Table of Contents

Wonder Moments

Teaching in the Realms of Gold

The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. –Carl Sandburg, 1916 [I read a reflection recently about the role of moments of wonder, joy, and even terror in classrooms, and it fitted so well with this Realms of Gold website that I … Continue reading

Eno’s Adventures in The Realms of Gold

The Spirit’s Body A “scientific” description of how spirit becomes flesh I wrote the story of Eno as if it were science fiction, but it is a fairly accurate scientific – as we commonly think of that word – description of how spirit – that’s a metaphor, too, for some kind of life force – … Continue reading

Natural Learning: The Role of Telepathy

In Your Bones I’ve been writing in a number of posts on this website about the Mess-Around Theory of how to learn.  That’s the name I made up for a theory I invented,  and I’m laying odds it will pretty much work for anything you want to do or get good at or know. Since … Continue reading

Doing Hard Things

No Hard School Subjects x(t) = a0     + a1 cos (wot + q1) + a2 cos (2wot + q2) + … + aN cos (Nwot + qN)     In my December 8, 2013, post  I said, You can do anything you really want to do. Here are three ideas from that post: No … Continue reading


Don’t waste your time taking notes.  Don’t let your school work interfere with your education.  – Mark Twain.     If you write down everything that happens, you may as well be a stenographer.  Stenographers are paid to do transcripts, not to understand what a lecture boils down to.  That’s what you’ll want to know, … Continue reading


Passing Grade, Least Effort If  you’ve decided you want a passing grade with the least effort – for whatever reason – you’ve come to the right place.  (If you’re taking a course that sets your mind on fire, you’ll do the things I’m suggesting  intuitively.)  Your guiding principle? Take charge. Game Plan for Boring Lectures … Continue reading

How to Be a Brilliant Student Without Even Trying

Escape from the Prison House I was talking recently with my friend and former colleague of thirty years Karl Staubach about his time in the Army during the Korean War. He had finished a year or so at the University of Michigan when he abruptly enlisted, even though he would have been deferred.  Why?  Well, … Continue reading

How to Take Classes, Part 1

Once you think about it, it will be obvious that school subjects are not English, history, chemistry, biology, and so forth. School subjects memorizing reading textbooks taking classes doing assignments taking tests handling stress   Right? Of course. When you go to school, you spend your time on those things. They make up the structure … Continue reading

Mastery Learning

Playing to Win — Updated from Get Your  A Out of College School is a wonderful place for an education.  Somebody ought to try it sometime. When we realize we are in charge of our own learning and always have been, it changes everything.  We choose how we learn, when we learn, and what.  It’s … Continue reading

It’s a Sucker’s Game

Schooling Is Not Education Maybe I haven’t made it clear enough why I wrote Get Your A Out of College. Mainly, it made me feel bad to see my sweet, innocent students trying be play the school game without knowing the hidden rules.   If you take two minutes  – one, if you’re on your toes … Continue reading

Turning C’s into B’s

  Big News Here:   In most schools and colleges a B+, a B, or a B- is recorded as a B.  A C -, a C, or a C+ ends up in your files as a C.   I’m about to betray the system and reveal one way to tip a C+ over to … Continue reading

The Barrier of Species: Bridging Worlds

I look deep into their eyes and feel their presence in ways I could never imagine. [This dog], Mozart,  was the real turning point in my realization that animals are living beings emotionally similar to us, able to think, and fear, and communicate –  and all that stuff came from Mozart.  – Pet resort owner … Continue reading

Ticky Tacky Little Boxes, Part 2

Nearer to God     Recently while  reading  Joaquin Miller’s 1873 Life Amongst the Modocs –  about life as the  Mt. Shasta Modocs lived it and the world of the miners who ripped open the mountainsides and polluted the salmon streams that had nourished Indian tribes for many centuries –  I came on a passage … Continue reading

The Myth of Species

Bridging the Worlds In the English department in the college where I taught, we had  ESL classes – English as a Second Language.  They were for people who’s mamas spoke Spanish or Urdu or Farsi.   But what about the native speakers of English in our regular English classes?The language a child learns from his mother’s … Continue reading

Reframing the Neighborhood: The Tao Way

Neighbors Bay winds have been blowing wild-grass seeds into the  ice-plant beds in front of some of my neighbors’ bay-front homes and setting up residence there, so that now there are wild grasses just outside their back fences, and my neighbors would like the gardeners to do something about that.   I walked over an … Continue reading

