Thursday, December 13, 2018

Exploring New Ways of Painting Through Integrative Learning

Painting is a a creative outlet for me. While I'm watching TV or working on my house, I will sometimes bounce over to the the corner I designated for painting and work on a paint project. Because I do not sell these for much, and donate a large percentage of the money to charity, I am willing to risk making mistakes. When I don't understand something I go online and find a new method.

Like many other activities painting is a learning process. With time you start to think more along the lines of detail and improvement. For example, now I notice brush strokes, shading, and method a little more than before I painted.

Once you learn something you can apply it. This process of learning, applying, and solving problems can go on throughout a persons life. If they are aware that this process is occurring they can come to master what they learn and know why they learned it.

You only judge yourself because it has nothing to do with other people and their abilities. My painting is pretty good but it isn't "great". With time detail will improve. You can get your own basic paint set at any art store for under $50 with canvas. Where you gain the knowledge is up to you.

You can buy it here

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pushing Employees to Master New Skills

Employees don't wake up and wonder how they can improve their skills. Instead they live by patterns that determine which skills they need to earn an income. When their patterns don't change they don't need new skills. When patterns change, the employee must change as well. How does a manager improve employee skills?

First, create the momentum for change. Patterns rule people's lives and without a change in the pattern people are generally unwilling to go through the stress of change. Let them they know change must happen now!

Second, there must be a reason to change. Sometimes we can simple explain to them the necessity of doing things differently while at other times we might need to use incentives to support change through performance adjustments.

Third, give workers a proper perspective. Let them conceptualize how their work skills impact the rest of the organization. Putting the work they do within a proper perspective can make a difference in their ability to understand the necessity of changes. Think of how these skills fit within a company's process.

Pushing people to go further is important in getting people to change. As manager we should create the momentum for change, provide the reasons for change, and give the worker proper perspective of change. As managers, it is our responsibility to foster change in ways that results in more productivity down the road and leads employees to goal achievement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Letting Horses and Heal. When to Call the Vet and When to Let it Heal on its Own?

My horse Sass limped around the arena and not in the happy, bouncy mood she usually is. Any weight on her hind quarters seemed to push here into the unhappiness zone. It was time to give her some rest and see if she will recover or she will need a more thorough exam by a veterinarian. Trust me....vets can be very expensive so know when and not when to call them!

For me I would wait when a horse....

Has no visible signs of injury and it looks more like soreness.

The horse seems to not be suffering in any way.

When other opinions agree it looks like the problem will go away.

I would call a vet when my horse.....

Is sore over a long period of time.

The horse is acting very strange, lethargic, or unable to sustain her own weight.

The horse looks like it is pain.

In my case, the hose was sort of limping around for a few days. It would get better and then seemed to have another bad day. I put her in an inside stall and a couple of days. I consulted with a Vet but didn't need a house call. A few days later she was fine with some horse aspirin.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Snow Shoeing On the Go!

Snow shoeing is a great sport to enjoy the outdoors and acclimatize to the outdoor environment. One can go as fast or slow as they want to and therefore can control their actual workout. Sometimes just hitting the snow for an hour can make a big difference in your enjoyment. Live today and enjoy today!

If you want to snow shoe "on the go" you are going to need to have your snow shoes in your car and be ready to hit any trail you have time for. Slip on your snow gear and get it done in an hour. Watch out for the skiers they eye snow shoe "people" as a danger to their grooves. Be polite and stay off them!!

There are lots of great place near Marquette that are enjoyable. I know of five or six places that are easy to find and open year round. Make a day out of it and hit some of the local shops as well.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tips on How to Keep Students in Online Classrooms Aware of Expectations

Students in online environments gain freedom, learn independence, and live in media rich environments. However, online education does create some difficulty with passing personal expectations of the professor. Such problems are not insurmountable. One must be simply more diligent in keeping in constant communication.

Here are a few ideas that might help:

-Communicate Often: It is important to communicate often to ensure students are hearing on a regular basis what is going on. While we can't spell everything out for all students, we can still work on ensuring that there is enough information for them to make appropriate decisions.

-Be Consistent: Don't change what your saying often unless it is necessary. When you are consistent it is easier for people to understand your message.

-Be Simple and Clear: Don't confuse people with high end language. Keep things clear and simple.

-Use Different Forms of Media: Try not to say things in the same format and media channel all the time. Beyond forum posts, try email, try video, try voice recording.

-Include You Contact Information: Include your contact information so people can get hold of you if they need to. It shows you are engaged.

Christmas Parades in Escanaba Have High Turnouts

The Escanaba Christmas parade had a high turn out with people lined up and down the street. People came with their warmest clothing and stood in the freezing temperatures to support their community. We spent the night at Leigh's Winery watching from the window. A few pictures if want to enjoy.

