A Review: Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker


I was excited to read Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People from Liars, Criers and Other Slackers by Todd Whitaker  (@toddwhitkaer) because I was curious about my role in the “monkey business” and how this was impacting me and everyone I serve.

Whitaker identifies monkeys as challenges, obligations,and problems that pop up in our jobs on a daily basis (p.3), but most importantly he identifies our role in shifting those monkeys back to where they belong: quickly, efficiently and without guilt.

I admit it. I feed the monkeys. In all aspects of my life I feed the monkeys. Initially I think some level of feeding the monkey is necessary but to continue to feed the monkeys does not serve anyone well.


Do you feed the monkeys?

  • Have you ever taken on additional responsibilities because you viewed handling all conflicts and crises to be part of your leadership role?
  • Have you ever taken on additional responsibilities because it is faster to do it on your own?
  • Have you ever enabled your good colleagues to take on additional responsibilities because you know they are capable of shouldering many monkeys?

If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you have been unable/unwilling to shift the monkey back to its rightful owner. You feed the monkeys.Todd Whitaker’s book very simply gives those in positions of leadership key tips on how to shift the monkeys, to grow as a leader and protect our fellow colleagues with whom me serve.

Todd’s message is based on three key principles:

  • Treat everyone well.
  • Make decisions based on your best people
  • Protect your good people first.

(Whitaker, Todd. Shifting the Monkey. 28)

Monkeys come in many shapes and sizes. It is natural for many leaders, especially me, to make the mistake of taking on monkeys, thinking that they are helping others. Placing the monkey back where it belongs does not make one a weak leader, nor does it make them unaccountable. In fact, strong leadership effectively and efficiently shifts the monkey back it where belongs and allows leaders to move forward with bigger goals while protecting and supporting colleagues who make every attempt to support the goals of the organization. Most importantly, by recognizing the monkeys and putting them squarely back where they belong, you are modeling accountability. As someone whose natural tendency is to feed the monkeys, this is much easier said than done!  BUT it is vital to an organization that our best employees, as well as ourselves, are protected from taking on these monkeys!

I highly recommend Shifting the Monkey for anyone. Monkeys can creep up on us at anytime, in any aspect of our lives. The people who like to shift the monkeys onto us won’t change so it is up to us to take control and shift the monkeys back where they belong so that we can be the best leaders and people we can be. I am learning nobody benefits from us taking on someone else’s monkey. True leadership means taking control of the monkeys.


Click here for my visible learning on Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker.



If I Could Design a School….


If I could design a school today I would want a school that provided rooms that allowed students to learn in a manner that best suited their physical needs.  I would want the physical rooms to be awash in as much natural sunlight as possible and opportunities to take the learning outdoors as often as possible. Seating situations would maximize collaborative learning opportunities. I would also like to see classrooms that provide physical supports for promoting healthy, engaged students.For example, I would like to see traditional desks swapped with standing desks that adjust to both a seated and standing position. As an adult, how often do you enjoy sitting all day long? 

A classroom in my ideal school is clearly student centred with the teacher having many opportunities to be a co-learner and this would be reflected in the fact that the teacher’s desk would not be front and centre with all student desks aligned and facing the teacher for his/her delivery of information.

All rooms in the school would support technology enabled learning. A variety of devices would be available for all students to access, record, share and demonstrate their learning. When adults attend conferences they are often plugged into more than one device. How can we expect one device to meet the needs of all our learning opportunities?



These multiple devices would be readily available within each and every classroom. Technology would be embedded throughout the day and seamlessly integrated into the most effective teaching and learning practices. Technology will be the expectation and not an event. Students would not make their way to computer labs and libraries for regulated tech use.

From the classroom, to the learning commons, to the lunchroom, students and staff would have access to WIFI that would support the use of multiple devices. Bandwidth would not be an issue. There would be no such thing as a “Dead Zone”.  Tech enabled learning would no longer be defined by the traditional classroom walls. It will happen anywhere, anytime. We know that the Internet has changed the way we learn. We are no longer dependent upon educators to provide the facts. Nor are we dependent on framing our learning between schools hours and class periods. Learning happens anywhere, across a variety of platforms and throughout the day and evening.  Students need access to a variety of tools and strong bandwidth to ensure the learning is uninterrupted. IT would have the resources to support this school and work in conjunction to support what is best for the learners.