Game-Changer Checklist for High Test Scores

THE TAO OF TEST-TAKING •   Get the feel of it:    Relax and mess around.  The more fun you have the higher your score – guaranteed. Browse.     Browse.     Browse •   Do easiest questions first. Rack up easy points: Build confidence. Don’t make the test tough. Use your own natural intelligence. Make common-sense guesses. … Continue reading

Tests into Puzzles III

LOOK . . . THEN LEAP. Always look over a test — any test — before you start.   You’re  trying to get the feel of it.  What sort of a test is it?  Do the questions look easy?  Hard?  Do you see any item you can answer right off the bat? Take a look … Continue reading

Tests Into Crossword Puzzles II

            A SKELETON TEST Want to get good at playing the piano?  Practice. Want to get higher scores on tests?  Practice. Here’s a “test” my colleague Karl Staubach made up to show how you can pull out answers from a test without knowing much at all.  This skeleton test has … Continue reading

Turning Tests into Crossword Puzzles

  I have resented to this day When any but myself presumed to say That there was anything I could not be.                                     – Robert Frost The Testing Mania There is so much wrong with giving each other tests I hardly know where to begin.  Your own sweet Self has no interest in the hoops … Continue reading

A Problem of Making Connections

            ONLY CONNECT Memory One had a lovely face, And two or three had charm, But charm and face were in vain Because the mountain grass Cannot but keep the form Where the mountain hare has lain.   Here’s my problem: I included Yeats’s “Memory” in a recent post because … Continue reading

Unnecessary Beauty

One afternoon I picked a spear-shaped bud along the lagoon path.  Look what happened overnight. Nature — What will you think up next!

The Method of Places – The Most Powerful Memory Tool

    Find a familiar place to store each thing you want to recall, look in that place, and there it is.   Example: If you want to recall nine or ten grocery items, say lettuce            toilet paper            butter          cereal          hamburger                  milk                sugar          potatoes           tea put them in rooms in your home. “In the … Continue reading

More Zen Days in the Realms of Gold

The Way It Goes There’s a story of a concert master who is fed up with the orchestra and becomes an itinerant musician. In his travels he comes upon an old man sitting in the sun outside his hut and asks if he can rest there a while. After he has rested and drunk from … Continue reading

Intelligent Memorizing Strategies in the Realms of Gold

  Getting Curious Usually when you become absorbed in something — or fall in love with it; it’s the same thing – remembering happens without conscious effort.  All of a sudden it’s been “memorized.”  For example, scores of poems are stored in my memory, but I didn’t “try” to memorize or learn any of them.  … Continue reading

Green Fire: Intimations of Higgs Boson

How does the universe create a rock out of sunlight?               You know those holograms you can stick your hand into, those laser projections you see at those science exhibits that I mentioned in an earlier post?  What if you could flesh out holograms and make them “physical,” like … Continue reading

The Zen of Remembering

As Good as Necessary                                                To remember well enough to get through your classes with high grades or to remember what you need at the store or to turn out the lights when you get ready for bed, you don’t have to be a memory whiz.  You don’t have to be a Matteo Ricci … Continue reading

Books About the Realms of Gold

All Things Are Connected   Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” ― James Thurber That all things are connected  is pretty obvious if you think about it a little.   Your intelligence, for example, isn’t set off all by itself in the cosmos; it’s an aspect … Continue reading

  • Pointing the Cart Where It Wants to Go
       Smart Entities Don’t Exist in Isolation [These posts can be read separately, but they’re sequential, too.   If you’d like to follow the thought process, start with the first posting.  There is a list of latest posts on the left.] Here’s  a little about how this website is set up.  It started out as a book … Continue reading
  • Chapter 1 OnLooking Into John Keats and This Book
      On the Person in the Mirror [ These posts can be read separately, but they are sequential, too,  each continuing from where the previous one left off.  So if you would like to follow the thought process, start with the first posting.  There’s a list of recent posts to the left of each page.] … Continue reading
  • Surface Features
    [ These posts can be read separately, but they are sequential, too,  each continuing from where the previous one left off.  So if you would like to follow the thought process, start with the first posting. The latest posts are listed on the left of each page. ] There’s More to Anything Look at the … Continue reading