“He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”

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There is an old proverb: “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” This quote is attributed to George Bernard Shaw from Man and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists.” I, of course, do not agree with this proverb and find its popularity offensive. I teach my students how to think. I teach for the love of teaching. I teach by giving my students real world examples and applications. But most of all, I teach from personal experience.

If you read the proverb, and “Maxims for Revolutionists” you will find that there is a distinct note of sarcasm in Shaw’s statements.

I love sarcasm. I don’t think that there is a moment in my life where I have not used sarcasm. It might be a defense mechanism I developed over time, but I find humor in sarcasm. And that is how this proverb should be read. Because just 2 lines later he also states, “Activity is the only road to knowledge.”

No one ever quotes that statement. It’s just not as funny.

However, when you are writing an essay or technical document, there is no place for sarcasm. You have to be straightforward, direct, exacting. If you are writing a novel, then you can integrate sarcasm into one of your characters to add depth.

All I am saying is that you have to be careful when using proverbs, and sarcasm, when expressing your point. If you are speaking to someone who does not know you, then they may take what you are saying very seriously instead of with the grain of salt you added to it.

And remember, when you are teaching, include activities that relate to real world applications, not just the mindless fill-in-the-blank stuff that is included with your textbook. Allow your students to see how this knowledge that you are imparting unto them will be used when they get out school, that is why they are there, not just because the law requires it. And that is why you are there, to teach them using your personal experience.

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Same Place Different View

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2009

It has been three years since we last visited Rodanthe. We love to stay at this one particular rental house, Sandcastle By Dawn. The house is on the first row, ocean side, and we make payments all year long so we can stay here and have a family vacation. The first time we stayed was in 2009. The rip currents were severe, the beach rocky, and we had to climb over a dune to reach the beach. The houses on either side of us had pool. The next year, the pool next door to our right was filled with sand. In 2011, the house to our right has severe water damage, the lower level of the house was full of sand, and was now condemned. On the bright side, our house, as we’ve come to call it, was fine. The dune was gone, and our walk to the beach was much less taxing.

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2010

After hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 we couldn’t stay in our house, because there had been so much damage to the property and the surrounding area. The roads were washed away and several houses nearby were damaged. Although we had already reserved the house for that summer, our reservation was put on hold for the following year. The septic system had been damaged and our house was still not available in 2013. Finally, this summer, our house and the roads were ready. We waited breathlessly to hear whether hurricane Arthur had damaged it.

Luckily, the damage caused by Arthur was mild in comparison to Sandy, and we were able to keep our plans to come to the beach. Phew!  But when we arrived we were in for a shock. Three houses to the left were gone. The house to the right had been reclaimed and was occupied, but the pool still was gone. Our house was now just feet from the ocean. I was speechless. Will our house be here next summer? How will we feel if our house is taken by a storm during the year? How close will the ocean be next summer? We spent the first hour unloading the car, looking around, and just staring silently at how close the water was from our back door, now literally just steps away during high tide.

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2014

Come to find out that all three houses to our left had been moved by the county to other beachfront locations further south. Thank goodness they had not been damaged by Sandy or Arthur. Our realtor told us that our house was very solid and would be safe for the next few years, that the pilings were reinforced and there was little chance of losing it. What a relief.

The point of my story is that it is all about perspective. We care very much about what happens to this house, even though it is not really our house, because have shared so many happy memories here and hope to continue gathering memories in the future. We feel at home here. When we thought that the houses next door had been irreparably damaged by hurricane Sandy, we were sick with worry about the future of our house. Once we found out those houses had been moved and our house was structurally sound and in no danger of being lost to the ocean, we so were relieved, our perspective changed. Our view may have changed, but our place, our house was still the same.

We’ve already reserved our house for next year.

Sunrise Over Rodanthe

Beach week officially began this morning. The view is spectacular!

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Posts will be sparse this week, I’m going to enjoy the ocean and the time with my family.

Room With A View

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If I could zoom through space in the speed of light, I would go to the beach. How clichéd is that? But I grew up on the coast of Southeastern Connecticut and loved to take long walks along the beach at anytime of the year.

If I could be transported to any beach in the world, I would go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Rodanthe to be specific. The beaches there don’t have the beautiful aqua-colored waters of Gulf of Mexico or beaches in the Southern Hemisphere, but they do have beautiful waves, the big open view of the sky, and the peace that comes with the sounds of the rhythmic crashing waves.

I picture myself sitting on the beach, it is hot and there is a soft cooling breeze blowing  against my skin. I am sitting next to my sweetheart, with my toes dug deeply into the warm sand. It is late afternoon and I am looking out over the waves of the Atlantic scanning the waters for the group of dolphins who swim up and down the coast each day at sunrise and sunset. I don’t know what it is about seeing these dolphins that brings me a sense of inexplicable joy and wonderment. I feel like a child who is seeing a wild animal for the first time. I am awed by their agility, their ease, and the seemingly ever-present smile on their faces. It gives me sense of peace. And when I don’t see them, I worry that something is wrong, that they are sick, or caught in a fishing net, or have moved to another area altogether.

Sitting on the beach, with the sun warming my skin, mixed with  the smells of the salt water, the sand, and the suntan lotions, makes me feel like anything is possible. It’s difficult to explain the sense of peace, the sense of possibility, the sense of promise that the vast openness of this expanse brings to me. It reminds me of time, of synchronicity, of history. I look out over the ocean and think about how long it has been there and wonder what it looked like at this site 20 years ago, 200 years ago, 2,000,000 years ago. What creatures were swimming in the Atlantic then? Was there a group of dolphin-kin swimming up and down the coast then too?

Rodanthe holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I wanted a wedding on the beach, but the timing didn’t work out. Instead we were married in the middle of February, in a house with huge picture windows that looked out over the ocean. A huge storm had just blown up the Atlantic Coast and the wind was still stiff and cold. The waves were choppy and furious. It was the middle of winter. But we didn’t care. We were together with our family and we were getting married. Earlier that day we took a long walk on the beach with all of our children in tow. It was cold. The wind was blowing so hard that the sand was being picked up and thrown against our backs. But we didn’t care. When we returned from our walk we went inside to warm up, and sat down in front of the huge windows. We looked out at the waves and saw dolphins. Not just the small group that usually swims up and down the coast, but hundreds of dolphins swimming and jumping and playing and chasing fish. It was a beautiful, romantic, and fantastical sight that I will never forget.

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Five More Ideas

Love Thy Blog

Love Thy Blog

Five More Traffic Generating Ideas

1. Submit Blog to Search Engines – doing this allows your blog to be ranked. Google and Yahoo! are two of the most popular search engines you want to crawl your blog pages. It doesn’t guarantee top ranking, though. You’ll have to do a little more work for that.

2. Joining Forums – as a blogger you are a budding entrepreneur. Right now you are marketing yourself to find traffic and then profit. Become a member of business forums, work at home forums and others to meet new people and share ideas. You can add a link to your blog in the signature line so others can find you.

3. Visit other blogs – show your appreciation to those who visit you by also posting comments on their blogs. It is a kindness that shows others you are not just out to advertise your blog alone. Add links to your blog in your comments.

4. SEO Marketing – whatever you write, use relevant keywords. Keyword density between three and ten percent is good for getting higher page rankings in search engines. Base your keywords on a research you do to find the most popular words used in search engines for your niche.

5. Social Bookmarking – submitting posts to social bookmarking sites allows others who are members of those sites to track you back to your blog.

Using any of these ideas will start the traffic moving in your direction. It takes time but you will build the readership you want.