The Cheapskate Intellectual

A journey through matters of spirit, sustainability, and self-reliance

Darwin’s Beetle: On geeking out.

I wrote this for another “official” college blog but want to share it here. Darwin’s beetle: On geeking out October 23, 2013 Our first-year common course doesn’t fit into neat disciplinary boxes, and that’s the point.  Ranging across literature, history, philosophy and science, it’s not designed to convey “expertise” in any one field but to […]

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The second disruptor: an open letter to our college’s president on the “digitization of learning.”

September 30, 2013 An Open Letter to Our College President on the Digitization of Learning From The Cheapskate Intellectual Dear President, Thank you for being a thoughtful leader and serious colleague who has invited us to wrestle with the challenges and opportunities facing us and all other colleges these days.  At your State of the […]

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To autumn.

“How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking – chaste weather – Dian skies.” – John Keats, Sept. 1819 In autumn the world is tipped between flower and seed, between glorious life and the turning of that life back into the soil, into sleep, into waiting. Klondike cosmos folds into itself […]

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In the country of frac-sand mining.

Yesterday, I took an all-day bus tour (sponsored by and including many Allamakee County Protectors) to see frac-sand mining up close in Trempeleau and Chippewa Counties, Wisconsin.  In our group were filmmakers, writers, lawyers, water-quality specialists, Winneshiek County Protectors, journalists, farmers, geologists, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a long-distance hiker, and ordinary citizens from […]

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Cleaning out, again; or, my first yard sale.

As I have written here, getting rid of stuff you aren’t using anymore feels pretty damn good, for so many reasons.  There’s the knowledge you’ve freed up space (and money) for more mindful choices about what comes into the house in the first place from now on, and you have reminded yourself to make that […]

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