"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella

Posts tagged with "Dr. Jane Vella"

Tuesdays with Jane: Week #5

(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 4 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Learning Needs and Resources Assessment: Taking the First Step in Dialogue

Chapter Four is an amazing true story. The heroine is Fatuma, rifle-bearing leader of the Afar nomadic people of northern Ethiopia!

Although this chapter teaches the usefulness of the practice of inclusive learning needs and resources assessment (LNRA), many other principles and practices are also evident:  relationships, respect, the use of visuals, engagement, safety, teamwork, critical incidents and hopefully the laughter of the reader at Fatuma’s strategic ploy to win “an outbreak of seriousness in the training room.”

I did go back to Ethiopia a year later, and was delighted to visit Fatuma and her people at their camp. They killed a goat, not a camel, and we had a great feast!

The reference to the Appendix which has a number of particular strategies for doing an effective LNRA in any situation was useful.

Some great lines from Chapter Four:

  • “Who needs what as defined by whom” (Hutchnison) is at the heart of the learning needs and resources assessment. p57
  • “’Don’t just do something, sit there.’” p59
  • “…the key [to adult learning] is the respectful relationship of learner to teacher.” p62
  • “The needs assessment, however, was not yet complete. What about the other definers?” p64
  • “The culture of the roadside is not the culture of the mountainside…” p66

 

A LEARNING TASK: 

As you read this chapter, what other ways of doing an learning needs and resources assessment (LNRA) in that Ethiopian drought situation would you consider? That is, what else might I have done to get inclusive participation from the learners and the community?

Tuesdays with Jane: Week #3

(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 2 in the book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Quantum Thinking and Dialogue Education

I love this chapter! I like the way I made a quietly conservative selection of six quantum thinking concepts, and promised to use these concepts in analyzing and interpreting the upcoming stories.

I just realized that by making such a selection, I was actually manifesting quantum thinking:  the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and the whole is in every part.

Why these six? Again, I really do not know:  perhaps they seemed to me fundamental and somewhat accessible. Their inter-relatedness corroborates one of the concepts:  everything is connected.

Chapter Two is too heavy on theory and even the promise of application in the stories does not help. Whenever I get a chance to write a new edition of this book, I will offer more examples of each of these familiar but elusive concepts: 

Relatedness:  everything is connected. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Duality:  consider either/or thinking

Energy:  it takes energy to learn

Uncertainty:  pray for doubt

Participation:  we evoke the world we perceive.

This chapter is short:  six pages! I may indeed have muddied the waters by introducing quantum thinking. I hope not. Every day I see evidence of these and other quantum concepts in my quiet, retired life:  I am more than the sum of my old, aching parts! The whole picture of my health is seen in a few drops of blood! My energy is renewed by engagement and exercise! My whole life is in this moment! Quantum thinking!

Some great lines from Chapter Two:

  • “…a constructionist perspective invites learners to develop the theory and practices they are learning in the light of their context.” p31
  • “…prepare men and women for the work of the world, not merely for work in the world.” p33
  • “notice how energy rises when learners are aware of their responsibility to decide.” p35

 

A LEARNING TASK: 

Which of these six quantum thinking concepts has been most useful to you in your design and/or teaching?

 

Tuesdays with Jane: Week #2

(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 1 in the book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

 

Twelve Principles for Effective Adult Learning

Mmmmmm, I love this chapter! I like the way it integrates quantum thinking as it describes not only each of the twelve basic principles and practices but also how it anticipates for the reader the upcoming story.

Why these twelve principles? That is a question I have often been asked. I really do not know:  Twelve tribes of Israel? Twelve apostles? Twelve months in the year? Your guess is as good as mine.

They have stood the test of time in being twelve sound pillars on which to build an effective design for learning. They hold hands, one to another, corroborating the perspective of quantum thinking:  everything is connected.

Chapter One is boldly deductive, starting out with the bare content: twelve principles!  The hinted promise of particular instances (inductive work) does not inhibit the commanding stance:  from my experience I have made this selection. Listen to me!

Yet, I read a certain openness as well:  these are not presented as the twelve principles and practices, but as those that emerged from my experience as largely effective. On page 3, I promise fifty more stories as well as principles and practices readers can find in Training Though Dialogue (1995). 

