Some Thoughts2018-06-22T02:31:04+00:00

Balance

This past Saturday, I was traveling to Washington DC late at night for an event the next day when, shortly before arriving at my hotel, a foreign object flew across the road and punctured one of my tires.  I barely made it into the hotel garage before the tire went completely flat.  In the morning, after changing the tire to the donut, I went to the local tire shop to have the tire repaired so that I could travel back to Philadelphia.  The man looked at the tire with concern and said that it was too damaged to repair.  I agreed to buy a replacement and he quietly suggested that I purchase two tires.  When I asked why, he said

By |January 1st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Finding Our Way

Some years ago, I was in Florida attending a conference with three of my friends. We needed to get from our hotel to the location of the meeting, but this was before GPS and the map that we’d printed at the hotel failed us. We were lost in the middle of downtown Orlando and there was no place to easily stop for directions. I told my friends that there was no need to worry. I took out my cell phone and called my father. They thought this was strange. My father wasn’t with us – he was at home in Philadelphia. But I knew that he’d be able to help. My father asked for the intersection that I was currently

By |January 1st, 2018|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Finding Our Way

Strengthen Your Support

I was sleeping peacefully a few nights ago when I was awakened by a noise that sounded like an explosion. I sprang from the bed and over to my closet to investigate the problem and discovered that two of the shelving racks in my closet had collapsed. Clothes were all over the floor, powdered with remains of broken dry wall, and items from shelves were scattered everywhere. I straightened up a bit and then contacted the maintenance team at the apartment complex to discover what could be done to repair my damaged closet. The leasing office suggested that I had overtaxed the shelves – that they could not handle the load of clothing and possessions that I was asking them

By |January 1st, 2017|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Strengthen Your Support

No More Games

I was recently told by a student that they didn’t know a lot about me as a person outside of my work at A Better Chance or as a college preparation professional and so I’ve decided to use my New Year’s note this year to share a fact that you may or may not know: I love games. To clarify that statement a bit, I enjoy a challenging game of CatchPhrase, which I have introduced to enough people to qualify for stock options with Hasbro, but I also can be found playing everything from Yahtzee to Phase 10 to Chess to Spades. I just love the thrill of competition: the constant tension between the thrill of victory and the agony

By |January 1st, 2016|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on No More Games

Gifts

I live in King of Prussia, home of the largest shopping mall on the East Coast. It’s a quiet town for most of the year, but during the month of December, it can be challenging to get home at any time of day. As I was driving earlier, the traffic to the mall added fifteen minutes to my commute and so I took some time to reflect on what was transpiring. All of these people are rushing to the mall with a singular purpose in mind – they want to get gifts for someone. And what’s more interesting than their shared purpose is that many of them are purchasing things that they want other people to have rather than purchasing

By |December 23rd, 2015|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Gifts

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day. For the first time in my working career, I took this entire holiday week off and it has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on some of the things that awaken my internal sense of gratitude. I’m thankful for a mother and father who sacrificed in ways that I still don’t fully comprehend to give their only son opportunities that neither of them ever had. Even now while my father lies in rest, my mother still hovers, defends and counsels in ways that boggle the mind. Any success that I may achieve in life was definitely catalyzed by such outstanding parents. They are the real MVPs. I’m thankful that those same parents taught me the importance

By |November 27th, 2014|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving

Take The A Train

As a child, I listened to more than my fair share of jazz music. My father had a deep appreciation of those soulful sounds and he was determined to teach me to feel similarly. My first live concert was to see Ray Charles perform and my car rides were filled with Count Basie and Wynton Marsalis. I may never love jazz as much as my father did, but one song will always stand out to me when I hear its fast paced notes floating through the air – Duke Ellington’s jazz standard “Take the A Train.” I’m not sure whether it was the brass section’s forceful overtures or the subtle undertones of the arrangement, but my father and I would

By |October 22nd, 2013|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Take The A Train

Lessons Learned From Decluttering

I find the Chinese Zodiac fascinating. Each year is themed based on the characteristics of an animal or creature and even though I don’t understand what each of the individual themes mean, the concept of each year of one’s life having its own character seems well worth exploring. So I took a page out of the book and I’ve dubbed this year, “The Year of the Housekeeper” because I have decided to make my life tidier in a host of different ways. Over the past seven days, I have invested a lot of energy in something that I haven’t done in my apartment in at least three years: decluttering. I’ve gone through every closet, every drawer and every storage area

By |October 14th, 2013|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Lessons Learned From Decluttering

Placeholders

It's become an annual tradition that I sit and pen a note on New Year's Eve to my students and anyone else that cares to read. In 2010, my sister got married and attending the reception reminded me of something that I often think about in similar situations. If you've ever been to a dinner where counting your guests is critical and order is paramount, then you are familiar with the routine. You walk into a room filled with seats and, at first blush, you think that you can sit wherever you'd like to best appreciate the celebratory comments of the guests of honor, but then you notice that your freedoms are restricted. For over on the little table in

By |December 31st, 2010|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Placeholders

Failure = Success

It's the first day of a new decade and I would like to share some thoughts with each of you to approach this hallmark in your lives with a shift in your perspective. The equation in the title of this note may seem counterintuitive, but let me explain what I mean. What would you think of a basketball player who missed 12,000 shots in his career? How about one whose team trusted him to take the game-winning shot 26 times and missed it, costing his team the game in some cases and the championship in others? And let's not talk about the close to 1,500 free throws that clanged off the rim, if they touched it at all. Would you

By |January 1st, 2010|Categories: Some Thoughts|Comments Off on Failure = Success