Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I was asked to apply for an incubator-type group to further develop my ideas on education reform that could potentially build a non- or for-profit entity. They call the program "The Essentials." The incubators are super out-of-the-box thinkers (as you can see from their questions); I think it will be a really dynamic, interesting place to see what happens.

It does not, by any means, allow my job search to end... but it is a sizeable step forward.

Thanks to all who have been a part of this ongoing (and continuing!) process with their time, talent, support, and love.

And, above all, I am grateful to those who have made sure I kept my perspective enough that I could laugh... sometimes at myself, but always out loud.

What is the last article or book you read that totally rocked your world. Tell us about

I've been trying to lose weight, in varying degrees of effort/seriousness, for the past year. I've done Weight Watchers, yoga, Couch to 5K running plan. I bought a bike. I try to cook healthfully, limit carbs, and meditate. But for every two steps forward, there's one step back (plantar fasciitis is the latest, but living in a food- and drink-centric town is the penultimate barrier)... and that makes my scale fickle and unfriendly.

All of my motivation and effort changed two weeks ago after I read an article about a study from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia that found women with waistlines greater than 35 inches are at greatly increased risk of heart disease.

Heart disease?! But I need my heart to work! If there is anything in my life I need to function, it is my giant, giving, wide open heart. I need to be able to love strangers. I need to be able to hold friends' hands when their parents are diagnosed with terminal diseases; I need to be able to hug my boyfriend's little girl. Oh. And to hug him, too.

I need to make a difference! And I can't do that if I don't have a healthy heart!

So. I have begun a practice of clean eating. I make sure that I get 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week. I bike instead of drive whenever possible. I stretch my feet (which is really painful!) so that I can continue to stretch and move my body in ways that will help it heal.

And I will get my waistline to below 35 inches, one day at a time. It turns out that I just needed a number that represented much more than a scale or a dress size.

What is something you’re curious about that is not related to your profession? *

Why doesn't the NFL invest in breast cancer research instead of purchasing hot pink everything during the month of October?

Please share a "How might we" question that you've been asking or would like to begin wrestling with. *
How might we inform students and their families about post-secondary educational and career options?

Open Wikipedia. On the left hand side of the page click on the “random article”
selection. With the question you stated above in mind use the completely random
word and definition that pops up and make associations that help you redefine the
problem. Be creative on this one, we’d love to hear your thought process! (And please make sure to tell us what the 'random article' title was!)

1. BEER!
2. KEG PARTIES!!! Oh. Wait. They're kids, so, hmmm... I mean, it is New Orleans, but...
3. KEG PARTIES FOR PARENTS! Hmmm... while turnout may be great, it's not exactly the marketing message I want to send.
4. Fine. I'll read the article and see how I can tweak this into something legal for those under 21 and meaningful for all ages.
5. Smallest of eight Trappist breweries. Beer made by monks. I like this brand of religion.
7. The abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution. The Germans dismantled the brewery in order to salvage copper during WWI. What needs to be destroyed about "college and career readiness" so that we can rebuild? What can we salvage from the current systems? Will it require a major war, and, if so, who will be the soldiers? Who will be the rebuilders?
8. After an 84-year dormancy, the monks decided in 1998 to start brewing again. Proceeds support the monastery and charities. Well. In the past 84 years, we've largely been successful at keeping low-income and minority children from completing college. We've largely kept people born into poverty in poverty. What can we make or sell that would change this? What charities should or could be involved?
9. And can we drink delicious Belgian beer while we do it?

Please attach a picture of something you have made/built/created, even if you’re not incredibly proud of it. Feel free to add a caption to your photo in the space below.

Photo credit: Anne Berry

Food is one of my love languages. Since Thanksgiving 2010, I have opened my home in New Orleans to other "orphans" (those of us who cannot afford financially or emotionally to visit our families at Thanksgiving *and* Christmas and those who like having an excuse to avoid their families here). This is a picture from last year's Thanksgiving, before we served food to nine people I had spent at least three days cooking/prepping. I am incredibly grateful for my ability to feed others (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) and for the community/family I have created/belong to in New Orleans. 

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