Daily Archives: 01/13/2014

Why I Teach

Since 1991, I have taught both technical and personal growth classes. I taught emerging technology classes to corporate audiences all over North America from 1991 through 1997 when I got tired of the travel. I have taught personal growth classes since 2002, mostly through The Mankind Project and mostly to men. Today, I watched a TED talk by Simon Sinek that asked me to consider not what I did, but WHY I did it. And my answer is simple: when I see a student’s eyes light up because he or she understands something new, I get a huge rush of satisfaction.

I will freely admit that I get greater satisfaction out of the personal growth teaching I have done with men. That work is about helping men wake up and grow up. It is about becoming more authentic. It is about learning to look deep within and invite my personal dragons to tea, and then helping other men do the same. This work brings me great joy, but not a lot of money. I continue to do it, but mostly on a volunteer basis.

Fortunately, I don’t need a lot of money, but I do need a bit more than Social Security offers if I want to keep my house and be able to go out to dinner every once in a while with my wife of almost 40 years. And fortunately as well, I have spent much of the last ten years developing complex database-driven websites that can run entire businesses using Microsoft SQL Server, C#, Visual Studio and (more recently) jQuery. I have developed a very clear understanding of what works well and what doesn’t, and how to structure the code for maintainability, efficiency and security. And I want to teach others how to do this.

I am actively looking for the right venue to teach this knowledge. Ideally, it will be face-to-face and in Bellingham, where I live, so I am checking the local colleges to see if there is a possible match. I may have to break down and create on-line classes, but that is my last choice, not my first. Why? Because I want the human-to-human interaction that is best realized in a classroom.

Please wish me luck, and if you like where I am going with this, refer them to this site.


Between Trapezes

Danaan Parry, founder of the Earth Stewards Network taught me that to get from one trapeze to another, I first must let go of the trapeze I am hanging onto. This requires a leap of faith. Will the other trapeze be there? Will I go splat on the ground? These are questions that most of us have to face at one time or another in our lives. As I move into semi-retirement, I too am looking for my next trapeze, but this time, I have the luxury of being a bit picky. I am not looking for just any old trapeze, but only those opportunities where I can provide considerable value and bring all (or at least most) of me to the game.

So what do I bring?

Technology Skills

  • Website development using SQL Server, LINQ, C#, jQuery
  • Software architecture
  • Extensive Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Knowledge
  • Strong Project Management Skills
Human Skills

  • Excellent Listening Skills
  • Strong Conflict Resolution Skills
  • High Emotional IQ
  • Deep Self-Awareness

And what kind of trapeze am I looking for?

  • Contract / 1099 (no benefits needed)
  • No Commuting – must be able to work from home or a local office.
  • Part time (2-3 days per week max)

To learn more about me:

To contact me:

Email: bob@rhj4.com Phone: (360) 441-0784

Full Stack Programming

Three years ago, I found myself in a position where I had to develop complex, data-driven websites with no support from any other programmers. I had to build the whole site myself, bottom to top. Fortunately, I am quite adept at the back-end portions of the web site, in this case, Microsoft SQL Server with ASP.NET; however, I was not at all comfortable with JavaScript and jQuery. I had to teach myself the skills I was missing. I learned to make Google my best buddy (outside of my wife), and when I left that job, I knew the technology stack quite well. Then I heard a term that described what I had become: a “Full Stack Programmer.”

I am now entering “semi-retirement.” That means I don’t want full-time employment, but I still want to exercise my brain. I am also at the stage in life where it is increasingly important to give back. I have spent many years writing software of all types, and I have learned more than a few lessons along the way. I have also developed a clear understanding of how to build multi-tiered websites that access data securely and provide high-performance user interfaces. And now, I want to teach these skills to new programmers.

A Different Kind of Coaching

I was certified as a coach in 2001, right about the time that I went through The Mankind Project‘s New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA). Like many newly minted coaches, I had a difficult time honing in on a specific niche, and my practice never got off the ground. Instead, I sat in circle with a small group of other men while we learned to coach each other. I spent almost a year in my original “I-Group” in Seattle before the commute from Bellingham started to get to me. In the Spring of 2002, another man from Bellingham and I started an I-Group here in Bellingham and that group now has almost 20 men in it and we are going strong.

In the intervening 12 years, I have helped start over two dozen other I-Groups by becoming a certified leader of our “Primary Integration Training” (PIT) which teaches men the tools, skills and self-awareness to sit in circle and help coach each other to deeper levels of authenticity, accountability and openness.

I also led the process to develop the current version of the PIT Manual, a 150+ page manual that describes how to create a “safe container” for men to do our work and outlines many tools and techniques we can use to help each other look deeply into our own unconscious selves and bring what Carl Jung called “our shadows” into the light.

I have also supported (“staffed”) 35+ NWTA weekends and started an initiative with MKP to identify and define a role called “Community Elder”. I am considered a leader within MKP and I have been told repeatedly that my facilitation skills are better than most trained psychologists. While this latter judgment may or may not be true, two things are very clear in my mind: I know how to coach men, and I haven’t a clue about how to coach women.

Given this crystal clear insight, I am now preparing to offer my coaching skills to men only, and then only to those men who are committed to fiercely looking inward and becoming better men in the process.

I have not yet “hung my shingle” because I still have to prepare some of my intake and procedural materials, but if you are interested, please contact me.

Contact Me

Contact Me

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