I’ve been away from my blog for so long that I began to feel shy of showing up once again. I thought I should come back with a giant kaboom and razzle dazzle—tell you how I’ve been out saving the world, doing magnificent things, moving mountains.
Well, been there, done that. The mountain didn’t move. I dug my toes into higher education once again—a twisted system at best but an important part of the humanity puzzle none the less. Unfortunately, it is getting more and more dangerous for young people to go to college. Is it really possible that they endanger their future by trying to get educated in the US of A? Really? There is something wrong with this picture!
It has been less than a year since I was sitting on a beach in Michigan playing with a beautiful hoard of grandchildren when I got an email asking me to teach at Northwest Technical College. I didn’t think I had it in me again after my years at OLC, but once I got there I couldn’t help myself. Now, after a year of immersion into the system again, I am getting mouthier.
Recently I’ve edged away from just teaching and have begun doing some consulting work with other schools helping them to chart a new path to helping uncertain learners do well in college. To tell you the truth—I’m having a blast.
What I am realizing is that every huge and unwieldy system is really just a bunch of tiny parts that are either working or not working. I feel like a mechanic working along the systems with my hammer pounding away to see what needs duck tape and what needs a rebuild. Clunk, bang, kaboom. I’ve always been interested in the simple complexity of systems (did that make sense?) and find I am even more fascinated as I begin to work more deeply with them.
The other thing I am learning is that when systems get gummed up and aren’t working, people begin to point fingers at each other rather than working to get the gum out of the system. Like I said . . . fascinating.
Anyway, I took a leap and came back to No Ordinary Life to say hello once again and to renew my desire to post a weekly blog. Milt and I spent the spring reconstructing and expanding our gardens. I lucked out and happened to stop a guy on the road who was trimming trees and asked if they needed a dump site for chips. We now have a tiny mountain of wood chips that I am using to create a weed free, plant friendly garden. It has been a lot of work up front, but hopefully it will be worth it later in the summer. And I have to say, it is the most beautiful garden I’ve ever had. This year and last we added new fruits—apples, currents, June berries, more raspberries, 6 apple trees, and chokeberries. My blueberry garden is also splendid to see.
There is not a lot of difference between working in the garden and working in complex systems. Just be consistent and persistent and careful and the efforts will bear fruit.
Kaboom. Hope you are all well and thriving.
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