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Quiet Fire: Mindfulness in the Classroom

Lisa Harlow

An Experienced Educator Shares her Secrets for Improving the Emotional, Intellectual and Social Climate of Your Classroom.

In this clear-minded and practical book, Lisa Harlow offers a proven method for introducing the practice of mindfulness to your students. Extensive research has documented the benefits of mindfulness and meditation as tools for enhancing learning by improving student attention and engagement. Harlow’s approach puts a human face on that research, speaking directly to the most pressing issues facing you and your fellow teachers in the often-chaotic realm of contemporary education.

Includes Supportive Resources:

  • “Quick-Guide” Teacher Handouts
  • Sample Lesson Plans
  • Sample Journal Prompts
  • Access to Online Articles
  • Lisa’s Blog (

About the Author

Lisa Harlow is an elementary educator and a passionate life-long learner. Inside the classroom and out, Lisa finds joy in exploring new topics and experiences of interest to her. A graduate of Middlesex Community College, the University of Saint Joseph, Central Connecticut State University, and The Graduate Institute, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Master’s Degree in International Studies, and a Sixth Year certificate in Learning and Thinking. While pursuing her formal education, Lisa follows her heart to the areas that interest her most, from American authors like Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson to the history of Guatemala-U.S. relations and, most recently, mindfulness.

Lisa’s hobbies include traveling, reading, writing, doing yoga, and spending time outdoors, where she enjoys gardening, walking her dogs, relaxing on the beach or near the mountains, and paddle boarding. She lives with her family in Connecticut. New Hampshire and Guatemala are her two favorite homes away from home and all three places have played integral roles in shaping who she is.

Lisa was introduced to mindfulness in 2015, and the lessons she’s learning have been transformative in her personal and professional life. She believes mindfulness practices have a huge potential to help us grow in many ways, and she’s eager to continue her explorations and share her findings with others.

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Breaking Text: Bringing the Power of Performance to the Language Arts Classroom

Robert Fee

A Seasoned Language Arts Teacher shares his time-tested methods for illuminating Classical and Contemporary Literature through student-sourced live performance.

In this eye-opening book, Educator Robert Fee reveals how his Text-Breaking process can transform the Language Arts Classroom into an impromptu stage in which each participant plays a part, becoming fully engaged in that mysterious alchemy that takes place when Text, Speaker and Listeners are united and transformed by the power of the spoken word.

Includes Supportive Resources:

  • Lesson Plans
  • Teacher Handouts
  • Extensive Bibliography

About the Author

Robert Fee is both a teacher and student. He teaches English at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, CT. He has written curriculum for the English Language Arts classes and advised graduating classes. Robert graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2005 with a double major in History and English. He received his teaching certification from Central Connecticut State University in 2009 and finished his Master’s degree at The Graduate Institute in 2017. In addition to his work and studies, Robert is passionate about the arts. He is an avid fan of film drama and literature. Robert is an avid gardener and maintains a home in Higganum, CT.

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From Being to Becoming

Living an Authentic and Meaningful Life

James Trifone

A Modern-Day Scholar and Educator combines ancient and contemporary wisdom in this elegant blueprint for creating meaning from the chaos of everyday life.

From Being to Becoming: Living an Authentic and Meaningful Life, is predicated on sharing both the insights Dr. Trifone has learned from decades of personal experience, as well as from numerous books he has read that guided him in living an authentic and meaningful life. Therefore this book is for anyone who will benefit by exploring perennial questions about how to walk a path that leads to a full and authentic life. Through narratives and participatory exercises, the book explores the relationships among two transformative concepts. The first involves awakening from a state of static Being to one of dynamic Becoming whereby the journeyer discovers and lives out the soul’s purpose. The second is living authentically or “walking the talk”— walking the path of what we perceive as our soul’s purpose. Therefore, instead of referring to ourselves as “human beings,” we can start seeing the potential in each of us to evolve into human becomings. To quote a wise Zen dictum, “The journey is the destination.” It is in successfully navigating those journeys that our hearts, minds, and souls come to experience fulfillment. This book is about living an authentic life as perceived through the eyes of one journeyman. The journey he shares is the culmination of many lessons learned along the meandering path he has walked over the past sixty-seven years. It represents his personal philosophy, developed over decades of reading, teaching, and navigating the unexpected vicissitudes of life.

