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Jim's blog

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Location: Osterville, Massachusetts, United States

I am a professor at Cape Cod Community College and and a member of a Buddhist order. After a 30-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor I became a full-time professor in 2001. I am the author of the textbooks "The Elements of News Writing" and "The Elements of Academic Writing." I enjoy running, hiking and camping. I have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My newest blog

Dear friends, I have decided to move on to another blog, called Jim's Mindfulness Blog. It will be very similar, but with a greater emphasis on my Buddhist spiritual practice. At least that is my intention. Please feel free to stop by:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A different blog

For the next month, I will be doing most of my posting on Jim's InterCom Blog, which I am creating for a special summer course I am teaching. I am requiring all the studetns in my Internet Communication class to keep a blog, so I will do the same. You can view it at http://jimsintercomblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

8 a.m. Monday: Last night on "60 Minutes," Andy Rooney presented a commentary that was uncharacteristically serious. He suggested that on Memorial Day we should not remember those who have died in wars but we should remember the children who will die in future wars unless we change our way of thinking and remove war from our vocabulary. It was very powerful. He is a World War II veteran himself, making it all the more meaningful.

Next week I will start teaching a course in "Internet Communication." I want to emphasize the latest technology. I think I will ask every students to keep a blog and post the things they learn. I should do the same. I might switch to a special blog just for that purpose.
Running 3 miles

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Busy, busy week!

10 p.m. Wednesday: I want to blog more regularly, but I have been extremely busy -- even by my standards. ON the 15th, I gave my last final;. On the 16th I organized a dinner for eight at a restaurant; it was out "newbie" group of professors who began at the college around the same time. On the 17th I went to another dinner party honoring graduates of the Suffolk University program for which I teach. On the 18th, I finished calculating grades and handed them in on the 19th, On the 20th, I went to a party at the college president's house. On the 21st I went hiking in the National Seashore with my old friend Karen. We used to work together in Pennsylvania 26 years ago and hadn't seen each other since. That was fun! On the 22nd, I prepared for a professional day presentation and went to a retirement party. On the 23rd -- here is the biggie -- I started at 8 a.m. finalizing he presentation, and then from 9 to 3 our NCBI team put on a program on civility to three successive groups of faculty members. Then from 4 to 5:30 I had a business meeting of the Interfaith Coalition, followed by another retirement party form 6 to 7, and an Interfaith program and reception from 7 to 9. Then I review entries for a college magazine from 10 to midnight. Whew! And Today -- the 24th -- I had a faculty meeting at 9, an employee recognition brunch at 10 and Evening of Excellence presentation of scholarships and awards from 6:30 to 9. It has just been crazy! The funny thing is, I love it!


Running: 3 miles

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A good week

Sunday afternoon: I can't believe another week has gone by since I posted to my blog. I would rather do it every day. There are lots of things I want to do every day, including meditation, running, writing, and yoga, but I don't always get to them. We are in the middle of a three-day rainstorm in the Northeast.
Last night we watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin. It was amusing and fun.
Happy Mothers Day to all the moms in the world!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Good Saturday

9:30 p.m.: I ran twice today. I got up early, and Vivi and I had our regular 7 a.m. run. We did a longer run this time, though, the whole "Playhouse Loop" for about four miles. Then, after a shower, I went into the office and graded my on-line assignments. There were something like 27 of them, so it took me about five hours, but I got them all done. When I was finished Alison asked if I wanted to go for a run with her, which I did. So we did a five-miles down to the boardwalk at Gray's Beach. That was a beautiful run.
In the evening we went out to dinner at Capt. Frosty's, a great seafood place nearby. Then I went to Hyannis and picked up a CD. I heard a song, "Dream Cafe" by Greg Brown, on the radio a couple of days ago, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I haven't bought a CD in years, but I really wanted this one. It turns out it was recorded in 1992. I drove home and played it and loved it. It is categorized as folk music, but it is heavily influenced by the blues. He is a great songwriter with evocative imagery.


running: 9 miles!

