Category Archives: Blog

Relentless Persistance – a force of learning

Physics says work has been done that when a force is applied to an object to cause it to change location (displacement).  What work is done in the process of learning?  That is, what force drives the learner forward in their learning and understanding.  There are external forces like parent, teacher, monetary rewards one-day and so on that can motivate us to learn.  But consider the internal drive that can carry one farther to learn for the sake of learning and self confidence.

IMG_2634Jake Virtanen, a Vancouver Canucks 2014 draft pick, started the 2015/16 NHL Season with the Canucks.  As a rookie he needed to prove himself to the coach to remain a part of the team beyond Game 10.  On Sunday Nov 1st, Jake Virtanen and Jacob McCann, another rookie, were welcomed to stay in the big organization with the rest of the team and not have to go down to the Canucks Farm Team, the Utica Comets in New York.  What a sense of accomplishment to have his dream realized.  Jake as a young hockey player in the Lower Mainland and in Hockey Academy at Yale Secondary likely dreamed of one day making it to the big show, the NHL.  Well, his dream has come true, but now the trick is to stay there and play hockey for much longer.  On Monday November 2nd, during the Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers, at 8:28 in the third period, Jake scored his first NHL career goal!  Yet another milestone for this young 19  year old from Abbotsford.  So how did he get to this place of success.  Likely through HARD WORK, parents and coaches who did not relent in pushing him forward.  Was there a cost, quite likely, but as he is enjoying his time in the Canucks bench, it may just be work all the work of the past.

Relentless Persistence is a way of looking at what motivates me to learn. I believe I am a relentless learner who persists at the task of learning so that I can be a better educator, husband, father, fisherman and friend.  As a research scientist in my former career relentlessness was a key driver in succeeding over chemicals to accomplish new molecules.  Chemicals have attitudes (or are those just their properties) and researchers need to be more tenacious than the chemical to overcome and make new medicines.   I am learning all the time and as I discussed in my last blog entry, all the time learning is important.  The work of learning is the force of motivation combined with moving one to a position of better understanding.  Learning is reflected in understanding content and how to apply that content to new problems.

The challenge of being an educator, parent or another caring adult in a child’s life is how to grow relentless persistence into their character. ¬†Tenacity and stick-to-it-ness are¬†very important character trait that should¬†gently and delicately be woven into¬†a child’s life. ¬†As they get older inertia sets in and more fore is needed to grow these traits.. ¬†How are you modelling relentless persistence to those in your sphere of influence?

A very motivating video called the 51st Door show how hard work, relentlessness and persistence can pay off.  What drives you?


Go be a relentless persistor!

Everyday Learning from paying attention.

“If your not learning something new everyday, then your not paying attention.”


I’ve said this for sometime now. ¬†I really started to believe it when I started to watch my son learn about his world when he was an infant. He’s 12 now and still eager about learning, but not necessarily school learning. ¬†As a Minecrafter and iPod game app player my boy is always learning. ¬†Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”; Thanks George Corous for sharing Einstiens quote in the opening chapter of you new book, The Innovators Mindset.¬† I didn’t know he said that when I first thought about “…then you’re not paying attention”. ¬†Albert didn’t say you’re dead but headed that direction, maybe quicker than if your were mindfully engaged in learning.

Learning is a likely a key part of healthy living. Consider some of your best vacations. Not necessarily the most luxurious, but most enjoyed. ¬†We went to Oregon this past summer and I think I sat on my camp chair for maybe 90 minutes, not per day but over the entire eight day trip, thus not restful. ¬†But it was a great vacation. ¬†What did I learn, you ask? ¬†How to catch crabs from the public pier; how a microbrewery made a name for itself and partnered with a locale Restaraunteer to care for the community of fisherman and families in the small town ¬†of New Port; how to find a swimming-hole that the locals frequent as the ocean is just toooooo cold for any of our liking. Yes, my family and friends played games but not the ones that were basic but complex strategy games. We were always on the go. And it was the best trip we’ve been on in recent times.

How do you vacation? ¬†That may tell you something of your value of¬†learning. I’m not trying to guilt you into learning, but challenge you to try something which throws you off balance just a bit and you learn from.

How do you approach your classroom, everyday? ¬†When I was student teacher 7 years ago I observed my sponsor teacher’s drive to improve his practice even after he had it all dialed in after many years of teaching the same courses. His students benefit as a result.

I just did a Google search for my opening statement concerned that it someone else’s idea and I found that Ray Leblond,¬†‚ÄéRegional Marketing Manager, British Columbia at Stantec
“You learn something every day if you pay attention.” ¬†My statement is from a not perspective. Does that make me a glass half full Or half empty kind of guy? ¬†Not sure but I do know that the half glass of water is heavy, due to gravity, if you hold it for a long time, Learning too is heavy. ¬†Relationships affect our learning a great deal. ¬†Dr Steven Sheiner shares his thoughts on learning at ¬†Here’s a videoblog he¬†recorded:

My hope is that you are inspired to keep you mind open as well as your eyes, and other senses, when you walk into tomorrow. You may just learn something new!

At the beginning… BlogEntry#1

This is the beginning of my blog. ¬†Like the starting material for a multi-step synthesis, my educational career has come from simply learning myself to seeing the glint¬†of¬†learning and curiosity in other eyes. ¬†I have blogged inadvertently on Facebook, micro-blogged on Twitter, and posted in YouTube, but not on a regular basis. ¬†This ¬†blog will be a way to demonstrate a small sample of my learning as I grow as an educator and human being. ¬†I will give you some background about myself and some of my journey over time. ¬†I will blog each week so that my learning will be visible to those who care to happen by. ¬†I’m not aiming at fame or fortune but to share some of my journey with you.

Thanks for reading.