Sunday, January 20, 2019

2019 - Forward

I decided on Forward for my one word. To kick off the year I drew this in my new marker sketchbook. Inspired by Steven Universe.

Picture here because Blogger wouldn't post with it.

Friday, December 28, 2018

One word 2019

I've done the One Word "resolution" a few years now, some years more successful than others. Now I'm trying to decide what word I want for 2019.

"Start looking forward and stop looking back" - Steve Universe lyric (What's the use of feeling blue) kind of resonates for me. I think forward may be a strong option for my 2019 word.

Awesome is another word I've been pondering. That's the word on a journal from a close colleague, and could be something positive to focus on.

I still have a few days yet to decide. Along with my word I want to decide how I'll make a point to reflect on it.

Who else does one word? Or resolutions? Or a vision board?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Reading: Earthsea

I've been wanting to read more of Ursula Le Guin's work for awhile now and recently got the chance to do so.

This month I read the first two Earthsea books. I enjoyed her world building, and it was easy to get into Ged's story as he learned to be a wizard then set off on his adventure.

I liked how she didn't mention Ged's race until further along in the story. Which she did deliberately because she knew many white readers wouldn't accept a non white hero. (1967).

Also interesting is that the first book was initially a stand alone. It wasn't meant to be a series. A line she wrote about Ged going off on further adventures was wrapping the story up. Yet it turned into a hint of further story for the series.

After that first book she wrote Left Hand Of Darkness. Then travel brought setting for the second Earthsea book. Ged is still a part of the story, but he's not the main character. Tenar is introduced here, this book is her story.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Self care and environmental support

Back in 2009 we moved into our house, and had the opportunity to watch the somewhat established gardens bloom. There were a variety of flowers.

On the side of our house in a shaded area grew a peony plant. I watched it grow and unfurl it's leaves, but no blossoms. I transplanted it to the actual garden, with sun and better soil. The next year it blossomed huge white flowers.

A part got left behind in that section of shade. It still grows year after year, as does the garden one. The garden one still blooms. The shade one never has.

When we think about self care and discuss the topic, always remember how much of a difference the environment can make. And be the sun for others.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


"Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it."

-Ursula Le Guin, Telling is Listening

I finished rereading her Left Hand of Darkness last November. I'm currently reading Wave in the Mind. Her writing resonates.

I just heard the news of her passing this evening. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

One Word

I've been thinking about my word for 2018, something to resonate with where I see myself needing to grow, and to focus on. This has taken a fair amount of thought. Then it hit me recently.


I've been struggling with the depressive episodes of my cyclothymia. Along with a challenging situation. The day I bought this journal I ran into a particularly rough spot in dealing with the situation.

Last week I was reading through old blog posts of mine, and this one struck a chord. Seeing Joy Through the Eyes of My Toddler . With the way things have been I need to find these moments of Joy. The post was a good reminder of that.

So I'm going to be more mindful of enjoying what I can. In order to not loose myself in the sea of negative.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

ADD - hyperfocus

With attention deficit disorder comes hyperfocus. At least for me. When engaged properly this can be a powerful tool for productivity.

Fairly recently I realized that it is also a way for my overactive mind to let out some of that extra mental energy. Which in turn helps my mood. This isn't only a productivity asset but a necessary outlet for me. Writing is a hyperfocus activity for me, and I'm feeling the positive impact on my mood since writing daily for national novel writing month.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mental illness and community

I recently wrote about my mental health and disability for my professional newsletter. The article is linked below. This is a short summary of my Cyclothymia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in my professional career. I also included how campus resources have helped me start to move from the medical model of disability to the social model 1. This means seeing myself as differently abled instead of broken. My article also included the Institutional Research community. Sharing stories can help grow community connections.

This sense of community connection is important. For at least the past several months when my depressive episodes hit I have been struggling with my sense of belonging where I am in my campus community. I know depression lies. But it can be hard to keep sight of that when in the worst moods.

This has gotten me thinking more about what an inclusive community looks like. Campus resources have been helpful, and I do have some wonderful colleagues, both on and off campus. In those times when I feel like I don’t belong I have thought about if I could feel a stronger sense of belonging elsewhere. In thinking further, I realized that I can help with the community I’m currently in. Part of it is managing my own mental health, being intentional in spending time with others helps there. I can also help build support for others as well. I chair the assessment subcommittee of our campus Diversity Committee. I’m also leading our newly formed faculty and staff with disabilities interest group. Both of these together can help grow connections between colleagues along with assessing our progress. System change doesn’t happen with one person, this is a collaborative effort of people working together. I’m not just building my own support network, but also helping our community.

There is still stigma around mental illness. In sharing my story, I’m doing my part to help break the stigma. In thinking about disability as a social construct, versus an impairment 2, I was wondering if the stigma around mental health could be seen as contributing towards a disabling environment. Like how a building with stairs can be harder to navigate then one with ramps for someone with a physical impairment. A social environment where one feels less worthy because of their mental illness could make one feel more disabled.  

My ask eAIR article:

1 “Disability and Ableism in Higher Education,” Jennifer Ashton, Ph.D. and Milo Obourn, Ph.D.

2 “Disability as an Intersectional Social Identity,” Milo Obourn, Ph.D. and Jennifer Ashton, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Building Bridges

As an artist I like symbolism. How something can be face value and also something more.

Take bridges for example. They span physical spaces to make connections and facilitate transportation.

Symbol wise we can focus on the idea of connection. Beyond the physical space I like to also think about bridges as connecting people. Allowing ideas to cross spaces. Perhaps these spaces are organizational. Or identity.

We have two covered bridges on campus. Both of which converge at the administration building & library plaza. One bridge crosses a main campus road to our special event and recreation spaces. The other bridge crosses railroad tracks and connects to an academic building.

Our campus is walking distance to a village of the same name, Brockport. Some mornings I drive through the village instead of using our main campus entrance. Turning from Main Street to Adams, while still in the village, the one bridge is visible in the distance.

While working on a cross departmental project this past semester the term building bridges came up. I still think of that conversation when looking at our campus bridge from the village.