Columns

Fly on the Wall—Being Ourselves

As our identities shed skins of past selves our learning proceeds apace.  We’re never quite the same student we were last year or back in our days as a younger, perhaps more dogmatic, scholar.  Imagination and play at AU are only a study break away and, really, the flexibility to take flight from drudgery is… Read more »

Scholar, Start Your Business—Learn How to Negotiate Like a Powerhouse

Which negotiation strategies are most successful?  Whether you’re a student or business owner, you gain when you negotiate.  Want a higher grade?  An extension on your assignment?  A sale of your textbook?  Ah, negotiation can come in handy. Steve Mariotti (2014) says, “Negotiation is about compromise, not about winning.  Compromise is sacrificing something you want… Read more »

Homemade is Better—Grilled Zuchinni

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that we, like many others, planted a garden this year.  Well, now in August, the garden is starting to give back.  We’ve had so many colossal zucchini’s, and my zucchini recipes are somewhat limited, so I guess we’re working on more recipes.  The only recipes in my repertoire are Ratatouille… Read more »

The Creative Spark—How to Improve a Plot in 60 Minutes

How do you improve a plot? You can do magic with just a few touch ups, taking a mediocre plot and grooming it into a spectacular story. Tip #1: Show what good guys and bad guys have in common.  “Create a layer of emotional depth by connecting the protagonist (the [main character (MC)]) and the… Read more »

Beats from the Basement—Indigo Girls

Album: Swamp Ophelia Artist: Indigo Girls Folk music fascinates me a great deal because of how differently every culture known to humans has interpreted it.  The bouncy accordion and heartfelt gusle I’m used to hearing in traditional Montenegrin songs at home are absent in the Canadian repertoire.  Instead, the acoustic guitar and harmonica offer us… Read more »

Dear Barb—Negative Reaction

Dear Barb: Hi, my friend and I are taking courses at AU and we often get together to study or work on projects.  We are both in our late twenties and can’t afford to go to normal university since we are both working full time.  AU works great for us.  The problem I am having… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Snakes in the Grass of Meaning

Rural AU life affords the opportunity to embark on a nature walk—the better to wake up and get those study juices flowing.  So, when I stepped near a rattlesnake this morning and heard its distinct cackling rattle before seeing it’s coiled body, that really got my brain’s pulse pumping.  As the snake scrambled leglessly to… Read more »

Homemade is Better—Cedar Plank Salmon

I have wanted to do a cedar plank recipe for a while, and, recently, I finally got to make it.  I enjoy writing recipes because I feel pressure to make them before I write and make sure I get some pictures, it gives us at least a couple suppers for the week. For this recipe… Read more »