God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of. — Bruce Springsteen, Brilliant Disguise

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Her name was Hope and that was just what I needed her to be.

As I drew back the faded chintz curtain to the back room of Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, I expected to see a crystal ball, a black cat, and Hope sitting on a throne, donning a dark purple gothic robe covered with stars and moons. Instead, she was wearing a dowdy, flower print dress — the kind my grandma used to call a housedress. She looked up and saw me, slipping her Styrofoam plate of Chinese food under the plasticized cardboard table and putting away her…


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Idealistically, one would imagine that from a thoroughly considered, vigorously researched and empirically supported foundation there would spring a well-developed theory which, in turn, would spawn a comprehensive system of practical application. However, in practice, the real-world concerns often take precedence over the theoretical and themselves give rise to solutions and innovations that are later incorporated into a supporting philosophy. According to Beder, with regard to adult education, “Philosophy for the most part has developed from purpose, because adult education has been more affected by the social function it serves than by the thought systems associated with it” (Merriam &…


My Husband’s Story of the Special Guest on our Wedding Day

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We had just arrived in Italy for our wedding. We had finally managed to plow through all of the complicated paperwork needed to get married in a foreign country, so now just wanted to relax and enjoy our time there. We imagined a week of unequaled bliss.

I had been dreaming a lot about dogs lately. The dreams were jumbled, so there wasn’t much clarity to them. However, the lyrics to a children’s song would remain on my mind afterwards. “There was a farmer, who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o. B-I-N-G-O B-I-N-G-O B-I-N-G-O And Bingo was his…


8 Things the Researchers Tell Us and 4 Things They Left Out

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While managers typically supervise people in order to reach the goals of their department, administrators tend to focus on the broader operations of the organization. Administrators have a role in setting the policy and plans that the managers ensure are carried out. Much has been written about what constitutes a “good” versus a “bad” manager. But what makes an effective administrator?

Researchers Whetten and Cameron (1985) clearly identified eight fundamental characteristics typical of “effective” administrators.

1) Place Equal Emphasis on Process and Outcomes

An emphasis on process and outcome refers to a recognition of and an appreciation for the manner…


You’ll know it when you feel it.

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Artists employ the techniques of using of negative space to illustrate that often the sharpest definition of something arises from consideration of what it is not. Like the space in between the shadows, leadership is an enigmatic concept that eludes precise definition but nonetheless carries significant impact on its surroundings. Often, attempts to precisely define it yield flat depictions which fail to capture its true essence. Likewise, and understanding of what quality leadership is not can hone the definition of what it is.

Throughout history, individuals have attempted to capture the formula for what constitutes a great leader. Niccolo Machiavelli…


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The Story
Just after our family moved to Europe, our sweet cat Muffy passed away. We were all devastated, especially her sister Squeakers. That’s how we found ourselves at a local home for wayward animals, adopting a kitten. “To keep Squeakers company,” we said, fooling no one.

We arrived with my multi-lingual mother-in-law Denise in tow to help interpret, and we met four adorable, orphaned kittens clearly meant for us. Unable to pick just one, we brought them all home, to Squeaker’s abject horror. …


A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. — Bob Dylan

Women’s Peace Encampment — Romulus, NY 1983

In the summer of 1983 I had just finished my junior year of high school. Life was good. I would be a senior next year. I was confident about my college applications. I had my driver’s license and I had just met some new friends at a brief summer camp I attended. These friends lived several towns over in the small upstate New York town of Romulus. Together, Sarah, Tom, Rob and I planned long lazy weekends on Seneca Lake.

The summer of 1983 was an uncharacteristically turbulent one for the town of Romulus. Home to the Seneca Army Depot…

Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff)

Writer and university professor researching media psych, generational studies, human and animal rights, and the intersection of art and psychology

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