Can I Share With You Something Amazing? (about Dr Naram and my Dad)

Can I Share With You Something Amazing? (about Dr Naram and my Dad)

Dr Naram, George Rogers, and elephantHere is a conversation I’m copying from FaceBook (from when I was in India with my dad and Dr. Naram), so I can remember it, share some more details, and answer any more questions people might have:

“Can I share with You something amazing?
I came to India to meet my dad. Doctors in the U.S. didn’t know how to help him anymore. In just 2 weeks here at Dr. Naram’s clinic – pain in his chest and abdomen & numbness in his legs and feet went away, he stopped taking diabetes medicine with his blood sugar levels normal, AND his energy level is 20 times better!”

That is what I first posted (with many of the comments shared below).

Since then, my dad is now back in the U.S. and off of all his medications except one. No more medication for cholesterol, no more for high blood pressure, no more for helping with sleeping, or for chest pains, or for numbness in his legs — his blood sugar levels make it unnecessary for him to take diabetes medication. The only medication he is still on is for arthritis, which will take a little longer to get off of.
Things are not perfect, but compared to 3 months ago, it is surprising how much things have changed, and how there is so much more hope now where there was frustration and fear before.

So grateful for Dr. Pankaj Naram. Out of gratitude for Dr. Naram, I just captured this video from my dad talking a little bit about his experience…


7 Days of Silence — India

Its strange when there is so much to say and so little to say at the same time. The most valuable things I do not think I could put into words, and if I was able to, I doubt they would be understood in the way they were felt. And then there is the additional element of recognizing how early I am in the journey of that kind of discovery, so wondering if anything I have to say at this point would be worth much anyway.

Still, I’ve created this short video of my experience at least, — and for anyone interested in perhaps engaging in a length of silence – I would highly recommend it.

I like the quote at the end of the video — which was sent by my friend Joey:

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
~ Carl Jung

Does anyone else have any experiences with Silence or self-discovery they would like to share?
Any ideas why lengths of Silence can be such a powerful and poignant experience?

Questions about Identity: Who are You? And Why do you think so?

Questions about Identity: Who are You? And Why do you think so?

Juggling stuffJoensuu, Finland, recently seemed to double its size with visitors — in hosting the 33rd annual European Juggling Convention. Some incredible shows (the fire juggling was my favorite), but what was most interesting to me was the jugglers themselves.

Walking on the street, it was fun to see the visitors with baggy pants and dreadlocks, or top hats and vests on. It was interesting to see how many there were, and to observe how even though they spoke all different languages (French, German, Spanish, etc), they had developed at least somewhat of a shared look & identity.

I started to wonder more about how people come to think about themselves and their identity (e.g. “I am a juggler”).

So just for fun — give your First few answers to this, without thinking too much:
— Who are you?
— And why do you think so?

For the Women that Inspire us: New Video for You with Pres Obama’s Grandmother & Desmond Tutu

For the Women that Inspire us: New Video for You with Pres Obama’s Grandmother & Desmond Tutu

Are there any women in your life that inspire you?
This is created in honor of You…

As I mentioned on FaceBook, it surprised me how much came out of me while creating this video! Thinking about my own mother, and all the mothers who might struggle at times, wondering if they’ve done OK…

I’m so grateful to my sister, Marie, for creating this new website ( and consequently inviting me to think more deeply about how to more freely love & be loved.

(Special thanks to my dear friend Gary Malkin, who let me use sections of his precious audio tracks for this cause. More of his incredible work is here:

(And extra special thanks to my own Mother, of course, who not only gave me life, but also continues by example to show me how to live it well. I love you Mom, now and always!)Clint Rogers & Mama Sarah Obama

For Mama Sarah’s Foundation for Orphans
(this is the new web site we are helping her create)

Free, New Community for Mothers
(this is the cool new site my sister has been working on)

Please feel free to share this with any woman who inspires you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

10 Days to Touch 10 Million: The world needs you

The world needs you now, more than ever. This is why:

* Approximately 1 out of 10 adults are suffer from a depressive disorder
* 14.5% of students in grades 9-12 seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months
* Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression — their own or someone else’s
* 1 in 3 are currently experiencing some degree of loneliness or fear
* Every forty seconds another person commits suicide

It is thinking about statistics like this and the pain, hurt, loneliness and frustration that so many feel that prompted me to use some of my spare time to help create and promote this…

To give you a taste of what will be released, shared, discussed, and mobilized to touch over 10 million people in 10 days, starting November 16th – enjoy this sample of miniature versions of what my friend Gary Malkin calls “WisdomFilms”…

Would love it if you joined the experience!
* Receive and enjoy the 4 minute video on Nov 16th
* Share it with friends and family (you never know who may be hurting)
* Listen to the radio series with remarkable people
* Join the dream street team
* Share your dream in the virtual environment

In just about 2 weeks since having the idea, we will have nearly 1000 people accepted to participate in the event through FaceBook, and more than 100 people already committed to be a part of the Dream Street Team:

What is a way that you like to connect with yourself and others during this holiday season?
What is something that helps pick you up when you are feeling down?

