Update from Edmonton

As I am sitting on the bus heading to Edmonton International Airport, I figured it is as good of a time as any to give an update about this blog. For the past few months, I have been doing quite a bit of writing and brainstorming. Essentially, I have decided to make writing a bigger aspect of my personal and professional sphere. Besides a few posts that I have been working on, the blog will stay relatively quiet until January. At that time, I plan on redesigning the look of it, as well as posting approximately two to three times a week. Some of these posts will be short form, and some much longer. Overall, I have decided that the blog is meant to be more of a thematic take on a variety of ideas, rather than just an account of my travels. Traveling will still be a major aspect, as many of my ideas develop through my various adventures. (Says the guy who flew to Western Canada for just two nights.)

A series of series will make their debut next year, including the remaining eight “Why TINY?” posts. Some of the tentative titles are:

  • Time & Timing
  • Tiny Dialogue
  • Random Thoughts
  • Big Picture Ideas
  • Wanderlust Wishes
  • Borrowed Inspirations
  • Musical Moments
  • Focus on Food

… and others as they develop organically.

Overall, I am excited to share out some of the ideas that have been brewing. I have decided that next year and beyond is the perfect time to invest in me, as well as my dreams.


The past five days have been most energizing. I am thankful for all of my family and friends who have made it so special. I am excited to include many of these specifics in a much longer and in depth post in a few weeks from now.

The need to share that out was one of my first waking thoughts today. Now to go make the most of the remaining hours of this day…

nErD Camp Reflection

Today was an important lesson in inspiration, creativity, and connections.

Several weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend my very first EdCamp.  I was amazed at how conducive the format was to being flexible and in the moment.  While there, I was encouraged to attend nErD Camp, and even to possibly present.  It wasn’t until a few days ago that I honestly committed to using the opportunity to share my creative self with others.

Today will forever hold a special place within me.  Today was about connecting.  Connections, even through brief encounters, can inspire others to make progress with the various aspects of their personal and professional being.

Time spent with family and friends today will have a lasting impact on me for years to come.  The ripple effects have already started to emerge.

After presenting during the first session, I knew immediately afterwards what I would have changed if I had the chance to present again.  As time ran out, I did not convey several key ideas and figured that the blog was a fitting place to share the missed moments.

  1. Blogging was used as a writing tool last year in my classroom. Though I opted not to share my personal blog with the children, they were aware that I had one. Overall, the children enjoyed the experience, but we were hindered by not having consistent access to technology.  My reflection last year was to wait until that time that we had one-on-one technology access to revisit blogging in the classroom.
  2. My blog is more than just an account of where I have been. It is an incubator and a catalyst for my creative side.
  3. At the present moment, I am working on about 7-8 various creative projects that may or may not see the light of day publicly.  The blog offers me a sense of accomplishment after each draft gets published, or after each hour spent on one of my projects.
  4. Eventually, I hope to write a book about the experiences I have had in terms of blogging and the projects that have developed within its sphere of influence.
  5. Blogging offers me the ability to practice my writing skills in a secure space. Each post can be password protected if I so choose. For awhile, all of my posts were only accessible with a password.
  6. We must model for our students the skills that we expect them to demonstrate.  In order to emphasize creativity, writing, reading, and self-determination, we as adults must live those ideas first.

Today’s Highlights:

  1. Being given the opportunity to present. (Thank you to the nErD Camp organizers!)
  2. Offering to help my mother and sister establish and maintain a blog in the next year.
  3. Learning about mindfulness from a friend and a colleague.  Most importantly, I left Stefanie’s session feeling like a better and calmer human being with new strategies to take on the frustrations found in life.
  4. Spending quality time with friends.
  5. Learning new classroom management techniques using American Sign Language that will help to foster a climate of empathy & togetherness. Thank you for your wisdom, Kathy! (More on this session in a future blog post.)
  6. Thanking the author of a non-fiction book that I have used in the classroom.  Thank you, Sarah! Poop Happened
  7. Sushi, coffee, & brainstorming with great people!

Thank you to all who were so incredibly wonderful and supportive today!  It meant the world to me.


