With the exception of a three year stint in the U.S.Army, I have spent my life in and around the public schools. My parents were both teachers, and I have taught language arts courses at the high school level for a total of 37 years.
I was born during the great depressions and grew up in Southern Idaho (both literally and figuratively) just north of Poverty Flat. I lived in the very small town of Bellevue, Idaho, that had a population of some 500 people and an equal number of dogs. In this rural environment, I enjoyed a Tom Sawyer like life, not on the Mississippi but rather on the Woodriver where my friends and I fished an swam and roamed the riverbottom and the surrounding hills from morning til night. My parents never locked the doors to our house, and we never worried much about it being burglarized. (For you skiers,Sun Valley is seventeen miles north of this town.)
After graduating from Hailey(now Woodriver) High School,I enrolled at the University of Oregon at a time when the school had a student body of 5,000 students and the football team rarely won a game.
After graduation, I spent a marvelous tour of duty with the U.S. Army which took me to Europe. I was stationed in Germany for a couple of glorious years and became a dedicated Europhile.
After I was discharged, I started my teaching career in the small town of New Plymouth, Idaho, near the Oregon border. After three years, I moved to Yakima, Washington, where I worked as an English and German teacher for the next 34 years.
After retiring,I quickly grew bored and began writing books primarily for my own amusement. Four of the books that I am publishing with Smashbooks are language arts textbooks focusing on linguistics, critical thinking, and literal and literary composition. The other two deal with self-improvment and very basic economics.
Because breaking into the traditional publishing business has always been such a long shot,I was very pleased to see ebook publishing develop into a platform for people like me who are looking for an inexpensive way to offer their materials to the public.
Since they say that confession is good for the sould, I must admit that my picture was taken by a yearbook photographer at least twenty-five years ago. I have no defense except to say, "Vanity thy name is not woman alone!"
Educational Planning (Idealism Tempered in Reality's Forge)
Educational planning should focus on what behaviors we wish to encourage in our students. Since we learn best by doing, teachers should keep students busy. Children are a diverse group, and we should not expect them all to achieve at a single level - as "No child Left Behind" apparently requires. If each child achieves near his optimal potential, the schools have succeeded in their mission.
Conventions of Literary Writing
This book focuses on practices that set literary and literal writing apart: an intense focus on the musical qualities of language, on figurative language, on imaginary settings and on non-realistic action. Students are presented many exercises that illustrate key points and a variety of composition assignments structured around the writing process. They are provided models to guide their efforts.
Conventions of Literal Writing
In this textbook, I have covered many widely recognized practices of literal writing and have offered writing assignments for use in English composition classes. I have countered the unfortunate implication of the course title “Creative Writing”. Literal writing can be highly creative and imaginative. A writer of literal material does not practice the conventions of literary writing.
Conventions of Thinking - An Introduction to Critical Thinking
Teaching students how to think is an oft-stated goal among educators. Teachers deal with the rules of thinking in many ways; but their effort are not always systematic. In this book, I have presented the most important rules of critical thinking framed in terms of five branches of philosophy. This textbook includes numerous assignments and exercises that illustrate the various points in the text.
Conventions of (American) English
This textbook focuses on linguistics. It's the first in a series of four language-arts textbooks and is intended for students who may wish to review syntax, usage, spelling and mechanics. I share the view that languages are human inventions; but I also recognize that each culture must maintain linguistic standards which create a common bond among its members. Understanding leads to group harmony.
Entitlements - An Economics Primer
This book is designed for a teenage and young adult audience. It discusses economics on a very basic level. I define wealth broadly and focus on the role of the tribe in the acquisition and defense of property. I take issue with individualists who claim that they have amassed their fortunes with no help from others. I urge American youth to consider what a valuable asset their U.S. citizenship is.
Coping with the Human Predicament - Living an Examined, a Disciplined and a Charitable Life
The central premise of this book is that we all have the ability to influence the quality of our temporal lives by regulating our own behavior. Those who eat properly and exercise regularly remain healthier and more physically fit than their self-indulgent peers do. One who educates himself and reins in his emotions, controls the course and quality of his life; it does not simply happen to him.
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