Broken Refrigerator = Creative/Collaborative Challenge

My name is William McDonald and I am chair of the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media.

And I have something very important to tell you:

My refrigerator broke down last week. Let me repeat that:

My refrigerator – in this heat – broke down – last week.

Last Thursday had been a […]

Teatime Keeps the Grumpies Away

Natalie and Malena

This year you will be seeing some Guest Posts by Malena, who Natalie and I tutored in math and humanities last year. She is in ninth grade this year and I have the good fortune to still be her humanities tutor… and to have regular teatimes with her 🙂 Here […]

Older = Wiser?

University of Glasgow’s “Blackstone Chair” — From 1451 until the mid 19th century, students took oral exams seated on the Black Stone, a slab of stone. The stone was embedded in an oak chair in 1775-6. Once the sand flowed through (20 minutes), time was up! The chair is still used for the […]

Skipping Middle School Taught Us...

It’s been six years since our family made the bold decision to “skip middle school” and home school Natalie during her 7th and 8th grade years. At the time, some people questioned our judgement. One mother asked, “What about high school? If you do this, won’t Natalie have a hard time getting into a good […]

The Perfect Baguette


Two posts ago, I wrote about discovering the perfect book, which I found in a delightful book shop in London. Read my post: Persephone, A Novel Book Shop here

Each year Paris holds a competition for the Best Baguette. Numerous bakers enter in hopes of having their baguette designated the Best Baguette. I […]

Post Trip: A New Morning Routine

After returning from a trip, as I have just done (read my posts about our trip to London, Edinburgh and Glasgow), I find that it’s a good time to try some new things at home. I’ve decided to change my early morning routine and see what happens. Instead of reading the newspaper in the […]

Persephone -- A Novel Bookshop

The morning after our arrival in London, Natalie awakens at four a.m. and cannot go back to sleep. Instead she reads and studies the map of London and gets all excited about visiting Persephone Books. Natalie has been studying Persephone’s website — — for weeks before our trip and has identified the books she […]

With Time a Painting's Secrets Appear

This is one of the many wonderful memories I will cherish from our recent trip to Scotland. We had the most animated conversation about a painting that proved much more interesting than it seemed on first glimpse.

I recently read an article in AARP The Magazine titled “Slow Art,” in which AARP’s travel expert […]

Beasts and Blessings in Edinburgh


I miss having my morning porridge cooked and served to me as it was at Dunedin Guesthouse, our bed and breakfast in Edinburgh, Scotland. On our last day in Edinburgh, we walked a half-mile or so through a neighborhood of bungalows until we turned down a grassy lane…

This is what we […]

To Do Our Best, We Need to Feel Good

Researchers who look at work performance know that people perform better work and feel better about their work when four key needs are met:

Physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work;

Emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions;

Mental, by being able to focus in an absorbed way on their […]