Patchwork Pants (CATALOG 4/10/2022)

My latest list of recent likes and favorite links…

  1. I see a lot of ripped up or patched together pants among my middle-school students. These Dolce Gabbana jeans—and their price tag—caught my eye. The question is… What came first, the patches or the pants?

  2. Super creepy, super cool, or a little bit of both? If Stephen King is looking for his next muse, the “American Decay” photography collection by Bryan Sansivero may be it.

  3. Figure out what makes you tick—and enjoy some great art in the process—with Lisa Congdon‘s “Values Deck.”

  4. Let’s save today’s youth from becoming even more device dependent—let’s engage their brains! Learn more through the “Raising Problem Solvers” podcast, a new production by the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS).

  5. So many people changed careers during the pandemic, including yours truly. Still thinking about your next move? Fast Company offers “6 things to consider…

  6. Get a load of Charlie Puth’s creative process for writing and recording “Light Switch“—plus his bouncy curls are amazing!

  7. To think that my sleek silver MacBook Pro all began with the quaint wood stylings of the Apple 1 computer, which now fetches $400,000 at auction!

  8. A friend recently treated me to Susie Larson‘s latest book, May His Face Shine Upon You. Such a beautiful collection of little blessings for both parent and child!

  9. Another great resource for mothers with lots of creative ideas and ambitions: try “An Artist Residency in Motherhood.”

  10. What a cool marriage of music and visual art, presented by children’s author Mo Willems of Piggie, Gerald, and Pigeon fame. His “Beethoven Exhibits Extracted” recently wrapped up at the Kennedy Center, but I intend to visit all nine pieces online and listen to the corresponding symphonies from the comfort of my own home.

I love to collect cool resources on writing, learning, and creativity—so please send me yours! Thanks for reading!

On Making A CAREER CHANGE

A pandemic. A war on racial inequality. Countless natural and man-made disasters.

Amidst all the struggles and strife of our current world, it’s a bit awkward to admit that I most recently experienced one of the very best years of my life.

It actually started in the fall of 2019 when I enlisted a life coach to help me address the gaping hole and nagging itch I was sensing in my long-time communications career. The main benefits of that coaching? A loyal and wise mentor, some invaluable self-awareness, and a passions statement that continues to drive any and all of the work I pursue:

With words as my primary medium, encouragement as my primary motive, and structure as my primary context, I am passionate about taking part in and creating learning experiences, celebrating uniqueness, and helping others recognize divine and personal meaning.

So where did all of this lead in more practical terms? After more than twenty-five years pushing key messages and getting swept up in the PR spin cycle, I abandoned business communications for the appeal of middle schoolers. Yep, middle schoolers—mouthy, pimple-faced, quirky, smart, beautiful, deep-thinking middle schoolers. Simply put, I love loving them.

On Monday, I will begin my second year as an AVID tutor through a local school district. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a class elective that prepares middle- and high-school students for college success. To that end, I facilitate presentations and group discussions on the students’ points of confusion and curiosity—questions and ideas they bring forward for deliberation. Talk about a rich learning experience for all involved, including me!

Then, on Tuesday, I start another job as a one-on-one writing and study-skills tutor for students with various learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. My prayer? To encourage young people who are often criticized for their uniqueness and discouraged from approaching their schoolwork in ways that really mean something to them. Indeed, this prayer is my passion!

I am ready. I am pumped. And I look forward to resurrecting this blog to share insights and resources from this new season of writing, learning, teaching, trying, caring, etc.—of following my truest passions. Thank you for reading!