Planting Seeds

The first rule of farming is to plant the seeds of the crop that you intend to grow. Admittedly, I am not a farmer, and in the interest of full disclosure, I don't know the first rule of farming. However, if I was writing an idiot’s pamphlet to farming this would be in my top ten rules along with a serious discussion of composting. You may feel that this blog is already material worthy of composting. My response to that is: don't be mean. Anyway, it stands to reason that the farmer who plants wheat and expects soy will always be disappointed. And so it goes with counseling. As this class prepares to graduate it’s time to stop and be aware of the seeds that you have sown. If you simply value prestige and a college list that makes you look good you may get just that; a beautiful case full of trophies. Hopefully, we are planting the seeds of fit, curiosity, courage and lifelong learning. By courage I mean the ability to see what's right and then choose it, even when this choice may not be … [Read more...]

College Access Suffers Unimaginable Loss: A Call For Us To Support Humboldt and Other Vital Outreach and Admit Programs

On April 10, a free college preview trip to Humboldt State in Northern California ended in a tragic bus crash that killed five Southern California teens and three college advocates, along with injuring dozens of others. Since the accident, dozens of counselors and teachers at urban schools around southern Los Angeles have contacted me, letting me know whether or not their students on the free long weekend trip were safe or not. They know I am an advocate of college access and that I actively encourage low-income high school seniors to take advantage of free college visits during the spring of their senior years of high school. While nothing can reduce the unimaginable loss of these students and college advocates, I hope we can work together to help the surviving students and their families see the beauty of a four-year college education at a college like Humboldt State. For the past 20 years, Humboldt State, a mid-size public university in Northern California, has understood that to … [Read more...]

A word in support of parents…kind of

I am fully aware that the subject matter in this space often drifts toward the topic of my own children. I guess that’s just where I live right now. By now many of you may be thinking, “Seriously, you should be unpacking this stuff with a professional.” You might be right. Believe me when I say that the goal is never to exclude those of you of who have the tremendous personal freedom and opportunities for self-improvement that comes with not having children. Nor is the goal to patronize you with the idea that I have some kind of earth shattering insight because these two little jerks live in my house. The bottom line is that nothing makes me feel more consistently inadequate than parenting. I count myself equally as blessed to be married to an adult who does most of the heavy lifting while I handle trampoline and swimming duty. Although, I did paint my daughter’s nails over the weekend and I may have stumbled upon a previously undiscovered talent. With the aforementioned inadequacy in … [Read more...]

My Name is Jeff Morrow and I Am a Kindergarten Art Critic

My name is Jeff Morrow and I am a kindergarten art critic.  Wow.  I’ve got to admit that it feels good to get that off my chest.  Quick disclaimer: It’s possible that the next few paragraphs could make it seem like I’m not a fan of kids' artwork.  I know that I am already on thin ice, having admitted in an earlier blog post that I don’t like Disneyland.  I also know that this space isn’t exclusively a vehicle to unpack all of my own baggage.  This isn’t Festivus and there will be no airing of grievances.  However, as the father of a kindergarten student, I have occasion to evaluate 5-6 pieces of “art” every week; and, since I’m not the curator of a freaking museum, nor do I have unlimited space, hard choices must often be made and recycling must be executed.  Let me start by saying that all cut and paste projects are not created equal.  Don’t bring me di-cut sloppily pasted on white paper. I don’t even get out of bed for 2D black and white projects.  Pencil passed as coloring? Please. … [Read more...]

Potemkin Villages

Another winter Olympics has come and gone. There was much talk about the preparation Russia went through on its way to hosting the games and in wanting to put its best foot forward as a world power.  I should qualify my comments by saying that I did not compete in the Olympics.  Many people mistakenly assume that I’m some kind of Olympic athlete (easy mistake to make). While I don’t curl competitively, I do spend a considerable amount of time honing my shuffleboard skills at our local pub.  So there’s that.  It is accurate to say that I do enjoy the Olympics. The event is a melting pot for everything from obscure athletic competitions to Pink Eye (props to Bob Costas).  The reviews on Russia as host have been mixed.  I will try to practice diplomacy on this point as I know that I have a huge Russian following for this blog series and I don’t want to say or do anything to make current matters more tense.  Like I said, the reviews have been mixed.  However, most seem to agree that Russia … [Read more...]