In an ideal school there would be continual opportunities for collaboration with fellow learners both within the walls of the school and within the virtual classroom. All learners would be be provided with time to co-learn. Most importantly time would be provided for reflections because that vital step in the learning process is often the most overlooked.

My school would not only take care of the physical and technical needs of my students, but I would also provide students with the mental health supports that they need to feel safe and secure. Counsellors, medical professionals and spaces designed to support mental health would be key to taking care of the entire student-not just the education part.

The joy in learning, whether it be in the gym as part of team, in the student lounge as part of a club or in a workshop as part of an extra-curricular learning workshop, would be front and centre. There would space, time and money for all members of the school community to work together, learn together and showcase the learning. My school would be connected to its school community. Partnerships and relationships would be empowered with the transparency of the school and the learning and joy occurring there.

The physical structure aside, I would like a school community that supports the learning of ALL its learners. I would like ALL learners to exhibit growth mindset, collaboration, and technology enabled learning skills. I envision a school community that is connected and supportive and working together to enhance the learning occurring in the building while connecting with other learners from across the globe to enhance the learning and collaborative expereince. No matter how well designed it is, and how much WIFI is in place, learners without a growth mindset and a passion to do what is best for learning (for themselves and others) will never benefit from the most well-designed school. The physical space supports our learners but ultimately it is the learners, ALL the learners, that will have the most profound impact on each other and the learning in the building.

Please check out Paul McGuire’s post as part of the #InnovatorsMindset Blog Hop!

Please check out Leigh Cassell’s post as part of the #InnovatorsMindset Blog Hop!

Please check out Donna Fry’s post as part of the #InnovatorsMindset Blog Hop!


Using Social Media for Student Learning

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This blog post has been in my head for a while, but it is one that is worth writing down (finally) because of the impact it can have on student learning. If you are an educator who is hesitant about utilizing social media in the classroom I hope that my recent experience with Holy Angels School (@HAS) will change your mind.

Holy Angles School tweeted about their upcoming #familyliteracyday #HASReads activities.


My nephews attend #HAS and I was excited to know that I could follow their learning on Family Literacy Day. I would not be able to attend the literacy activities, but I could still be involved in their learning.


Thanx to the trusting principal, Kim Figliomeni (@kfilane), all educators at HAS have access to the school twitter account and so I was able to learn that Liam really enjoyed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (@Gary_Paulsen123). 


Being an avid reader, I was excited to discuss Liam’s ideas about the book. To start the conversation, I asked Liam what he did for Family Literacy Day and he said “nothing, we played hockey”. I asked his brother what he read for that day, and he replied “nothing, I just drew.” If my nephew’s school and their teachers had not taken the time to share their learning via Twitter, our conversation about reading might have ended there, but the teachers did share and I was able to dig a little deeper. Soon Liam was telling me, in detail, all about the book and why he liked it so much. Not only did Liam provide all the specific details about the book, he also made connections to his family’s time at their camp. Not to be outdone, Blake also described in detail the book he liked and had drawn a picture for.

It was through the power of social media that I was able to have engaging conversations with my nephews who initially had “not done anything” for family literacy day!

As my nephews get older, it seems that unless the conversation is about hockey or video games (not my strongest points!) we have fewer things that we can relate to. As a reader, and as an aunt, I greatly appreciated the ability to have some insight into Liam and Blake’s learning and reading interests.

If you are not using social media to connect your school or classroom community, please reconsider. The connected opportunities between your students and their families empower everyone to take an active, engaged role in the learning, curiosity and wonder that is occurring in your classroom/school. Imagine how the conversations can support the learning if our parents/guardians know what their son/daughter is doing throughout the day.  With all the tools available to connect our students and empower our entire school communities can we still keep all the awesome experiences behind our walls?

Below are a few awesome Superior-Greenstone District School Board (@SGDSBoard) educators who model connected learning.









What Does Innovation Mean to Me?

This post is in response to the question posed for The Innovator’s Mindset book study that is occurring this month. It is yet another step in my learning as this blog post is part of a “blog hop” and I would like to thank Tina Zita for opening me up to this opportunity!

What Does Innovation Mean to Me?

Being innovative means granting oneself permission.

