On Good Writing: Mahood

Make time to go read these two articles when you get the chance. The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans The Hunt for 928 Tom Mahood is the author, and he has had an interesting life. He gets into a subject, and then boy, does he. But he also writes very, very well. These long stories are amazing tales, in and of themselves, but they are worth reading in large part because of his storytelling, too. Good writing is important.

Education / Portland / Writing

Coming to Terms with Mistakes

One of the key requirements for reflection is coming to terms with your mistakes. It’s not enough to look back at what has happened and just see the past, it’s taking the time to more than recognize the mistake, but accept them for what they are. I try to do this, and often. Reflection has been a part of my own continued personal and professional development, in the Army and now in education, since my 20’s when I had Army leaders talk with me about the need to include reflection and our open and honest embracing of mistakes as

Education / Teaching / Writing

Writing college essays

I teach college. My classes involve a lot of writing; there’s no getting around there. I read and grade a lot of writing. Midterms and finals are often essays, and they’re often in the 4 to 12 page range. And I often hear from my students, after the fact, comments like this. “I didn’t get the grade I was expecting.” “I usually do much better than this.” “This grade was disappointing.” “For the amount of effort I put into this, I was expecting a higher grade.” Let’s talk about this. I’ll use my recent round of midterms as a

Army / Writing

NaNoWriMo and my Army career

I’m using November 2015 to participated in #NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. It’s suppose to be a month in which to bang out 50k words towards a novel, using a lot of great tools and formulas from this great and structured program, but I’m a rebel – I’m going to try and put down 50k (or more) words about my time in the Army. Stories I Should Tell, I’m calling it. So, here’s the question to you: what are you favorite Art in the Army stories, that just have to be included?

Army / Blogging / Culture / etc.

As we use to say, History is Written By the Winners

I still love that quote, from George Orwell. It was the title of a column he wrote in 1944, you can read it here. I bring it up because China – the People’s Republic of China, or as it’s also called, Communist China – just celebrated the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. The Atlantic, and one of my favorite features they do, In Focus, has great photos up that relate to both this topic, and this great quote from Orwell.

Blogging / Garmin Forerunner 305 / Google Earth / etc.

A Monday Morning Run

Off from work, I headed out for a short run today. After loading my iPod and Garmin, I opted at the last minute to grab a camera as I headed out the door. And I’m glad I did. I ended up taking close to a hundred photos over the 50 or so minutes it took to run the 5.25 miles. Photos are on Flickr, here — only a couple of them are restricted to family / friends. I also fired up Google Earth and made a file about the run — and embedded links to some of the photos.

Army / Mini / Oahu / etc.

On Maui and Blogging

The wife and kids and I snuck off for a long weekend on Maui. We took the ferry over, which meant that we also got to take along Tess Turbo, the coolest Mini Cooper S in all the Pacific (if not the world). It was a fantastic trip. Truly. Great weekend. We were the guests of Robin and her family, who treated us like royalty and with whom we had a ball. (She blogged about the weekend, here. And the flubber recipe is here.) But this weekend made me think about a few things going on in my life.

44 Days / Army / Blogging / etc.

Anything for Them: Published

I mentioned awhile ago that I had to blog for this course. After some anguish, I ended up writing this — a piece about what I did during the ground war. Really, what we did during the ground war. I chose that subject ultimately because, after reading everything I could about why they wanted us to blog during this course, I realized that what the Army wanted was a story like this. They think America needs to hear these things. And I think they’re right. For the folks who are in the year-long version of this course, not only

Army / Blogging / Writing

Blogging and Writing: WWII

I’m starting in on an outline for a paper I will have to write for this course. Here’s the thesis statement: The American mismanagement of detainees during the initial phases of the Global War on Terror was caused by a misunderstanding of its own history. The American administration failed to capitalize on its own lessons learning during the establishment of Prisoner of War (POW) procedures during World War II (WWII), and the legal precedents established in Johnson v. Eisentraeger (1950). I think this is going to be a sexy, sexy paper. I’m not sure if I will post it