‘Teaching’ Category Archives


Health Care Reform

by Pj in Information, Random, Teaching

I do not even try to pretend to understand the political issues being bantered back and forth between parties, families and friends.  Everyone is so heated and convinced that the “other side” means harm to our freedoms and country. With all the noise and rhetoric, I feel I am not getting an objective point of view. So I try to expose myself to both sides and hopefully I can get a sense of what is real.
Next week the firm is sponsoring an event that will try to explain the consequences of the reform to small and medium sized business owners. It should be interesting. One of the perks of the job. Getting an education.

Health Care Reform Seminar


Know Better to Do Better

by Pj in Information, Random, Teaching

Today I went to lunch with my son. We met in a crowded place. Along the back wall was a long table with 4 tall chairs. Two friends choose to sit in the middle two chairs. I pulled out one of the end chairs and sat down. They saw us, but did not offer to move over so we both could sit down. My son stood there waiting for the gesture. Grown men in their 30’s. Finally my son asked if they would mind scooting down so we could all sit down. They complied, but really?

It wasn’t about being gallant or gentlemanly. It was about being kind, considerate and human.

I asked my son, “I hope your mother raised you to know better.”

I believe they KNEW better too. They just didn’t want to do better. It wouldn’t be cool.

By the way. Kony 2012. Because we now know and now we can do. Cool or not.


Every Life is Special

by Pj in Family, Film Production, Information, Random, Teaching

A few years ago I had the opportunity of producing a life documentary of an amazing woman.

She had a remarkable life. She traveled and lived in foreign countries working, teaching and serving. Her and her husband were instrumental in building and operating a large teaching Academy in Mexico City. For three years they lived in Ecuador helping and teaching the people of that country. Many former students acknowledge her and her family for supporting them financially and emotionally. Many credit their success in achieving their goals to her unwavering faith in them. All of this is now documented for her family and friends. All she accomplished remains an invitation to her posterity to live happy productive lives.

In the process of documenting her life I interviewed her children, her siblings, her friends. One morning I traveled to her brother’s home. He had not been well, but he was willing to share their mutual upbringing with me. During the interview, I was equally amazed by this man’s life. He too traveled the world impacting the lives he touched. After the interview his wife asked me about doing a life documentary of him. I readily agreed, after all their early history was already done.

She sadly informed me that years earlier they had been robbed. All of their pictures and video’s were gone. With this information it seemed even more vital to get a visual and oral remembrance of his life. She felt it was important to document what he remembered but wanted to ask her daughters what they thought. I offered the material I had already accumulated and some suggestions.

A few weeks later I contacted this couple again. They had decided to let their daughters do it.

Last year the man died. His daughters had the best of intentions. They also had very busy lives that did not allow the time and energy required to research, interview, document and edit… As a result they have limited sources documenting his voice, his memories, his mannerisms or his essence.

The life of this man is not lost or forgotten. His children still have fond memories of their father, but their posterity could have known him through the stories he might have shared. They could of heard his voice and looked into his eyes to become better acquainted with their grand and great grandfather. They could have enjoyed his sense of humor and learned from his life experiences because he shared it with them and for them. And maybe, just maybe when times get hard, and they always do, his life would be the touchstone to get through them and become a better person because of the journey.

So, don’t wait to document your life. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. So many say, “my life wasn’t anything special.” I disagree. Every life is something special.

This is your life and it counts too.

So just do it.


The Point

by Pj in Film Production, Random, Screenwriting, Teaching

I have many moments where I think, “what is the point”? It doesn’t matter what project I am working on, some days I wonder why I ever thought “it” was important or worth my time and energy.

Today I finished a book called THE HELP. As I came closer and closer to the end of the book I became more and more anxious because I knew it was going to end. The characters I had discovered and learned to love, or not love so much, would soon be a memory of my imagination.

However, the lessons those characters learned and by extension, I learned, are still rolling around in my head and in my heart. Ideas and thoughts and feelings have reminded me of values and ideals I value and cherish and want to embody.

How could reading or writing or painting or composing ever be a waste of time? How could I ever think creating does not have a point.

Creating IS the point.


Sharing the Torch

by Pj in Random, Teaching

We have been spending the mornings this last month teaching animation and digital film to youth under 16 years old.

What has been fun is how quickly they catch on to the possibility of both medias. Within the first day of the film class we had the students out shooting their first film that THEY wrote, story boarded and blocked. At the end of the week they took home their first movie. They edited and added music to enhance their story.


What was fun for me was as the week progressed and we introduced effects, motion, compositing and other possibilities, there were a number of students who would return to their first movie and re-edit with their new knowledge. Some went home and worked on their projects. Soon parents were coming in asking questions because their children were so EXCITED over their new found skills.


It is always rewarding to share information to interested people. We learned some stuff from them as well! One more session. The word is spreading and the class has doubled! Hope we can accomplish as much with a larger class. I believe I will be ready for a vacation in two weeks!

We are not ready to pass the torch, but so willing to share the light.

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