Give yourself permission to take risks. Give yourself permission to go beyond your comfort zone and challenge your actions but most importantly challenge they way that you always do things. This may cause some discomfort and may lead to some missteps but remember learning is messy! Think back to the events in your life where you took away the greatest lessons. I would bet there was an element of risk involved!

Give yourself permission to fail. Yes, I said fail. Taking risks is required for innovation, but like in life there are no guarantees. For many educators who are accountable tn so many ways, not being successful with all learning opportunities would seem foolhardy if not irresponsible! I would suggest that trying something new alongside your tried and true best practices will yield much more learning than you have ever experienced.Innovative educators try new things without a guaranteed outcome. The risks that they take are worth the potential powerful learning outcomes of their students.

Give yourself permission to go for it! There will never be a better time than right now. Your ducks will never be in a row. The reports and meetings will never go away and your personal obligations will never go away. Waiting for a better time to delve in, to learn how to incorporate technology into your classroom, or learning how shift the learning culture from that of a teacher centred classroom to a student centred classroom will never happen. There will never be a better time than right now to try innovative ideas. And if we are really being truthful with ourselves is it really fair to the learners we have right now to wait any longer?

Give yourself permission to take time to reflect. It is only in reflecting on our past that we can move forward. With the hectic schedules that we have, taking time to just stop and reflect seems to be something that is more often than not viewed as a luxury rather than as a part of our learning.  Upon reflection we can direct our energies and our reflections can be catalysts for amazing opportunities!

Give yourself permission to release yourself from the expectation that you need to know it all, for everyone, all of the time. Today’s immediate access to information releases educators from that responsibility. Now we are free to look at the bigger ideas and innovate to connect to deeper learning. Give yourself permission to admit that although you are an educator you don’t have all the answers all of the time! Connect with other educators who are doing innovative things in their practice. Connect with experts and bring their skills into your classroom. Become the learner alongside the other learners and model the curiosity that will lead to innovation we want our students to demonstrate.

Being innovative is an unique experience for all involved but it cannot occur without having the freedom to try new things, to practice resiliency in the face of challenges and to model curiosity and reflection. Give yourself the permission to be the learner you want to see in your students!



Hop on over to one of these great posts to check out their ideas of “What does innovation mean to me?”

2/2/2016 14:39:52Amit Mehrotrahttp://mramitmehrotra.blogspot.ca/

2/2/2016 15:43:38Peterhttps://mrcshareseaseblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/innovation-less-talk-more-action/

2/2/2016 16:11:42Stacey Wallwinhttps://swallwin.wordpress.com/

2/2/2016 18:14:12Jennifer Casa-Toddhttp://jcasatodd.com/?p=1078

2/2/2016 18:18:21Paul McGuirehttps://paulmcguire1.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/what-innovation-is-and-isnt-george-couros/

2/2/2016 19:50:42Tina Zitahttps://misszita.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/what-does-innovation-mean-to-me/

2/2/2016 19:53:13Donna Miller Fryhttp://blog.donnamillerfry.com/2016/02/02/what-does-innovation-mean-to-me-bloghop-for-innovatorsmindset/

2/2/2016 19:58:51Patrick Miller


A Review: The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros


I was excited to pick up The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros (@gcouros) for two reasons. 1) As an educator I have heard the use of the word #innovation more and more and as a Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact I feel it is my job to support innovation in our classrooms. 2) I also wanted to read the book because I have had the opportunity to meet and listen to George on several occasions and his message  always resonated with me.

Full disclosure. The idea of having an “Innovator’s Mindset” and being “innovative” scared me. I have the opportunity to work with some wickedly smart, wildly creative and truly innovative people and I can admit that I am none of those.  As someone who moves from one post-it note to do list to the other being innovative seemed like something I could never achieve.  I don’t have the creativity or personal space to be innovative so how I could I model it? I could only help and support others in their innovative ideas. Then I read this book and it spoke to the heart of who I am as a person and as an educator and so maybe, just maybe, I can be innovative in my own way.

It turns out my definition of being innovative had been wrong. My ah-ha moment:

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“Having empathy for those we serve” (Couros 38)…..what a powerful way to frame the thinking of having an innovator’s mindset. By meeting the unique needs of all our learners we are, each in our own way, being innovative. My mindset immediately flipped.

