LISTEN—it’s about all of us

It doesn’t feel right to prattle on about the usual things today. The problem of gun violence is overwhelming. The problem of black people murdered by police is overwhelming. The problem of racism is overwhelming. There are solutions or partial solutions to these, and we rationalize our way around them. How do we connect when … Read more

Adaptation, oversimplification, hyperbole, and change

As part of a conversation in episode 42 of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner made mention of people who lived through—and therefore, for a period of time, adapted to—horrible situations, and then shared this hypothesis: “All of us can adapt to some degree. But with something as simple as removing sugar from your coffee, to … Read more

Fading accomplishments and staying happy

During college, I ended up changing my primary instrument from flute to trombone, taking two extra years to complete my degree because I needed to be proficient enough on the trombone to pass a jury or a recital. With all of the metaphorical sweat equity that went into becoming competent, there was no way I … Read more

Selfies

Selfies are given a bad rap. As with most reputations, there’s some legitimacy in there, and also as with most reputations, the legitimacy is overgeneralized. Some selfies are from single parents who have no one else to take photos of them much of the time. If they want a picture together with their kid, they … Read more

Wandering and staying focused: a working plan

In a conversation on Zoom this morning, we chatted about staying on track with work and life. A system I guess-and-checked my way into is working really well for me right now and seemed to resonate with others, so I thought I’d share it with you. Take what resonates, leave the rest. First, I made … Read more

The sun is setting on 2020

It’s easy to see the bad parts of 2020. They’re on the news, they’re in articles, they’re in memes, they’re showing up in expected and unexpected places in our lives. For the overwhelming majority of us, there were good parts to 2020 as well, even if some of them are double-edged. For example, both of … Read more

Take the opportunity: band teacher edition

What a fantastic opportunity we have been forced into! I know that could be interpreted sarcastically; I mean it completely sincerely. I am a teacher. Sometimes, I am a phenomenal teacher. Sometimes, I am a mediocre teacher. We all know teachers who have been teaching for a long time, teaching the same thing, plugging along … Read more