I’m a Top Pro Now

Well, I'm happy to receive the news that I have attained "Top Pro" status on Thumbtack. It's an honor. Here's the letter the CEO sent about it.   Dear Amber, Congratulations and welcome to Thumbtack's Top Pro program! Earning Top Pro status is no small feat — less than four percent of all pros qualified based … Continue reading I’m a Top Pro Now

Getting the Credit

I'm glad I decided to not become a government–"certified" teacher, though I considered it. Instead, I'm an alternative and independent tutor and mentor who is happy and successful because I get to think and act independently, from the strength of my internal compass, well-informed by the living world of bright and breathing evidence as to … Continue reading Getting the Credit

Pileated Woodpecker . . .

Pileated Woodpeckers! Can you hear them pecking on tree trunks high above you?

Bear in Sight

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-11-48-13-amIn the new and deep snow on the ground where he dropped the block of suet.

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest breed of woodpecker in the United States .. I would say that the pair living in my woods are about the size of a raven .. very big.  This is the first year they have decided to make my yard their home.  I enjoy watching them and find some of their stunts amazing and others annoying … ie:  they know how to open up my suet cage and take out the whole block. Thus making them a bit annoying, too. They are also pecking some of the younger trees to the point I am not sure they will survive.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-11-49-40-amPileated woodpeckers are commonly mistakenly called a “red-headed” woodpecker .. which they are not.  The red on the head is obvious and bright, but they are not “red headed”…

View original post 151 more words

Audiobooks: Now That’s What I Call Productivity

I'm a big fan of audiobooks. If I can bring myself to abashedly admit it, I really don't read books so much as I more often listen to them. It isn't about how well I can read or whether I like books or not: I'm a solid reader (English is my first language, I was an … Continue reading Audiobooks: Now That’s What I Call Productivity

East of Eden, in California

John Steinbeck's 'East of Eden' is possibly my favorite book I have ever encountered. It is remarkable in its broad scope of insight into the human condition, following several generations' struggles with good and evil, in particular the way these conflicts unfold within themselves as individuals and in relationships. Steinbeck writes with a gritty spiritual … Continue reading East of Eden, in California

The Comfort of the Land

I was born and grew up in Fresno, California. It is lucky to my heart whenever I get to tell about the place, for I still love it there, and I am proud and always happy to return to my little climatically Mediterranean city at the foot of the great shining Sierra Nevada mountains. It … Continue reading The Comfort of the Land

“…advocating on behalf of a variety of perspectives…”

I am pleased with enotes' newly stated stance on educators answering political questions that students ask. Here is a copy of the message from the editorial team I received in early November. It can be tough to know what to do when faced with a question that touches on today's hot-button social and political issues. … Continue reading “…advocating on behalf of a variety of perspectives…”

A Student-Centered Way

The following letter is adapted from a correspondence with a parent of a seventeen-year-old student I have been tutoring. Dear [Parent of Student], Thank you for asking about my tutoring services in relation to the SAT. My educational specialty is in the more holistic side of writing and the humanities. I am certainly able to … Continue reading A Student-Centered Way

[Paper Spotlight] The river echoes with laughter: a child-centred analysis of social change in Amazonia

I’m delighted by the work of this research blog, which is contributed to by an old friend of mine I knew through the Wilderness Awareness School community. It is ever more vital that Western societies now value and rediscover Indigenous societies’ perspectives on education and the experience of being deeply Human in the living world.


Forager Children Interdisciplinary Studies Group

Check out Camilla Morelli’s paper on the role of children in social change among the Matses of Peru! The full paper is available here

Abstract: This article examines radical social, cultural, and political changes taking place in Amazonia from the perspective of indigenous children and youth: a group who, despite their demographic prevalence, have received limited attention in the regional literature. Drawing on fieldwork with Matses people in Peru, I consider how children and youth are playing a critical role in the transition from a hunter-gatherer, forest-based society towards a riverine lifestyle that is increasingly engaged in trade, the market economy, and exchanges with chotac, or non-indigenous people. I argue that by engaging with their surroundings through playing and working, Matses children are becoming affectively attached to some parts of the world rather than others. This represents a purposeful shift from the lifestyle and worldviews of older generations and highlights…

View original post 49 more words

The Story in Paintings: Gustave Doré’s unknown paintings

Beautiful scenes from Gustave Doré imagination and faith.

The Eclectic Light Company

Gustave Doré (1832–1883) is today known almost exclusively as a print-maker and illustrator of many books, although you may stumble across an occasional watercolour landscape or huge canvas of his, and he was a sculptor too. Some of his landscapes are outstanding, but produced during the era of Impressionism have been cast aside by history. I here consider some of his narrative oil paintings, for if anyone understood narrative art, it should surely be such a prolific and successful illustrator.

Doré was precocious child, and started his career as a caricaturist for a newspaper at the age of 15. By the 1850s his illustrations were being commissioned by major publishers in both France and Britain, including a new illustrated English Bible. Here are two prints from that work, which was published in 1866.

dorejudithholofernes Gustave Doré (1832–1883), Judith and Holofernes (1866), print from illustrated edition of the Bible.

The first shows…

View original post 1,319 more words