• Blog
  • Pecking Order

    Academic institutions have a rigid hierarchy. The effects of that hierarchy are everywhere. Most of those effects are not good, so when I see them, I mutter to myself, Nothing like a pecking order to make you want to peck someone. I had always attributed this saying to David Rakoff, from his book Don’t Get […]

  • Blog
  • Kindness Rocks in Boulder, CO

    I learned about kindness rocks from Pinterest. The idea is simple: painted rocks with encouraging, inspirational, sweet, or just kind messages. I loved this idea. Our front yard includes some sections of rock garden. I smiled at the thought of the neighborhood kids discovering special, painted rocks among the drab, regular ones. I spent a […]

  • Books
  • Writers on Creativity

    I like reading writers’ memoirs and their books on writing. I especially love a window into their creative process. Since I first saw it, I have been gripped by this description from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Often when you sit down to write, what you have in mind is an autobiographical novel about your […]

  • Teaching
  • Mommy, Is Manny a Boy or a Girl?

    My sister’s family went to a Red Sox game. This was many years ago when my niece was in the single digits, maybe 8 years old. The players were announced. Manny Ramirez. For some reason, he caught my niece’s attention, and she wanted to know: “Mommy, is Manny a boy or a girl?” This isn’t […]

  • Videos
  • Theme Songs for My Inner Rebel

    Here are a few of my favorite motivational songs for coping with setbacks. Cee Lo, the safe for work version: 0:45: “Yeah I’m sorry, I can’t afford a Ferrari, But that don’t mean I can’t get you there.” Just the rhyme of sorry and Ferrari makes me feel invincible. The Sara Bareilles version is completely […]

  • Books
  • My Favorite Quotes from David Sedaris’ Naked

    I recently reread David Sedaris’ Naked. I originally read this book when we lived in NC. It was featured as “new from a local author” at the Chapel Hill library. The descriptions of his OCD compulsions on his walk home from school—gotta lick the ma‎ilbox—made a big impression on me. On my more recent read, […]