considering….culture….our social contract…life and liberty… Imagine America’s founders and the angst of writing. They willed the constitution and the bill of rights into being. Life, liberty, and also the pursuit of happiness. There’s a miracle in “them there words.” Folding together life and liberty in this blog considers culture and social contracts, trends and which brain research and ideas define life and liberty now. See considering the pursuit of happiness, a singular miracle to have equated with life and liberty. A third blog for teachers,, looks at thinking and education. All three blogs consider transformative moments, the Ah ha! experiences which can fuel life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No guarantee of happiness, but a guarantee of pursuing it. For today, November 3, election day, what is liberty? The freedom from stress, the freedom to shape community. In short, we have to vote. We have to contribute. Why wouldn’t we? What about liberty don’t we trust? Corporations? Politicians? Politics? Raging, Breitbartism, high prices, little employment, wealth-divide, selfishness? What old paradigms hold us back? Fascinating….here we go….

3 Nov


29 Oct

today’s Kojo Nnamdi’s discussion between 1:00-2:00 PM/eastern. Centering on current news development today, the program’s callers focused upon the escalating violence from the South Carolina school’s resource officer’s throwing a student across a classroom. Driving at the time, and too late to call in, shortly after, I emailed a response to Kojo about one of his callers, a former teacher with 30 years experience who suggested something wonderful. He told Kojo and the audience that he felt that schools, teachers, and resource officers are trained first as law-enforcement officers apparently, and communicators second.  The caller asked Kojo what kind of “middle step” could slow down reaction time before incidents escalate to violence.  What a wonderful, peaceful, rational term, a perfect title: The Middle Step. An adult form for taking a breath, calming down, a time out for thinking. Call it Brain Talk. theExact Word is a training company – “training thought” into shifting our vision, strategies for taking a breath, and an experience in thinking in ways we don’t think.

My post to Kojo, however, focused on learning styles as a way to counter a premise in schools and in America – a premise about being smart. Gifted-and-Talented labels separate more than they laud. Those “others,” those not included in the Gifted-and-Talented group, either don’t feel smart or feel “unsmart.” A decade or two ago, Dr. Howard Gardner from Harvard introduced an insight he called multiple intelligences. Some of us are kinesthetic, some visual, some musical, for example. He named several other types of intelligence. Yes, we have dispositions, sometimes apparent in infants or toddlers; of course we have multiple and differing kinds of talents. Gardner’s thinking still has great value.  But the promise of America lies, as I have seen, in thinking itself.

I spoke of this point in my email to Kojo. In afterthought, I have decided to follow-up more specifically with him. In particular, every human being is a language genius between the ages of 3-5. That genius, as I have seen in hundreds of workshops, coaching, and facilitating with clients, remains dormant. Whether for students or adults, releasing that genius becomes a revelation. theExact Word Experience becomes a portal to releasing that genius. Because English has only four patterns of thought, or “thought-strings” which make-up all sentences. English speakers therefore have a common denominator. Moreover, an individual ThoughtPrint paints a portrait of how each of us thinks.

If every student and every educator knew their ThoughtPrint strengths and strategies, then learning styles would become a new kind of smart, an inclusive Middle Step as a way of thinking as other people do as well as a way to describe each of our thinking strengths. More in upcoming posts. We began, remember with Margaret Mead’s thoughts about small groups of individuals. “Sorting ourselves,” if that makes sense, into “thinking groups” and strengths of thought, could change the premise of the sort of vague idea of what makes people “smart.”  Have you seen the film, The Help? One of the characters says something of huge importance and she says it to a small child.  More about that next time.

For now, this experience of understanding ThoughtPrints and thought strings and thinking/learning styles is a powerful one, so much so that my very small company, same name as the blogs, theExact Word, has filmed over 200 documentary hours, first in schools, (next step –  professional workplaces.)

For a taste, see: for K-12 and a shorter version of the first cut but also a glimpse into how thinking in more than one way impacted a biophysics and physiology university department.

Or. just stay tuned. Looking forward to getting to know you.



12 Sep

….from this blog’s beginning, December, 2014, with Margaret Mead, who said “…a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world…,” logically our making the next step, we’ll compare our world with hers.  because she then added, “…indeed, it has never been otherwise,” what human common denominator across time did she see?

And who am I? Why begin with her?  What responsible kind of committed citizen can I be? For you, I am Barbara Stuckey, founder of a teaching company, theExact Word, small, committed to exploring, changing a communications crisis in the English-speaking world. Committed to conversation, solutions, these piazza commentaries consider “other” – what others say, other ways of thinking, other solutions, new research, new excitements and magic in what’s possible. Mead kicked us off. Here we go…

Changing the world

10 Dec

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it has never been otherwise.” Mead, a thinker and cultural anthropologist in the 1960s and 70s set a powerful force in motion. Think of her as a telescope into our own “now.” She also said, “Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump-you have to get it right the first time.” Her words about change guide my thinking. Our era, in my mind, vies for more than one “label.” The era of paradigm shift? This era has submerged us in changes. Some changes couldn’t be more exciting. Some of them feel like they can overtake us. This blog will look at paradigms, at the premises we live by. Inquiry into the essentially human interests me, probably the most. We don’t have an existential age, an age of “absurdity” that the existential philosophers tussled with. Ironically, America has perhaps the greatest educational experiment in history. And, given: we all think, night and day, no choice. This blog’s topics: education; who we are and why; thinking; language; some philosophy or, rather, the views of philosophers. Next blog: who am I? Why am I blogging? What has led me to these thoughts? What have I produced? What have my experiences led me to? Who has influenced me in my work? Where can conversation with these “go?”


10 Dec