The Learning Curve: Erase & Rewind

introducing the open loop/non linear post secondary model

Sometimes kids need a break from school – working a shit job – learning to appreciate a sound work ethic before they can truly appreciate higher learning.


Education is a “reward” system representing a short supply of ideas and creativity (nutrition), where options and opportunities are limited to what’s on a menu;  you know the one – like, say at Denny’s – laminated plastic with the yummy pictures and daily specials – the delicious appetizers that come early, the massive main course and always the sugar/sweet dessert finish – our reward.   Ok, that meal where you always feel totally satisfied/full after – the restaurant you tell all your friends about and they go too (with their kids).  Ordering too much so you can take some home to munch on later – oh  yeah.  Ah, the American dream – heavy on the bling and yet, missing something – too little, too late.  Ok, yes expensive but worth it (or so we’re told in their appealing photo-ads).  It’s all laid out already – easy to choose.  Simple – easy.

Always breakfast at 8am … bacon/ham/sausage, eggs, pancakes, toast and jam – home-fried potatoes, juice and coffee.  Lunch at noon (lighter fare) – always a BIGGY smoked meat sandwich (special sauce) with your choice of soup or salad that we play with more than eat, and then dinner promptly at 6 – meat and potatoes with a boiled to death frozen processed vegetable (because it’s good for you) – deep dish apple pie right after (even though you don’t have room for it).   We’re forced to eat when we’re not hungry, go on a diet when we get fat, then quietly binging on ‘comfort food’ late at night when we’re not supposed to and when no one is looking.

Erase & Rewind

Education is a lot like food – consumed linearly and predictably – too much of all the wrong crap when we don’t really need it and not enough of the good stuff when we do.  Always presented in a timely manner and almost always presented favourably –  laid out like your dress clothes on the bed just before Sunday school – the ones you can barely fit into anymore (even at 10), the ones we’re told to wear because it’s ‘appropriate’.    I’m thinking that maybe – just maybe – there’s more to this …

welcome back to – The Learning Curve




Less is more

Finding out later in life that it’s actually healthier to eat smaller meals (more frequently) during the day because it maximizes our ability to assimilate/function more efficiently, in accordance with our natural metabolism, feeding the mind, body and spirit incrementally over time and maintaining a lifestyle where excesses are minimized.

Ambition isn’t something you learn – it’s something you’re born with, and schools have this way of stripping ambition – clean away – gone forever.

I was always fascinated by the Montessori approach to education.  Maria Montessori was a visionary back in her day – soaring way above the traditional approach to learning, back in a time when everyone was thinking in the box – the Montessori maternity was characterized by an essential emphasis on independence, freedom of limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical and social development and those ‘nurtured’ in that system seem to do much better for some reason.   My one dream in this life?  To sit with Maria for 30 minutes and show her what’s here now just to listen to her one sentence afterwards.  Her prescription was/is a more balanced approach to learning in a forum supportive of natural development where intake (new information) is welcomed by each individual and absent of confusion and delusion.  Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Julia Child – ok, the list goes on and on – all Montessori kids – allowed to follow their passion – without limitations – without menus – without judgement – open loop earlier on and still in motion.

Challenging the status quo in due process brings about resistance and chaos, in that we’re conditioned to follow certain steps within a specific (and short) timeline.  Daycare/preschool, grade-school then high-school – sleep-time/work-time/play-time carefully constructed/manipulated maximizing our brief tenure on the planet.


By the end of high school, young people are just supposed to know what their mission/purpose in life is, before they are gathered in herds and shipped off to university or college where they spend 4 years (way too soon) in a generic undergrad program that they have no real connection with, then – OUT they go into the work-force, only it’s the most difficult transition they face, because their useless undergrad has little relevance and because they’re not grounded in a system of their own discovery.  No, it’s a system of their making – Mom/Dad, family/teachers, employers, corporate america and on and on and so many kids fall off the wagon and drift into oblivion – lost, eventually gravitating into a vocation that has little or nothing to do with their talent – all absent of fun and stripped of any inspiration and only because it was invented that way and continues to this day.  When the options are limited to the common fare on a menu – there’s always sugar – in a default mechanism that always works – short term gain – long term pain.  Sometimes kids get hooked into one of those “living the dream” programs/schools that prey on unsuspecting, wide-eyed vulnerable victims.

