Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

I use an app called “We Croak” that reminds me, five times a day, that I will die one day. Could be any minute–so the notifications appear on my phone at any time, day or night. Totally random. And the notifications come with quotations. This is the one that appeared this morning when I clicked on it. Lucille Clifton is one of my favorite poets of all time, and she said this:

“In the bigger scheme of things the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to be something. And that’s a whole different thing.”

She’s 100% right about the difference between doing and being. I happen to believe that the universe is personal, and it is God who is asking us to be something and not do something. What’s the difference? Today it means I’m not going to worry about the fact that work is not coming easy to me. That I’m having a hard time focusing on writing or even reading. That the article I wanted to work on today is not going to happen the way I visualized it. Instead, I’m going to delight in the fact that I’m here, and that my primary work is to learn how to be someone who loves others well.

Are you living in an echo chamber?

Sometimes you just have to teach off script. Here’s why. I’ve been teaching American literature for over 25 years, and it enables me to raise all kinds of issue of central importance today, including our persistent failure to move beyond the racist attitudes present at the founding of the United States. But sometimes we need

Read More »

Why we do this!

As some of you know, I use my first two weeks of classes to schedule face-to-face meetings with individual students in my classes so that I can get to know them better. This is one of my top strategies for increasing participation in class, and it really works. But this week I had a first

Read More »

Flourishing Teacher Fall Retreat Now Available!

I’ve been working all summer on this retreat, so I’m so excited to finally make it available. If you are anxious about the start of the school year and need a vocational renewal, this retreat is for you! I extended the work I did on my book to provide strategies for success with Zoom, as

Read More »
Scroll to Top