“Unblocking One’s Fear: How Blogging Can Change the Trajectory of One’s Life

Welcome to the presentation!

Feel free to wander out if you lose interest or plan to explore another NerdCamp session.

(Why do I think my students wish they had this same protocol?)

Before we get started, there are some important working definitions that we should explore to set the framework for our session.

nerd– (n) a creative person who values thinking

unblock– (v) to tear down

fear– (n) a useless quality that can be quite useful when used properly

blogging– (n) an activity that should really be explored by everyone

change– (n) an essential ingredient in life for growth

trajectory– (n) an unscripted path that you have control over

life– (n) something a person has only one of that has no do-overs

(The screenshots that were found below the following headings were removed to shorten the physical length of the post. Some video clips of the presentation may be added at a later date.)

Getting started:


Final Thoughts” in posts:


New Ideas:

Trust the Trajectory:

Blogging Basics for Beginners:

What’s Next for Me and You?

Thank you for being a part of my journey today!

I invite you to follow the blog!



Several years ago, I bought this journal:

It made me chuckle. I will never use this overpriced souvenir from the National Archives other than as a muse. I have been busy with writing and creating and being inspired over the past few months, and therefore have not posted in awhile.  Perhaps I’ll be sharing smaller ideas as I continue to think big.  Stay tuned.


Denver: Week Two

(After a week or so of terrible wifi, fingers are crossed that my current wifi is decent!  The final blog update for the road trip will likely be posted when I get home early next week.)

Day Twenty-Two:  (Forgotten photos)

Day Twenty-Three & Day Twenty-Four:

Jackie and I went up to the mountains for a night to get away.  We had a good time exploring applied mathematics and swimming in a pool on the 34th floor of a hotel.  On the return trip, we stopped in Golden so she could have lunch with a friend.  I was able to return to the mineral museum located at a college specializing in gems and minerals.

Day Twenty-Five:

Today started with a haircut.  It was definitely a hipster-esque place that was way cooler than where I’m used to getting my haircut done.

After my haircut, we went to get sushi for lunch.  Many people would question getting sushi in the center of the country, but where we went is quite unique.  Several brothers own three separate restaurants all in a row.  One of the brothers lives in Japan and ships fresh fish on a daily basis to his brothers in Denver.  They have been in business since the early 1980’s before eating sushi was as common as it is today in the USA.  They have a tremendous business here in Denver.  I highly recommend eating here should you ever visit Denver.

After lunch, I ventured out to run some errands, and got a lovely crack in my windshield courtesy of a swerving tractor trailer.  When I returned, I cooked Jackie and myself a meal.  The rest of the evening was consumed with installing a floating shelf for Jackie’s hand collection.  (We hope her mother isn’t creeped out by it!  After all, it serves the purpose of baby-proofing!

Day Twenty-Six:

My morning was spent hiding my tiny cards in the suburbs.  For lunch,  I was able to meet up with Geoff again.  This has been an ongoing tradition for over a decade.  As always, I enjoy the times we get to catch up!


Day Twenty-Seven:

My morning:

-Dropping car off to Hyundai 

-Costco with Jackie


My afternoon:


-Attaching furniture to walls

-Arguing with Hyundai employees

My evening:

-Delicious meal @ Root Down with Jackie!

Day Twenty-Eight:

What originally was going to be my last full day in Denver became my last morning in Denver.  I decided to leave early to prevent a full day of driving towards Grand Teton.  

Jackie and I grabbed a final lunch together, after I finished packing up my car completely.  I then stopped off at New Belgium in Ft. Collins to stock up for camping.  After about four hours, I reached my hotel.

Final Thoughts:


I am very grateful for my time with Jackie.  She is one of my oldest friends.  We go way back.  Our friendship is about twenty five years and counting.  

When I heard that Jackie was pregnant, I knew I wanted to keep her company and offer some help where I could.  The two weeks we shared were very special.  I wish the very best for her as she begins a brand new role in a few weeks.  (Get those reward tic tacs ready!)

I am grateful that I got to spend time with a great friend preparing for the arrival of her baby. (#notmine)