Cute Kids and Funny Stories

Cute Kids and Funny Stories

Jayden and MeGrowing up in a family with 8 kids had its advantages and challenges – but one of the greatest advantages now is that I get to be an uncle to so many adorable kids! I love my nieces and nephews and they provide a never ending source of funny and meaningful memories. We had a great family reunion this last week reminding me that, although things don’t always turn out perfectly, there are also plenty of reasons to laugh and enjoy the moment.

For instance, one of my nieces was kindly brushing my leg hairCute Serena a couple days ago, which it badly needed as it hasn’t been brushed in years. Later I saw her brushing my brother’s chest hair too! I got a great picture (but don’t worry I won’t post it here unless I get enough requests for it)! I’m thinking chest-hair-brushing might catch on as a special spa treatment for men.

It was also the birthday of one of my nieces, who Eliah smilingturned 5 years old, the day before I got here. Her name is Eliah, but for some reason she has decided that for now she wants to go by Jenny. Towards the end of the birthday party she told her mom that she was sad that her uncle Clint couldn’t be there. Then she looked happy as she said, “You know what – I bet he is celebrating it wherever he is.” So when I got to the family reunion I told her that I missed her on her birthday but that I kind of celebrated it when I was in the airport in London. She smiled and said, “Just like I thought!”

My four year old nephew Jayden (who frequently tells meJayden Monkey “I’m a monkey”) tugged on my hand and said, “I have a secret. Let me whisper in your ear.” So he whispered this: “Why did the banana go to the doctor?” – “Why?” – “Because he wanted to go to the doctor.” (I think the original punch line for the joke was supposed to be “Because he wasn’t peeling well.” – but he adapted it for his own purposes. I’ve also noticed that it is not totally necessary for “knock knock” jokes to make sense for kids about that age. If you just put the word toilet in it somewhere – it is usually a hilariously funny hit!). Jayden’s mom also promised him today that he could go swimming right after he saw his sister do a dance for everyone in the living room. The instant she was done and people were clapping, he already had is pants and underwear off and gave us all a different kind of show as he streaked across the living room to go get his swim suit.Cassie and Clint

And the older ones constantly surprise me by how smart and talented they are. I thought it was funny that the teacher of my nephew Matthew made a rule on how many questions he could ask in class – he is just so curious. I read to some of the kids a book that my 11 year old nephew Brayton had written (with 6 short chapters). I kept asking them if I should stop or keep reading at the end of each chapter and all the kids yelled out, “Keep reading” – it was a page turner! He also sent me an email the other day with a picture that he recommended I use for my gmail profile Matthew, Brayton, and Jaydenpicture. It was a character he created for a game he invented called “Battlemon.” I’m so proud to have that as my profile picture!

A few days ago my 7 year old nephew Jeremiah, while riding in a car with my sister-in-law and two of my brothers, out of nowhere said, “Mom, did you know that Sparta and Athens were city-states, like Washington DC is a city-state?” When she said she didn’t know that and asked him how he did, he talked about he read it in a testing book that he selected about Greece. He then said in a matter-of-fact way, “I figured if I didn’t read it I would never know.” A couple years ago, when his parents tookRylanTJ and Alexander him to Florida and spent a lot of money visiting Disney world, the beach, and all the other attractions – he was asked what his favorite part of the trip was. He said something funny: “Hmm. I have a picture of it in my mind. Oh – I remember!” And then he said his favorite part of the whole trip was going to McDonald’s!

I love getting emails from my nieces and nephews too. Here is a recent exchange with my 11 year old nephew.

Brayton: “Guess What? You don’t have to answer that, I’ll just tell you. I made my own buissnes-like thing. I call itPsych-ix ad Psych-ix! It’s where my partner and I try to figure out mysteries of the world. But… the thing is, I don’t have a partner yet. But when I do, I’ll Be sure to send you an up-dated page. Bye!!!”

Me: “That is really cool! What are you looking for in a partner? Can I apply?”