From Being to Becoming is divided into chapters called “sojourns.” A sojourn is a stopping point along a journey. At each sojourn, the reader is provided with insights from a variety of wisdom sources regarding how one realizes their life purpose. Each sojourn focuses on ways to realign mind, body, and spirit. Therefore to approach this realignment, we first have to understand that the individual “self” needs to be reconceived as a holistic “Self” that interconnects with all that exists. As a holistic Self, one soon realizes that there are no accidents. All that exists are what Psychologist Carl Jung referred to as “synchronicities,” or “meaningful coincidences.” Significant and sometimes tragic events occur in our lives; they are meant to serve as lessons to be learned. While our fates are not predetermined, the choices we make each moment do affect the potential ones we will have in the future. Although we have free will, there is a destiny emblazoned on our souls from birth that we are meant to discover and walk toward.

Negative events plague us all. They are where living authentically finds its definition. Being happy in good times is easy. But those who find lessons to be learned in down times are the ones who emerge afterward with a new resolve, confidence, and certitude that everything works out for the best in the end if we believe it can. Mythologist Joseph Campbell referred to the “hero’s journey” as the challenge we all face in life. Here we face the choice: whether to accept the challenge or acquiesce and submit to defeat. You are either the hero or the goat. Accepting the challenge comes with the risk of failure. But bowing to adversity yields certain failure. Living authentically means understanding that life is not to be feared; it is to be embraced and lived to the fullest. Those of a positive and courageous spirit accept the challenge, believing that they will emerge as heroes, and that new conviction, strength, and wisdom will redefine them. The hero’s journey forges authenticity and meaningfulness in our lives. This work is an outgrowth of navigating Dr. Trifone’s personal hero’s journey with the hope that others may benefit from the lessons learned. In the end, this book challenges the reader to find meaning in the universe and to live a more-authentic and meaningful life.


From Being to Becoming: Living an Authentic & Meaningful Life, explores perennial questions about life and each one’s certain place and exceptional role here. Dr. Trifone’s thesis, which is shored up by voluminous research and appropriate text exercises, offers answers to ageless questions via scientific, philosophical, psychological, spiritual and theological perspectives. Living an authentic existence in both the pursuit of truth and acceptance of it, seeing ourselves as part of a greater truth in harmony with the Creator and with whom we serve as co-creators is underscored here in a highly academic yet communicative, congenial and affable approach.

The scholarship of this text is much needed in a challenged culture where ego has yielded to narcissism due to decades of myriad, made-for-the-market, pop psychology, self-improvement pulp books that appeared timely when they flooded bookstores but proved far from timeless.

-James Lomuscio, New York Times journalist, and Author of Writing with Your Head and Heart

Dr. Trifone gives us a no-nonsense everyman’s guide to rich and meaningful living. Read, enjoy, and follow its suggestions. Such advice is rare.

-Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS); Founder and President of the International Association of Consciousness Studies, author of The Radiance of Being

This book is a pilgrimage into a pathway of becoming where Jim Trifone invites us to become sojourners who enter into our deeper selves amidst the challenges of daily life. He opens up the doors to both inner and outer landscapes of discovery. These are doors of insight to navigate our way forward. He understands that life requires food for the soul and the body-nourishment for the pilgrimage. The book arises from an immense journey of discovery. Indeed, this is a heroic journey of a teacher turned pilgrim. As we join him on the pilgrimage, we shed our static selves and enter into a new state of becoming.

-Mary Evelyn Tucker Ph.D., Co-founder and Co-Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar, Yale University

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Magic in Plain Sight

Magic in Plain Sight isn’t a book about magic, but it is a magic book.

Designed as a guide to revealing the power and possibility in what s present, Magic in Plain Sight offers an alternative to the common approaches used to heal or transform: If I could only break free from this (bad thing) that s happening, I could create more of that (good thing) I want to have happen.

Instead, this book encourages you to discover and explore the vital and perhaps long-overlooked elements already contained in the stories you live and tell, so a new experience unfolds.

In this way, the wisdom embedded in these chapters demonstrates how to change everything by changing nothing, except your perspective.

Magic In Plain Sight also invites you-by inference- to become your own magician. By the time you reach the last page, you ll be better equipped to perform some of life’s most valuable magic tricks: expressing fully, loving boldly, and partnering co-creatively in the wild ride of a rapidly changing world.