Those who actually believe that becoming larger than life, is something that can be bought – on a payment plan.


The backfire is felt in the frosty fringes, thirsty for another drink, toke – bump – where/when our alienated playstation prodigies are introduced to yet another poison – Let’s just say – one word – sexy!   “OMFG did you see that hottee at reception? – I’d tap that”.  That ultra-cool high-school trip to a local rock school, all so accessible and convenient – YES!  I WANT!   The term “field trip” has a whole new meaning.  Here we GO!  New Mini Cooper for Christmas today?  Rock School tomorrow?  bring it ON!

text from Stoner:   “Congrats dude – you are like – officially?  a target demographic haha.  Ok, whatevs bro.  Yep, it’s all goin’ on – new car – smoke-show girlfriend (amazing ass) – rockin’ haircut/gear, new 63 Strat – Protools w/unlimited plugs on your iMac;  fame fortune and glory?  You’re frikkin’ IN guy – you’re SET!”

“ya – so hey – Mom/Dad – make it happen”!  The term ‘deer in the headlights’ comes to mind.


Cause I’ve been changing my mind

There needs to be a “reason” to learn – a genuine curiosity.  What I have learned is that there is a very real alternative.  One that circumvents a fragmented formula and allows young minds to flourish much earlier on – but only if one is open to it.  If you are a parent reading this;  I’m hoping you’re listening, because what we’ve been conditioned to accept as the proper way to assist our kids and how it can be done better can be very different and can work more efficiently/productively.   Kids are bored easily – it’s up to us to inspire them (early on) so that they can direct their purpose more meaningfully and more realistically.  Let them go earlier.  Trust them.  Don’t harass them – let your children discover then rediscover themselves.  Let them fail; make huge mistakes and feel horrible about it.  Don’t interfere and most importantly don’t over-compensate or over-insulate (over feed).  Offering benevolent guidance is one thing – controlling or over-protecting them is quite another.  Encourage and support their decisions – even if they are bad ones …  disagree if you must; but leave the badgering/harassment, shame/blame and guilt at the door.

Loving them means letting them go … even if they need to drop out of high-school because they hate it (if they really need to do that because it’s obvious they’re wasting their time there anyway).   Many of our most successful heros (men and women) are just that; Virgin’s Richard Branson, Dreamwork’s David Geffen, Director Quentin Tarantino, actors Seth Rogen, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, even musicians – Bryan Adams, Avril Lavigne, Eminem, Kurt Cobain and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong – all high-school drop-outs.  Forcing your ‘will’ on them will only backfire.  Short term gain – long term pain – and they’ll only resent you after the fact (for the rest of their lives – even long after you’re gone).  Sometimes kids need a break from school – working a shit job – learning to appreciate a sound work ethic before they can appreciate higher learning.  What’s most amazing (in my observation), is that most who are granted the freedom to drop out early – return to school later and with a fresh new perspective and those who aren’t given that freedom/dropping out anyway?  drift into the abyss.  Quite simply put – detachment works better – for them – for you – for everyone.

Your kids are living their lives – not yours.  If you have a “plan” for them?  Toss it, because it’s not your decision to make.




