Soundtracks and Having Hope

When the news broke on Monday that Robin Williams was dead, most people in my generation had the same reaction: a true sense of loss. Over and over again people in my life talked and wrote about how much they would miss a man that they only knew as a public figure.

It seems odd for so many of us to feel so oddly connected to Robin Williams, and yet it isn’t odd. It is precisely right. We feel connected to Robin Williams because he made us laugh. He made us feel. And he made us have hope for tomorrow. As such, his is the voice of much of our lives’ soundtrack. When we “dial back” the years of our lives, so many of the sound bites are of his voice, of his laughter. Our soundtracks feature him, but they also combine his and our laughter until it is difficult to hear where his voice left off and ours began. He made us laugh and then we laughed, which made him laugh too. For this, we loved him. We loved how he made us feel alive and happy and hopeful. Continue reading

Thank You For Patching My Flat

In all my bike rides, I’ve never had a flat tire, but I had so many in my first car (a ’73 Opal Manta) that I got so I could change a flat in 8 minutes. So this post isn’t about literal flat tires. Today at least. I’m talking about those proverbial flat tires we all get along the way.

Here we are, traveling about life’s journey, hopefully enjoying a lovely view and then it happens. Something punctures our tire and there we sit. Unable to move forward.

Today I give thanks to the many folks who’ve come to my aid, patching my flats.

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Having Hope. Or Why I Love Working with Teens

I spent the weekend at a retreat for teens that focused on The Hunger Games and the role of  YA (young adult) dystopian texts in our current world. And while it was a bit exhausting to prepare for it, it was exhilarating to be at it. As anyone who likes working with teens will tell you, teens are filled with the kind of energy that when around a collective body of them, you can’t help but absorb some of it. If they were modern pop-culture vampires, we’d all get contact sparkles from them.

My resume reads like I am precisely the sort of person who likes working with teens. All but one job I’ve had since turning 19 has involved working with teens. And like most of my peers, I do not work with teens because of some need to revisit my own teen experiences and years. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.

I work with teens because they give me hope.

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