My Personal Journals
     Students have sometimes asked me about the importance of writing journals.  This page is a way to help them understand the values that are generated by regularly exploring our thinking.  Virtually every great mind of the past kept a journal as a regular part of their intellectual life.  Franklin's Autobiography, Montaigne's Essays, daVinci's and Einstein's notebooks ~ all have become famous as examples of how intelligent people think.  The list is too extensive to make complete, but the reality is that journaling helps us explore new ideas, refine our thinking, explain our positions, and test our values.  It helps us clarify all the aspects of our thought processes so we can be more complete as rational thinkers.  We will make mistakes as we go along, but having these ideas written out gives us an opportunity to examine them carefully and improve the quality of our reasoning.  The act of writing also gives us a bit of catharsis, releasing some of the emotion that attaches to difficult circumstances.  Virtually every day generates a topic that we could benefit from journaling about, but time pressures and numerous duties often prevent us from carrying out this practice, though it would be beneficial to our mental health.
     Below is a table that contains links to various journals I have written.  Students of my classes may recognize some of the topics, because I have a tendency to orally journal as part of my participation in class discussions, and those thoughts often make it into written form.  Be that as it may, I must issue a
to anyone reading this site.  The thoughts contained within are not profane, intentionally derogatory, or meant to be offensive in any way.  Be that as it may, I write in a "stream of conciousness" sort of style, and my experience with "social media" indicates that people will take offense at nearly anything and respond in ways that beg me to counter-argue in a similar tone.  Though each journal has a link to one of my e-mail addresses so interested parties can converse with me, I have no interest in getting into personal arguments over the subjects found here.  My natural propensity for satire and my low level of tolerance for blatant illogic often result in further aggravation for all parties.  As a hint to the reader, I have even attempted to "rate" each journal based on its potential to aggravate those who are not like-minded.  Thus, I will state again, the purpose of this set of pages is simply to share ideas with my students and hopefully help them generate meaningful topics about which to think and write.  
Finding Your Voice (as a writer)
(Unlikely to provoke any hatred)
Books That Have Changed My Life
(Virtually nothing inflammatory)
On Heroes
(Virtually nothing inflammatory)
A Good Day Teaching
(Mildly problematic, if you don't want kids to think in school.)
On North Carolina Drivers
(Mostly humorous, unless you are from North Carolina.)
What is Wrong With Professional Athletes?
(Thoughts on the society that has created problematic characters.  Edgier if you're an athlete, perhaps.)
Conditional Respect
(An open response to students who think that respect must be earned.  Relatively non-offensive.)
On the Death of Dean Smith
(Not much to aggravate, unless you think basketball is the best it's ever been.)
Teen Romance
(Serious advice about teen relationships.)
My First Professional Baseball Game
(A recounting of the first game I ever got to see in person.)
Welcome to the Machine
(A diatribe on modern technology and our dependence on it.  No swearing.)
On the Passing of Muhammad Ali
(Problematic if you hate Blacks, Muslims, or Revolutionaries.)
Valentine's Day
(Inoffensive, unless you are a hopeless romantic.)
On Student Leadership
The Best Years of Your Life
(Are they really High School?  Probably too preachy, but still potentially useful.)
How To Have A Good School Year
(A plan that will work, unless you are a chronic grouch.)
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