What was I thinking?!

I don’t know why I thought I could post every day. Even if I did, all it would amount to is an ultimately banal personal journal. Better stick to a plan of writing posts about topics and posting when they’re ready. No rules. It’ll probably end up just as banal, but more fun for me.

Forget politics, focus on philosophy

It is election season America, and since I feel that it would be difficult for things to get worse, this election probably have positive results. I noticed many philosophical thoughts popping up on Twitter:

Maureen has been railing against the American right for months on Twitter. The struggle against Trump and the radical Republicans is real, but it’s only political and only a symptom of an ongoing philosophical threat stretching to the tips of the roots of history.

Ken Mogi, as always, gets to the heart of liberalism: More autonomy. That’s what the American and French Revolutions were about. What would those rebels do if they lived now? Tweet and blog a lot? Or take more creative and constructive action?

Why do we now live in such an illiberal time in history? Or is this the result of the internet media explosion? The systems are designed to appeal to the worst of our capacities which amplify the basest messages and ideologies, and that feeds the profit monster that designs new systems which are even more efficient at manipulating us to continue the cycle.

Marketing 102

On a lighter note I’m slowly leveling up my marketing skills. I thought I’d give educational quotes a try to more reach and exposure for Learninate.

Content is what will truly build the site, but it takes time, time, and more time. In fact, I am procrastinating creating some of that content right now… I hope you’ll check out the images I’ve made and posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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Commence autumn break

My daily posting plan didn’t last long. But at least I am making it happen today.

Utterly disgusted by what’s happening in my country, and doing what I can to spread factual and thoughtful information about it through a Flipboard magazine with a recently update title.

Still plugging away with what time I can spare. Planning and preparing for a few announcements before the end of the year, and of course always trying to get folks signed up.

Yuka succeeded in making perfect flour tortillas, ushering in a new age of Mexican food in our house.

In the store, they are about ¥50 or $0.50 each, and tiny and loaded with preservatives. ¡Viva!

Every day?

I have this crazy idea to try to publish a post every day. It doesn’t matter what it’s about just as long as I publish something. I guess it’s worth a try so I’m going to give it a go. Check back tomorrow and hold me accountable.

To be fair it’s not my idea, but rather inspired by Seth Godin. I’m also continuing to try to use voice dictation instead of mashing with my thumbs on my smart phone. So far, so good.

My Uncle, Ramen, and Scrambled Eggs

My Uncle

Sadly, my uncle died. He was my dad’s brother, older than my dad, and finally succumbed to cancer. I tried to memorialize him in a poem, My Uncle Paul. You can see some of his art on his fineartamerica.com page and read his obituary at legacy.com.

Ramen

We started summer at frenetic pace and have made the most of it, including finally having lunch at Shima Shima Tom, a quirky local ramen joint.

Scrambled Eggs

Finally, I embarked on what must be my first attempt at a marketing campaign, The Learninate #ScrambledEggs Challenge.

via Instagram

I’m hoping it will increase awareness and understanding for the informal and playful intent of Learninate. I’m trying not to overthink things too much with my little startup. Just come up with a goal or concept each week and promote it on social media as much as possible without being obnoxious.

From teacher to founder

I ran across one of my old posts and was impressed with the quality of voice. I realized that what made it better than the writing I’ve been doing recently is that it was all done through dictation. So I’m giving it a go again and I just have to get used to the idea of walking around talking into my phone and that I don’t look as strange as I feel.

I’ve recently concluded my 10th school year as an elementary teacher. My class this year was one of the most eclectic I’ve had. Such a wide range of personalities and skills – in fact the whole year can be summed up by the range of speaking volume levels of the class. The quietest talkers, even when face-to-face just feet away, can barely be heard, yet many constantly shout. Such a huge spectrum could be used to compare those 25 humans against almost any category.

I feel like it’s time to expand my reach. Teaching 25 children at a time for a year is rewarding, but I’m interested in trying to have a broader impact. Coincidentally, I’ve been listening to Seth Godin’s new podcast, Akimbo, and generally getting excited for an entrepreneurial challenge.

That’s why I created Learninate, the social network for learning. I’m a good teacher not only because of how I teach lessons and plan learning experiences. I trust people to learn what they want to learn and to teach with they want to teach. I trust in agency and self-actualization. This blog post is the first public announcement of Learninate, as there are no users yet registered on the site and I’d like the first to be people I know who can provide feedback as to the site’s functionality and quirks, many of which I am already aware…

There are plans to optionally monetize lessons and various other ongoing development initiatives. For now, the experiment is to see if some learners and teachers will exercise their agency and join a social network dedicated to lifelong learning.

If you want to join the community, please register and enroll in Create a Learninate Course (Become a Learninate Teacher) to start sharing your passion and skills!

To contribute needed financial support, please visit the Learninate GoFundMe page to make a donation.

Reflection: The ultimate motivator?

Apparently, writing weekly blog post is the main motivator for keeping up with my health goals. I slacked off, and all those awesome upward trends have gone limp.pubchart

I didn’t post because I didn’t feel like it. But doing ‘the work’ means showing up even when you don’t feel like it.

Enlightenment achieved.

I hope the title is obviously tongue-in-cheek. However, it does highlight the fact that last week was a milestone in my mindfulness practice.

One of the secrets to this success, other than simply being more mindful, was being creative in how one can practice mindfulness and meditation. In the spirit of breaking wood and carrying water, I began meditating while drying dishes. Not while washing, that’s too stressful and the only time I cut myself with knives.

I don’t dry all of the dishes, just the ones we will need first thing in the morning and the big pots and pans that don’t fit in the drainer. Instead of listening to a podcast, I set my Simple Habit app to unguided meditation ‘Ocean sounds’. It’s rare to be alone with my thoughts, and the sounds of waves help remind me to maintain focus.

Today, my reflections led to a great idea to share my wife Yuka’s progress on her ongoing art pursuits.

by yukamila via Instagram

She is pursuing pattern design as an independent business, and has begun sharing her latest sketches, motif ideas, experiments, and works in progress. I love her color sense and eye for visual trends and feel very encouraged that she is becoming more willing to show her work. It will definitely help to grow her social media following on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and lead to sales at her Society6 online store. Go check her out!