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The Theory of Oral Composition

History and Methodology (Folkloristics)

John Miles Foley

Presents the first history of the new field of oral-formulaic theory, which arose from the pioneering research of Milman Parry and Albert Lord on the Homeric poems.


” . . . excellent book . . . ” ―The Classical Outlook

” . . . brief and readable . . . There is good tonic in these pages for the serious student of oral tradition . . . a remarkable book.” ―Asian Folklore Studies

“The bibliography is a boon for students and faculty at any level who are curious about the nature, composition, and performance of oral poetry.” ―Choice

” . . . concise, evolutionary account . . . “ ―Religious Studies Review

“As ever, Professor Foley’s conscientious scholarship and sound judgements combine to make a further substantial contribution to the field.” ―E. C. Hawkesworth, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, The Slavonic Review

“Foley is probably the only scholar who is in a position even to suggest the extent of what we should know to work in this area.” ―Speculum

“Foley’s survey stands as a fitting tribute to the achievements of Parry and Lord and as a sure guide to future productive work in the field.” ―Journal of American Folklore

” . . . detailed and informative study . . . We are fortunate that John Foley chose to write this book.” ―Motif

” . . . Theory of Oral Composition . . . detailed account written in an elegant style which could serve equally as a textbook for college and graduate students and as a reference tool for scholars already in the field.” ―Olifant

“As an ‘introductory history,’ The Theory of Oral Composition accomplishes its purpose admirably. It has the capacity to arouse interest on the part of the uninitiated.” ―Anthropologica

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A Climate for Learning

A Teacher’s Guide to Creating an Emotionally Intelligent Classroom in the First Four Days of School

Lawrence Carroll

An Award-Winning Teacher and Educational Consultant shares his Transformational Techniques for Establishing an Emotionally-Intelligent Learning Environment

Distinctive educator, consultant and inspirational speaker Lawrence Carroll believes Aristotle’s decree that “education of the mind, without education of the heart, is no education at all” is a profound wake up call to modern American schools. His students would agree. This book reveals his work, techniques and perspectives to help you create a climate of learning where students’ hearts and minds can be opened, from day one of school.

“Those teachers who struggle in the classroom … omit the being of the child and the chaos they are swimming in.” Through anecdotes, class materials and real-life scenarios, Lawrence guides you to create an atmosphere where students can cultivate emotional intelligence (EI)–the greatest predictor of performance–in your classrooms.

Establishing a classroom that connects you and your students emotionally is a foundation for easeful learning and dynamic student engagement. Spend the first four days of school building relationships with your students. You will never regret it. Forget the wild rush into covering the curriculum as fast as you can. To truly take your students with you, they need to trust you. With a focus around emotional intelligence, you will begin to build that trust. The principles of emotional intelligence empower students toward greater self-reliance and social maturity.

In this concise and practical book, Lawrence Carroll shares the techniques, ideas and perspectives that he presents to educators in the U.S. and Australia. He has influenced the lives of dozens of teachers who have been changed by his work. In the book, you will have access to such resources as:

  • Rubrics design to foster EI
  • Sample Quiz for students to cultivate EI skills
  • Sample Posters to promote a safe classroom atmosphere
  • Access to Online Articles written by Lawrence Carroll Lawrence’s website (

By tapping into your own ease of being and teaching students to do the same, a safe environment for students emerges. Students begin to enjoy the process of learning.

It is this joy that is conveyed to you in this book.

As an educational consultant, inspirational speaker, workshop facilitator, experienced High School teacher, and Certified Professional Life Coach, Lawrence Carroll is committed to enabling individuals of all backgrounds to reach personal excellence. His work with clients, especially teenagers, is transformational. Lifting them from low self-esteem, anxiety and even depression he helps them improve their school grades, social lives and unnecessary meltdowns. Parents love working with Lawrence as they see results and changes in their children from as early as the first session. Lawrence’s work in schools and with educators in ground-breaking and timely. He supports schools to develop harmony and productivity with teachers and students. He works with teachers to improve classroom management and sleep better at nights. He seeks opportunities to implement these strategies through ongoing partnerships with businesses, school districts, sporting groups and students of all ages. Additionally, Lawrence facilitates new collaborative partnerships that result in the highest outcome for all.

Lawrence gives keynote speeches, individual coaching and workshops in the USA, Australia, England and beyond, to a wide range of groups and individuals.

