I don't know where I first encountered that quote, but it puts a lot in perspective for me as a teacher, as a parent, as a citizen, and as a human being. Much of the job of character education tends to fall on English teachers, especially in high school, and I have used a variety of personal journey stories throughout the years to engage my students in their own. Many of my recommendations are the usual suspects of personal growth, but occasionally I encounter a new voice offering penned ponder-ings of a thoughtful life.
That is the story of Adam Shepard whose new book One Year Lived will be available in a paper and e-book format on April 22. One Year Lived is a narrative account of Adam's year-long trip around the world when he "mustered cattle, scuba dived, volunteered with children, grew a mullet, fought bulls, made love on a beach," and countless other experiences on his way to "living the dream," or, in the words of Henry David Thoreau "living the life he has imagined" so that when he "comes to die" he doesn't discovere that "he had not lived." Adam's journey over the course of a year was centered on a blend of "leisure, volunteerism, and enrichment." Catch the video below of Adam bullfighting in Nicaragua:
For as long as I've been teaching, I've encouraged my students to get out of this country. Having lived abroad, teaching English, for five years, I highly recommend as much of a taste of the expat life as you can achieve. Whether it's a dream vacation or a semester abroad, experiencing the world beyond our comfort zone is integral to personal growth. And books like Adam Shepard's are sometimes the perfect travel agent for getting us up and on to what comes next in our lives. Learn more about Adam Shepard and his fascinating life on his websites One Year Lived as well as his motivational speaking site, Shepard Speaks.
As a bonus, Adam Shepard has agreed to provide a free copy of the book to readers of A Teacher's View. All you need to do is re-post or tweet this page, and send me a copy of the link. I will email you a copy of One Year Lived in pdf. format, or you can request a link to Adam's page to download the e-book in one of three formats (epub or mobi for Kindle). And, while you're at it, take a few moments and comment below on the one place you would love to visit and why. (Forgive me - I'm an English teacher :-) ). The offer for the free book is only good through Wednesday, April 24, so make sure to re-post or tweet this out as soon as you've finished reading.
In a world of uncertainty and disillusionment, Adam Shepard is a fascinating young man who offers an intriguing look at life beyond the suburbs. His first book Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream was an inspired attempt to challenge the conventional wisdom about life at the fringes chronicled in Barbara Ehrenreich's best seller Nickeled and Dimed. Adam Shepard's self-published response was featured in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Atlantic, as well as the Today Show, Fox News, CNN, and even 20/20. Certainly, this is an inspired young writer with a strong message about how we live our lives.