This practice works well in relationships too – detachment is like a miracle potion that works extremely well, because it’s organic and gives your partner (and/or child)  permission to choose – independently and without shame and guilt (free of your opinion – your grip).  It’s a simple concept really, big bang for the buck.  The Swiss, Japanese/Chinese and many other countries get it when we here in North America still remain blinded by great expectations in an applied science (hovering haphazardly in a 3.0 GPA) so that they can learn to fudge their own KPI numbers, boasting false success – leading to anxiety/depression, substance abuse, marital breakdowns and serious resentment after the fact.  Have you ever stopped to think WHY there is an epidemic of ADD (attention deficit) festering in our youth these days?   Think about it.  There’s ‘proaction’ and there’s reactionAll too often it’s the latter because kids don’t like the options they’re presented with and they’re tired of being pressured.

Kids need to be introduced to the workforce earlier and incrementally and they need to be supported to find their own path at their own pace – plain and simple – no easy answers.  Being given little (useless shit in the material world) and making them “earn” what they ultimately want in life; children develop a more sound work ethic that helps them appreciate what it’s like to integrate more successfully/passionately – more meaningfully – desire is something that can be grounded in curiosity and nourished.   The Swiss (in particular) educate/apprentice then educate some more, then work some more – then mature naturally – embracing new changes/challenges in a way that brings about a more constructive outcome over the long run.  Stanford University in the U.S. is doing it (starting this year) with their new ‘open loop’ design – post-secondary breakthroughs exist in active incubator systems that fertilize optimally –  even here in Toronto Canada at Ryerson University (in their Digital Media Zone).   I’m optimistic.


Closing Thoughts:

We’re being squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces costing more (too much), requiring more flexibility and willingness to sacrifice/re-locate and our kids feel disconnected; perhaps time to wake up!  There needs to be a good reason for them to learn new things – incentive.  That’s the biggest problem with north american post-secondary right now.  Kids are forced to learn stuff that’s not relevant in their world, (math/algebra, physics, chemistry, physical education etc.) and it’s hard because most teenagers don’t care about any of that – they’re more interested in learning about that which peaks their interest right now – not later.  School doesn’t do that.  High-schools, Universities and Colleges are failing to inspire their incoming/outgoing – so too many lose interest in higher learning and drift into oblivion because of it.

The one thing that is certain, is that you can’t just turn change on like a light switch when they finish high-school because if the damage has been done, it will be very difficult to repair.  This is something that needs to begin in a child’s early life.

When I was young, I was taught early on that there was no dessert until after we finished supper – eating ALL of it first – even though we hated boiled frozen peas (ok frosted with bad margerine yuk) – we had to eat them anyway OR ELSE – no pudding!   No, I’m not saying that we just give them the pudding prematurely.  I’m just suggesting that we leave the processed peas off the plate to begin with and let them discover their greens in their own time – perhaps with a more inventive way of preparing vegetables in the first place – learning to love their greens yes, because it’s healthy and because they can in fact, taste good too.

Broccoli, Asparagus, Kale, Brussel Sprouts – Green beans?  Whatever –  YUM – bring it on … erase and rewind – cause I’ve been changing my mind …


 (read all of Jim’s posts in the Blogroll and in his Journal)



The Learning Curve: an Observation in Modern Education

 a discussion on private verses public post-secondary systems in Canada – (updated for January 01, 2019)

“I look at it this way – if the world’s next Quentin Tarantino, Drake/Avril Lavigne or Trent Reznor/Daniel Lanois is reading this stuff, then none of it will matter one way or the other because information in a blog on the internet won’t change that kind of commitment.  I already know that many MAE readers decide against a career in Media Arts after taking this site in.  I think of it as me doing them a favour and saving them a lot of headaches, only because it requires a 100% commitment.  It’s all or nothing”.  JL

Hello friends and faithful readers of my blog – if you’ve read my Media Arts Education – A Report Card, I welcome you to this afterthought … an observation in human nature that may shed some light on the weak links in our education system.  Please forgive this more philosophical approach to the ongoing discussion.  I realize that this is more for the discerning reader who might want to take a deeper look.  This overview is on Canadian education as a whole, not focused strictly on media/music/recording and entertainment arts.  I’m looking at the bigger picture here.  I’m looking at all schools in Canada now – in both the private and public sectors.

