Why my summer vacation stunk!

Barbecuing chicken on the grill!

Barbecuing chicken on the grill!

Mid-July. 90-degree heat. Humid.

There’s nothing like the aroma of chicken smothered in barbecue sauce as it sizzles when it hits the hot grill of the barbecue. Envious neighbours can smell the smoke for hundreds of yards away. If you’re lucky, it may even attract ‘someone special’ to pay you a surprise visit in your back yard?

This is going to sound like one of those famous cliché intros that are in men’s magazines but, on one hot, scorching day in July, I never thought it would happen to me! Well, A female ‘guest’ did show up.

She had big brown eyes, a cute little nose, with thick jet-black hair with a long streak of blond. However, she looked like she had a bit too much to drink as she kept stumbling and falling to the ground as she walked towards me. I was raised to watch out for this ‘type’, so I quickly turned off the barbecue and slowly walked back into the house. Most guys would think, “Are you crazy?” Not in this case. In fact, I wish it had never happened to me; my surprise ‘guest’ was… [Read more…]

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Learning to swim: A true sabbatical story.


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How to pass a kidney stone during class and miss a Springsteen concert.

kidney picture

My kidney stone waiting for the right moment to strike!

Chuck Norris would have been proud. Last week during my class, I was suddenly jolted by a pain shooting from the left side of my back (‘flank’) carrying right through to my left side of my lower abdomen. My immediate thought was, “What did I eat for lunch?”. None of the students even noticed my discomfort because that day, they were doing an activity in groups, so they weren’t paying much attention to me at the front of the classroom. However, I’m pretty sure that if I was standing at the front of the room talking to them, they probably would have wondered why my upper body suddenly contorted in pain for a few seconds.

Then the pain struck again, this time with me dropping an ‘F-bomb’ under my breath followed by a cold sweat, so I thought I’d better sit down. As time went on,  [Read more…]

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Higher Education groups on Linkedin worth knowing.

Here’s some Higher Ed ‘groups’ on Linkedin that, over the last few months, I have found to have the most interesting ‘discussions’ between professionals in the Higher Ed industry. I also have noticed that there seems to be less ‘promotional’ type postings, and more person-to-person comments and sharing of ideas going in these groups than some of the others. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

‘The Teaching Professor’: approximately 10,000 members.

‘Higher Education Teaching and Learning’ (HETL): approximately 21,000 members.

‘Educause’: approximately 18,000 members

Check them out the next time you’re on Linkedin.

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An ‘easy prep’ energy breakfast for teaching early morning classes.

My ‘Baby Boomer Breakfast Blaster’! *Advil optional.

It’s not just the students’ that need to have the brain and body fuel to get through those early classes, but us profs as well, since we are the one’s that are teaching that 8 a.m. class. We need to be focussed on the course objectives, not focussed on a growling stomach. Here’s an ‘easy prep’ oat ‘meal’ breakfast that I have found gives me constant energy for about [Read more…]

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Video of my trip to England during sabbatical


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Video of my trip to Chicago during sabbatical


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Video of my trip to Berlin during sabbatical

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Einstein and I at The Humboldt University of Berlin.

Phil Jones with Albert Einstein

“When did you meet Einstein sir?” –student (no, really, it’s true.)

On my trip to Berlin, Germany, during my sabbatical, I had a pre-written checklist of ‘things to do’. Near the top of that list was to see The Humboldt University of Berlin, one of Berlin’s oldest universities founded in 1810 (there’s your history lesson). Conveniently, it just happened to be only a 15 minute walk from my hotel. By the way, if you ever go to Berlin, check out ‘The Melia‘ hotel. I found it to [Read more…]

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Books I’m reading: ‘Be the Media’, by David Mathison

21st century social media trends.

I first stumbled upon David Mathison’s book, *’Be the Media‘ (*affiliate link), after searching iTunes for podcasts that discussed ‘new media’ trends. Since I wanted to ‘get up to speed’ on the subject during my sabbatical, I downloaded the ‘Be the Media’ podcasts onto my iPod to listen to on my walks. I found that the interviews, featuring guests such as marketing expert Seth Godin, Craigslist’s Craig Newmark, and Woodstock creator Michael Lang, were both entertaining and informative, so I decided to check out the book’s table of contents on the ‘Be the Media’ website. It was exactly what I was interested in, so I made the purchase. Plus, there was a “must read” endorsement by talk show host [Read more…]

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