Being innovative is much more than using the latest technology to create learning opportunities that have never been created before. It is about empowering our learners, meeting their unique needs, accessing the tools available to us and developing relationships. It is about modeling the learning we want to see.  By getting to really know our learners, we get to know ourselves as educators. To be truly innovative is to truly know our learners and in the end it is all about the learner.

Copy of Innovators2

George’s strengths as an author are much the same as his keynote ability: he can relate to people. He has a special talent for connecting with his audience on both a personal and professional level. Whether he is sharing stories of his family, his classroom and leadership experience or the innovative stories of his colleagues the result is the same; he connects to his audience and ignites within them the spark to empower themselves and others.

If you are in a position of leadership, if you are in a position to change the culture of your organization or you are an educator who simply wants to provide the best learning opportunities for your students, I highly recommend this book.

Click here for my learning while reading the The Innovator’s Mindset.


If you wish to be a part of The Innovator’s Mindset book study, educators from across the globe will be participating in a four week long discussion regarding innovation in education.

To join  the book study click here. Hope to “see” you there!



Twitter as a Tool for Empowering the School Community


Only 20-30% of our communities are made up of households with students in our buildings. Those percentages reflect the huge void of people in the community who have any knowledge of what goes on in your school building. Telling the story of the wonderful things happening in schools to the kids who see it all the time  is simply not enough. (Sinanis and Sanfelippo 7)


Who is telling the story of your school?

In their book, The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Tony Sinanis (@Tony Sinanis) and Joseph Sanfelippo (@Joesanfelippofc) share their strategies for building a positive school brand using social media. They view social media as a tool for shifting the culture of a school, connecting with the school community and empowering both educator and student voice. (see my blog post review here) Today I had the opportunity to be part of a powerful shift in leadership at my former school and the school I work out of:Lake Superior High School (@LakeSuperiorHS).


This release of control over the school Twitter account demonstrates a huge shift in the thinking that is occurring at this school. The administrator, Heidi patterson (@hepatter) has taken a rare leap in empowering all staff with access to the school’s Twitter account. Not only is this step practical as it eliminates the principal from the responsibility of capturing all the learning, successes and joy that occur in a school, it ensures that the whole voice of #LSHS is captured. Now that staff have access to the account, they can share their stories and provide a platform for student voice while helping to strengthen our communication with the school community. As of today, the educators at #LSHS will rely less on “hope” that their stories get shared!

The work that is done in classrooms, hallways, gyms and auditoriums is often only shared with a select few. We hope for our kids to go home and tell the story of their school. We hope our families run into our teachers outside of school to have conversations about what happens in our schools. We hope a lot and hope is good, but the power of storytelling can’t be left to hope. We need to promote the narrative that drives the great stories of our kids.(Sinanis and Sanfelippo 26)

Awesome things are going on in our classrooms, in our clubs and on our teams every day. Does your school community know about these wonderful events? We trust educators in our classrooms every day. What message are we sending by not trusting them to share in the communication opportunities via school social media?


Follow @LakeSuperiorHS and learn from all its voices!



A Review: The Six Secrets of Change


I finished reading The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive by Michael Fullan (@MichaelFullan1) when I attended the Quest conference in November. An added bonus? While there I was also fortunate to have Mr. Fullan sign my book!



It has taken some time to reflect upon what I wanted to say about this book, but it was a timely read as much has been said lately about the importance of culture in the workplace, and that was essentially what this book was trying to emphasize: to impart large-scale, effective reform  you must build an effective, culture that engages the majority of the organization.

The six secrets are “synergistic”, (p.10) meaning the secrets are not to be focused on in isolation but as part of the larger theory of action for big system change. The six secrets are meant to work in harmony, much like the many individuals who balance each others strengths and weaknesses and collaborate in a thriving organization.

As a whole, the six secrets are not by themselves revolutionary, in fact they are based on seemingly common sense. The fact that the six secrets need to even be identified perhaps provides the greatest insight into the issue of [education] system change as a whole. Have we stumbled so far as to forget these basic values that build and support a culture that can adhere to its core values, create the best conditions for success for its employees yet be flexible enough to meet increasing demands for change?

