The beginning for a writer is the journal. I say this because it is the testing grounds for all your styles and ideas. If you do not keep a journal, it will be hard for you to be a good writer in almost any field.
You should write a little every day if you want to cultivate your literary skills. That's the beauty of a journal... because you don't need a revolutionary idea or original thought to write a successful entry into your journal. Other types of writing are not as forgiving; when you write poetry when you don't feel poetic or a story when you don't feel inspired, you will likely not turn out highly artistic words.
Good Memories from the Badlands
Photos from my trip to Killdeer and Medora in Western North Dakota.
The Call for Religion in Schools
An unpublished editorial on religion in the classroom.
The mind and body
Why we need to exercise both mind and body.
The Forgotten Philosopher: A Look at John Dewey
An essay delving into the educational philosophy of John Dewey.
Human ability and prejudice
Prejudice is a part of our world fading, but never quickly enough.
Discipline in School
A strict look at the need for strong discipline in the classroom.
The Hurry-Stop Syndrome
This editorial was the last Chalkboard editorial Shawn Olson wrote for the Columbus Messenger.
The other end of life
An emotional editorial by Shawn Olson about old age originally printed in the Messenger.
The Happy Worker
An essay on the coomon person's role in the workforce.
A critique of the value of educational diplomas.
Going bald like a man
An amusing editorial by Shawn Olson, originally published as a Chalkboard column in the Messenger.