Lawrence’s work is widely recognized. He was nominated for the “Distinctive Educator of the Berkshires” Award for his ability to educe learning in students, and presented on this work at the Oxford (England) Round Table. He’s given presentations at Columbia University, The Graduate Institute, Union College, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, teacher workshops at elementary and high schools in MA and New York State, peak performance sessions with Australian Youth sports teams, and more.

He serves on the faculty of the Master of Arts in Learning and Thinking Program at The Graduate Institute.

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Reaping the Whirlwind, Unmasking the Writer

Sentence by Sentence

When Our Editing and Writing Instructor Jane Lincoln Taylor handed out a single sheet of white-lined paper and a colored pencil on Saturday morning, I wasn’t prepared for the whirlwind that occurred.

I was immediately reminded of the story Dovie Thomason shared at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival 2018. After the weekend with her and the other storytellers I wrote: “In contrast, Dovie Thomason’s personal story spins a web rooted deep that grounded her words and her audience in a story whirlwind. Stepping on the stage with confidence and drawing us in deeper and deeper until we were wrapped up tight in her story web. I felt I was running in the whirlwind right alongside her as she tangled her words and actions with the wind moving in toward her. The story wrapped the audience like a blanket affecting every inch of their beings leaving us light headed and dizzy after we dropped out of our story whirlwind with Dovie Thomason.”

Amazing how Jane was able to generate the sensation of a whirlwind in me again. This time I didn’t get swooped up into the fast-paced spinning funnel of story, but instead that of editing. Pops of words alongside proofreader marks and pencils combined with ideas all swirled around me sentence by ever changing sentence. Whirlwinds are an incredible weather phenomenon that Dovie attached to her experience as a child and put it into story, but this weekend with Jane words split these phenomena into two spinning funnels of story and writing that entertains, teaches, and heals.

So, the author is consumed with the world spinning around and the one within. Hence that is where the editor secretly steps in; doesn’t change just guides. Jane Lincoln Taylor took what use to be a very harsh, controlling, and dominating figure in my mind of an editor and transformed it into a secret friend and mentor who only wants to bring the best out in you and your work.

Back to that one sheet of paper and the activities we were asked to write on that piece of white lined paper were just extremely straight forward, but informative. First, Jane asked us to write 3-5 things that were great about my writing. I took this very literally and banged out five descriptive statements about what I found great in and about my writing. I hesitated here and there since I let ego burst in but I was able to complete the list. Second, she asked what I thought my real gift as a writer was, what I have to offer, and what I want to offer?

Without hesitation, the following sentences flowed with ease onto the blue lines of the paper. Healing is there, no matter what the trauma is that derailed you. A pen, pencil, or keyboard can take you on an amazing healing journey as a book can take you to another time and place. Reading this statement allowed in class and rereading it again now as I write comforts me in the fact that I am on the right path. I may have been derailed here and there, but I have gotten back up and am forging on.

The third and final question was given these goals that I have and if I had an editor what are the sticking points that I’d want to work on? The pen took on a life of its own. The negatives came so easy. I was jotting down one skill after the other that the author in me needed to work on. Crazy how fast I could find all the flaws in abilities as a writer. It was amazing to me how quickly that list grew and with any hesitation. Scary.

A Hands-On Approach

Throughout the weekend, editing took over. It was quite educational. Hearing that I could become a better editor of my own work was intriguing to me. By a hands-on approach to the editing of our own pieces and the different editing styles she exposed us to this weekend allowed me to begin weaving and intertwining all the skills and learning into “My Living the Writer’s Life Journal” I’ve been composing each weekend I’m in class.

By the end of the weekend with this talented editor, I found that the weekend of writing both positive and negative attributes started morphing into just attributes without the strength of a (+) or (-) sign attached to it. This was so freeing for me both as a person and a writer. Another layer uncovered. Another mask taken off.

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Is Depression All in Your Head?

