Thoughts on What We Say to Young Adults about the Future

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 3.19.17 PMYou can accomplish great things in this life.

That’s it. Now you just have to believe it. Unfortunately, it seems that our media and our educational system is hell bent on convincing you otherwise. And so many of you are taking that to heart. I want to say “Stop that.”

I’d been a college professor (with a brief stint of teaching middle school thrown in for fun) for 25 years when I quit last year. I am not sure if I will ever go back. I’m not sure I want to. But I know academia. It’s my niche. I lived it, and I follow academic news stories in the media somewhat obsessively. One of the reasons I am so interested is that much of what is occurring on a national scale at colleges and universities today are things that already happened at a small community college in Los Angeles, where I was a tenured English professor. I taught there for a total of 16 years, back in the nineties and in the first decade of the 2000s. So what I am witnessing is not all that surprising.

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For Teachers: In Consideration of Students Who Take You At Your Word

turkeyI got a text in all caps today from my daughter, who is in her senior year of college. It read: “MY WEDNESDAY CLASS WAS JUST CANCELLED.” That class is next week and is the day before Thanksgiving. I have been in enough classrooms to know that this professor was instant hero. And he knew it too.

Students love when classes are cancelled. In 25 years of teaching college, I rarely cancelled mine. In fact, when I was pregnant with that same daughter, I had students come to me and also write in my evaluations that they thought for sure I would be cancelling a lot of classes because of my pregnancy, and they were surprised (some disappointed, quite honestly) that I never called in sick.

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Thoughts on that which is known as an “empty nest”

IMG_4625
The first photo of the three of us.

Adrift.

It’s the word that keeps coming to mind. Adrift. Rudderless. Alone. Confused. Mired in the moment.

I’m struggling. And I knew I would be. And even though I tried to imagine what it would be like once both of my kids were off to college, I couldn’t quite capture it. And now I know why. This feeling is too unfamiliar.

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Pitchers and Pitching

I love baseball.12

My only explanation for that is that I am from St. Louis. How
could I grow up in St. Louis and not come out a baseball fan?? I am not sure it is even possible.

Not only do I love going to the games, keeping score (or sometimes not!), eating a plain hotdog – no mustard or ketchup here! – and having a Budweiser, but I love using baseball as a metaphor for life. Ever since my son started playing (and yes, I was one of those moms who had him in t-ball at the tender age of 4), I have come to realize just how many lessons baseball can afford us in our every day lives.

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