Currently Browsing: Mentors 10 articles

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Focusing on Doing and Not on Naming

Several people wrote to me after my last post When Drawing Isn’t Fun. Most said that they found it helpful in starting an internal dialog with themselves about their creative practice. But one of my Urban Sketcher friends Tina Koyama wrote a very important point in her comment on that post: Grief. The grief of letting […]

Phyllis at the beginning of 2018. Days away from being 97.

Reflections on a Big-Hearted and Generous Life

My mother-in-law Phyllis Stone, passed away on January 16, 2018. She had just celebrated her 97th birthday on January 5. On January 10 she caught the flu. She was hospitalized a couple days later with flu, pneumonia, and additional issues. She died peacefully on January 16 with Dick and me holding her hands.  She was […]

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A Tip and Two (or Three Depending on How You Count) Conversations

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Roz Cycles through 2012, Finding Her Way Back to Balance

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Letting Go of Perfect

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Creativity Coach Kim Hines at the June 18, 2012 Meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective

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Project Friday: Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Charles Dickens Bicentennial

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No Excuses

If you are facing a creative brick wall, unsure of how to bring a creative idea to fruition, or simply confused as to how you can make your creative dreams a reality, I think you might need a coach. As luck would have it, one of the best coaches I know, Kim Hines, is offering […]

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Profile: Thomas W. Smith

THomAlone

Left: Thom in class looking at student work. He stood well over 6 feet tall.

Thom Smith was a high-school English teacher. He was my teacher when I arrived from California as a new student for my senior year in a suburban Chicago high school. He wasn't my first mentor; he wasn't my last mentor. He did save my life. He's the reason every morning I'm grateful that I've had mentors. He's the reason I started teaching artists residencies in the public schools. He's the reason I've worked in mentor programs. He transformed my understanding of writing as a craft and he transformed the way I keep journals: simply put, he gave me tools to follow my passion.

I almost didn't meet Thom. When I met with a counselor at my new school there were problems with my transcript from Australia. Filtered through two California schools in one and a half years, credits weren't adding up. The counselor, knowing I was college bound, suggested a string of classes which left, in the whole year, one elective. I decided to take "Creative Writing" in the fall semester. That was Thom's class.

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