Friday, May 05, 2006


10 p.m.: Friday was a good day. I had a very short mass communication class, and then drove to Bedford for a meeting of SNACCIM -- Student Newspaper Advisers at Community Colleges in Massachusetts! I made up the acronym myself several years ago when we started the organization. It reminds me of the frog character on some kids cereal. It was a fun meeting over lunch of six of us. It was a very long drive home. In the evening I went to the college for a modern dance performance. I enjoyed it very much. It was a lot of fun.
Running: 3 miles

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I am alive

Thursday morning, 9 a.m.: It has been a long time since I posted. I have been fine, just very, very busy. I do want to make blogging a priority because I am trying to study blogging and want to participate in it, but life is too complicated.
Today I had a good run and I went to Weight Watchers. Because I have not been counting my posts for two weeks I gained weight. I plan to start counting again today.
There is only a week of classes left in the semester. Whew!
Running: 3 miles

Sunday, April 23, 2006

More mindfulness

I am still processing the lessons I learned at yesterday's Day of Mindfulness. I think the biggest single lesson I learned is that when I feel anger toward someone it may help to look with compassion at the person toward whom I am directing my anger. Last Wednesday I had a big argument with one of my closest friends at the college. It looked like the end of a 20-year friendship. But now I am able to see it as an opportunity to better understand his pain and suffering. He may be a sad and lonely old man covering up his loneliness with a lot of bluster. I am working on converting my anger into compassion. It makes me feel much better.
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a beautiful book called The Miracle of Mindfulness. http://www.parallax.org/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?preadd=action&key=BOOKMOM
It truly is a miracle.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day of Mindfulness

Our sangha today held a Day of Mindfulness, which is essentially a one-day retreat. People gathered from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. for meditation and related activities. We had walking and sitting meditation, a silent meal, a dharma talk by a wonderful teacher, Joanne Friday, and some singing too.
I had been very concerned and worried that it would not go well. I was worried that nobody would show up, or only a handful of people. I would have been embarrassed to invite Joanne to come all the way from Rhode Island for just a few people. But it turned out just fine. We had about 35 people, and they reported having a very good time. I am so relieved.
The quality and wisdom of the teachings is what make the whole thing work.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tired Thursday

9:30 p.m. Thursday: I didn't sleep well last night. I ended up skipping my whole morning routine and sleeping in until 8 a.m. It's funny, but several of my colleagues reported doing similar things. I think Wednesday was emotionally draining for a lot of folks at the college. We had some very contentious meetings. I plan to stay up and watch "Commander in Chief" this evening and go to bed at 11. I know I need my sleep, but I want to see that show.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Back On Track (sort of)

8 a.m Wednesday: I ran three miles again this morning. It was a little hard for me this morning. I don't know why. But pushing myself has to be good for me. I am proud of myself for running every day. Unfortunately I am not meditating, writing, or doing yoga or weights. So much to do; so little time.

We passed a husband and wife out walking their dogs. She had fluffy white hair and a puffy white coat. She was walking two little poodles with fluffy white hair and puffy white coats. Her husband was very sad and sour looking with big jowls hanging down, he was walking -- you guessed it -- a basset hound. After we passed them Vivi and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. I can't believe how much those dogs looked like their owners. It was hilarious. I hope we see them again.

Running: 3 miles

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to work

8 a.m. Tuesday: It's back to work after a long Patriots Day weekend. I have been running almost every day. I did three miles with Vivian on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. And I ran about five miles with Alison on Saturday. Of course I overate like a glutton on Sunday, so I need to run even more.
Running 3 miles

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Missed Four More

9 p.m. Saturday: Things have just gotten too darn busy. I know things will settle down a lot when the semester ends in early May. The good news is that I have been running a lot more. I ran with Vivi every morning this week, and then Alison and I did a Saturday morning run. I feel like that bad bout of bronchitis is finally behind me.

Spiritually, I met with the three aspirants who are planning our Day of Mindfulness Saturday, and I feel confident the day will work out fine.

And at work, the president has forwarded my name to the Board of Trustees for tenure. That will be a nice pat on the back.

I wish everyone peace in this time of rebirth and renewal.