This chapter renews my conviction that we must design with confidence and conviction, boldly stating the content we see essential. Learners will select and construct that content for their context. They will add to it as that context demands such additions. And so, we all learn!

Some great lines in Chapter One:

  • “In adult learning, accountability is mutual.” p13
  • Zohar: “The questions we ask determine the kinds of responses we get.” p15
  • “As subjects, we evoke the world we perceive.” p16
  • “Inviting learners to be subjects of their own learning is the practice of freedom.”  p17
  • Zohar: “You hear a chorus of conversations!” p22

 

A LEARNING TASK: 

Which of these twelve principles has been most useful to you in your design and/or teaching?

 

Tuesdays with Jane: Week #1

(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read the Foreword and Preface to the book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

 

The Foreword by Malcolm Knowles; the Preface (2002)

When we read the fax Malcolm sent in 1993 with his draft Foreword, my sister Joan and I wept. It is such a gift! This is a beautiful man with my friends, humble and abundantly generous. 

You will learn more from this book

than from any textbook written by me…

The Preface to the Revised Edition (2002)  

I remember the response of David Brightman, my editor at Jossey Bass, to my suggestion that, in this revised edition, we include the perspective of quantum thinking. “What in the world?” he wrote back. “Never! Your work is accessible and we want this revised edition to maintain that accessibility!”

Of course, he finally agreed, and I linked arms with Danah Zohar and Margaret Wheatley to show how dialogue in educational design and practice corroborated quantum thinking.

The response of many readers reminded me of my dear mother’s response to my using saffron and curry on our Sunday dinner:  “What a waste of a good chicken!” However, I remain convinced that the connection is sound. My recent reading of James E. Zull’s The Art of Changing the Brain (2012) showed me that current research in neuroscience corroborates the conjunction of quantum thinking and dialogue in education. 

When David Brightman invited me to do this revised edition, I also said I would not change the stories or the twelve principles and practices. This preface makes a clear case for the stories’ diversity in cultures and the global usefulness of the principles and practices. 

Here are some delightful lines in the Preface: 

Danah Zohar 

  • “How can we teach multitudes on a human scale?” p.ix
  • "We must change the thinking behind our thinking!" p.xxi

Rodin

  • “Notice The Thinker is thinking with his toes!" p.xii
  • "Prepare yourself for a quantum leap into a familiar place.” p.xii

 

A LEARNING TASK: 

What line moved you in the Foreword or the Preface of the 2002 revised edition of Learning to Listen Learning to Teach?      

 

Play it Again, Sam

This is a true story: In 2001 I was invited by Jossey-Bass publishers to do a second edition of Learning to Listen Learning to Teach.  I thought, "Before I agree, I should read that book again!"  I was working in California and faced a long airplane ride: a good opportunity to read the book and ponder the possibilities of a second edition.

I sat by the window, reading, chuckling quietly at the humor, weeping silently at some of the stories. My companion in the aisle seat looked over at me: “Looks like a good book!”

“Oh, it is wonderful!” I replied. “I would love to meet the author!”

For the past two months I have been doing a customized special course for my adopted grandson, Zachary, and a very special friend, Beth, of TeachingHorse.  Both are young, hungry to learn about teaching and learning. We are using three of my books: Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach, Taking Learning to Task and On Teaching and Learning.

Preparing for this week’s class, I re-read Taking Learning to Task. Published in 2001, it anticipates on every page the work of James E. Zull, The Art of Changing the Brain.  It needs a second edition, showing all that we have learned since 2001. I have asked my friend and colleague, Sarah Gravett, Dean of the Faculty of Education at The University of Johannesburg to work with me on this.

Please, read it again – marvel at the explicit, well-sequenced directions that enable you to build your own

viable system of learning-centered programs. Look for the second edition, hopefully in 2016. David Brightman, my editor at Jossey-Bass/Wiley is now a senior editor at Stylus Publishers who published Zull’s work! Now that is Synchronicity with a capital G for Gift!

What strikes you as most useful in this text as you read it another time? 

      

The Praxis of Dialogue

One of my favorite axioms is: There are three things that make effective learning happen, in this order: time, time and time.