Is depression all in your head? The new holistic theory of neuroplasticity and neuroinflammation and mood disorders. By Dr. Artemis MorrisIn the 1950s the monoamine (amine) hypothesis of depression and the subsequent dawn of antidepressant medications that work by affecting neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, changed the way depression was being treated. The two main classes of psychiatric medication discovered in the 1950s were monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) that worked by boosting brain levels of monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) in the brain. The original research discovering these medications was due to a study in which patients treated for high blood pressure with reserpine, which blocks the monoamine transporter, developed depression.1 In the 1980s, the pharmaceutical industry created Prozac, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), then serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) which were found to be less toxic, but not more effective than the older classes of antidepressants. The newer classes of drugs for depression are being called “me-too” drugs, such as Pristic and Lexapro, because the mechanism of action is not that different from the previous classes of medication in terms of effectiveness and risk. The most recent types of drugs being developed by the pharmaceutical industry are drugs that combine antipsychotic drugs like Abilify and Seroquel together. There are drugs targeting new parts of the brain and neurotransmitters in the brain, such as the glutamate and in particular NMDA receptors, such as ketamine, but these are still experimental and do not address the cause of neurotransmitter imbalance.2

The effectiveness of antidepressants has been called into question since their advent because research is showing that antidepressant medication is not effective in one third of patients.2 An analysis by Robert DeRubeis, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that “Patients with severe depression benefit most from antidepressant medications while those with less-severe symptoms see little or no benefits.”2 Antidepressant medication that focuses on just the neurotransmitters has also been shown to come with enormous risks compared to its benefits in some cases. Dr. Peter Breggin, MD, a psychiatrist, has provided detailed analysis and testimony on cases that scientifically show a causal relationship between antidepressant medication and its effects on suicide, violence, mania and other hidden risks of taking psychiatric medication without the use of therapy.3

The problem with this myopic theory of depression based solely on “neurotransmitters imbalances” is that depression may actually be caused by a complex interaction of dysfunctional inflammatory processes, oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, and altered neuroplasticity, rather than just neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain. This theory was uncovered, in part, by the observation that patients with chronic inflammation are more likely to have depression, while patients diagnosed with depression show increased levels of circulating cytokines markers that are involved in inflammation.4 It has been found that activation of the brain immune cells, called microglia cells that produce cytokines, were more active in people who committed suicide, showing a crucial role for neuroinflammation in the pathogensis of depression.4

This new theory of depression that puts neurotransmitter-altering pharmaceutical medications into a larger context, is called neuroplasticity. In neuroplasticity, the brain’s complex processing and expression of emotions affected by neurotransmitter transmission is a piece of the puzzle, but not the whole pie.

Neuroplasticity may help to explain why antidepressant medication is not effective in approximately one-third of the people that use them and why these medications may not be effective in some people long term. Neuroplasticity recognizes that the brain can learn, change, and be affected by a host of factors that tie it into the rest of the body and how we interact with our environment. In neuroplasticity, the HPA axis, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, the gut-brain connection and microbiome, and epigenetic changes and influences are included in the web of cause and effect. An Integrative, holistic approach to medicine addresses all of these factors.

In this new theory of depression, neuroinflammation is the mediator of the changes that lead to neurotransmitter imbalances and ultimately changes in mood and behavior characterized by depression. There is a two-way street of chronic disease and depression in that people with chronic disease are more likely to suffer from depression and people with depression are more likely to suffer from chronic disease. In the neuroinflammation theory, there is mounting evidence that depression is caused by a breakdown of several pathways, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the glutamatergic system, and monoaminergic neurotransmission, and is mediated by the Inflammatory cytokines affecting the brain.5 In particular, then, microglia and astrocytes’ interaction with the central nervous system’s (CNSs) immune system provides a more comprehensive explanation, and possible treatment for depression.5

While it is still standard conventional practice in psychiatry to prescribe antidepressant medication, there are a host of other factors to consider when addressing this debilitating disease. Furthermore, alternatives that may be just as effective as antidepressants are worth exploring with an integrative medical practitioner. Davidson and colleagues in the multicentre Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group compared the safety and efficacy of daily doses of 900–1500 mg hypericum with 50–100 mg of the antidepressant sertraline, or placebo. The 8-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study enrolled 340 outpatients diagnosed with major depression (DSM-IV criteria). In this study St Johns wort extract was just as effective as Sertraline with fewer side-effects with an effectiveness of approximately 24% for St Johns wort and 32% for Sertraline compared to placebo.6

Exercise is also another treatment strategy that was found to be just as effective as the antidepressant medication Sertraline in patients with coronary artery disease with additional benefits in cardiovascular function.7 100 patients with coronary heart disease and elevated depressive symptoms were randomized to 4 months of aerobic exercise (3 times/week), sertraline (50–200 mg/day), or placebo for 16 weeks and were also monitored for cardiovascular biomarkers (heart rate variability, endothelial function, baroreflex sensitivity, inflammation, and platelet function.7 All groups showed improvement on Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores with exercise and sertraline being equally effective at reducing depressive symptoms and exercise showing greater improvements in heart rate variability compared with sertraline.7

