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Becoming a Masterful Unlearner

I'm in one of those reflective spaces in life.  You know the kind.  They don't come around very often and are best accompanied by grey, drizzly days, cups of hot tea, and warbly music floating from the record player. A book project has just ended, which means I'm not frantically writing in ...

Confession: I’m a Silent Freaker Outer

I want you to think I'm calm and collected, but when it comes to the big stuff I can't control, I become a worst case scenario person. For example, last year at this time, the Bridgeton Landfill was threatening (via every screen imaginable) to blow St. Louis into the sky because of an underground ...

Boston, A Love Letter

I'm sitting at a communal table in a tiny dining room.  None of the chairs match and the dark wood bears lighter marks where warm plates and mugs of coffee once sat, forming constellations of house dinners past.  Light is slanting in through the third floor windows, along with the cool, beginning ...

Spirit Animals and St. Louis Ice Cream

  I've always applied the phrase Spirit Animal loosely, because true, soul aligning goodness can't be limited to the animal kingdom.  For instance, my husband's spirit animal is a fictional mouse (from the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and my friend's spirit animal is the entire Jeni's ...

This Pep Talk is for You

There was a season of life when I used to haul around a ten foot long paper banner with two giant words written in red paint: Pep Talk.  I'd hang it in rooms in my residence halls, announcing my impending encouragement that my students couldn't escape.  Today, I'm hanging the Pep Talk banner in ...

To those who need kindness.

One of the very first questions I used to ask the college students sitting on my couch after a few mentoring meetings inevitably was, "Would you say the things you say to yourself out loud to another person? Would you call someone else those names?" "No! Of course not," They would ...

Tales of Back To School Supplies and Dumb Emoji Post Its

I've been to the Target Back to School section so much I've got it memorized. It's tradition in this household to do two things: Curse the school supplies as soon as they hit the shelves. How DARE they welcome school at the end of June? Visit the school supplies every chance we get in July. ...