Tolerance, validity, vulnerability

If everyone taught their kids at least to be tolerant of people who are different, it would help. Tolerance is better than intolerance, but would you want to spend your life tolerated? It’s a better-than-nothing space, not an end goal. If everyone taught their kids that their own emotions are valid and how to name … Read more

Changes in how life changes

photo of a cloth-covered journal

I’m an extremely sentimental person, especially about people. Someone recently asked, “Do you collect people?” Why yes, yes I do. If you and I have had any remotely significant relationship at any point in my life for any length of time, you are a piece of me. For better or for worse. Regardless the state … Read more

Why? Why? And more why?

From my Facebook memories: Aaaaaand another assessment tool that requires written student work as “evidence.” *sigh* I was an elementary band teacher, and while some knowledge of how notation works can be assessed using traditional paper-pencil tests, “before and after” student work is what we hear. My job was to teach them to play, to … Read more

Joy in low-stakes creativity

photo of words in a notebook

Changing Hands Bookstore had a virtual writing event recently where we were guided through a variety of chance operations activities. These activities leave the writing process to chance. (They’re useful for any creative composing, not just writing. John Cage used some in composing music, for example.) Leaving things to chance requires the writer to put … Read more

Our expectations around family are backwards

As a person estranged from my family of origin, I’ve been told many times that I am obligated to be in contact or spend holidays or whatever because they’re family and there are things that you overlook or put up with because they’re family. (I wonder how the family sounds in your head compared to … Read more

Judging competence and the okayness of being bad

Because very little if anything in life is completely binary, I felt myself needing to qualify many of these thoughts as I wrote. Instead, I’m just going to say here at the beginning that yes, there are exceptions to these generalizations, and since they’re exceptions, their incidence is low. If you’re feeling like you’re the … Read more

2021 Year in Review

photo of a watercolor sketch of the word cultivate

For my final blog post of 2021—the year in review. It was a wild year, deeply creative, with a lot of output. This time last year, I’d just finished writing a book (first round writing, not editing and such), quit my job due to COVID concerns, and was going to see what I could do … Read more