While the wry humor in that axiom always gets a belated laugh, the significance and meaning it offers is not at all trivial. I discovered the biology behind my simple axiom as I reread, with delight, Norman Doidge’s amazing book The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Consider the implications of this paragraph from p 24:

Traditional rehabilitation exercises typically ended after a few weeks, when a patient stopped improving, or “plateaued,” and doctors lost the motivation to continue. But Bach-y-Rita, based on his knowledge of nerve growth, began to argue that these learning plateaus were temporary —part of a plasticity -based learning cycle— in which stages of learning are followed by periods of consolidation . Though there was no apparent progress in the consolidation stage, biological changes were happening internally, as new skills became more automatic and refined.

In our present school system we rush students from one 45 minute session to another, without any reflection time or periods of consolidation.  This lovely story of a dinner table conversation between a father and his six year old son captures this principle:

Dad: What was the best thing that happened at school today, Tim?

Tim:  Recess! We went out into the garden!

I see that Tim knew he needed a period of consolidation; he wanted to learn! He knew praxis: action with reflection long before he took the Foundations of Dialogue Education course!

How can we re-design our courses, webinars, or learning tasks to include what the brain is telling us it needs: a quiet time, a period of consolidation, the opportunity to reflect on the new information or skill or attitude we just met?

In Johannesburg, South Africa years ago, I was doing a course on Dialogue Education with law professors from the university.  My friend Tricia, whom I met at a Quaker meeting, sat in on the course to observe the process. I shall never forget her comment at the end of the first day: “That is amazing, Jane. Have you ever thought of using quiet?”  Tricia challenged me then to consider The Praxis of Dialogue.  Norman Doidge offered me today the biology behind it.  

  • When have you used quiet to enhance learning in a course or workshop? 
  • When have you given yourself a period of consolidation to ensure your own learning?

Tips to Help Organize Workbooks and Written Documents for People Living with Dementia

by Elaine Wiersma, Kathy Hickman and Jeanette Romkema

In an education event juggling work books, lots of paper, and other written documents is a challenge for any learner (and teacher!). When the learners are people living with dementia trying to find the right piece of paper or spot on a page can interfere with learning, cause undue stress and impact safety. Here are a few tips to keep things organized and help people living with dementia (and other learners) in finding what they need in their workbooks and written documents.

 

  1. Colour code sections of the workbook. Each week should be printed on a different colour of paper.

 

  1. Use colour within the workbook to help direct people. For example, “follow along with the paragraph in the green box.”

 

  1. Ensure that dividers are used in-between weeks or sessions. 

 

  1. Use symbols or pictures for specific places on a page so people can easily be directed there (e.g., a mouth for discussion questions, a book for reading, a question mark for brainstorming, etc.). Include a legend in the beginning of the workbook to explain all symbols used.

 

  1. Number the pages for easy reference in large font size.

 

  1. Number specific activities or tasks. For example, “Follow along with the paragraph at 2.1”.

 

  1. Print on one side of the page only to minimize confusion. Put holes on both sides of the paper if people want to put pages facing each other in their binders. 

 

  1. Make sure everyone is on the correct page at the beginning of the session. This will assist people to move forward together. 

 

  1. Offer to assist people if they require it. 

 

  1. Minimize the amount of “extra” papers and handouts. Try to keep everything within the workbook where it’s being worked on.

 

  1. Ensure the printing is large enough for people to read. Font size 11 is usually too small – font size 14 is often a better choice.

 

  1. If people are uncomfortable with writing down ideas for brainstorming, ensure that the facilitators take the flip charts away, type it up for people, and give it back to them the following week (with a 3-hole punch). When it is given back to participants, facilitators can assist people to put these notes into their binders or folders in the proper place. 

 

  1. Minimize how much information and how many words you have on any given page. Keep it simple, clear and easy to follow.

 

  1. Use a binder so pages are easy to turn and stay organized. If you only have a few pages, ensure all pages are stapled together – one staple in the top left-hand corner is fine.

 

Elaine Wiersma is an Associate Professor, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health at Lakehead University ewiersma@lakeheadu.ca;

Kathy Hickman is Knowledge Mobilization Lead at Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange and Education Manager at Alzheimer Society of Ontario khickman@alzheimeront.org;

Jeanette Romkema is Senior Consultant, Partner and President of Global Learning Partners jeanette@globallearningpartners.com.