Welcome to … The Learning Curve




Having been an educator most of my life and having spent the last 8 years studying the Canadian labour market in depth, I am well informed of a growing dilemma here.  Although most schools would have you believe that a qualification is all you need; I feel that education is about way more than “schooling” and that important essentials are missed.  Here are 10 fundamentals that every new post-secondary student will benefit from – what it looks like under the surface – what you won’t learn in any school:

1.  The Canadian education system is a business and like every business there’s a bottom line and it’s all about money. 
All schools (and the people who run them), are in “business” to make money – plain and simple.  Unlike countries in other parts of the world where education reflects a more balanced relationship with their labour market, post-secondary colleges and universities in North America sell programs based on popularity even though many have little post-grad relevance (due to over-saturation).  Programs such as Fashion Design, Animation/Gaming, Broadcasting/Television/Film and Music/Sound/Recording Technology are a few examples of this.  There are thousands of schools offering hundreds of programs that are popular and appealing, but have low graduation and placement rates (and all because they’re profitable).

2.  Justification.  Schools  ‘justify’ many fringe programs/courses because there are success stories that they can mount front and center – letting the world know that Jason Jones graduated and is working “in the field” now.  The underlying message is that they as a school are  (in fact) delivering, when in reality more than half of those who register/attend (programs above) don’t finish/graduate and 80% (4/5) of those who do graduate end up doing something completely unrelated in the job market after spending/investing $20,000 – $40,000 on an education that they’ll never use professionally (and many years paying off student loans).   That said, you will  see and hear all about the few who “make it” – turned up nice and loud on the school’s websites, implying that this is a common outcome.  It’s called marketing and it’s deceptive.

3.  Most schools are more preoccupied with what they can take rather than give.  Their priority mandate is to maintain and support their comfortable infrastructure so that they (current teachers/professors/administrators and system ensconced bureaucrats) can prosper. What this means for post-secondary, is that enrollment, makes them money and creates more opportunities for THEM!  As I have learned, this often means manipulating the facts and sometimes lying outright to achieve that goal.  One example … unionized public sector teachers (elementary) use kids as props/pawns, to hold up signs in picket lines (the kids having no idea what they mean); so as to gain leverage (via propaganda) in their campaign to increase their salaries/benefits while at 10 years of service, earning $90K/year (double that of non-union private sector teachers), working 35hrs/week with 2 months off every summer.  With all these perks in place, they still want more, using rhetoric to convince people that they deserve it.

4.  Bums in Seats.  At most post-secondary schools (PCC colleges in particular) recruiters are pressured to meet a “monthly target quota” (commission sales), even if it means registering students for courses where the market is saturated and there are few real job prospects.  None of that really matters.  As a clear example; the market for qualified public sector “teachers” is completely saturated in Canada.  Even though there’s a demand for ‘french immersion’ teachers; 2 out of 3 new graduates from english teachers colleges can’t find work (system is full up) – and yet there is an ongoing campaign by teachers colleges to recruit more and more students regardless – why?  because there are security issues to an education system that depends on enrollment.  The University system is a “slam-dunk” because the youth market is massive and most young people are brainwashed into thinking that it’s a degree that automatically creates employment.  It’s a sit and wait strategy – (coupled with student debt).

5.  Accountability.  There is little accountability and no responsibility on the part of any education system in Canada to find their graduates a real job in their field of study, which means that those having a BA, BSc, Masters or even Ph.D has very little to do with successful integration and are essentially on their own post grad.  Every registered college has a “career services” department and registrants are reassured that they will be there for them when they finish, but such departments (in most schools) are ‘cosmetic’ and 9 times out of 10 do very little/nothing to assist in a graduate’s integration (beyond help with their resume).  Any media arts school that tells prospectives that there are “lots of jobs” for graduates of their program, are essentially falsifying the facts and schools tell prospective students this every day.



