Sunday Sunday Designs

I should be typing an email to my Italian son, but here I am crunching out a missive.  Less= More would suit my needs tonight in accomodating motherly duties and in an earlier bedtime. Again I FAIL EPICALLY!   Also, Che’ has posted something about an exhibit in AZ. of Chihuly glass.  I am going to go to this with her in the spring! Also Cafe Rio, and the Mesa Temple Easter Pagent. 🙂

Glorious weekend of spilling my soul to God at the Spillway.  Yesterday was great.  Today, even better.  I am slightly sunburned and loving it.  In spite of having torqued my ankle  OUCH! in Friday’s fourth grade pick-up basketball game, I still managed to motor along the hiking trail.

Weekend movement actually made the appendage improve, I would like to think.  It is at bedtime, or in waking, or in lazy boy reclining that the thing swells and throbs a bit.  Once I am in motion I forget about it and I am free.  Grateful for this.

Yesterday, in leaving Jo-Ann’s, shopping with my daughter, Devon, for material for Les Mis costuming, I commented to my girl.  This in passing an elderly couple barely moving at a snail’s pace in their physical demise, “I think this ankle is healing.  Every time I do something nice for someone else, it feels that much better.”  Is this possible?  If I think it so……then it is so, I think.  I do firmly believe in healing oneself.  In believing in positivity.  Our God is great.  The One and Only God who is God of all.  Not an exclusive God.

In believing in miracles of God.  Like being able to run with the dogs in the deep, smooth, sandy beach to and from the boat ramp.  Juking this and that way…..changing directions, vamping up Jimmer and Boozer.  I am the alpha dog of my pack.  They stuck close to me in my injury.  This felt good… I am speaking their language somehow.  I am grateful for this.  For the friendship of  animals.  Did not used to understand this friending of animals thing.  Increasingly important to me now that I am largely abandoned by people, or rather since I blunder and burn bridges, and distance myself in mis-trustings.

I have been reading a book called A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink. I heard about this early in the summer.  Took a while to approach it.  I carried it with me to Jo-Ann’s on Riverdale Road.  Sometimes chunks of reading time present in a long wait for turns at the  fabric cutting table.  After a considerable amount of problem solving with no customer service people on the floor to field questions and point people in the right direction, I was reduced to asking a not so thrilled Viking Sewing Machine in-store representative lady “know it all,”  who was not in a disposition to share and aide. She was bound by her thinking on the definition of a job description, I think.  This is way too common among people.

In time took up residency in this begrudging “department of demo machines and just as many soft, stuffed office chairs.  Some took up two seats……like on a Southwest flight….not really, ha ha.  I sat on one chair with my leg/foot propped up, elevated with an ice pack.  We waited from # 45 until #70.    During this time I read about the Six Senses of the Conceptual Age.  Specifically the sense of “DESIGN.”

I read about the CHAD school in Philladelphia.  Wondered if Marks boy have heard of this.  They grew up in PA., and both attended Engineering School for under grad and Masters Programs here.  The brotherly city. 🙂  Get it?!  Principles of design are employed across the curriculum at this Charter School.  Underpriviledged thrive equally well here.  Residivism is at 95% and daily attendance on the rise.  Students are motivated by their passions.  Only 5% absenteeism.  Public schools could learn lessons from these kinds of models.  Reinvent, redesign the way we do things.  I feel like we are in a redesign mode at my school some days with PLCs, and ART, and emphasis on best practices, and Archering, and increased thinking and writing, metaphores, and tasking multiple problem solving strategies, MATHS solutions, class discussions, opinions, and ethics.  I feel I am in a junior round of TLC Liberal Arts some days, celebrating Narnia, cheering the Golden Rule, sporting opinions and justifying positions.  Pausing to write more and more.  Going on  green to STOP LIGHT paragraphs.  Learning Wixie.  Yes! 🙂  Writing stories, and telling and listening with empathy.

So while I was patiently waiting in good Christian form, I decided how I would make over this Jo-ANNs store to become more customer friendly and to increase sales and productivity.  Generated this list:

Better Design:      Customer Service Model

1.  Provide soothing, spa music…..maybe

2.  Provide a pleasant waiting area.

3.  Hire a couple more happier employees (greeters that circulate) to answer customer queries and to direct shoppers to items in question.