There is nothing complex about the Six Secrets of Change. They are as follows:

1.Love your Employees

It is simply not enough to be caring and thoughtful towards your employees (although that cannot be stressed enough), a forward thinking organization also allows its employees to thrive and take creative risks that will positively challenge the thinking and process of the system in an effort to improve the system as a whole without fear of professional consequences.

2.Connect Peers with Purpose

Systems that value the power of the group know the power behind collaboration and connectedness and support and encourage this thinking among its members. By connecting the group the intent will shift from selfish, single-mindedness to a positive, larger-scale purpose. As educators do we not have an obligation to not only improve from within but to assist those outside of our organization to thrive as well so that in the end we all “thrive and survive”?

3.Capacity Building Prevails

I really liked Fullan’s definition of capacity because he went beyond the acquisition of skills, which is what I had normally defined capacity building as. He defines someone with capacity as also having the ability to attract and use resources wisely and one who invests time and energy into getting things done collectively and continuously (57). Most powerfully Fullan suggests that organizations look for “system talented” (71) people who can leverage the power, motivation and knowledge of the group. Imagine the impact that this definition can have  on the system overall if we leverage all the strengths of the group rather than the strengths of the few?

4.Learning is the Work

If an organization can provide conditions in which the 6 Secrets exist, then a culture of learning that is steeped in connectedness and reflection will allow the system as a whole to move forward.

5.Transparency Rules

Transparency goes beyond simply sharing the results of assessments. Thriving systems share the effective practice behind the results. By making a connection to the practices that informed the results and by having a moral responsibility to move all parts of the system forward (classroom, school, Board, province, global education) we all benefit as learners and as a culture.

6.Systems Learn

Systems must demonstrate and model a growth mindset. By providing leadership opportunities for its members, the collective capacity to “get it right” increases. Creating leadership that is expected to know it all will most definitely ensure that they do not and the culture and organization will be impacted.

As Fullan clearly states throughout, the Six Secrets of Change is not a foolproof plan.  As you read through the Six Secrets of Change it becomes clear that Fullan is not providing the reader with a directive for successful planning, but for a recipe for creating, or improving a culture so that change occurs organically. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to be a part of the bigger discussion on change leadership and wants to have a positive impact on the culture of the system from within.


Click here to view the Storify collection of my tweets.

Review:Authentic Learning in the Digital Age


Authentic Learning in the Digital Age. Don’t let the title fool you!  This book provides insight and strategies that go far beyond simply using technology in the classroom. This great resource provides multiple strategies for creating a culture of inquiry and student centred learning at the system, school or classroom level.


Authentic Learning in the Digital Age is based on the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.  The SLA is founded on inquiry based learning for its students and guided in practice by 5 core values:

  • inquiry
  • research
  • collaboration
  • presentation
  • reflection


The values framework allows for individualized learning via tech integration but most importantly it is not the use of technology that drives the learning; it’s the students themselves.

More Than Just Laptops

In addition to the 5 core values, the staff, students and the school community develop and foster strong personal relationships that allows for students to learn about learning and to take the necessary risks in order to succeed. Access to technology does not minimize or invalidate the role of the teacher. In fact, it allows for strong relationships to develop as the personalized learning process occurs. These relationships do not happen by luck, but by a concerted effort by all stakeholders.

Student Centred Learning

If are curious as to how you can create a culture of learning in your school, this book provides fantastic guiding principles, alternative opportunities for creating inquiry based classrooms (rather than a whole school or district approach) and relevant student reflection. The student reflections speak to the key message of the book and the heart of SLA; the students. The students’ voices reflect  learners who thrive in various, authentic situations and who are active learners and community members who transfer their skills to their school, community and world at large. 

Truly Individualized Learning

This book supports the incredible work that my fellow Ontario Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contacts (TELTC)are modelling and encouraging throughout schools across Ontario. TELTCs are encouraging the shift from content memorization to empowering student learning with technology  so that students learn to ask their own questions, conduct their research, transfer their skills to the new learning situations and create something with the information they acquire.

With a leap of faith in themselves and their students, educators are able to move beyond the traditional role and guide students in applying their deeper learning and this is what the staff at SLA are embracing.

Ok, There is Some Tech Talk!

