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Elves’ Day Out I got somewhat fixated on an mid-century/Atomic Age look out of nowhere. Luckily, I found a place to use a variation on it. Here are a few of the pieces we used for an event at work. Side by side, they don’t match, but in action, they worked. The first one is the flyer, which was the design used for Facebook events, the website, and postcards, as well. The other three (square ones) were social media posts, which is why you won’t find the logo on them.


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A life of contrasts

November has been a weird month. No matter the stance you take on sports or the world, it’s been an odd ride, and we’re not even halfway through. This may be mildly self-indulgent, but I’ll admit I’m healing, processing, and planning. Any catharsis is welcome. This is cathartic. My hope is to help you all work through things, whether you agree with me or not. If you agree, it might be helpful for your healing to see someone put your thoughts into words so you don’t have to. If you disagree, it might be helpful in creating empathy for people you think are just waving their arms maniacally and crying, “foul!” I assure you, we are not. There have been some wonderful commentaries on these current events by far better writers and thinkers than myself, and I don’t profess to stack up to them. However, I’m using all the tools I have in my admittedly privileged arsenal to help as much as I can.

See, I’m a liberal. I’m a progressive. I’m an activist. I’m a humanist. I’m also tolerant. I’m empathetic. I’m rational. Pretty regularly, these descriptors war with one another in my head, and most of the time, they meet in the middle and I go on. The same will surely happen here, but I’m not ready yet. My tolerant side is losing the battle with my progressive side. The empath isn’t quite able to convince the activist to stand down.

Perhaps I want it that way. Perhaps I want the calls-to-action of my heartbroken friends and family and strangers to stoke the fire. Perhaps I’m just not out of the anger stage of grief yet. Perhaps the Washington Post really is my spirit animal.

I digress slightly. When I’m happy, sad, confused, or, well, alive, I write. Sometimes I write deliberately. Sometimes I just put words on paper to watch them try to work out how they can come together and make a difference. This month, I’ve done a little of both. In a week, my words went from impassioned and elated to impassioned and deflated. I can’t help how I feel, and I know that’s true for so many others.

I keep trying to remind myself the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years so all hope is not lost in humanity. Someone said they’d trade the Cubs victory for a different Presidential outcome. I considered it. I guess I was bargaining. Then I remembered that a week before we were all coming apart at the seams, we were all coming together over a child’s game played by men wearing a baby bear on their chests. Stranger things have happened.

For now, though, there’s really no telling how strange things will get. For now, it’s about catharsis. I didn’t know how or if any of my words could help anyone else, but words are really all I have. Then a friend of mine from France asked me if she could read my response to the election results to her class. She’s teaching a course to French 16-year-olds called “Leading Ladies,” and after she apologized for calling it that and explaining the power of alliteration, she said, “It was soothing but also inspiring….I think it is important for them to know what we still have to accomplish.” Her request reminded me both how big and how small the world is, and I hope her students get something out of it.

I also (stupidly?) made my Facebook public again. I don’t want to isolate myself to just the opinions of agreeable people because that’s just wholly irrational. That may be another post for another time, though. My point here was to offer the words I wrote in the wake of a 108-year high in the making (for some of us) alongside the words I wrote in the wake of a year-and-a-half-long nightmare coming true (for some of us).

You can find the original posts on my Facebook. Click to read on.

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LinkedIn assignment update

So far, most of the students already had LinkedIn profiles. I’m just now starting to grade them, and I plan to collect some “hits and misses” to share here. Most of the work thus far has been primarily “hits,” so here’s hoping…

…and maybe some of those hits will rub off on the Cubs (who finally showed up for Game 2).


Let’s switch gears

Today, I’m focusing on something a little different from my Christ Church endeavors. That position, as it should, consumes a good deal of my time, but I also had two classes start at Valencia last week. I like to incorporate two themes in my courses:

1. Civic-mindedness

2.  Professional development

This is one of our assignments from our social media unit. It’s primarily a professional development piece, but it will also be an important part of our civic engagement unit as well. Coming up, I’m teaching them the connection between the two and how LinkedIn (and other social media platforms) can help them become part of their communities and increase their professional value.

I just assigned it today, so I’m interested to see how it goes. It’s a first time, thing, so I’m sure there will be tweaks that need to be made. If you see any, do let me know. If you want to use this, feel free. If you like the idea but not the execution, alter it as you see fit.

Social Media Sunday

This one is going to be quite fun. I may not be an Episcopalian, but I am a fan of mobilizing a crowd. I’ll provide updates as this goes.

UPDATE (9/26/16): This failed internally, but it was wildly successful at connecting us to other parishes. I’m working on a plan to involve our own. I’m somewhere between “Selfie Sunday” and “Giving Away God’s Love.”