4.  Provide food/snack samples to the season.

5.  Smile more.

6.  Provide opportunities for employee validation.  Pay up in silver sheer nametage pins.  Be vigilant in following through with deserving employees.  Give more “Golden Sheers.”  10 silver = 1 golden.  Give some gift certificates to dinner…ie. Ruby Tuesdays, Zuppas, 5 Guys, LOCO LIZARD, etc.

At the check out I made sure to fill out a “Golden Sheers” evaluation for “Vicky” of the cutting table.  I am confident she will be recognized in a good way.

So, yes.  As Devon tooled around the store collecting fabric and notions, I sat.  Stationary in watching and waiting and listening for a cue to begin or to report to the cutting table.  Only at order number “45” .  I did not mind though.  We had the time.  This is when I evesdropped on a couple of elderly women buying and discusing fabric and what they would do with it.  Here among the unkind eye of the Viking lady, I learned about selecting a computerized sewing machine.  About surging, and monographing towels. About a wonderous product used in monographing called Aqua Magic.  This is a gelatin, wash away bonding product.  Fast working.  I heard this associate say with regard to designing monographic T-shirts, “Follow guidlines, but when you can not then “GO!”  By the time these conversations were complete, I had witnessed one “women had fixed her bobbin” ha ha, and another now new how to monograph on towels. The Viking Associate had no “magic” for me.  That was certain.  I did nothing to provoke or offend either.

The white haired associate near sewing machines was present in attending to the needs of a few with ruthless disposition.  Bah!

In spite of all of this I still manage to learn things about DESIGN.

DESIGN is a facinating topic, much as being “Double Minded” is.  I am reminded of a warning the the bible to not be double minded. Not sure what this was all about.  Probably serving ONE Master, ONe true GOD.  In this context, “Double minded” has to do with being left brained AND, right brained.  I am largely right brained. I am led to believe from Daniel Pink that this is a desirous thing.  Some how, someday this could save or help me and others.

So, in my mind I left Jo-Ann’s under CONSTRUCTION.  Also thought the Wasatch County DMV (Heber) would benefit from a makeover.  The Standard Utilitarianism of DMV=cold, gray, unfeeling, and condecending infrastruction needing help. GRAY everything needing TLC, heart rasing, color, and enthusiasm. An asthetic, shmooze job, if you will.

I think the ushering in of the Common Core brought rise of democratization of Education.  Seeking a business model.  Yuck!  Design says that “ineffiable qualities, such as whimsy, beauty, and quality as more important to product manufacturing and production as form and function is.  I think yes……and NO.

One paragraph…..quote caught my attention BIG TIME, “BMW’s CEO said, “WE don’t make automobiles.  BMW makes moving works of art that express the driver’s love of quality.  Harmony and balance……over all else…over the past. over old, outdatd thing, over frenzied, self centeredness.  I think and wonder if I AM A MOVING WORK OF ART. I wonder WHAT CAN, AND DOES IT EXPRESS?  A LOVE OF MOTION?  A LOVE IN MOTION?  HOW TO LOVE MORE FITINGLY,  AND EFFECTIVELY IN ALLIGNMENT WITH BOUNDARIES, AND WITH A MORE GODLY PLAN?

More design= more and better business, sales, satisfaction (lasting?)

At one point Daniel Pink discusses kitchen appliances: ranges, toasters, etc. During this discourse I CAN not help but think about how the way things work mirrors things of the heart metaphorically and the need for beautiful human things like compassion for others through empathy and kindness.  Manufacturing is increasingly interested in the beautiy of the product as much or more that the efficiency, and function of it. Sales and marketing have manipulated the consumer into feeling good toward spending money on products, in connecting with what is glitzy, and beautiful, and popular.

Sometimes function and simple beauty the best however.

This bit about the common household “toaster” really resonated heart things.  Replacement of logical devices with emotional devices.  I think the world defines itself with STUFF!  Pity.