Brayton: “I’m not sure, I guess. Okay, the most recent mysterious happenings I have noticed are some dissaperences. I had a little card-like thing with a green ferret I made on it. Here’s what happened, I was at a friend’s house we were in his room, I set the card down on a box that he had and we went outside for a while. When it was time for me to go, I went upstairs to get it, but it was GONE!! I looked around his room, but there was’nt A trace of it anywhere! Isn’t that cool!”

In addition to making me laugh, they make me feel so loved. A couple days ago I also got to meet for the first time my 5 year old nephew Blake (who was just Jayden, Blake, Ashlynadopted). Already by yesterday he decided to cuddle up to me on the couch and said, “I love you.” I said “I love you too.” Feeling warm and fuzzy, I then turned to my little niece and told her I loved her. She responded by saying, “I love juice,” and then giggling uncontrollably.

It didn’t happen this week but we were remembering how when my niece, Shaelyn, was about 5 years old she was watching TV with my brother. The commercial said, “Every kid thinks their dad is the greatest.” My brother asked her, “Do you think I am the greatest dad in the world?” She said, “Yeah.” He said, “Do you really mean it?” As a five year old, she said, “Well, not really, but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings dad.”

Oh man, there are so many more funny stories and memories – but I guess this entry is getting long enough already.

My dad (who I don’t have to pretend to say he is one of the greatest dads in My awesome dadthe world) went through a heart attack and emergency heart surgery only a couple of months ago. When I asked him the other day how he was doing and how he was enjoying the trip – he said he thought it was like heaven for him. He was talking not just about his cute grandkids, but also about how meaningful it was for him to notice at night when others began to go to sleep, most or all of his kids migrate towards each other just to play, talk, and laugh.

I don’t think I do a good enough job of telling each of my family how much I love them (through words and actions) but the truth is that I can’t help but feel very lucky that their lives are a part of mine, and that I now get to enjoy all of their spouses and very fun and cute kids too. 🙂

Do you have any favorite “cute kid stories” from the kids in your life? If so I would love to hear them. What is it about spending time with kids that makes life seem better?

A nice surprise – feedback on “Experiencing an International Virtual Team”

Hope you don’t mind if I share some good news with you. I was very pleasantly surprised by it!

I recently got the reviews back from a paper submission we had made to an academic conference. The paper is a synthesis of some of my work in Finland (titled “Experiencing an International Virtual Team”) and the program planner for the International Division said that ours was: “perhaps the best proposal submitted to our division. Thanks for the submission. Virtual international collaboration is not only a must technological reach but a global responsibility.”

I thought that was a great compliment, and it was fun to share with the great Ph.D. students who worked with me on it. Three out of the five reviewers gave it 100%!

One reviewer said: “STRENGTHS of the Proposal: 1. Good references to appropriate literature. 2. A wonderful paper! 3. Very well-written. 4. A strong contribution to the research and theory on international communication; this will be a trend in research for the present and future!”

OK – enough of that for now. With the negative feedback that often comes from different papers or projects, it is especially nice to hear and share good news, celebrating the moment of its arrival.

Santa Claus, Christmas, and New Years traditions around the world – road trip above the arctic circle

Santa Claus, Christmas, and New Years traditions around the world – road trip above the arctic circle

I just got back from one of the best road trips I think I have ever been on! At the end of some of the days I think we hurt from laughing too much.

I also learned a lot! Being around so many people from different countries, one of the most interesting things for me during this trip (and also this entire holiday season) has been in finding out more about:

What are the different traditions around the world regarding Christmas, Santa Claus, and New Years?

Background of the Road Trip

Five of us from 5 different countries traveled above the arctic circle and among other things we: all went skiing for the first time together, had spontaneous snow fights and dance parties at night, were asked to speak in a school about our countries (the kids laughing ski picturewhen we told them Russia was kind of in a nervous state right now, worried about the potential threat that Finland might invade them and take over), gave an impromptu on-stage band performance to an applauding crowd (through which the name emerged “The University of Joensuu International Publicity Band” – or JIB for short), celebrated Antony’s birthday with a surprise party, enjoyed a “smoke sauna” in the middle of theThe University of Joensuu International Publicity Band woods, ate reindeer stew (which we were informed after was actually found right after it was killed by a bear), learned a ton about each other, met the real-live “Joulupukki” (Santa Claus), and even had a police escort us in our beautiful Audi A3 rental car for part of the way home (after they made me take a breathalyzer test to see if I was intoxicated at 2am).

Because we were from 5 different countries (Malidives, UK, Rwanda, USA, and Russia) and from 5 different religious backgrounds (Islamic, Buddhist, Presbyterian-Christian, Mormon-Christian, and no religion) – we ended up having some very interesting conversations about what holidays each celebrated as we were kids, and how even the same holidays were celebrated differently.

