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We are . . . .

I believe in . . . . . . . .

The love of work.
Not the 9-5, 50 weeks/year with 2 off for good behavior kind of work. No, I mean the kind of work you would do for free, for love, because you must do it. The kind of work that Studs Terkel wrote about years ago . . . . . not the kind of work you retire from. In the book, Working, Terkel asks of us:
"Do poets retire?" "Do artists retire?"

A few months ago, I watched a public television series called, "Craft in American" and was in awe of the artisans -- basketmakers, quilters, woodworkers -- who knew clearly what they wanted and went boldly towards their desire --- and then did their work with love and passion. One of the artisans who intrigued me reported telling his family that he was leaving school to apprentice to a blacksmith. He was 16 years old at the time and said his parents cried. Ah, but now he is a well-respected, nationally-known artist in iron who creates the most amazing pieces.

I believe in words and their power to shape our lives and actions.

"We are what we think" (Buddha)

Today, I had the privilege to meet an amazing man who loved his work, who worked in love, and whose work created beauty and wonder. Thirty years ago Joe was trying to teach English in Lower Manhattan. He was continually frustrated by difficult behaviors his students brought into the classroom and their general and pervasive lack of motivation.

But outside of work, Joe had a 'hobby' --- operating a ham radio system.

Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. They enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary. (Wikipedia)

Joe had an ephifany that only a passionate man who loved his work and respected his students could have ---- he decided to combine his two worlds --- teaching and radio ---- and created a curriculum called, EduCom using the ham radio as an integral tool for teaching letters, words, sentence construction, reading, and more --- much more.

Soon his students, those who just couldn't care less became students who just couldn't get enough. He said students would come into his classroom with the daily newspaper and begin to translating articles into morse code -- on their own, for fun, not because it was required! All his students succeeded. All learned to read. All learned to love learning.

Now Joe administers a nonprofit helping school districts across the country to use his curriculum to reach hard-to-teach students.

Joe might have used a whole array of negative terms and negative thinking to describe his students, their 'deficits' and the difficulties of his job. But he didn't. He focused on the positive aspects of his students and in turn created..... reached......and taught.

"Change your thinking, change your life"

(Ernest Holmes)

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