like or with which they have past associations that aren’t what I intended at all. So for those of you who like to think and consider, thank you for your patience! And know that your feedback and comments help me refine the ideas behind the words.

Part of my world view and my resulting thought process is that there are so many things I recommend, that I often don’t know where to begin. It’s an eclectic sampler because any change we make in the way we think, feel, or act involves adjustments in other areas. ‘Life style’ changes are just that; they change the characteristics of our everyday lives on many levels, from the mundane to the sacred. So besides suggesting everyday activities, I’d also suggest researching the many levels below them.

There are basic web sites that will give you background on many of the things I write about. For example, www.webmd.com gives good background on medical issues, and www.nami.org gives good information on mental health issues specifically. For practical suggestions (he calls it ‘personal development for smart people.’) www.stevepavlina.com often has great ideas. I check out his web site as often as I do the other two.

But I also visit www.historychannel.com and www.nationalgeographic.com because I know that stretching my mind to understand other people in other times and places. And I can find fascinating new research to learn about and wonderful places to visit. I love www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/index3.html where you can walk through the cave art with a flashlight.

My taste in books is just as varied. Jared Diamond’s books Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societiesand Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeedhelp me to have a new, the perspective things are on why today way they are today, as does Charles Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Understanding ourselves by understanding our history is as important as it is in psychotherapy, where understanding where you learned your beliefs and habits are essential to deciding if you want to change them.

That’s just a glimpse of some of the things I like. Some time soon I’ll have to share some of my favorite movies and what I learn from them. And then there’s the category of Books I Haven’t Read Yet But Wish I Could. Are you sure you want to hear them all?

Book Recommendations

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
  • Person Centered Graduate Education, Roy P. Fairfield, Ph.D., 1977, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY. Written by a dear friend, colleague, and mentor of over 25 years, this remains a classic! Definitely worth tracking down and reading!
  • Another classic: Freedom To Learn by the great psychologist Carl Rogers, 1969, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., Columbus, Ohio. This one is multi-level, provokes insight into yourself, and makes a lot of relevant connections, thereby proving that books written back in the late 1900’s are still valuable and relevant in the 21st Century!
  • Also, any book by educator John Holt, especially What Do I Do Monday?, 1970, E.P.Dutton & Co., NY. (But also his books How Children Fail and How Children Learn.) Practical, easy-to-apply and full of insight into our individual learning styles.)
  • For a new perspective on all those things you memorized in school, try scoping out An Underground Education by Richard Zacks, 1997, Doubleday, NY. A fascinating trip through the wild, weird, and fantastical facts you may have missed in your curriculum.