At Home & Work
At home this month, I’ve been continuing to stay vigilant about the pandemic, which simply means that I am home often. The paradox about this reality is that the State of Oregon recently announced that they will be lifting the mask mandate by the end of March.
The news about lifting the mask mandate fills me with excitement and anxiety, which is very normal as these two emotions are closely related to each other. I also know wearing a mask is an individual choice, and I will continue to wear my mask until I choose differently.
Exciting news came by way of my oldest son Justin this month, as I learned that he has been placed at Mercedes Benz for his second and last University internship. Justin is extremely excited, and I am as proud as a parent can be.
The team and I have also just recently produced the Spring Term schedule of classes, which is always a lot of work, and is an exciting time in the department. Lastly, I’ve been preparing to welcome our new hire to the team, which will occur in about two weeks.
All in all, it’s been super busy, and, yep, super fun.
My Debut Poetry Book
As you all know, I’ve been contemplating compiling and publishing a debut poetry book for some time.
When I learned about Ingrid Wilson’s new endeavor with Experiments in Fiction, which you can read more about here, it felt like the perfect opportunity and partnership.
Ingrid and I have signed an agreement, which means that sometime this fall/winter my debut poetry book will be available. I will keep you all updated as this moves forward.
I am so excited!
A Spillwords Nomination & A Poem
I was elated to find out Saturday that I was nominated for Author of the Month at Spillwords Press. If you have a moment, I would be honored if you would go here and cast your vote. Thank you!
Voting is open through Monday, February 28.
I’ve been reflecting upon and contemplating the concept of Spark the past two weeks. The concept arose organically within the team about two weeks ago.
In the youth developmental literature, Spark is associated with the Thriving theoretical framework. In short, developing a youth’s spark is positively correlated with thriving indicators and outcomes.
The above referenced article is decent, and here is a short two page theoretical framework, which includes the definition of spark listed below, developed by my graduate school advisor, Mary E. Arnold.
“A spark is a passion for a self- identified interest or skill, or a capacity that metaphorically lights a fire in a young person’s life, providing energy, joy, purpose, and direction” — Mary E. ArnoldOregon State University 4-H
What does all this mean?
Pragmatically, it simply means that when a person is ignited and excited from within, they feel better, and are more engaged and empowered.
It’s a very important practice to develop this kind of excitement on teams and within organizations. Actually it’s important for each of us as human beings on this planet to make sure our spark is always ignited, which is why I wanted to write about it this month.
If you have a spark and know what it is, amazing; if not, you can develop it at any time, and if your spark has dwindled, which happens, you can also reignite it at any time.
Spark is not a static concept, following a linear trajectory. Passion and excitement wax and wane, and they also change directions; and, that is okay. What’s most important is to always fuel our passion for life; and when that passion wanes, to reimagine and reignite it.
I felt impelled to write here that I stand with the citizens of Ukraine, and vehemently oppose the actions Russia is taking. Strength and power come through peace and love, not through war and violence. The latter are the products of egotism and narcissism, the former, of beauty and solidarity.
My love, blessings, and prayers for safety go out to everyone in Ukraine.
Alright, that’s all for this month.
Sending you all love, and wishing you a beautifully blessed March.