Who Knew?

I learn something new everyday.

Thanks to "psd" on Flickr for making this image available!

So yesterday I wrote a blog post.

And then I received this email:

Congrats! Your post ( https://prattlenog.com/2010/05/04/verb-to-blog/ ) has been promoted to Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com. Keep up the good work!

Editorial Czar
WordPress.com | Automattic

I chuckled at Joy’s title. “Czar.” Why not “queen?” I thought.

And then, I received several emails notifying me of comments on my post, and I logged in and checked my dashboard.

WOWZA! You people were reading my blog! Amazing! Who knew?

And THEN I saw this post from WordPress: Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed

Who knew? This was a total accident on my part, but what a cool thing.

And, I learned that apparently you all want to talk about why you blog (as do I).  Who knew? So let’s do it!

My great thanks to all of you who have read and commented on my post. Each of you has added to my own reflections about my blogging practice, and I have learned a lot. I look forward to continuing the conversation; it’s a great one!


Let’s Achieve Good

Yesterday I attended the Continuums of Service conference here in Portland, Oregon.  Several hundred people from several states were in attendance — all of us focused on service-learning, social action, and social justice work within higher education. It was an amazing group to be in and I felt privileged to be in the presence of so many who care and who spend their time trying to make making a difference.

One thing I learned about — from the keynote speaker Sean Stannard-Stockton — was The Girl Effect, created by The Nike Foundation. Watch the video here:

The Nike Foundation explains:

We sought out where we could make the greatest impact. We found it in adolescent girls. Invest in them, the theory goes, and you will unleash a powerful ripple effect.

As Stannard-Stockton pointed out, true social change does not come about by doing good things; it comes about by achieving good. As we begin Spring Into Service, let’s focus on what we collectively will achieve toward understanding and reducing food insecurity in our state.

Starting with the Opening Reception on Tuesday, April 6th, please Spring into Service and join us in achieving good.

Installment #8: What My Toddler Has Taught Me About Adult Learning

In one of my favorite books on teaching — The Courage to Teach — Parker Palmer reminds us of the importance of learning in community:

The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by private trial and error, to be sure — but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks. (1998, p. 144)

Shared practice.

Honest dialogue.

Encouraging risk.


Here is a picture of Mac’s toddler learning community.  (Mac is smack dab in the middle, of course. He clearly values surrounding himself with other learners. Or – he likes to be the center of attention…)

Mac's Learning Community

Mac is reminding me that it often is better to learn with others.  Though Mac is a natural risk taker, I think that having other kids to learn from and with is already key to his development. He and his co-learners may not have “honest dialogue” (yet) in the way that we do as adult learners, but they do have shared practice and they learn from watching each other and supporting each other. Just yesterday Mac’s friend Jack was helping Mac learn how to best hold the shovel so he could get the dirt from the flower bed to the bucket without it spilling. Now THAT’S helpful!

Here is another picture of all of them in active learning mode. Mac is the kid with the dark red shirt on, right side. The kids are learning Itsy Bitsy Spider — Out comes the sun! This particular skill has been transferable to drying his arm pits after bath time, getting arrested for throwing a toy across the room, and semaphore (should he ever need it).

Mac's Learning Community In Action


#1 – Learning Can Happen When We Challenge our Perspectives

#2 – Learning is Developmental

#3 – We Learn by Direct Experience

#4 – We Learn by Observing Others, Even If Others Are Not Experts

#5 – The Importance Of Books In Learning

#6 – Selecting the Right Learning Tools

#7 – Ask For Help