6.  Misinformation. 
Most students in Universities and Colleges are misinformed because most schools are not educating degree graduates with the most essential skills – that being the development of entrepreneurial spirit, occupation (labour market) research, skill set marketing and proper ongoing networking – and most schools feed on complacency. Young people in the U.S and Canada are led to believe that you go to school – get the diploma/degree and then that great job just lands in their laps. Of course that’s not how it works. There’s so much more to it and the education system in North America doesn’t address that, because it’s not in their best interest to do so.

7.  Unrealistic expectations.  There’s a huge GAP (excuse the pun) between what most young people (and their parents) expect (entering post-secondary education with the goal of integrating into the labour market) and what’s realistic.  A large percentage of Canadian parents pay for their sons/daughters college/university, including all expenses (a car, clothes/spending money – whatever they “need”), and many of these young people take their post-secondary education for granted.  It’s called “entitlement” and it’s rampant.  Years earlier and leading up to college; this large percentage of children/teenagers are coddled/pampered (given too much), addicted to consumption and subsequently damaged (becoming complacent); stripping them from an essential ability to appreciate a sound work ethic.

8.  Trying it on.  Most who embark on a post-secondary education have no idea what they’re doing and are following the advice of people (parents/relatives/teachers, admissions counsellors etc.), who don’t really know where their son’s/daughter’s/student’s strengths/talents fundamentally lie.  Ungrounded “ideas” absent of real passion/desire, make for a routine procedure and a luke warm reception (withdrawl).  Traditional career exploration (for the most part) is like trying on a new suit or a new pair of jeans (to see how it fits).   More often than not, the ‘fit’ isn’t right (returning it to the rack) OR, they end up wearing something that is uncomfortable for the rest of their lives.   Moral of the story:  you don’t try media/music arts (in particular) on to see if it fits.  It’s something one does because it’s their calling (purpose/mission).

9.  Commitment.  Young people almost always say that they are 100% committed to their future, (when there’s nothing to measure it against).   The game “pin the tail on the donkey” comes to mind.  All said and done, their commitment is measured in successful (post-grad) integration, making their living (in their field) and rising to the occasion.   There is a low integration rate in media arts, and in audio/music (in particular) overall statistics show that less than 1/10 who register/attend any such program ever get to that place (and what that place looks like is almost always very different from what they thought it would look like going in).

10.  Private Career Colleges are also called “for profit” schools, which is misleading,  because it implies that public post-secondary is non-profit.   Community Colleges and Universities are  money hungry regardless and so-called ‘surpluses’ from highly successful (popular) programs, are absorbed/assimilated into the system seamlessly (and quietly) so technically, there are ‘non-profit’ and ‘for-profit’ schools out there but in reality, there isn’t that much of a difference in their motivation.  Both private and public post-secondary (colleges/universities) want their classes filled to capacity (because it means higher salaries/bigger budgets and more room for expansion).


Expectation Misalignment

What students “expect” and what actually happens are all too often completely different and they become disappointed and discouraged way too soon.  Our so called ‘benevolent’ influences, (media and even education systems themselves) have painted a false picture of what’s really going on and young people often become victims (believers) of the lie and some schools perpetuate the lie for profit.  We learn our lessons often times, the hard way.   Live and learn.  Most schools pull them in and churn them out for money. “desire” is something you don’t learn in a class-room.  Some schools inspire real curiosity in its participants, which elevates them into that career path that they have developed a real passion for.  It happens – there are many good schools out there and many student/graduates learn to connect the dots to form a picture – their picture.  Entrepreneurial spirit can be a healthy bi-product in a school system that knows how to inspire it’s students.   Fortunately some do, but most don’t.

That being said, desire and ambition are ultimately aptitudes that cannot be taught at any school.  It’s something you either have or you don’t and it’s difficult to measure as an innocent young person looking out into a deceptive world, full of fantasies and realities and no way to know where the fantasies end and the realities begin.   I think it’s called ‘experience’.   The old guy who looks at you and smiles after you’ve said something – what’s he thinking?



PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE – the debate continues
(passive vs. active pedagogy)

So back to school we go – the biggest problem in the Canadian post-secondary system, is that there are few options for creative people especially, to be able to plan out the best plan of action.  “How do I make this work in the real world?  How do I survive and keep my dream intact”?

Public schools (universities and community colleges) have a generally “passive” approach to education – it’s in the nature of our soft culture and is supported by a unionized sensibility.  If you ever want to experience “hard” culture, spend some time in India.   One returns with a whole different perspective.  We’re so spoiled here in comparison – we “expect” too much.  Even though I prefer public over private schools (in this country), I believe that most public schools are lacking in the ability to inspire the necessary “self-discipline” that’s required for most to make it work right.  Long programs.  Unnecessary courses – too many “perks”.  Get that 2.0 GPA in a ‘meet the basic requirement’ agenda and not enough real immediate passion/minimal imagination – designed to prolong that which could be done in a fraction of the time.  This “lag” in turn stunts a student’s career evolution because it’s all too often slow and filled with lots of “filler”.  The mere extension of a ‘high-school’ frame of mind is limiting, when it comes to assisting students to cope and deal with the real world (successfully integrating into the work-force).

Private schools on the other hand have more fire in their bellies – having a more “active” approach to education.  They’re “businesses” that need to survive (without government funding) and are more in touch with the real world for the most part, so in that sense they better prepare students for the realities of their respective future vocations and sometimes get the job done in half the time only at twice the cost.  Yikes!  Ok, what’s up with that?   Yes, they get to the point quicker and push students out faster by giving them the most important essentials up front but there’s a serious downside.  At most private schools (not all), there’s a “sales” staff (competing with each other) that want you to sign up for a commission and often “lie” to nail down the registration, (ok – seriously manipulating the truth), not caring about you at all.

Most private schools – are deceptive and self-centered, treat their recruitment staff like trained dogs (behind closed doors) – more focused on forcing results – in the form of profit.  It can be quite creepy to look at, especially in the bigger schools owned by public American corporations with shareholders – based in New York or Chicago (70+ campuses globally).   Counting their profits and cutting their losses are a daily routine, and those “pulling the strings” know little or nothing about education and only care about how much money comes in.   They tend to take more and “give” less.  You’ve seen their consistent advertising on TV – penetrating a vulnerable market – easy OSAP student loan and …  well you get it.  Ok, all of a sudden public schools are starting to look pretty good again.   It’s a tough call.   Maintaining sanity over stupidity.   I’m still struggling with this one.  Smaller Canadian owned private colleges are better.  Students tend to be treated more like humans rather than a “bar code”.

and now … The Good News

It is important at this point to re-iterate that there are some excellent post-secondary options out there.  Outside of music/media, I have seen hundreds of graduates from both private and public post-secondary Canadian colleges go on to do amazing things in their careers because they went to good schools and there are lots of good schools out there.  It’s really important to shop carefully and ask the right questions, knowing that the answers one gets are open to interpretation.  Every school has it’s own unique personality above and beyond that – compatibility takes research.  It really, ultimately comes down to the individuals in play and their willingness to take the leap.

I look at it this way – if the world’s next Quentin Tarantino, Avril Lavigne, Drake or Trent Reznor/Daniel Lanois is reading this, then none of this will matter one way or the other.  They’ll just use this information to assist in their navigation.  I already know that many MAE readers decide against a career in Media Arts after taking this site in.   I think of it as me doing them a favour and saving them a lot of headaches, only because it requires a 100% commitment.   It’s all or nothing.

