MONDAY MIX – 1/15/18

A few years ago, I attended a conference presentation during which audience members were asked to construct a metaphor to represent our experiences as students.  No one had ever asked me to do this, so I was intrigued, but pretty stumped.  Then I remembered my old boom box, with its radio and dual cassette deck–I always kept a blank tape handy, ready to press “record” whenever something caught my ear.  I realized that I did the same in the classroom, gathering bits and pieces from various sources, often without an idea of how–or even if!–those pieces would fit together. That was the joy of making and sharing mix tapes; when crafted thoughtfully, they were greater than the sum of their parts.  

In that same spirit, I share a weekly “mix” of articles, recipes, book recommendations, and ideas in the hopes that something I share might fit into your own personal, ever-evolving collage. 

Have something you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share it here.


-If you’re in the Houston area, please join me tonight for the 8th (!) annual Valentines for Veterans at Saint Arnold Brewing Company.  This event grew out of a little gathering between friends and has become a warm and wonderful community event that raises money for Expedition Balance, a local organization that does really important and thoughtful work supporting veterans as they transition back into civilian life.

If you’re not in the Houston area or can’t attend tonight, but know someone who is a veteran – please submit their mailing address via our website!  We mail handmade valentines and notes of gratitude out to any and every veteran whose address we receive.


-I am very, very proud to be a part of the soon-to-be-published anthology, Modern Loss.   The book contains first-person narratives from over forty contributors, sharing about the various textures and nuances that make up the strange terrain of grief.  This is EXACTLY the kind of book I went looking for after my dad died, but nothing like it existed – which is why I plan to buy a bunch of copies and keep them on hand for when life, invariably, throws someone I love a curveball.  Won’t you preorder a copy?


-I wrote a non-Monday-Mix blog post last week, about magic and women and how narratives are constructed.  Hoping to continue with additional posts about  books and teaching and the reading experience.  This one’s called “Rebel Girls Are Magic.”


-Last, but most important – if you have never read Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” today is the day.  If you’ve read it but it’s been a while, today is the day.  Read it aloud with a family member or friend.  Marvel at how it sounds so timely, even though it was written nearly fifty-five years ago.  Resist the urge to think of this man as universally beloved, speaking what everyone can agree on was the truth; remember that he was a radical who was viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans in the years leading up to his death.

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

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