In light of the new holistic paradigm of neuroplasticity in depression, it is worth considering the risks, safety, and true benefits of antidepressant medication for patients and applying a therapeutic order to its treatment that addresses more than just the neurotransmitter symptom imbalances. In this new scientific paradigm, a holistic approach that addresses the causes of depression and the factors involved in its pathogenesis, such as, inflammation, the gut-brain connection, the microbiome, viruses, bacteria and chronic disease factors may provide a more effective and less dangerous approach to this harrowing disease.

References: 1. Goldberg et al. 2014. Revisiting the Monoamine Hypothesis of Depression: A New Perspective. Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry. 6: 1–8. 2. doi: 10.4137/PMC.S11375. 3. 4. Jennifer, C. D. (2010, Jan 06). Effectiveness of antidepressants varies widely. Wall Street Journal Retrieved from 3. 4. Brites, C, Fernandes, A. 2015. Neuroinflammation and Depression: Microglial activation, extracellular microvesicles, and microRNA dysregulation. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 9:476. Doi:10.33891/fncal.2015.0046. 5. Jo, WK, Zhang, Y, Emrich, HM, Dietrich, D. 2015. Glia in the cytokine-mediated onset of depression: Fine tuning the immune response. Frontiers in neuroscience:9:268. 10.3389/fncel.2015.00268 6. Shelton, RC, Keller, MD, Gelenberg, A., et. al. 2002. Effectiveness of St John’s wort on major depression: A Randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 287: 1807–14. 7. Blumenthal, et. Al. Exercise and pharmacological treatment of depression symptoms in patients with coronary heart disease. 2012. J Am Coll Cardiol. 60: 1053–63. 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.04.040

Dr. Artemis Morris will be co-presenting with Dr. Michael Lovich to health care practitioners on the neuroinflammation theory and depression in Farmington, CT on Sunday, October 14 8:30 am - 12 pm.

Dr. Artemis Morris is a Naturopathic Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist, professor of nutrition, researcher, author, and public speaker. Artemis is the academic director of the Integrative Health and Healing Program at The Graduate Institute ( and professor of nutrition at The Human Nutrition Institute at University of Bridgeport, where she also taught nutrition for the Naturopathic Medical School. She completed her Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters in Acupuncture at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Artemis is the medical director and founder of Artemis Wellness Center, LLC an integrative wellness center that focuses on women’s health and wellness. Artemis has served as the director of the natural health center at Masonic Healthcare Center in Wallingford, the largest geriatric healthcare center in CT where she did research on acupuncture and pain management. Dr. Artemis has been researching the Mediterranean Diet and plants of Crete since 2005 and lectures at medical conferences on The Mediterranean diet and other natural health topics. Dr. Artemis Morris co-authored the book, The Anti-Inflammation Diet for Dummies, with Molly Rossiter. Her practice philosophy is inspired by the quote from Paracelsus that states, "The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must start from nature with an open mind." &

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Whom Do You Love? Navigating the Rough Seas of “Correct” Language

Enjoying Grammar

Earlier in the Writing and Oral Traditions Program, we participated in a weekend session involving the importance of play in the classroom. This latest weekend’s editing session got me thinking: Can grammar be enjoyable? Even that very question is enough to make an average teacher recoil.

Lucky for you, however, I am not one of those average teachers. In fact, lucky reader, I give you permission to call me Ishmael, for I am about to chase the question of fun and play through the rough seas of “correct” language.

Since what you are reading is a work of informal commentary, I have already demonstrated one of my highest priorities: Write as correctly as your task demands.

If you are writing a song, for example, and that song is entitled, “Who Do You Love?” do not change “who” to “whom” for the sake of correctness. Chances are the audience will not appreciate. If, however, you are writing a formal letter and you begin with, “To Who It May Concern,” you might want to revisit your pronoun usage for that heading.