How to Evaluate a Training

Evaluation Checklist

Do you ever get emails asking you to spend a few minutes sharing your thoughts about evaluating a training? I do. And I'm always a little torn because I know whoever asks is eager for a few crisp tips. Instead, I grill them with questions!

The rest of this short blog post is about questions:  questions to ask somebody if they ask you about how to evaluate a training.

Question #1 - When you say evaluate, are you looking for feedback (i.e. how people perceived their experience) or learning (i.e. how well people grasped the skills/ knowledge/ attitudes being "taught") or something more (see Q4 below on the topic of something more)?

Question #2 - If you are looking for feedback, is it primarily on the design of the training (i.e. course content, structure, sequence, relevance) or on the facilitation (i.e. the way the facilitator listened, guided the dialogue, posed questions, etc)? What kind of feedback will you be able to make use of in the future?

Question #3 -  If you are looking to evaluate learning, have you set clear objectives against which to evaluate?  Are those objectives written in such a way that you - and the learner - will KNOW when they've been achieved?

Side bar:  I just watched a presentation by Dr. James Zull, author of "The Art of Changing the Brain." His words echoed those of our very own Dr. Jane Vella when he said "The way we know we know is if our back cortex (area of sensory input) senses an action we initiate with our front cortex (area of motor skills)."  I loved hearing that because it made the biology of learning evaluation so crystal clear. We know it was learned when we did something with it. That's what achievement-based objectives set us up for!

Question #4 - (With this question I draw a little diagram showing how learning leads to transfer, and transfer leads to impact.) If you are looking for something more, then you probably want to evaluate "transfer" (i.e. how learners use what they got in the learning) or "impact" (i.e. what difference it made to them or those around them). If so, have you set up a plan to capture evidence of learning and then track what happens after the training ends?

By the time I hit question #4, the caller usually pauses their note-taking and says something like "Hmmm. I guess I have to think this through a bit more.” And that's when I feel like I've done my work for the day.

What do you say when a colleague asks you to spend a few minutes talking to them about training evaluation? Share it with us in the comments section.

Dialogue Education Essentials: Well-Researched Content (WHAT)

This is the fifth post in a series called Blogging Towards Baltimore. Why Baltimore? Because that's where we'll be learning together at the International Dialogue Education Institute, Oct 24-27, 2013.

One of the best ways to show respect of a group of learners is to put them to work on learning a tough set of relevant, immediately useful, complex, intricate and dense content (or, in Dialogue Education's 8 Steps of Design, what we like to call the WHAT). Such content is cutting edge, the latest version of research in the field, a synthesis of the tradition and the latest new insights - no matter if you are teaching six-figure salaried managers how to deal with economic downturns, or high school juniors the intricacies of selecting and applying successfully to a college or university, or white-haired seniors the vital nutritional knowledge and skills that can add to the quality of their lives.

You respect me when you bring it on! Put me to work learning what I know I need to know – knowledge, attitudes and skills – and I promise you I will not resist nor will I falter in completing a tough learning task. You honor me by your evident hard work in researching the latest science can offer me; I want cutting-edge content as an adult learner.

Our work in design, using the 8 Steps of Design, is demanding. The most demanding step, I have always found, is selecting the most appropriate content (WHAT) for the learners (WHO) in their current situation (WHY), noting the time available for the learning (WHEN) and the place and space in which the learning will take place (WHERE). I feel deeply that well-researched content – the WHAT – is indeed a Dialogue Education Essential.

Dialogue Education is based on empirical evidence, on the hard research done in the fields of epistemology, psychology, biology, anthropology, theology, sociology. That means our daily bread is earned as much by research and study as by designing, teaching and evaluating. Dialogue Education must be an open system, ready to change when new knowledge invites such change. Our life as educators is an ongoing research agenda, building a developing resource for educators that will not look the same in the year 2113, or even in 2023!

*****

And, to help you out with this challenge, my colleague Darlene Goetzman has written a terrific chapter (download it here for free!) about how to select the "best" content for your learning event in her helpful, downloadable coaching guide, Dialogue Education Step by Step: A Guide for Designing Exceptional Learning Events.