Different Traditions

Santa's OfficeFinland: The Finns know that Santa doesn’t live in the North Pole – he lives in northern Finland. On one of our stops we visited Rovaniemi, called “Christmas Town”, where Santa Claus (called “Joulupukki” in Finnish) has an office. He has elves (which aren’t short), a wife, and Reindeer that pull his sleigh (which doesn’t fly because it doesn’t need to – there is enough snow). JoulupukkiThere are charter flights from Asia, Europe and all over the world to an airport nearby so that people can visit the “real” Santa. And if you want your picture taken with him it will only cost you about 30 Euros.

But who is the real Santa?

Russia: Even though Christmas is more for those who are religious in Russia – there is a tradition of a gift giving Santa Claus (“Father Frost” or “Ded Moroz” in Russian), which Russia Santathey hold lives in a town in northern Russia (Veliky Ustyug). He has no reindeer and doesn’t come through the chimney in secret. Instead, he visits children in person at New Year’s Eve parties and brings them gifts. He doesn’t have a wife, but he’s accompanied by his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden (Snegurochka). Now how he gets a granddaughter without a wife is up for you to decide? There are also two different New Year celebrations based on two calenders (the Roman and the Orthodox ones).

Rwanda: So Myriam said that Christmas traditions were strong in Rwanda, but absent of a lot of the Western ideas associated with Sana Claus, etc. (until perhaps recently with more media influence and Westernization). There is carol-singing, and people often decorate their home with pine branches or fir trees – but there is not the same gift giving tradition.

Maldives: Because it is a largely Islamic country, obviously Christmas is not celebrated hardly at all in the Maldives. Shujau told me that there are, however, two New Years days – one on January 1st, and the other one from the Arabic calender (which is based on moon cycles so it changes each year). Another big holidays is the feast day after the month of Ramadan.

UK: So Santa doesn’t have a wife or a granddaughter in the UK – but he does live in the Joulupukki the Finnish SantaNorth Pole, has reindeer that fly, and he does come down the chimney to deliver presents on Christmas eve. Christmas morning usually starts by opening presents, having a big feast, and then listening on the TV to the British monarch give a traditional Christmas speech. Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) is a lot bigger deal in the UK and a lot of other countries than it is in the US. There is also often a tradition of having a “Christmas cake” – but I personally recommend staying clear of it.

In many countries, it seems the Santa figure is not always associated with Christmas day – but sometimes brings presents earlier (December 1st or 6th) or later (on New Years) – or it is even someone entirely different from Santa that brings the gifts.

Czech Republic: Roman and his wife were telling me about how in the Czeck Republic St. Nicholas is called “SvatySvaty Mikalas Mikalas” and comes on the 6th of December with his two companions – an angel and a whip-carrying devil – who give you a good gift or scare you to death depending on how good you have been. But he is not the main person who brings gifts. The person who is the gift-giving figure on Christmas eve is really the baby Jesus (Ježíšek) – putting the presents under the tree on Christmas eve when the children are looking for him elsewhere. Also there is the tradition of foretelling the future year in different ways (e.g. with a floating walnut shell) and you should not eat meat on Christmas eve if you want to see the flying golden pigs out the window during that night. (but maybe in addition to not eating any meat you have to also consume a lot of alcohol in order to ensure that you will see the “flying golden pigs” 😉 )

Spain: Javier was telling me how fast Christmas traditions have changed in Spain. Before the streets on Christmas eve would be silent, and everyone would be at home with family – but in the 90s it completely changed. Everyone now goes to the clubs on Christmas eve – and sometimes even with your whole family. So if you are in Spain during Christmas be careful you are not hitting on someone else’s mom.Christmas Hockey in Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Temtim informs me that people in Ethiopian traditional culture celebrate Christmas by playing hockey. Here is a picture of boys Temtim took two years ago during the Christmas celebration.

So – anyway – there are a lot of different traditions. Listed here are only a few of them.

Does anyone else know of any other interesting differences in holiday traditions around the world at this time of the year?

I’m fascinated to hear more of them.

