a hand reaches toward the water and is reflected

A spectrum of possibilities

“I know you don’t want to hear this, Liz, but I really think you’re on the spectrum.” A friend said this to me during a particularly tense phone conversation back in the spring. It wasn’t the first time they’d suggested I might have Autistic traits, but it was the most forcefully they’d expressed it. When …

suspension bridge up close

Comfort, even without safety

I was chatting with someone a couple of days ago, working through how I’m feeling about this season in my life. For the last few months (let’s call them “summer”), I’ve been faaaaaar less ‘productive’ than my normal pace of life. If you’ve been around for more than a minute, you know that doing a …

A woman with her hands over her heart

Compassion through betrayal

Hurt people … hurt people. I don’t remember when I first heard this saying, but it has become a near-daily mantra. When someone else’s actions sting, when I’m disappointed or hurt or betrayed, I try to remind myself that it’s probably not actually all about me. Have a seat, Ego. Step up to the plate, …

a woman sits at her desk and is happy

82 days to fall: Caring in classrooms

I have so many thoughts swirling in my brain today, mostly because I’ve been consuming information at a faster-than-normal clip (thanks to all the driving I’ve done in the last week — more than 32 hours in the car over seven days). But for a #100DaysToFall post, I pulled out a book I read over …

A hand on a steering wheel of a boat

84 days to fall: Trusting students (and ourselves)

We only control what we don’t trust. Glennon Doyle As my last post indicated, I’ve been traveling this week — first to (attempt to) visit my brother in Kansas City, then on to my parents’ house in northern Arkansas. I hadn’t seen family since Christmas 2019, in the before-COVID times, so this has been a …

a paper heart torn into pieces

88 days to fall: The hard truth is that we cannot reach everyone

Ostensibly about teaching, this #100DaysToFall series has been a delightful daily challenge to muse over what a teaching-obsessed college professor’s summer life looks like. For the most part, it looks nearly identical to the middle-of-the-semester life, save formal class meetings and the endless waves of guilt for not giving students feedback more quickly. I spend …

92 days to fall: The joy of working in coffee shops

On Thursday, right around the time a short line of students, faculty, and the college president were about to process into our campus gym for the 20-something-th commencement of the week, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear a mask indoors to protect themselves from COVID-19 (the disease, not the …

books arranged on a curve

My favorite reads of 2020

I’ve been getting excited about writing up my annual review of the best books I read last year … this is my fifth such annual review, and I have so much great stuff to share with you this year! According to Goodreads, I read 139 books, totaling 39,970 pages, in 2019. My reading productivity benefited …

meerkats

No hard feelings…?

I’ve wanted to write this blog post for a long time. Maybe as long as a year — maybe more. But when I read the book No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, by Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy, I knew it was time. But any time you want to …

explosion

A meditation on bliss

Follow your bliss … and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be Joseph Campbell As a high school senior, the Joseph Campbell quote about following your bliss spoke to me. I couldn’t now say where this instinct originated; what about my first 18 years suggested that my bliss would lead …