True to its title,the book does provides a digital connection throughout the book. These digital connections offer a variety of suggestions for integrating tech and how to best support the learner’s needs.  As we know, there is no perfect digital tool to support student learning and this book provides suggestions that meet the wide-range of technology educators have access to in their classrooms.


Although the book does support the use of technology in the classroom, after reading the book, any educator, regardless of where they are on the continuum of embedding tech in the classroom, will have learned sound pedagogical practice around student inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection. I recommend this book for educators who are considering or actively involved in the shift in student learning, regardless of your comfort level with technology in the classroom.

My record of learning via Storify.

For ongoing learning you can follow  SLA principal Chris Lehmann on twitter.

Know the Signs

For the small number of you who read my blog, you know that I keep this blog as a resource for all things I come across in for my learning. Sometimes I blog about something cool that I have learned to do with #GAFE or in the #vLE. I review books that I read so that I can have a record of what I have read and I make recommendations for others. I also blog about a not so secret passion for ship sightings. My blog is mostly geared to professional educators and the occasional #boatnerd, but it is mostly a collection of and record of and for me. If someone else can learn from my musings and resources than I am even more grateful for the opportunity.

I hesitated about posting this post because it is of a rather personal nature, but if one person reads it and possibly shares it with someone else, we all could save a life.

A year ago I developed a sudden pain in my foot that made walking impossible. Within a week the pain traveled to my calf and I suffered from  a painful, unrelenting cramp and swelling in my leg that made anything, including sleep, impossible.Like I am prone to do I didn’t let that stop me from finishing up the last of my summer tasks. But the pain never got better. It simply manifested itself into different symptoms. I did seek medical care. In fact, I sought medical assistance on many separate occasions and was diagnosed with plantar faciatis, a bug bite, asthma and when I failed the breathing test the machine was declared “faulty”. I was also told that I was “overworked”, “stressed” and “getting older”. Not only was I suffering physically and getting rapidly sicker with each passing week, I now had the additional burden of thinking that I was somehow mentally to blame for my health, that I was not as equipped as my fellow #TELTS who working as hard as me to deal work and life and the stress that that entails. I felt like I was failing my job, my body and myself.

I was a fairly active person with a stubborn personality. But I could no longer walk, let alone run. Stairs were my kryptonite. My thought process began to suffer and each day I lost a little more of myself.

This week is my one year anniversary on being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms. Although I am a little hesitant to post this post, I am happy to be healthy enough to even write it. Others are not so fortunate.There are good days and there are bad. But most importantly there are days, and I am very, very grateful for that!

If we can help one person who presents with the symptoms of a blood clot and/or pulmonary embolisms then opening myself up with this post is worth it and maybe we can save a life. Early detection and action is key.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm.  The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:

  • Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
  • Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) warm to touch

These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charlie horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.  The signs and symptoms of a PE include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus

Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER if you experience these PE symptoms.

Up to 600,000 people in the United States develop blood clots every year.  About 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from blood clots, which means that about 1 of 3 may die.

Contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away.

The above resources are from www.stoptheclot.org

To my family and friends-there are no words.

Please know the signs. You could save a life-including your own!


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It was a most timely read. As #BruceSpringsteen fans from all over the world celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” album, I finished reading Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin.

Bruce gives insight into the man, the musician and the legend. With interviews from family, friends and small reflections from the man himself, the reader is presented with the background that shaped the musician and the music he has written.

The pace of the book is off the mark as most of the focus is on Bruce’s early, formative years and little attention is given to Bruce’s most recent efforts. Time seems to fly by after Born to Run. Bruce fans may be disappointed by periods in the book that tend to gloss over the big Bruce or E Street events, but the book provides insight into Bruce’s early years and with his family and his adopted family;the E Street Band.

His complicated childhood most definitely had an impact on adult relationships and his music writing. Although the snippets of details provided are interesting for the fans, they are few ad far between, allowing Bruce to continue to keep the mystery that surrounds him and his music.

Does the reader learn anything new? Does Carlin provide any new insights into Bruce and his adventures with the E Street Band? Probably not. What the book does is reaffirm is Bruce’s obsession with music and dedication to his fans. A book I would recommend to only true Bruce Springsteen fans.

And now like all Bruce Springsteen fans, I await the announcement of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour……..

“At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe.” – Bruce Springsteen, Reason To Believe