Mike Matthews

My thoughts after 61 years on this planet on family, public education, cooking, and life.


A Week in Tokyo: Hugs, Beers, and Lifetime Experiences

So many experiences of parenting are the ones we hope or expect will happen. Learning to walk, going to school, getting a driver’s license, and going off to college are just some of the milestones that went through my head as I looked forward to life with both Ryan and Dawson. Some of them, like […]

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Another Cold, Thanks to Bill Murray and Thor

February 10, 2024

I never put much stock in Groundhog Day. Having spent the last 31 years in Southern California, we never really worried about our winters being too long. So, the idea of whether or not the sun is shining when a fairly obscure rodent emerges from his burrow has been pretty much a big “Whatever” in […]

I Hate That I Give Such Good Advice

January 12, 2024

It’s my own fault that I’m feeling so unsettled this week. I am a big fan of adventures. And I love embarking on adventures where you are not quite sure what to expect. With all of the Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews we have access to now, that sense of the unknown and unexpected is harder […]

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Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again

Johann Hari 2022
Read: 2023
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now

My friend Jenn loaned me this book. That means I read it as a paperback, instead of Kindle-ing it. I read less than 10% of my books in hard copy. This was a perfect one to choose to be part of that 10%. This is a book about why we are distracted, and the forces […]

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckhart Tolle 2010
Read: 2022
Non-Fiction, Reading Now

I’m not sure why I haven’t added this book until now. I’ve been reading it and re-reading it for years, and it has helped me through many a stressful time. I love the references to all of the world’s major religions. The main premise is rather Buddhist in nature, seeking the end of suffering through […]

Breakfast with Buddha

Roland Merullo 2008
Read: 2023
Fiction, Reading Now, Spirtuality

OK. I love this book. It’s one of the few books I’ve read where, after I finished it, I immediately began reading it a second time. I’ve written about it in two separate blog posts, and I have many friends who have read it and loved it after I suggested it to them. It’s a […]

Getting Things Done

David Allen 2001
Read: 2011
Non-Fiction, Reading Now

When I started teaching at age 22, with just two large classes in a high powered high school, I had great ideas. About 10% of my great ideas turned out to be pretty good lesson plans. But behind all of the ideas, there was a jumble. I struggled to keep up with all of the […]

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