Just $10 Can Make All The Difference

$10 can make all the difference in places like Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In order to even attend school, students need to purchase a $10 uniform that they wear every day. Unfortunately, many students cannot afford the uniform, let alone school books and pencils.

According to World Vision, 57 million children are not enrolled in school. Every Christmas, I add to my family’s gifts by sponsoring a child to attend school. For only $10, one child can attend school for the year. It seems crazy, but $10 can make all the difference for children around the world.

Consider sponsoring a child or donating school supplies today. There are many sites to do this through, but one I use is World Vision. (By the way! $50 will supply $600 of school supplies since your gift is multiplied by 12x). Watch their video and see how you can impact those living in impoverished areas.

Please consider donating $10 (or more!!) today to change a child’s life.

A Shared Vision of Access

The president of my school, Dr. Michael Lindsay, recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post commenting on The Accessible Icon Project and Beyond Disabilities Week, the focus week I hosted at my college. He explained his understanding of  “shared vision” and wrote how Gordon College  from its beginning has always been a place that valued access and opportunity.

The recent focus week has generated a lot of conversation that concentrates on how society views individuals with disabilities. These conversations, which have been informally held in the cafeteria and dorm rooms, have also taken an academic approach through various research papers presented in class. Many professors have also started hosting conversations in their classrooms and have been assigning reading materials that get students to think about access, ability, and disability within the context of education and society.

Please join the conversation by reading my President’s article here: A Shared Vision of Access.


Ideas Transform Education and Individuals

One of my reflections from my Arts in the City Class: 

Ideas transform human beings. We must question if our education system and society create spaces for new ideas to be fostered, and if Western culture truly values the creativity of another human being. Do we encourage people to incorporate using their imagination, reason, and conscious when problem solving? Do we give time for people to actually think issues out? Instead of engaging these 3 receptors of goodness, beauty and truth, decisions are made on a whim since Corporate American and government generally move too fast to consider careful reflection and analysis.

When we realize that ideas have consequences and shape the way one views themselves and their relation to the world, we start to care about the ideas that are being taught to our students. I feel our education system and society does not do the best job in creating communities that foster ideas since most people get stuck doing the same job or task over and over, and are not given the time to create and be. In the sake of “being practical”, ideas that don’t directly relate to the problem or situation before us are largely discarded. It seems we are too busy as a culture to simply sit, be, and create. Instead of focusing on quality ideas, we generally settle for quantity since Western cultures holds onto the idea that more is better.

When the speaker brought up the story of Helen Keller in the Recovering Goodness, Beauty, and Truth lecture, I was struck with how the gift of symbols opened up Keller’s world and awakened something within her soul. Although Keller could only experience the world through 2 senses, touch and smell; she was alive to the beauty of the world. We read her sensations and experiences throughout her books as Keller revels in the beauty found around her and appreciates the wonder of the world. What she has is truly a gift since she was able to see the beauty in the world, despite her inability to see or hear.

Since humans are constantly trying to understand the meaning of life, we have the potential to create a world as we imagine it. Many times, people do not put enough emphasize on their personal responsibility of contributing to society since they do not see the world as interconnected. When one starts to takes ownership of one’s life and future, internal freedom is experienced, although external freedom may be limited by the choices of others. Consequently, we may find ourselves disappointed when we see a gap between the ideal and the point at which we find ourselves. How we handle this dissatisfaction will determine how we live our lives and what we take away from our experiences. By being careful not to be lost in the general, we take care of our human nature by exerting our free will within the limits of our imagination. We have control to see the world as we wish, and live out our ideal beliefs through art, action, and discussions with others.

Art is a behavior, a process, a way of life.

Art is a fundamental part of being human. After reading Conversations Before the End of Time by Suzi Gablik, I realized most classrooms (and myself) were guilty of holding a modern western mindset about art—a mindset that viewed art as a luxury rather than a way of life.

When I first read that art was a biological need for humans, I wasn’t sure if I fully agreed. I started thinking of what I have been taught about art in school and what little time we spent in art class. I realized I had a limited understanding of art since I viewed art as something specific: such as painting, coloring, or drawing. I saw art as more of a masterpiece or something hung on the wall, rather than a behavior, mindset, and lifestyle. Although I believed art had the power to transform, change, and hold meaning to human beings; I underestimated the importance of art since I did not see it as fundamental to existence. However, I realized this was because I bought into the idea that art was a thing—rather than a life style. When we start to view art as a behavior, then we start to see art as universally important. Since art is about creating, reflecting, and doing, art is part of reflecting and living a well-lived life.

In your classrooms, do you equivalent art to being human? What ideas about art do you hold and share with your students?

With much love,


Avoiding “Death Valley” in Education

Ken Robinson shares how current education needs to change in order for real learning to take place. He outlines 3 major principles on what every good education system needs. This is an excellent 20 minute TedTalk with great references to Death Valley and Finland.