But are the lines between formal and informal always as clear? Let’s imagine Bo Diddley wrote a song about when to use standard English, because a high school English class asked him to come and play his famous song, and he decided to do them one better? The song might come out something like this:

Whom Do You Love? (Bo knows Grammar)

I wrote 47 shades of modifiers
Got a question mark for a necktie
Brand new construction on the verbal side
Made out of Warriner's guides

Got a euphemism sittin right on top
Minced outa cooing doves
Come on now - I’m gonna use the imperative,
Tell me, whom do you love?
Whom do you love? Whom do you love?

Indefinite "she" took me by the hand
Said I’m a vague pronoun reference, don't you understand
Whom do you love? Whom do you love?

I answer my phone I say, “This is he.”
I use a linking verb cause that's the way I “be.”
Whom do you love? Whom do you love?

The night was black, the voice was blue
Around a corner mixed metaphors flew
"Onomatopoeia!" somebody screamed
You should a heard just a what I seen
Whom do you love? Whom do you love? Whom do you love?

Yeah when I use “who” it's in the Nominative Case
Never ever in a prepositional phrase
Whom do you love? Whom do you love?

Compound verbs, Complex Mind
Grammar instruction never been this fine...

Whom do you love?

Hooking Them

Okay, so that was a bit of showing off, but my point is that fostering awareness of the rules of grammar combined with a sense of story and fun may be the way to hook students. If they are involved in creating something – a story, a scenario, a game – then they will invest themselves in the quality of their final product, and they will learn the skills by applying them in a less restrictive process.

Here are some options:

Students make a grammar game of their choice, with a start, an end, and a list of required areas such as “Pronoun Agreement” or “Verb Agreement”, or “Frequently Misused Words.” The fun is in the design of the game.

Students re-type one paragraph from a novel or short story, having secretly changed three punctuation marks, and then pass to next group. The other groups have to spot their three changes.

Students listen to “Conjunction Junction”, and then write their own songs about, for example, prepositions, gerunds, you get it.

Students create a series of rejected love letters and the respective responses, based on grammatical mistakes.

Students create a series of skits with “unintended consequences” after characters use the wrong words to their disadvantage.

Students write a call-in talk show or a “Dear Abby” column whereby all the callers or writers suffer from grammar-related ailments.

Students write on a topic such as “Raising awareness about youth homelessness in our state,” but change their audience: A group of parents, a group of teachers, a group of friends, the governor. In doing so, they change their language considerations to fit each audience.

A Grammatical Vision

To close: Anything we want to accomplish, whether it is starting a garden, building a bookshelf, or making homemade jam, begins with a vision. That vision is not to master all the individual skills – those are the steps toward the vision. To make kids memorize the steps without giving them a purpose is what happens when we teach grammar in isolation.

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The Dance of Discovering Deep Self

Though everyone has a personality, its source is seldom a point that receives focused individual research. From what ground does personality arise, and how does it evolve? One school of thought proposes that the root of our personality lies in our genetic code, while another argues for personality is an evolutionary product of our ongoing experience. In either case, our personality is inextricably linked to defining the nature of self. What does this self consist of, and how and why does it emerge as an entity consciously recognizing its mirror image as being distinct from "otherness"? Developmental psychologist, Jenny Wade, offers a unique perspective in considering this question. Her theory, based on the holonomic model of Bohmian reality, posits that we evolve through several distinct stages of consciousness. More specifically, through the dynamics of becoming aware of our development, we are able to consciously evolve toward an authentic, self-actualized and realized state of being.

In our search for understanding self, David Bohm's notion of reality is useful, if not, insightful. According to Bohm, the forms and patterns of reality are a result of the constant flux of a creative, dynamic and emergent undivided wholeness. These forms and patterns arise from the flow and change processes that are responsible for the transformation of being to becoming in what he called the holomovement. This phenomenon consists of two aspects: the explicate order (that which can be seen) and the implicate order (that which cannot be seen). The objects of the explicate order are in essence the unfolded projections of a much deeper, higher dimensional and fundamental enfolded implicate order. Novel structures spontaneously emerge form the holomovement, which itself provides an inexhaustible source of creativity.

Bohm's model provides us with processes for understanding the unfolding of one's own personality. It enables us to determine how the "I" emerges, transforms and may potentially transcend through conscious evolution of self. Just as Bohm’s notion of the implicate order of reality unfolds into the explicate forms we observe in our everyday life, the personal evolution of self appears to follow a process of unfolding other potential selves from some ground state of being. Therefore, these potential selves are always present in some latent form waiting to unfold and manifest in expressed form.

