A Window

The day dawns densely clouded. Lightning flashes and thunder rumbles and rain falls steadily. I am around 4 years old and I am kneeling, faced backwards on the living room couch, my chin resting on my folded arms. I watch the rain and the ashen sky lighten ever so slightly with the invisible but surely … Continue reading



A dynamic system is one that is living and growing and changing. To be dynamic there must be two-way communication. Throwing out an image and receiving feedback. Throwing out and receiving in a feedback loop that informs and changes endlessly. The movement and growth that result from dynamics are signs of life. Meister Eckhart said, … Continue reading

Work and play

Something I continue to ponder is the question of what there is besides play? Play is necessary, play is joyful, play is accessible anywhere and any time. But that doesn’t mean that it is constant. So what are we doing when we’re not playing? Maybe the word and concept of “play” gets a bad rap … Continue reading

What is a Sudbury School?

Originally posted on Iowa Sudbury Group:
The Sudbury Valley School began in Massachusetts in 1968. Its premise was simple: that people (including children!) are natural born learners. We are curious, we seek out knowledge, skills and understanding when confronted with a problem, a desire, or simlply something we find interesting. The original Sudbury Valley School is still…

play in academia

So I was in my 3rd straight meeting this morning, the last in a string of meetings that seem to have dominated my work week. But it’s okay because I’m there with 2 of my favorite colleague-friends, and we’re there to talk about play. More specifically we are preparing to present/facilitate a session on the importance of … Continue reading


The research, writing and genius of a man named Ashley Montagu became very important to me early on in my research. My interest revolved around a single word I had never heard before: neoteny. Neoteny describes a trait of select animal species that retain juvenile traits into adulthood. Think of dogs, who remain playful throughout … Continue reading

intro to 1st draft

I think I needed to get some of this off my chest! I don’t think it will end up in my essay, but I needed to say it for myself regardless… As I sit here pondering learning and schooling, play and work, dogs and otters and humans, I realize that school has been much on … Continue reading

play and not-play

Today my thoughts are on what isn’t play. Or maybe more precisely, what exactly are we doing when we’re not playing? There is a work/play dichotomy in this culture, but that one doesn’t really cut it for me. When you’re truly playing you are often working hard. When I was young…pre-5 years old…one of my … Continue reading