I’ve always been a “project” kind of guy. I like things to have a goal, and endpoint in mind. I like to work backwards from that end goal and map out how to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to do nothing too. I’m pretty good at that when I want to be–sorta like another project. You can see this in my personal life and my professional life. My teaching has always been project-based and I was using backwards planning methods of curriculum design before Wiggins and McTighe made the term mainstream in education.

When we bought an old house in Northfield years ago, I saw it as a series of projects to complete. When we moved back to Northfield, we purposefully avoided looking at houses that were projects. We do get wiser as we age.

When I wanted to explore more about the ecosystems I’ve grown up in here in Minnesota and Wisconsin it had to be a book with essays and illustrations.

When I started to seriously write music a few years ago, naturally it had to lead to an album or two. I’ve got two released and available, The New American Way (2020) and Together (2023).

I wonder if that makes me difficult to live with sometimes.

Here’s something to think about then as parents, as functioning adults, as teachers and mentors. What motivates and drives you and those you live with, mentor, teach, etc.? And do you give them authentic purpose to engage with their aspirations, goals and dreams? Or, are they getting through, being compliant, and simply following directions.

Daniel Pink has a great book titled Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. The crux is it isn’t extrinsic rewards as we might think (money, grades, etc.,) but primarily purpose. You can get the gist of it with this RSAnimate talk he did.

Anyway, the culmination of my most recent project is an album of original music titled Together. Last Saturday I assembled a 3-piece band to play the album and some other songs (some old and some brand new). Here’s a recording of one of the songs off of Together from that performance.

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