Working Hard for No Money

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 9

Lately, I’ve been thinking about jobs.

Our rental has become a bit of a fishbowl in recent days. A deck is being built outside. Shirts, as we have learned, are optional.

The whole environment is strange until you consider that the beings clanging around our home are humans. They have families, too. And when they work long hours after a long day of work, they leave them behind.

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Second Chance Love

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 2

“You saved me from the streets.”

It’s not something I like to discuss – the horrible things my students have encountered in their lives. But my teaching always seems to bring it out.

Drive-bys. Drug rings. Gut-wrenching poverty.

If college is designed to prepare young people for the real world, I think it falls short in doing so for inner-city youth. It takes several class periods before they even feel comfortable removing their backpacks, if it happens at all.

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You Can Do This

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“You can do this.” It’s become a mantra in our relationship.

First, it was sweet encouragement my husband and I whispered to one another during our tenure in graduate school. Eventually, we walked across the stage – just minutes apart.

Next, it was yelled by my husband over intense labor pains. Truthfully, I thought our children might be stuck forever. Eventually, two little people entered the world.

And, just this weekend, I found myself mentally replaying the words.

For the first time, we trusted a non-grandparent caregiver to put both children to bed.

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A Veteran’s Lesson in Courage

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Excited to share my first guest post! Thank you to Grinia at Mirror & Soul for the opportunity and to all the veteran students who have made me a better teacher, mother, and learner.

“A Veteran’s Lesson in Courage”

I could tell he was nervous. There is this dance of eye contact aversion that my quietest students have perfected. But I teach at the college level – composition, to be exact – and public speaking is a rite of passage.

In full disclosure, I had been anticipating this moment for over 24 hours. The student, a veteran in his mid-20s, had a story to tell.

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5 Keys to Work-Life Balance (Mom Edition)

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Last fall the walls were about to cave in. Really. In many ways, my world was coming apart.

If you’re a mother, you know exactly what I mean:

  • Exhaustion: Check
  • Countless meals out: Check
  • Irritability: Check
  • An inability to do ANYTHING well: Check

Truly, you can only hold on like this for so long. When last semester ended, I did what any sane teacher mom would do. I disconnected.

No social media pressure. No play date merry-go-round. No books about parenting. And no cheap, meaningless conversation.

In short, I returned to all the little things that I had forgotten along the busy motherhood way. And, in this, I focused on a work-life reset.

So what is the “secret” that helped me pull through?

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