Join Jane Vella October 24-27, 2013 at the International Dialogue Education Institute for her plenary session, The Biology of Learning.

10 Axioms for Learning Design (and just what IS an axiom, anyway?)

If you’ve been kicking around Dialogue Education circles long enough you’ll have heard a bunch of axioms bandied about. You might have read Dr. Jane Vella’s A Few New Axioms, about the new truths that have become apparent to her during her retirement years, or seen the results of the experiment Dan Haase and Kyle Tennant undertook as a result of an axiom.

But what is an axiom, really?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines it this way:

  • A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim.
  • An established rule, principle, or law.
  • A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate.

In the world of Dialogue Education learning designs, we have ten favorites that we explore in our Advanced Learning Design course and we invite you to ponder them for a moment as you read them here:

  1. Don’t tell what you can ask; don’t ask if you know the answer:  tell in dialogue.
  2. Even a group of 4 (or 400) can be broken down to pairs: let every voice be heard!
  3. A warm-up is a learning task related to the topic.  It is not an extra.
  4. A learning task is an open question, put to a small group with the resources they need to respond.  It is for the learners, not you, the teacher.
  5. A critical incident (case study posing a problem) needs to be far enough away to be safe, and close enough to be relevant.
  6. Pray for doubt!
  7. The more teaching (professing), the less learning.
  8. We should generally be teaching half as much in twice the time.
  9. Aim for the proper sequence or flow, from simple to more complex.
  10. The design bears the burden.

In Advanced Learning Design we do a task together towards the end of our three-day course that’s focused on the axioms:

Think about what you have found most stretching and provocative during the past three days. Create your own pearl of wisdom to express your learning in the form of an axiom!  Write or draw it on the paper provided and bring it to our axiom wall.

 

Take a Gallery Walk and express your reactions to what you see.

While we can't have a typical Gallery Walk here on our blog, we do have a comments section below that will suffice. A lot of you are very experienced teachers, facilitators and trainers – what are your favorite axioms related to learning designs? We invite you to share your comments below.

If you’d like to discover more pearls of wisdom for yourself, please join us in Raleigh, North Carolina on June 19-21 for Advanced Learning Design. This course is unique because only in Raleigh can you have dinner hosted by Dialogue Education founder Jane Vella on her back porch!

The Value of Design: A Student and Instructor Reflect on Why It Matters

By Dan Haase and Kyle Tennant

 Dan Haase, left, talks with his student, Kyle Tennant.

“The design bears the burden.” This is one of our favorite axioms of Jane Vella’s. Our experience with this truth came through a college graduate course entitled “Teaching for Transformation.” Before the class began, we realized we had a major problem with the WHEN. Due to an unalterable work schedule, Kyle Tennant (the student) was not able to make the weekly required course during its slotted timeframe. The eight steps were completed. All of the WHAT, the WHAT FOR, and the HOW were written. Dan (the instructor) began to wonder . . . could the design truly bear the burden? Could Kyle still experience deep learning without actually attending the class? Fortunately, another student had the same scheduling conflict. Putting confidence in the design, and with an experimental spirit, Dan offered the course as an independent study wherein Kyle and the other student would gather weekly to work through the prepared learning tasks.

This is Dan and Kyle's conversation about the outcome.

Dan:  What was your initial response to our course?

Kyle:  I think I felt both excitement and trepidation. I was absolutely thrilled to be gaining more tools for my teaching toolbox, yet taking in all of the information was certainly challenging! While I was given everything I needed to engage with the content in terms of What, What For, and How, the documents were intimidating. A learner who is new to Dialogue Education (DE) will be confused by a single learning task; imagine getting a document with over 70 on the first day of class! But you made yourself available to me via email and telephone, which resulted in an increase in excitement and courage, and a decrease in trepidation.

Dan:  I know for me, I wondered how this independent study would work since you were not physically in the class where I was facilitating the tasks. It was good that you had a classmate to walk with through the tasks and without this I don’t think the course would have worked at all, due to the amount of interaction that took place in groups. What challenges did you face as the course progressed?

