Tag Archives: Self-improvement

Writing on my lunch break as I always do,

30 Mar

but this time with more purpose, further realizing my purpose and what I’m to do in it.  These written meditations, they provide more musical growth and character development, more motioned Truth.  I’m seeing purpose as re-calculation and re-calibration.  You don’t just know your purpose, you learn it.  Hence, the exploration, the openness and the eventual understanding from it.  Writing on lunch I collect in an empty office, seeing more of what I’m to do…. If I want to make more money, I do this…. I want to be happier, I do this…. YOU, want to have a certain mode of living, you…. Purpose entails an interconnectedness of election and sight.  Over and over I think about this, my purpose, what I’m supposed to do at a certain time, and if what I’m doing is bringing me closer to purpose and truth or if it’s ushering me in the wrong direction, further away.

My momentum, these stages in this story, my story, further understanding my present present, my actualization of thought.  If I wanted, I could just walk out of here, leave the winery and the wine industry, and do something else.  But I don’t as I’m certain it further assembles my character, purposes my purpose.  You find yourself at an age, at whatever age, where you see your character more objectively, and evaluate your actions with more intention, a little more scrutiny and centeredness.  That’s where I am… these inward jots, helping me see, assisting in my roundedness of purpose, knowing my purpose, and acting from it.

Over twenty minutes left in my break, and I have no interest in eating.  I need to get somewhere, somewhere with my character, with my story, with my writing and eventual travels, with teaching and how I want to teach, if I’m even teaching.  One of my resolves, my bourns if you will, is to speak with students, everywhere.  To help them realize that their goals are more than attainable, that they are already there perceptively they just to build the bridge to the material, the tangible.  The student life and experience, mentality and movement has forever been my purpose, why I woke up this morning wanting to learn— more about myself and my career as an educator, about the world around me, my “students” in both classes, everything.  Being a student myself and connecting more to the student’s story and narrative, largely tells my purpose.

A student.  Me.  MY purpose.  Writing on lunch as only a student with an assignment due would do.  Today, I keep myself purposeful, a student, even when bored… and if I’m finding myself a bit idle, I’ll write why I feel that way.  Deconstruct and reconstruct it.  This break, nearly not happening as I was tempted to go get tacos down the road, or something, teaches.  I learn.  I’m in the learner’s lean, finishing my assignments, closer to graduation, closer to more of the purpose.  All parcels of your purpose, with work, will live with defined togetherness, no gaps, crucial realizations and loud understanding of Self.


21 Mar

Tell the day what to do. You have so much control over what happens in the next five minutes, and for the day’s remainder, it’s comical.  More than having goals, have a love of Self— what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.  Don’t excessively deliberate or forecast, measure, none of that.  Just leap, jump… do what you need to for the main character in your story to be where he/she need be.

I catch myself overthinking, and I laugh a little, right in front of everyone in this coffee shop.  Feel a little embarrassed, but then relieved.  Why….  I’m controlling the day and all emotions in its borders.

from book…

20 Mar

I see more, more… what caused this?  Was it yesterday?  Was it this morning?  Was it years ago when I decided in my high school creative writing class that I wanted to be a teacher?  Maybe there is no cause to composition maintenance and shifts.  Self-doubt, your enemy.  Don’t let it grow or any perceptions throw.  Composition, your character…. Feel free to re-write, feel free to be free and re-define.

Wherever you see yourself, hold to that frame, the visuals and sensory seismology of it.  Make it musical and enriching like nothing else in your story is.  Make it your story…

WE, need

6 Mar

to examine our characters more.  Who we are and what we’re doing, where we’re going.  Why are we where we are?  Are we content?  Do we want to be content?  Goals have always fascinated me, because each one is seemingly attainable, but then there’s time.  Right now, I’m 38, going to be 39 in a couple months.  If I wanted to play in an MLB game, my want will not be met.  I cannot do that now.  But, there are other aims than I’m capable of meeting, holding and within actuating.  I, finally, at my old age, know my character.  And I’m capitalizing in ways I never have.

