Tag Archives: journalism


4 May

View story at Medium.com

Santa Rosa Junior College is…

9 Apr


9 Apr

I can only. Right now, as the day gets closer to its end.  Me about to go upstairs to bed before my wife texts me and tells me to do just that.  I smirk a bit, finally on the Road I’ve been meant to be on.  Studying, in class, undergrad and grad, all those memories and scenes returning… the one spoken word piece I wrote in retaliation to what a poetry “professor” remarked about one of my pieces.  I smile, slightly, not giving too much to air, but I’m collected and assembled in this character.  Who Mike Madigan is, right now, on this floor.  I’m in an umbrage of understanding.

Reviewing my progress.  Guess you could call it a self-assessment, I guess, I don’t know though.  Is it?  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’ve come to a place and point in my story where I don’t over-invest in what I have little or no control over.  OR, even total control.  I’m not concerned with control as much as I am composition.  Not wanting bed, only more time to meditate, collect, think about next day, what I’ll say in class, and how I’ll amass my notes and say something of “value”.

This feels funny.  Not sure if it’s confidence or some bravado that I’ve always wished I’d possessed and now for some reason in this late stage of my life I do—  How.  Why.  Don’t ask those questions, I tell myself.  Consolidate… reiterate, mediate, paginate and promulgate.  You see something at a certain point in your story.  You’re not sure what it is exactly, meaning you don’t have a particular moniker or classification, but you’re magnetized by it.  And you lead, while you follow… following your own lead to that prize and premise, seductive mise.  More understanding, lesson, collection.  The answers catapult themselves to me in eagerly healing hives.

What Course

26 Mar

img_2618Back from break, and we re-center where we’re centered.  In the classroom, exchanging ideas and thoughts and our perspectives on literature, craft, ideas themselves.  Today we start with ourselves… everyone in the classroom, around us.  Ask them a question, tell them something about yourself and ask them something about their story.  The way community is established in a classroom is to have understandings compile IN the classroom, yes, but FOR the room and all occupying it.

With only a few weeks left, we write.  We read, react.  What we’ve been doing till now, but with more fervor.  With more precision and more direction.  More of our Self into what we write, what we read, into this very room.  Don’t dismiss the idea of the Room, and what it holds, what you contribute to it, how the story stroll toward us and around us, right here.  Back from our time off, we begin defining our composition, our character, the composition and coherence about our characters.  This is actuated by speaking with each other in the perpetuation of ideas exchange, but as well through writing.  Writing for ourselves, seeking and accruing knowledge at our own order and volition.  Center yourself in your own thoughts, then share that with the person next to you, then the other side, then to your 12, 6.  Keep the idea expansiveness ever-expanded.

As a student, you’re a teacher.  You’re your best teacher, you’re an educator of educators in this room.  We only stop if we let ourselves.  Composition of character… right here in the room.  Yes, we’re here for some grade or to satisfy some departmental or institutional requirement, but more staunchly for our stories, our character growth and telling.  After a break, I so often hear students express annoyance with the break’s conclusion, that they have to be back on campus, back in class, back in the act, in their matriculated role.  One, you don’t have to do anything or be anywhere you don’t order.  And, 2, why not seek to end the term with unusually bizarre strength and zeal… why not test yourself?  Why not mold and assemble more ideas?  Returning from break, why not see what you see?  You’ll find new peace in this new approach, if it’s inaugural for you.

Fashion your ideas from fervor.  From an elevated and renewed momentum, coming back from Spring Break.  Even before we start the next and final book for the semester, let us just dive into our own postulations and creations, our own not-at-all idle ideations.  Outside, new weather and new sky, a new consideration of everything around us, outside and in this room.  Let’s propagate and multiply in our thoughts, in what we learn from each other, from the stories and intersections, new thoughts and thoughts you may have had just earlier today.  Exhibit bravado coupled with certain shyness, offer grace, curiosity, playfulness.  Today, we write.  Today we learn, and right now we are here, coming back from break.  And then….


Speak to all around you.


20:51.  Day’s end. 

30 Jan

Photo on 1-29-18 at 9.01 PMOn floor and thinking over day.  What I want from tomorrow, and trying to make self relax and not overthink what I’m currently entertaining and visualizing.  But I can’t help it.  That’s a consequence of passion.  Offered to 1A class this evening to know your self-teaching style, as I’m always reminding them that they are their best teachers.  And, equally crucial, know your learning style.  I reflect and react to such an idea, an extension of Bob Coleman, the best teacher I’ve ever had (next to Dad) at SSU… he used to urge me to stay in research and work form, one time telling me about a time where he went to Germany for a single document, for something he was working on.  We all should be so dedicated to our projects, mad to explore and bizarrely passionate about our creative.

Have you ever had one of those days where you just see things, people and events and what you’re doing, with more believability, and poetry?  It just makes more sense?  Do you know what I’m intoning?  Have you felt it?  That’s where I am.  It started with the morning’s run, after taking the little beatniks to school.  Not I’m in school, I always am.  Learning from these days as we always should, and love the passion consequences.  Teaching self, and today more than other days I have a delightedly beaming student.

Ownership of Topic

16 Mar

Anyone can see this is encouragement, when I say it in class—  “Make the topic your own.” Or, “The onus is all yours.” But it’s more than that, actually.  The ‘ownership’ precipitates from the eagerness and exploratory urges from the student.  ‘What is the author wanting us to do?’ and ‘How does this relate to my life, and society today?’ The ownership is really a connection between the student and their work, their life as a matriculant.  A student can be passive, merely going from one assignment and class to the next, or they can feel an irrefutable inner-compulsion to explore their abilities, to test themselves.  Ownership of topic is command of experience.  But, the student has to make that choice.  The other day I stressed that “The student has to be an animal, a predator feeding on knowledge, otherwise they become prey to their own idleness.” It comes down to choices, actions, maintenance of mental activity.  The ownership begs creativity, to find new approaches and thoughts, ways to read and write, do research and study.

In the college purview, you need to encourage yourself and not wait for some momentous encouragement from the outside.  The owner of anything should be starkly abreast that the story begins and ends with him/her.  Again, I know, “encouragement”.  But why not encourage?  Why not encourage yourself?  Make all topics, classes, semesters, programs, goals your own.  There is no student who can’t be a serious student, who can’t master, own, something in the curriculum.  Once you’ve mastered something, or feel that sense of ownership and control of your work, you’ll be lifted… lifted from angst and self-doubt.  You, the student, are the master.  You are in control.  You own what you’re working on.  You have to convince yourself of that, and maintain, encourage, that conviction.

Let negatives fuel you, let them speak,

25 Oct

they give themselves away and empower you the more they speak.  They’re too negative to realize that.