Why adversity demands tough questions

not teaching,still THINKING … Questions are the mainstay of journalists. Mary Louise Kelly, a co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” explains that point well in a recent opinion piece published in The New York Times under the headline: Pompeo Called Me a ‘Liar.’ That’s Not What Bothers Me. Kelly states: Ask journalists why they do […]

Not a journalist? You still have power

not teaching,still THINKING … Curiosity is that powerful trait that drives journalists. It can drive you — the audience — too. Here’s how. Each day, set aside time to think about what you are curious about and make a list. As the days go by, review the list. Do you spot any trends? Follow your […]

Let cool heads prevail under pressure

not teaching,still THINKING … Overheard conversations can offer real lessons in getting along with others. Or not. Here’s something you can try. When you are standing in line at a retail service desk, pay attention to conversations you can hear around you. Listen to a customer expressing a complaint or asking to return an item. […]

Trust what you publish, what you read

not teaching, still THINKING … Skeptical about anything these days? It’s not enough for stories to be complete and clear. They also must be free of faults and shortcomings. The best way to look for these — whether you are a journalist or a reader — is to apply methodical scrutiny to a story by […]

It’s true — there’s only one ‘only’

not teaching, still THINKING … If you listen carefully to what people say, you’re likely to hear this phrase: “one of the only …” It doesn’t make sense. Something can be “one” of a specific number, such as one of three, or it can be the “only” one, meaning just that. Words take up valuable […]

Encore: Practice patience & politeness

This post originally was published March 18, 2010. It’s about patience, but don’t miss the underlying message. Patience. It’s something we tend not to have a lot of these days, such as when we must wait a few minutes to make a bag of microwave popcorn or 45 seconds to reheat a cup of coffee. […]