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Piece #111 - First Impressions

"You already know that making a good first impression can go a long way. But forget all the advice you've received about dressing to impress or putting on a cheesy smile. Turns out, the true secret to building a lasting connection reaches much deeper than what you wear." "According to Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor who has researched first impressions for more than 15 years, everyone (consciously or subconsciously) asks two questions when they meeting someone new: Can I trust this person? And can I respect this person?" This quote comes from Reader's Digest and I actually found this rather compelling because I never really heard of this before. I've addressed this topic of first impressions in the past but, I have to admit that this idea is interesting. I guess since you hear a lot of things from a smile, the outfit or what you say make the difference; however these two questions have me a little perplexed. I think it depends on the situat…
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Piece #110 - My Complex Discernment of Concrete versus Abstract

I very rarely start off any of my blog entries with a picture but, this photo will illustrate a rather compelling discussion about my Asperger brain. I can't think of a better example of just how complicated a small part of concrete versus abstract is processed in my mind. I will do my best to sort out the complete meaning behind this picture. There will be several odd turns but, stick with me because this will actually make sense in the end...plus if my wife gets it then we're good!
Defining Terms:
Completeness - The state or condition of having all the necessary or appropriate parts. Uniform - Identical or consistent, as from example to example, place to place or moment to moment. Commonality - The state of sharing features or attributes.
The first area I want to address is uniform. Of course, I'm not talking about an outfit; I'm talking about consistency; the idea that flows smoothly from the top to the bottom. I guess a good example is like looking at a baseball card, a…

Broken Piece #2 - Susan Boyle

For those of you who are not sure who is Susan Boyle, she was the second place winner to the show "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. She sang the famous song from LesMis√©rables "I Dreamed the Dream". Since the show, Susan had been making guest appearances on a variety of shows and recorded several albums. Susan's first album alone broke several chart-records and was very well received around the world. I believe why she had such incredible appeal was because she was a perfect representative of all the 'regular people' in the world. She didn't come in flashy or striking but, modest and humble. When a person like Susan is thrown into the whirlwind of concerts, parties, media, and money, it's very difficult to stay grounded and not having your own personal world torn apart. Sadly for Susan Boyle, her tiny universe is crumbling. First, she did have a health scare when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that prompted her to lose weight. Second, …

Broken Piece #1 - 13 Reasons Why

On March 31, 2017; the steaming service known as Netflix released a new mini series called "13 Reasons Why". This has quickly become one the most talked about series throughout the world. The story is based on the book by Jay Asher where the character Clay Jensen who had a high school crush on Hannah who ends up committing suicide. Suddenly two weeks after her death Clay receives a mysterious package on his porch which contains several cassette tapes of Hannah's recordings explaining the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life.
Within the last few days since the show was released it has created a lot of concern in the mental health, education and youth advocacy groups. Groups have demanded that the books be banned from the school libraries including Colorado, which has had seven teenangers ending their own lives: http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/colorado-school-district-pulls-suicide-book-thirteen-reasons-why-1.3415692 The show claims they had gotten experts to give the…

Lost Piece #1 - The Gospel Truth

"I know my Jesus, I love Him, and I think if he needed me to believe that homosexuality was a sin, He would have mentioned it. He didn’t. When Jesus said that marriage was between a man and a woman, he was responding to a question about divorce, not sexuality.* And even the Gospels... well, even though they are gospel to me, I accept that they are also interpretations of what Jesus said and did and meant -we don’t have a single written word directly from Jesus. He could have left us something - he could have left another list of rights and wrongs when He came to Earth, but he chose not to." Glennon Doyle Melton - Aug 25, 2013
These words were penned by Ms. Glennon Doyle Melton who is an author and Christian blogger. Back in February of 2017 she announced that she was engaged to Abby Wambach a former Women's Soccer Champion. Glennon had been married to her husband (Craig Melton) for over 14 years before she divorced him due to his extramarital affairs.  Glennon had also o…

Piece #109 - Inside Out

I realize there have been several articles written on the connection between autism and the Pixar movie "Inside Out", but I want to preface that you realize not all people with autism are the same so I can only write this from my own perspective. I have read through some of the literature on how the movie helps children with autism. I believe the movie gave many of the children a better sense of what emotions are and the role they play within our own minds. I have to admit that a few years before the movie came out, I actually came up with a manga story that had different characters as emotions inside of a young girl but, the types of emotions were a little different than the movie and the story line was complete different. So idea was there and I felt it would have been an interesting story, I'm really glad Pixar stepped up to tell this kind of a story. Inside Out is a story about a young 11 year old girl named Riley where we get the chance to look inside her head from …

Piece #108 - Unemployment

I had the experience of something I hadn't been a part of in nearly twenty years... unemployment. I learned something rather quickly about being unemployed is that this is more of a journey than a simple trip. Trying to make the move from the world of education to the vast universe of basically...everybody else can be rather frustrating and confusing. One of the first things I had to learn was the new jargon, for example: Lead - the person just above the regular worker but, just under the supervisor. In teaching, there is no such thing; I guess the best version I can come up with is either a coordinator or a vice-principal. Production performance - the means of how well of an output one creates within a certain time and/or quality ("quota" is another term used). In education, test scores sadly are used as a barometer for how well a teacher is performing but, there are checks and balances on how well the information is being delivered and received by the students. I reall…