So in love with my morning and life and family and everyone around me….  Today is going to be one where I find a wildly beneficial truth…


26 Jan

Writing everything down.  That’s how you “figure it out”, how you are confirmed in where you’re going.  Right now, on lunch, not taking a lunch but full advantage of my time which is MY time and no one else’s.  Using it how I want.  No spite involved, just ambition.  Educated by the day, a Friday but not for me, working the next two and all those after that.  More than merely driven or obsessed, but fervent, orthodox in my actions and efforts.  Knowing where you’re going is more than an intoxicant.  It’s a defining pulse in your story.  More than on-paper confirmation, but… no words.  It’s something.

Note all sensations and actions, thoughts and entertainments of mind.  Take your day and put it to page.  Study the scenes, all the people and what they say, the apparent symbols or just what crossed your path.  And, see the yay in all the day’s ways.  Nay-say only adds unneeded weight.  Where you’re going will be written, by you, and sometimes you won’t even notice it till you re-read those notes.  Nurture from your thoughts, on your jots, on visions of you in your There.  Dreams are dreams, till you electrify self, start really moving.


25 Sep

IMG_7979-0Week about to start, and my attitude is, truly, “BRING IT ON.” I’m at the point in my life where week’s don’t mean anything.  Monday, Thursday, Friday, the weekend.  Everyday I’m working to elevate my story and improve life for me, my family.  Demand the same of yourself.  You’ll feel something, I promise, if you test your Self.  Don’t stop, don’t let yourself get tired, and certainly don’t let yourself make excuses.  Actuate… actuate everything… everything you want.  I had a long day today at the winery but I’m still going and I have ZERO interest in slowing and assuredly no intention of stopping.

Thinking about life and how short it is, how curt it continues to be… but that’s me obsessing over time.  Why do that, when I could be capitalizing on the minute I’m in.. this very breath, right now on the couch typing and contributing to this story of mine.. babies upstairs…. Everyone—  Dash at every assignment in this class as you do your dreams, as this class is a contributor to your life, your dreams, everything.  Tomorrow’s Monday, but that’s wholly insignificant.  All your breaths are Monday and Friday, all days, blended.  Seize.  There’s composition in your Now, elementally and anatomically.

ENGLISH 100 … Start in your creative storming…

22 Aug

ENGLISH 100  – College Reading and Writing

Section:  0846

4 Units

FALL 2017


Room:  Emeritus 1614, Santa Rosa Campus

Time:  Tuesday, Thursday … 3-5pm

Instructor:  Michael J. Madigan

Blog:  maddenedread.com

Email:  mmadigan@santarosa.edu

Course Description

This AA/AS degree-applicable course is designed to develop skills to the level required for success in ENGL 1A and other transfer-level courses. Formerly ENGL 100B.

Outcomes and Objectives:


Students will…

1. Identify and judge the use of stylistic features in readings.

2. Analyze and evaluate the use of causal analysis, persuasion, and

argumentation in readings.

3. Summarize readings of various lengths and complexity.

4. Analyze readings for implied meaning, irony, satire, assumptions, and


5. Identify logical fallacies in arguments.

6. Synthesize meaning, using a variety of comprehension techniques,

discussion, and pre-writing strategies.


Students will…

1. Write a minimum of 4,000 words of prose, including some writings

documented in MLA style.

2. Write at least three analytical essays with clear, complex theses;

adequate development and organization; and effective points of view and


3. Write essays developed through causal analysis, persuasion, and


4. Link ideas with appropriate transitions.

5. Revise essays and other writings for organization, style, and tone.

6. Proofread, with particular attention to syntax, sentence structure,

grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

7.  Write at least two critical papers in response to challenging


8. Consider and refute opposing points of view in essays or other


9. Write essays or papers that effectively incorporate source materials

and document them in MLA style.

Required Texts

Prose Models, (11th ed.)

Me Talk Pretty One Day (Sedaris)

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)


Dictionary & Thesaurus

Small journal you keep on you at all times!!

Daunting optimism

Grade Composition

3 Essays 30%

8 Short, Typed Reactions 25%

In-Class Writings 5%

Journals 5%

Creative 5%

Attendance & Activity 10%

Final Submission 20%


All assignments are to be turned in when they are due.

12 point font, Times New Roman or some other professional font.

1-inch margins.



Heading in upper-left…


Come on time, come prepared, or you’ll be sorry you came at all.