Jiuzhaigou – one of the most beautiful spots on earth

Jiuzhaigou – one of the most beautiful spots on earth

I had never heard of it before a few weeks ago, and I was one of only a handful of Caucasians that I saw during my 4 days there. I do not think many people from the West have ever heard of it, even my friends working at the US Embassy in Shanghai were not familiar with it. But it is a place that most Chinese hope to go to one day – and now I know why. A combination of the colorful and warm spirit of the local people who live there (Qian and Tibetan), the delicious Si Chuan food, and the stunning beauty of the natural wonder makes this area in the mountains of western China unforgettable. Here are only a few of so many wonderful memories from Jiuzhaigou.

five color pools

Jiuzhaigou Waterfall

Funny Sign

Minjuan and Biemu

Jiuzhaigou Town

Clint with Baby

Good News – My dissertation will be published as a book

Good News – My dissertation will be published as a book

It is always nice to share good news. A German publishing house, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, is publishing my dissertation research as a book. It is in the works right now, and I’m sure I’ll post when it is available. Here is the cover I just received:

book cover

It was double good news when I found out that one short article I published from this research was chosen for an award to be presented at AECT this year – as the best article of the year in the International Section of Educational Technology, Research, and Development (ETR&D).

That’s fun. Not fun like snowboarding or hang-gliding, but still fun. Just a different kind.

Custom Search Engines and Updated RSS Feeds

Custom Search Engines and Updated RSS Feeds

I followed the example of Rich Hoeg in using Google Co-Op to create a Search Engine that indexes current and archived business management and strategy podcasts from top academic business schools (MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Wharton, and Insead – with campuses in France and Singapore). I also used RSS Include to embed custom RSS Feed readers for the most recent podcasts from a couple of the above mentioned schools.

If you are reading this post from an RSS Feed, you will have to link directly to my blog to see the search engine and automatic feeds.

  • Search Engine:

eBusiness Center Logo

  • Podcasts:





A great idea – teach natural consequences

A great idea – teach natural consequences

I am currently at a conference in the Colorado mountains (preparing to give a keynote address at PIDT), and near the lodge of the place we are staying one of my colleagues (Peter Rich) pointed out this sign:

shortcutting sign

Instead of saying what we should do or should not do (e.g. “Don’t walk on grass” or “Stay on sidewalk”) the sign simply tells people the consequences for a certain choice – and then those who posted the sign must simply trust and hope people will act in a way that evokes the best natural consequences.

What a great concept: “Teach people correct principles and then let them govern themselves.” (Joseph Smith)

With most areas of our lives: work (in my case teaching, instructional design, consulting), parenting, friendships, etc… it seems that we would do well to spend more time discussing natural consequences for actions rather than dictating to others what we want them to either do or not do.

On a funny note, driving up here we also saw a sign (that I want to get a picture of) which said:

“In case of flood, climb to higher ground.”

I’m trying to think of how this sign might have been changed to warn of danger and teach consequences without dictating choices… 🙂 Any ideas?

Mobile technologies helping to save lives in developing countries?

I wanted to share part of a fascinating email I received that is a great example of how mobile technologies can be used in developing countries to improve learning, and even save lives…

While in Phuket, Thailand last Christmas, I had a fairly significant operation at a Thai hospital. I was given an epidural and a light sedative and the procedure began. In the middle of the surgery, my doctor pulled out his digital assistant, located another specialist he wanted to consult, sent him a digital image of the surgical area in question and got the information he needed in just a few minutes. He then began to rapidly key in to the PDA and called out to the nurse medications he wanted me to stop taking and new ones to begin taking. During this entire time he talked to me in a matter of fact voice on why he consulted the other surgeon who happened to be at a conference in Singapore and reassured me he had doubled checked all the medications for possible unwanted interactions. During my recovery, I learned my surgeon constantly had his PDA in his hand so he could access his patient notes on an as-needed basis. He admitted he was a ‘techie’ and a bit ahead of some of his peers, but he said they would soon catch up as that was ‘where medicine was going.’

I thought this was a great example of the power of living in a connected world where easier access to information and experts can really make a big difference. Our goal with the eCANDLE project at the Rollins Center for eBusiness is to assist in expanding opportunities for people from all professions to improve what they do in similar ways to which this doctor was improving his medical practice.

How to add a shopping cart to your WordPress blog

The whiz-kid Jimmy Z, from our Web Analytics class, created a plugin so that you can have shopping cart features inside of WordPress. Here are the steps, but you will need to get the plugin code before you do anything else. Once you have the code, here is what you do:

  1. Sign up for a Merchantec account (and a Google Checkout account).
  2. Upload the “JZ Merc – Products” plugin into the wp-content/plugins folder
  3. Go to the Plugin tab and activate the “JZ Merc – Products” plugin
  4. Create Shopping Cart Page in Write > Pages
  5. Put ‘view cart’ code from Merchentec into the code of the Shopping Cart page code
  6. On the Merchentec site, add specific items that you want to sell
  7. Create button code in Merchentec – using the URL from the Shopping Cart page.
  8. Go to Manage and click on the “JZ Merc – Products” plugin – add the ‘add to cart’ code
  9. Take the new code – put it in either a page or post.