Monthly Archives: August 2018

My Midlife Crisis is Real and its Spectacular.

This past week I have read two pieces that have given me pause and allowed me to reflect on something that I have had been thinking about for some time; I am experiencing my midlife crisis. I have been working, parenting, playing, thinking, and experiencing a life and largely ignored the fact that I am likely half-way home. I am 45 years old. I was born in 1973. If we are to believe the experts I am scheduled to die sometime between 2044 and 2073. I suspect the real date is somewhere in the middle. While I have always wanted to live to 100 (and that is possible) I am thinking 90ish is more likely. This is sobering to consider. So I felt like I was folding into a midlife crisis. But not the car buying, relationship ending, playboy midlife crisis. But more an existential midlife crisis.  Continue reading

My Music Memoir: May 31, 1990

By time I filed into my seat at the Miami Arena on May 31, 1990 I was already hooked. I was already a lifelong fan. I had watched the tour film Depeche Mode 101 perhaps 25 times, I had every album (okay cassette but you know), and I skipped first period at Homestead Senior High School on March 19th to be the first to buy the Violator album and listen to it in my car. Depeche Mode was already my favorite band. But there was one more ritual I needed to experience to make my undying loyalty complete – a live concert.  Continue reading

Time to screen the screen time . . . .

As a higher education professional screen time is a fact of life. We spend most of our days in front of computer screens because most of our work production time is spent communicating electronically, writing reports, email, prepping for class, and other rather sedentary and intellectual pursuits. And I know what I signed up for so that is not the argument here. What this post is about is the rest of my day and screen time and how, in the office, I can reduce the amount of and number of hours I am in front of a screen. To reduce the time to what is essential to my work, personal endeavors that are productive and to help reduce the wear and tear on my body as a result of increased screen time.  Continue reading

To my students, I don’t hate you but . . .

I am also not your buddy. I am your instructor, your professor, your teacher, whatever you want to think of me as. For almost two decades I have been teaching college classes of some sort. Be it leadership development to higher education I have taught everyone from freshmen to doctoral students. And one consistent complaint I hear from students who confide in me at all levels is their professor hates them, that is why their grade or class performance is so low. Well, fret not students, it is usually not because we hate you, its because you simply did not perform as well as you should have.  Continue reading

In defense of that thing you love but I hate.

This past weekend I took my daughter and her friend to see Taylor Swift in concert. It was amazing. The show was a feast for the eyes and ears. Highly stylized, the sound quality was great, she is a great show woman, and the crowd had a blast. it was worth every dime. There were over 65,000 (mostly female fans) screaming at the top of their lungs, singing along with her, and otherwise having a ball. But this is not about those people who love Taylor Swift so much their excitement cannot be contained. This is about all of the Taylor Swift haters. You know who you are. Continue reading

Intelligent but Savage, the Wisdom of Starman


“You are a strange species. Not like any other. And you’d be surprised how many there are. Intelligent but savage.” – Jeff Bridges, Starman – 1984

In 1984 John Carpenter released the movie Starman starring Jeff Bridges. The movie was about an alien sent to Earth to observe and learn from humans. During the movie he discovers love and falls in love with Karen Allen and also discovers the brutality of human existence. Continue reading

Higher Ed – Don’t Change for the Hater, Change for the Student . . .

To say society is not in love with higher education is an understatement. A recent NBC News / Wall Street Journal survey found that Americans are split on the value of a college degree and even fewer, 39% of 18-34 year olds felt that a college degree was worth the expense. Indeed these are challenging times for higher education. The current view is that college is expensive, takes time away from productive work, is not a promise kept in terms of career success, and, in some cases, could be manipulative. Virtually every segment of higher education is seen in a negative light.  Continue reading

Top 5 Tuesday – The Queen of Soul

Just a few thoughts this morning about what seems like the inevitable end of a legends career and life. As of this blog post Aretha Franklin is in Hospice care and things don’t look good. So instead of waiting for her to pass I wanted to get my thoughts out there. Aretha Franklin is treasured in the Preston house because she was my father’s favorite singer. her voice rang out in our house on Sunday mornings as we listened to her records as our church. It was her voice that was the last voice he heard as he passed away 13 years ago.  Continue reading

Want to defend Higher Education? Invest in Humanities Research.

There is no doubt that there is a growing and more vocal distrust of Higher Education in the United States. From free speech to rising tuition there are lots of reasons many do not trust higher education whether warranted or not. The major issue seems to be that higher education is struggling to show it’s value. While there is data we can point to supporting a case for higher education, in my opinion, there is not enough research in the humanities which develops an education narrative. So, despite the numbers being mostly in our favor the lack of narrative is hurting our case for education leaving us open to qualitative attack from those who want to diminish our value. Continue reading

What I was Listening to This Week

So every Sunday (for the most part) I am planning on writing a post focused on what music I am listening to and thinking about in terms of music. I hope that I can reach other music nerds and also highlight what I am into. If you are interested or like something let me know and let’s talk about it. I love listening to music and podcasts and I hope you do to.

This week I slowly started listening to albums on my #Preston1600 list. This album list is made up of albums I compiled for a massive data review of dozens of “best of” lists from Rolling Stone magazine to KEXP Radio to The Source magazine. From that I curated the top 1600 albums. Here are short reviews of these first few listed albums – Continue reading