If you miss 4 classes, for any reason, you will not pass this class.


Any act of cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic ‘F’.  Period.  Don’t do it.  I’m always here to assist you with reading, writing, idea development, so there is NO reason to be academically dishonest.

Cell Phones or any electronic devices…

Please turn them off, or put them on vibrate if you’re expecting an important call, or might get one for some reason.

Students with Disabilities or any Needs

See me and/or contact the disability services office, and your needs will be met.

The Weeks…

Week 4 – Essay 1 Due

Week 8 – Essay 2 Due

Week 12 – Essay 3 Due

Last Class Meeting – Final Submission Due

quick thoughts, before we start our collective and individual stories in this class…

Everyone wants something… but so many, too many, don’t want to test themselves, be tireless in their efforts.  Why?  I’ve always wanted to know this.  And don’t think I’ve always thought this.  I’m just now, at my old age realizing certain remedies and solvents.

Set yourself in dreamer mode.  Why not?  You have to have a job, right?  Why not have it be something that you wildly love?

Sow your own narrative.  Have it take you to what you want.

When you read something, anything, you should look for something that you can relate to your own life.  This only makes sense, as there will be occasions where you’re assigned something and you just flat out don’t like it.  This, too, is part of being a student.  Make it about you.  Make the text, however big, part of your reality and your Now.

Emerson said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” In order for us to get whatever it is we want, or need… wherever we see ourselves later in our stories, we must hold ourselves to a positive, yay-saying and ever-enthusiastic and emphatic tenor.  How else will we get to where we want to go? If happiness is the prime pursuit of every human, it can only be tasted with the enthusiastic gallop.

Creativity and conversation solve everything.  Everything.  Especially in an English class.  And, note, there is invitation for creativity and expression everywhere.  What distinguishes a masterful essay from an average one is enthusiasm, creative, depth, and description.  But, the creative is always prime, paramount, the utmost poetic.

However you have to get there, to what you want, just get there.  Your doubters are doubters because they’re blind.  They see nothing but their own weights, what holds them down, so they have no motivation to encourage you.  So… encourage yourself.  Teach yourself.  Lecture yourself on your strengths and what’s ahead.  There is no dead-end.  Be your most present of best friends…

Use every minute…

When you’re bored, you’re blind… you’re blinding yourself.

*Vision is a choice.  Agony and misery are choices.  Why would you ever elect either?

Go for a walk.  Write in your head.  This WILL help with your writing, and by extension your reading.  Read and re-read your writing.  Always be in editing mode.

Appreciate your story.  Be a fan of you.  You want to be a “better” writer, and reader?  This has to come before everything.  Conviction that you can is never a negotiation.

Another way to be “better” at reading is to see more in the story.  Don’t just stop at the words on the page.  Look further into what’s on the pages.  CONNECT WHAT YOUR READING TO YOUR STORY.

This class is an Exchange of Ideas.  Civility is not suggested, it is demanded.  It is the order of the classroom.  Let your colleagues finish their thoughts, then respond.  Never interrupt.  When you interrupt someone, if in some debate or lively discourse, you indicate weakness.  Let them finish, then react.

College Reading & Writing is a course that focuses on reading and writing, yes, obviously, but as well original thought… building from the ideas that are presently present in your consciousness… from your Human Experience.

Before we start, though, and you must not dismiss this question, “What do you want?”  Be tireless, and you will get it.  How do you be and stay tireless, by testing yourself.  Not letting yourself stop.  Of course, yes, you will have to take breaks and of course sleep at night, but plan… writing a plan for yourself on how you will get to whatever it is you want, wherever you want to be.  Be creative, be involved in the conversations, always.  Don’t be silent.  If you let yourself settle in silence, you may as well be asleep.  If you want something, want to be somewhere… want to see some part of the world… want a certain career or quality of life?  You have to be TIRELESS.

I want you all to enjoy your semester in this class, your experience, and your conversations with each other.  All the new ideas and new pieces you will read, all the material that you’ll write for yourself (and you may think you’re writing for me, or the school, but no.. you write for YOU).  My goal in this class, or one of them, is to have as many of you leave having attained what you set out to.  I’m here for you.

Be here for you, too.  Wholly, wildly, creatively HERE.