Structure and Style—The Canvas and the Paint

Jan 08, 2018 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

by Ryan Weins


Hello there! I’m new here—to IEW, and especially to blogging. So here’s to the first one! When I was hired, Julie told me, “You can play the ‘new guy card’ for your first year.” However, that doesn’t apply with regard to the blog, so I get to take on the same “blank page” veteran IEW’ers are so accustomed to conquering.

I’m excited to expand on the idea behind everything we do here: Structure and Style. It’s changing my life. I see it everywhere. Look around you. Everything around us is based on this union. Nature, sports, relationships—they’re are all operating with structure and style. And as I look deeper at the pairing of these two words, it occurs to me again and again that even though structure and style are equally important, mastery may develop at a different rate. Structure is the canvas upon which style is applied.

As a basketball coach, I get to teach this structure and style lesson to athletes all the time. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it that matters most.” To play the game, structure is perfected with techniques of efficient shooting, passing, dribbling, and defense. All of us learn these things, following the same structure (i.e., the rule book), but each player fits them together differently to discover his or her own stylistic advantage. A talented basketball player is poetry in motion. His style pops out of the canvas of the structure of the game.

Andrew Pudewa has said, “What I want more than anything is for [people] to be equipped to speak and write and think and communicate the truth—in a world that seems increasingly in need of truth.” This is why we (IEW) teach the structure, providing the tools for good thinking and equipping students with a toolbox of style, which allows them to create their own unique style in which to shine.

In the end we’re all teachers to someone, and that’s a big deal. It’s our responsibility that when the time comes to share truth with people, we’ve structured our lives in advance so we may communicate in a style which will inspire and move their hearts to greater understanding. But, you can’t be anything more than yourself, so enjoy the journey of structuring life for success and find your style. It’s artistry in motion. And remember, “Who you are is precisely who someone needs.” You’ve got this!


Ryan Weins is an Oklahoma native who enjoys personal interactions with people, adventures with his family, a wide range of music, and all things athletic. He has served as a basketball coach at a local high school for five years and enjoys helping people reach their fullest potential through growth in communication and motivation. With that goal in mind, Ryan is delighted to assist IEW in serving teachers and teaching parents, asserting that "the most transformational belief one can hold is the simple yet often unrecognized knowledge that you are worth it—worth the time, worth the effort, worth the love, worth the sacrifice." He strives to communicate that belief to every IEW customer he serves.


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