Creating a sense of community is very important in small towns like this. It helps people see there are things going on that are wonderful and family oriented.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

New Snow Marquette Mountain Open with $99 Season Pass

After coming up to Marquette for an early AM dance class and some quick Christmas shopping I made my way over to Marquette Mountain. Normal passes are around $250 but they asked if I was a teacher or student. I said, "yes I'm a professor", and sometimes a student....they gave me the season pass for $99!!!!!!

Well, it is important to note that daily passes are around $25 so obtaining a season pass that can be paid back with 4 visits is awesome. It wouldn't make sense everywhere but if Iron Mountain has the same deal I have really done well.

The power was awesome the first day. It was soft and fluffy after a few days of snow. Marquette received somewhere around 12 inches and is ready for people to ski. There was people trying out their new gear and getting themselves back into season practice.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thinking of Delta County Shipping, Rails and Manufacturing as Business Improvement Opportunities

Rural counties like Delta County don't have a lot of population and attracting businesses is difficult. It is necessary to use the current infrastructure and environment to determine potential avenues of economic growth that can result in greater prosperity. Delta County, including Escanaba and Gladstone, have a powerful transportation system that could be used to support manufacturing.

There are two ways to look at this....1.) transportation as an industry and 2.) transportation as a support industry.

1. Transportation as an Industry: Transportation acts as an industry when that is the major employer and not used as a support to other businesses in the area. In such a case, Delta County it would be a reshipping, packing, and redistribution center for flights coming from KI Sawyer, Rail, or Road. Such a place would need to be ideally and strategically located in a way that makes it a feasible location to distribute items. Sometimes places can consider modifying the products in some way or providing superior warehousing and distribution processes.

2. Transportation as a Support Industry: Transportation as a support industry means that it is distributes products being built or modified in the area. Delta County has a base of small manufacturing businesses that could find it fairly easy to distribute and export from the area to the global market. This would mean encouraging more small manufacturing industries to open up within the county and in turn take advantage of ports, roads, railways and flights within the area.

In many cases it is possible to encourage both 1 and 2 at the same time. For example, encouraging more small manufacturing businesses to move into the region would improve opportunities to modify products from other companies. Attracting distribution companies moving products from Chicago, Milwaukee, etc... to Canada may also be helpful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Building a Christmas Snowman and Candy Cane Yard Decorations

The joy of the holidays returned swiftly after Thanksgiving rushing in a discount sales and Christmas decorations. I haven't owned my house for a long time and don't have a lot of decorations so I opted to build a few yard decorations for fun. It wasn't that hard it just took a little time if you keep coming back to it, letting the paint dry, and making it look good.

I saw this within the store and thought to myself, "I could make this" and....."for much cheaper". No matter what I figured it would be a very fun project! So I bought some plywood and paint and started working.

Basic Steps:

1. Outline what you want to cut.

2. Use a jig saw to cut around the outline.

3. Spray paint white.

4. Outline painting areas.

5. Paint your stripes, eyes, bow, etc....

6. Using two colors together helps highlight.

It didn't turn out perfect but if I was to do it again it would be a little better. I might get something to create perfect circles. A nail and string would work well.

Projects help balance out your life and improve skills so that you can do other types of work. For example, more experience with wood working would eventually lead into furniture and boat making as a hobby.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

An Old Book that Teaches Human Traits and Their Social Significance

The 1920 book Human Traits and Their Social Significance by Dr. Irwin Edman gives a comprehensive overview of the human being within the environment in which we live. It covers two major aspects of life that include the social aspects and the reason aspects. It views man as a total creature surrounded by lots of influences that play upon him/her the whole of their lives. Understanding these influences encourages students to think widely about their life and choices.

What I like about some of these old books is that they were made in a time of nation building where the development of the human being was an important part of societal interest. Governments looked for ways to improve and compete in the world and relied heavily on the human being to do so. Learning how to advance people was part of that competitive nature.

The work covers 1. Types of Human Behavior; 2. Instincts, Habits and Emotions; 3. Reflection, 4. Human Activites; 5. Social Nature; 6. Culture Traits; 7. Individuality; 8. "Self"; 9. Differences; 10. Language; 11. Religion; 12. Aesthetic Experiences; 13. Science and 14. Morality.

Humans make up much of the world around them and it is important to understand that which belongs to them and that which belongs to their social development. Because they live in a society it is important to understand how they define themselves and their world. Much of the book is about human behavior within the context of a greater society.

There is a benefit to this book for students. While newer versions are beneficial it does sort of put in place a context of a meaningful life in terms of work and contribution to society. Their behaviors and beliefs are put within an appropriate framework that allows students to better comprehend their place within the world. As educators, it is often beneficial to to help students understand work, life, and productivity.