“Ponder the humble toaster.”  In my mind the toaster is a metaphore for the humble heart.  It’s simplest job to warm, to make good toast, with excellent timing, avoiding being burned in over doing, and obsessing.  Truth is, “the typical person uses a toaster (parallel “heart”) at most 15 minutes a day.  The remaining 1,425 minutes the toaster (heart and soul integrity) merely on display.  1% of the toaster’s time devoted to utility, while 99% is devoted to significance.  This requires thinking, awareness, alertness.  A heart and mind single to the Glory of God. Not only should a toaster (heart) be strong and functioning.  It should also be beautiful.  

Sometimes my real kitchen toaster has problems.  I have to wedge something into the pull-down switch.  The one that activates the toasting element and keep the toast down, and in position, in heating element squeezings. Sometimes my heart feels inpenetrable.  Feels quirky.  Ineffective in staying set, and sure, and true to such obvious Golden Rulings.  Leaving me shocked and regretful in my failings.  Sometimes I simply need to plug in, become connected.

Emerson speaks of building better mousetraps and the world flocking to your door.  I am reminded of  Recycling Insa, and of  mouse genocide by cats. Knocking of doors will happen increasingly through the gifts of technology. I am reminded of my missionary son going tracting, trolling for souls to teach. Human connectedness  will always be important in expressing joy, love, individuality, and unity.

Design is largely found in business.  It is also in religious expansion.  It is in health care, and politics, and increasingly in EDUCATION.  There is value in making a space in our classrooms, in our conduct, and in our instruction.  Increasingly we must find a place for allowing children to opperate and thrive here in the right brain realm.

How to do this at school and in the classroom?



*Book Reports

* Keep a design book.  My thirty-something step-son has done this for years.  He is an architectual engineer in Manhatten for a prominent Engineering firm.  They collaborated in working on the 911 project, Towers and Museum.  My Italian son/missionary keeps/ kept a notebook of inventions.  His floor plan for a future steel container house hangs on the back of an interior steel door that leads into a large family room.  Donavon is definitely a “right brainer” kid.

* Channel Your Annoyance.  I did this in Jo-Ann’s. Thinking necessitates more though.  Requires communication, synthesis, other people support, ACTION, concensus…..often money.

* Read.  (Read Design magazines)

* Learn from the best.

* Ask questions.  Become a Design Detective. Listen. Eavesdrop.  This is what I did at Jo-Ann’s.  In doing so……came up with an ideas, solution for the making of monogram towels for swim team.

* Participate in the Revolution

*Visit a Design Museum

*Apply for an EiE workshop/program

*Follow the Four-Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity.

*Personally/Socially this translates into…..Don’t be afraid to be different, Don’t give up on yourself and others….have faith, Don’t be afraid to make connections with ideas, and with others; Don’t be afraid to take risks in getting close.  Be appropriate and gentle with self and others.

*Draw it. Write it down.

* Choose things that are important.  That will last.  That have meaning and significance.  Choose things for the joy in them, not for the “WoW Factor.” Remember that people are more important than things, or even more important than YOU.  Be generous and grateful.

All of this design reading, thinking, writing, talk…… me thinking of my own journey of RE-design.  I have been at it since the end of last school year, and have found both joys and disasters in this thing.  Back to the drawing/design table many times over and over again.  Back to the spillway.  Back to the blog. Back with my blog dogs.  Ruff stuff.


As I was healing in crossing the parking lot, got to the car climbed in to find a semi used package of Nicorette gum.  Delanie did not know how to handle this.  She was not grateful for the Nicorette gum.  It weirded her out.  I was curious.  Imagining what kind of circumstance, or story prompted someone to deposit this item into my Pearl. Hmmm.

Got me thinking about addictions, for sure.  But this is for another blogging that will likely involve SEX, and coffee, and nicotine free Mall hooka pens and their side effects.  Yep.


About hrobertson2013

“Each man ( and mermaid) will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land”. Isa 32:2 NIV Warning: The author of this blog is not an ordinary individual. Even Mermaids need a rest from all that's real and grown up. Welcome to the wonder of blog. Come be audience to all that's wet and wild in her stories, poems and thoughts. Instructor by day, super hero by night, and mystical mermaid by summer. Whenever she has the fortune of diving into a pond, reservoir, or mountain waterfall, you'll find her there swimming, and singing songs of life.
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