Friday, September 28, 2007


Over the past few weeks I've had multiple occasions to interact with non-Americans here in Britain and almost always the topic comes up about America's doings in the world. I hear things like:

"Why does America do XYZ..."

"Why do you Americans do XYZ..."

"You Americans always do XYZ..."

For the most part I smile and endure the rant and then proceed to do a little education, take advantage of the chance to make a couple of points:

1. America is made up of individual persons, each possessing an individual point of view.

2. Not every American agrees with the decisions made by the government.

3. When our leaders mess up, we let 'em know it. An election often results in the voice of the people being heard.

4. Despite my personal feelings about current US policy, both domestic and international, I love the place with all my heart. It is home.

Just as all Brits don't enjoy Guiness and mushy peas, not all Americans enjoy war and politics. Take a little time to get to know us as individuals and you might be surprised at what you find.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Encouraging Our Youth

Every once and awhile my vocation allows me to encounter what I feel is a young person with amazing potential. such is the case with Cassandra. I met her family through Boy Scouts which her brother attends and soon found myself tutoring her in photography. She brought a selection of her arts and crafts and I immediately was captured by her Sculpy figures (Sculpy is like modeling clay but you can bake it in the over to cure it and make the sculpture permenant).

Currently we are collaborating on a series of figures (she sculpting and I photographing) and I am constantly amazed at what emerges from the tissue-filled shoe boxes I get from week-to-week. Snakes, hedgehogs, fairies and as this image shows... purple dragons.