A few of my interests.
[This page is very much under construction.]


Alternative education

A few books I frequently recommend:

Argentine tango

My love affair with tango began in Buenos Aires in 2008 when my very first Unschool Adventures group took two weeks of private lessons with Alicia Pons, a world-class tango instructor and performer recommended to me by Grace Llewellyn. Following that trip I moved to Portland, Oregon, and immersed myself in the tango scene, learning mostly from Rob Hauk. (Here is a video of Alicia & Rob dancing at Rob’s studio, Tango Berretin.) I also joined Portland milongas (social tango dances) and one high-level tango festival, all of which were way over my head.

More Unschool Adventures trips gave me more excuses to learn tango—South America 2011, Argentina 2012—with more lessons from Alicia and other instructors. But the real boost came from a 2014 UA trip totally dedicated to learning tango in Buenos Aires. My group worked with a new instructor who I discovered online, Alejandro Puerta, who was an absolute gem.

In 2016 I returned to Buenos Aires solo, flying there directly from New Zealand after a 2016 UA program, and took five weeks of private lessons with Alejandro. My friend Zoe Vlastos joined me for much of this time, and I strongarmed myself (with a $500 Stickk commitment) to go out to milongas six nights a week.

Fresh from Buenos Aires, I participated in the 2016 BurningTango festival, and in 2017 I took more private lessons with Alejandro while running the UA Argentina Semester. Many of the young adults on that program worked with him too.

While living in Wanaka, New Zealand, in 2019, I enjoyed four lovely months of low-key social dancing at Sousa Jefferson‘s house. We even got filmed!

In The Art of Self-Directed Learning I wrote about the connection between tango and self-directed learning, including entertaining glimpses of my first lessons with Alicia; here’s the chapter.


Attachment theory

Ending the Anxious-Avoidant Dance


Bike travel


  • Dharma Bums
  • Be Here Now + Zen + Taoism
  • Tibetan Buddhism retreat @ Kopan Monastery
  • Vipassana retreat




  • anything by Deirdre McCloskey, Thomas Sowell, Russ Roberts (rap videos + EconTalk)
  • The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy



  • Reading Fast Food Nation, becoming vegetarian
  • Early transcendent experiences in nature, the “moment” in the Trinity Alps, 2002
  • Cadillac Desert (documentary)
  • Shades of environmentalism
  • Dark Green environmentalism
    • Derrick Jensen
    • Daniel Quinn
  • Bright Green environmentalism
    • Bjorn Lomborg
    • Michael Shellenberger
  • Hans Rosling, the washing machine TED talk, Factfulness


NBTSC 2010 Frisbee project

Fusion dance

History of science


  • Babies (2010 documentary)
  • David Lancy’s The Anthropology of Childhood (review)
  • Alison Gopnik’s The Gardener and the Carpenter
  • Judith Rich Harris’ The Nurture Assumption
  • Tom Hodgkinson’s The Idle Parent
  • Meghan Daum’s Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids

Ping pong

Political theory



Settlers of Catan




  • Middle school infatuation, high school club trips
  • Snowboard instructor certification (CASI), working 3 days at Heavenly
  • Heavenly marketing research dream job (getting paid to snowboard for an entire season)


Trail running

  • Peak experiences
    • Seven Summits in Desolation Wilderness w/ Hannah (2016)
    • Tuolumne Meadows to Mammoth on the John Muir Trail w/ Hannah (2015)
    • Routeburn & Kepler Track trail runs, New Zealand (2016)
    • Tahoe Rim Trail 55k (2016)
    • Marin Headlands trail marathon (2015)
  • “Probably ran it a million times” / All-time favorites
    • Cold Creek to Monument Pass (South Lake Tahoe, CA)
    • Kartäuserstraße to Roßkopf (Freiburg, Germany)
    • Shut-in Trail (Asheville, NC)
  • Volunteering at Western States Endurance Run (2015/6)


Tree climbing