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Planets, Critical Thinking, and Peace Making

Mission to Saturn - Get facts about this planet

In planetary astrology, each planet is ascribed attributes, or energy patterns, that together make up the templates of our day to day experience. Woa, what? While this may turn many off, bear with  me. The key here is template… the probabilities, the behind the scenes forces that pull at our subconscious.

In fact, I don’t care if you’re into astrology or not. I’m not waving a metaphysical banner or striving for woo-woo recruits. What’s more important, and what I’d like to illustrate, is how some ideas from this study can apply universally to our politically vexed and stretched discourse.

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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Reconciliation

 

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Letting Go: A Training Regime

kick

The familiar phrase “fake it ’till you make it” has recently been re-adapted into a popular Ted Talk. “Fake it ’till you become it” is a main message found in Amy Cutting’s talk, found here.

When I first saw this video a few years back, it was also a time I set upon a path of persistence, discipline, and a few injuries. As you’ll see below, the process of pushing one’s limits includes spills and days with no apparent progress. Now reviewing my footage spanning over a couple years, I see a theme that relates to Cutting’s ideas, but I also see that there’s something too easy to miss.

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Posted by on October 28, 2016 in Training

 

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Heavy Metal Environmental Education: Part 3 of 3

metallica

In the last two parts of this series, we looked at metal music as a strategy for cultivating a sense of empathy and connection to a place. When it comes to cultivating a sense of empathy for a place, we looked at Freeman Tilden’s six principles of interpretation.

1. Interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described
to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile.
Interpretation should be personal to the audience.

Great- so now what?

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Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Metal

 

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Capoeira: Social, Environmental & Global

Capoeira: Social, Environmental & Global

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SALVADOR, BA– I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to the state of Bahia, Brazil. To the pulsing, lively, vibrant city of Salvador. My goals were to take a course in Portuguese, stay with a host family, and learn more about the art of Capoeira right from the source. While these goals were certainly a lifetime opportunity, the deeper realizations from them offer other life changing opportunities not yet manifested.

As I mentioned, Salvador is the birthplace of the art of Capoeira. The Portuguese colonists took with them a tragic slave trade, which lasted longer than any other slave industry in the world. Almost 4 million displaced Africans took with them similar fight dances to Capoeira, which laid the art’s foundation to what it is today. In Brazil, interactions with diverse people groups, the social and political structures, as well as the local sense of place and environment, shaped the art. During the time of Slavery, it was a way to train, stay empowered, maintain a cultural identity, and more. Today, it is an active and growing symbol of freedom, birthed from a resistance to oppression and domination. For a more detailed history of the art itself, click here.

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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in News/ Field Notes, Reconciliation

 

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Ecology and Culture: 2014 WAEE Presentation

WAEE

STEVENS POINT– This week I’m excited to be a part this year’s annual Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education conference. The conference spans from August 13-15th, and I’ll be presenting on Wednesday at 10 am!

The title of the presentation is “Continuing the Conversation of Cross-cultural EE”. I’ll be speaking about experiences working at Minneapolis Public Schools, covering some thoughts from my past blog entry on Malcom X, and highlighting a video entitled “Ecology and Culture”, posted below. The video is an EE experiment, mixing break dancing and ecological learning. It was a great learning opportunity, and a lot of fun to facilitate.

A special THANK YOU to Conserve School and all the rock-star students who participated to make this happen! It was a blast training with you!

WAEE Annual Conference Webpage

Past post on Malcom X

 

 

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Wading in Water History: San Francisco, Drought, and Hetch Hetchy

 

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SAN FRANCISCO– The reality of the California drought is a stark contrast from the lush upper Midwest. While one chooses between ground or surface sources for municipal water and need not stop to think about lush green grass underfoot, the other dons signs along the road reading “pray for rain”. While Minnesota and Wisconsin thrive in a culture of river and lake recreation, California has a website for the drought, featuring Lady Gaga chiming in to get the attention of the masses. Not only are the communities of the Bay area strained by the drought, but a key fertile agricultural land in our national economy is strained, too. Wine, fruit, and especially almonds from Northern California make their way around the country and the world. While the region had built an infrastructure to cope with such water scarcities, the current drought has the reservoirs at record lows. The drought reaches beyond the capabilities infrastructure and now calls on personal water use. Reflecting on our history in water resources, are we really ready for such a responsibility?

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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in News/ Field Notes, Reconciliation

 

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A Water-friendly… Mall?

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MAPLEWOOD, MN– In a project that’s the first of its kind, Maplewood Mall has retrofitted its parking lot with top-knotch stomwater infrastructure. Although construction projects and improvements on infrastructure are common every construction season, this one holds special significance. Here in Maplewood, the local watershed district, Ramsey-Washington Watershed, and Simon Property Group (Simon Malls) formed a unique partnership. Through what may seem like vastly different spheres of society, the watershed district and Simon Malls, one of the largest land owners in the US, planned and implemented a groundbreaking parking lot innovation. Concerning far more than parking spaces, the new parking lot is designed for stormwater runoff, to keep water where it lands instead of it running off the concrete jungle’s paved surfaces to pick up all sorts of trash and pollution (everything that drips and falls out of cars, accidentally or intentionally). The end result is that the Mississippi River receives water from this area not from the surges of stormwater pipes, but from gradual, stable, and clean groundwater flow. So how did they do it?

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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in News/ Field Notes