Into the unknown – making the necessary sacrifices – abandoning “creature comforts”, trusting our intuition – embracing change.  Exploring the risk factor …




Peripheral Vision

What has become most obvious to me now at 60 and still in the education business, particularly in the “public versus private” debate,  is that FORCING results doesn’t work.  Whether it be in business, education, world politics, art, relationships and life in general – force is counter-productive and stressful.  Education is much more than “schooling” and has immeasurable ramifications.  Being open to all the options and opportunities, knowing when to surrender and when to act, taking a stand and making a firm decision is in our intrinsic nature and yet we have no idea what that looks like until later, when we can look back – reflecting in our later-life retrospective.   Revelations and regrets.  Bottom-line … we either “want” it or we don’t.  What-ever that is and what it looks or feels like.

Progress is all about making the necessary “sacrifices” and most aren’t willing to make enough.  Ultimately success hinges on one’s ability to find their own natural ‘rhythm’ in the din of distraction (balancing).  Education is a parachute – that opens when it’s supposed to and buffers the impact of landing.  Education is the broom in the all Canadian game of curling – those allies in life who share the same vision – networking and working it, sweeping our effort into a favorable position. Win-win is an idea that works sometimes and you only live once.  Good education is all about knowing when and how to listen – encouragement and support over profit and personal gain.  Planting a strong seed on the front end, is what makes it work on the back end – then comes the consistent care and attention and yes a little help from our friends.

Ultimately, we throw the rock – and it’s all in our focused conviction that we can produce the desired result.  Krazy karma plays a key role and is often out of our control.   We live, we do stuff and we die.   That’s a given.  There is “intellectual” maturity and there is “emotional” maturity.  All too often there is misinformation, chaos, harassment, intimidation and abuse.  Sometimes we roll the dice and hope for the best.  No easy answers.  We are dealt a hand of cards and it’s all about how we play it.

Life forces us to make decisions that we all too often aren’t ready to make and yet forces us to move forward – because sometimes,  we need a kick in the ass.  So yeah, I guess force has it’s place – when it’s implemented with care (compassion and humility).  Real progress comes from inspired ambition – not disciplined submission.  Many in power don’t get it.  It’s a delicate balance that sometimes takes a lifetime to achieve, greed prevails – mistakes are abundant.  Speaking of …

On a closing note – when i was in India 10 years ago.  I saw hundreds of loaded rickety wooden carts being led by donkeys/mules and old horses.  The guy behind, holding the reins is standing with a whip that stings, constantly thrashing the animal that is frail, tired, hungry and obedient – pulling hundreds of bags of rice.  I’m getting something profound in that dusty moment, window rolled down in the late model SUV that is my ride, because we just happen to be higher in the food chain and I’m just tagging along. That realization is that all too often the ‘give and take’ part of the equation is (extremely) lop sided.  This Kodak moment – wow – realizing that beating the animal is just slowing it down, only its master “thinks” it’s making him go faster!  If the animal collapses, there’s another to replace it – animal labour comes cheap.  I’m having a Zen moment – it is in blind ambition that we sometimes lose sight of what’s really going on.  The blinders that we have on block our peripheral vision – but it’s a requirement … with the intent to stay focused, only forward movement is allowed.  Only some of us lose our perception.




A momentary lapse of reason, consumed by something that was there all along
only we couldn’t see it.

Real educators see the whole – the real – the bigger picture (private and/or public)
and carry their wisdom forward to the next generation.

There is no magic plan – it’s just what is.
School is just the beginning.

Trusting your intuition – timing is everything.
Good luck friends.



Relevant articles – A Heap of Money – by Jeremy Johnson – graduate, Metalworks Institute (2009)

More Letters to the Editor in the Forum

The Learning Curve – Erase and Rewind – Introducing the Open Loop/Non-Linear Post Secondary model

The Learning Curve – Let it Happen – Hackschooling and the Anatomy of Entrepreneurial Spirit

Black Hole Syndrome – the unspoken agenda in post secondary education

Jim Lamarche – Journal:  the human condition, gender politics, spiritual isolation, hypocrisy in modern society, renewed faith, redemption in expression