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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Christmas 83

Dear Friend;

As I look back, I see that 1983 has been quite a busy year for me. I began by teaching the doctoral seminar in curriculum and instruction at SIUE for the third time. this time I team taught with Merrill Harmin, a well-known humanistic educatior. Through teaching this course, I have gotten to know most of our doctoral students and consequently have been on the dissertation committees of several of them. Some of the recent topics have been defining autism, evaluating nursing education, the structure of children's language, and accrediting preschoolers.

I completed a split sabbatical during Spring. While I did give a paper on transformational education at the AHE (American Huminastic Education) Conference in April, a book I had planned to write was postponed. You see, I made a career switch (but staying at SIUE). Having been a computer buff for nearly four years, I decided to do some retraining in the use of microcomputers in education. And so I began preparing to teach some introductory courses early in the summer. I have driven as far as 150 miles round trip, but have also had some within five miles of home. Frankly, I am enjoying this change, yet a bit anxious, because there is still so much to learn and the field is changing so fast.

I also gave several concerts playing the guitar and singing my own songs. Notable were the St. Louis World Federalist's Association, the Festival of Light, and St. John's Episcopal Coffee House. July was free this summer, so I went to marietta to visit my parents, brother, sister and their families. Tom and Dee's twins, Adam and Heidi, are five, and Vicki and Jerry's three boys, TJ (Thomas James), Joey, and Jeff, are 2, 9, and 11 respectively.

Then I taught another course with Merrill Harmin called New Directions in Transformational Education. We had extremely interesting speakers on psychic counseling, superlearning, and spiritual education. A connection with a student in this course eventually led to my appearing on a panel on psychic phenomena for the SIUE philosophy club.

Late August and early September is my usual vacation time. this year I attended the Midwest men's Festival at the Lake of the Ozark's State Park with several good friends. Thought it was hot, we explored ways that men can cooperate and be supportive with each other, and also looked at new directions for humanity as a whole.

Then I packed up and went to Michigan with mom and dad in their RV. This was my first experience with recreation vehicle camping and I loved it. We went to Mackinaw Island, the "UP" (upper peninsula), and even took a beautiful train ride into Canada. Two weeks of beautiful pines and blue lakes. Fabulous! But I did run the camper into a gift store sign. No one was injured.

While I was in Michigan, I began to write my new book "A Handbook for Unicorns." While the title may sound somewhat light and humorous, it is actually intended as a serious new age philosophical treatise. The point is to explain the significance of the new icons which are so prevalent now—the unicorn, the butterfly, and the rainbow. The conclusion I draw, through prose, poetry, and mythic writing, is that ale are symbols of humanity in transformation to a new mode of being: more spiritual, more integrated, more loving.

During this Fall, of course, I have been occupied with my new teaching assignment, and with publishing my own book. I have produced 50 copies and given them to friends, colleagues and a couple to interested publishers. I must admint, I am really happy that I could be a channel for this information. I feel like a new tomato on a vine, just ripe to be picked.

I went to Marietta for Thanksgiving so that I could spend my Christmas and New Year's holidays relaxing and entertaining here in St. Louis. On December 3rd, I had my parents, Tom Manuel from New York City, and several other close friends to my home for my 45th birthday celebration. It was a very special time. then, on December 17th I entertained fifty (count 'em) people. We all had a great time. I called it my affirmative action party because there was such a mix of people, and everybody was exchanging Christmas hugs and singing songs of love and peace. My friend Merrill, from Kansas City, is coming to visit for a few days, and I will spend christmas with several close friends—Sheila, Rosanda and John, Carol, and others.

Love and Blessed Be,

Jim Andris(se)