Webster's dictionary defines personality as: "the quality or state of being a person...the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional tendencies". Thus, the act of reflecting on one's personality provides a window for the purpose of observing and knowing one's authentic self, as well as for noting its emergence. For centuries those interested in exploring inner space have developed personality surveys and tests to assess the unique patterns of behavioral and emotional tendencies that unfold during the natural growth and development of the individual. All of these assessment protocols agree on at least one concept— there exist distinguishable personality types. While one's basic patterns appear to resist change, it is clear that movement within a fundamental framework can and does occur throughout one's lifetime. Moreover, individuals can consciously evolve different aspects of self in the self-actualizing process known as becoming. For example, this is most easily seen in the various experiences and processes that together are described as engaging in a creative endeavor.

As we actively participate in the act of creatively expressing ourselves we transcend our normal state of conscious awareness and enter a transpersonal realm beyond space and time— the creative source of the universe. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to this state of being as “flow”. It is here where the egoic self melds with otherness to create a sense of oneness with reality—wholeness. Moreover, it is in this state that the creative self (e.g. artist, musician, scientist, athlete, and writer) encounters new images and insights that transfigure the familiar forms and patterns into new and unique frameworks of creative expression. In this regard the processes of creative expression are therapeutic, or at least they function in ways that actively and dramatically change and evolve personality characteristics. That these traits may be categorized within personality types, and that their patterns of self are predictable and definable, is apparent. That there are useful measurements of an individual's personality characteristics is obvious. That there are means for discovering the origins of one's own personality is promising. And, that the act of creating meaning is a means to consciously transforming and transcending one's own manifest self is nothing less than extraordinary.

Carl Jung’s psychotherapeutic experience led him to posit that there are conscious and unconscious aspects to the self. Moreover, the self construct arises, in part, from innate predispositions that evolve and unfold in time to develop into one’s personality. In analyzing the various personality patterns amongst his patients, Jung noted that they appear to exist as preferences that serve to bridge the conscious and unconscious realms of self. Moreover, conscious use of these preferences is purposeful and necessary in that it deals with the generation and expenditure of psychic energy. However, pathologies result when these predisposed preferences are either not utilized or suppressed. Carl Jung’s personality typology came to be based on two distinct dichotomous personality types: Introversion and Extroversion and two sets of functions: Thinking/Feeling and Sensing/Intuition. All functions are present in one’s psyche but three of them usually operate consciously, while the fourth, which operates unconsciously, compensates for the other three.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality questionnaires today. It was originally developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers in an attempt to provide women, who were entering the industrial workforce during World War II, with a way to identify which type of careers would best suit their unique abilities and personal characteristics. Their initial questionnaire evolved into its current iteration. They based their questions on Jung’s typological theories of personality. They added Perceiving/Judging to Jung’s opposing pairs of preferences (i.e. Extrovert/Introvert, Sensing/Intuitive, and Thinking/Feeling) to define eight different ways of dealing with information, which in turn resulted in sixteen Psychological Types.

While Jung’s typology and Myers and Briggs’ MBTI provide valid and reliable insight into the nature of one’s personality, they were both preceded by a more ancient and psychospiritual personality instrument— the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a personality instrument whose ancient cultural roots are found in Sufi tradition, and whose spiritual foundations emerge from notions common in both Kabbalistic and Christian religious beliefs. The word Enneagram stems from the Greek “ennnea,” meaning “nine” and “grammos” meaning “points.” It is an ancient model, intrinsic to Sufi mysticism, where it is applied to mapping cosmological processes and the unfolding of human consciousness. The Enneagram, as it is practiced today, describes nine different personality types and their interrelationships. Understanding one’s Enneagram gives the individual insight into personality through a range of human potentials in a model of consciousness that addresses the relationship between personality and other levels of human capability.

It is interesting to note that while both the MBTI and the Enneagram assess personality types, they measure different aspects of the psyche. The MBTI assesses the conscious, cognitive aspects of the psyche, whereas the Enneagram reveals aspects of the personality that emerge from the unconscious, and motivating forces underlying the psyche. Recent analyses have determined that while both typologies vary in their approach to understanding the psyche, the personality types of one are correlated with those of the other. Consequently, it is becoming more apparent that utilizing the insights revealed from both typologies provides a more complete context within which to understand the forces underlying motivation and behavior.

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