Kyle:  The challenge for us was to do the extra work of synthesizing the learning tasks on the paper into a cohesive unit of our own understanding. With in-person learning, the facilitator transitions learners between tasks, and ultimately synthesizes them into a cohesive unit. In Dan’s absence, we were forced to link the sequence of tasks on our own—we had to work to see the connection between each piece of new content and each task. This process was frequently awkward and stilted, but in the end it made for a deep appreciation for facilitators in the design process.

Dan:  How would you describe the role that design played in your learning, transfer and impact?

Kyle:  The axiom we mentioned  earlier – “the design bears the burden” – was proved true in that learning, transfer and impact occurred despite our facilitator’s absence. As we worked to turn these documents into cohesive pieces of understanding, we found ourselves “getting it.” Transfer happened intuitively:  as a pastor working with adolescents, I began to use DE in our weekly meetings, taking what I had just worked through earlier in the week and implementing it a only a few days later. Impact came when I asked students to prepare mini-sessions on a given subject, and they had me and my volunteer staff drawing, acting out, journaling, and singing about the given content.

Dan:  What suggestions or conclusions would you offer to those writing learning tasks when they will not be present to help facilitate?

Kyle:  A few ideas come to mind. First, do as Dan did:  be extremely available to your learners via email and phone. The lines of communication were always open, and we met with Dan frequently. Second, be sure to provide those learners in your absence with all the necessary materials—we received the handouts listed in the HOW at the beginning of each week, so we were able to keep up with the learning. Third, remember the power of a “tough verb” and a clear task. If your verbs aren’t tough, and your tasks aren’t clear, your learners can’t learn. A tough verb and a clear task needs no explanation! Lastly, trust your design and your learners. If the design is good, and your learners are willing, learning will happen!

What do YOU think about Dan and Kyle's experiment? What's your experience with "the design bears the burden?"

Dan Haase, a GLP Certified Dialogue Education Practitioner, is Adjunct Faculty and Internship Coordinator at Wheaton College.

Kyle Tennant is a graduate student at Wheaton College.

The Gift of Knowing - Da'at

Gift of Peace

I learned something this week: Da’at is the Hebrew word for knowing, knowledge that is powerful, participative, productive.

Da’at is cognitive, affective, psychomotor knowing: ideas, feelings, actions interwoven and effective towards new behavior. Da’at is what the four year old is searching for when he says, “Me do!”

Da’at is the renewed and reformed consciousness that is the end of the means we call Dialogue Education. Da’at leads to peace.

We do not do the strenuous work of designing and leading Dialogue Education events for any purpose less than peace. When human beings know, and know that they know, they can use their human power to construct that knowing towards peace.

All of the scriptures of the world speak of peace as a gift and as the purpose of right living. The Christ said: My peace I give to you. Peace is a ready gift that is ours for the willingness to accept it. Every learning task we design, and lead, or do, can strengthen that willingness, and assure that acceptance.

The means is dialogue, the end is da’at, the purpose is peace.

When do you see da'at at work?

A Few New Axioms

SlowYou are going to have to walk slowly to keep up with me! is my warning offered to those who dare to go for a walk with me these days.

Another new axiom I am living by is Keep your eyes off the clock! Both of these speak to my predilection for “busy," for “productive," for “hurry up.” Hey! I’m retired: this is as dressed up as I get. This is as fast as I go. This is as much as I can do.

I’m afraid my cherished axiom – learning needs three things, in this order:  time, time and time! – is under serious scrutiny. Keep your eyes off the clock is more to my taste these days. Perhaps in our eighties we get to choose our favorite axioms.

Have you noticed how flexible time is: when I am doing what I love, time flies. When I am working at something tedious and somewhat difficult . . . the hands of the clock will simply not move! Love what you do and time is a delightful friend, keeping up with you and your current energy.

Another new (and somewhat related) axiom:

Dialogue Education works as a learning system because the teacher works so hard at designing it.

Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening my axe.“ That good man must have known about the designing of Dialogue Education:  long, hard, necessary work!

It is beautiful to be retired now and to be able to keep my eyes off the clock. It is also challenging for a man or woman to change the predilections and habits of a lifetime, to slow down and enjoy the sweet gift of life.

I expect I am (slowly) sharpening my axe . . .