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Showing posts from February, 2016

the cost of pressure

It's been awhile since I wrote anything here. There are several reasons for that. The primary one is that I spent the first half of the month doing a final edit of my doctoral dissertation before I handed it over to the examiners. Looking carefully at every word, footnote, and punctuation mark, as well as making sure that all 200 pages read like a cohesive whole and not a collection of disjointed ideas, took up most of my hours as well as most of the space in my brain. I surfaced from my office for tea and popcorn and made appearances in classes and meetings, but my mind was always on my dissertation. I submitted it to the thesis office on February 16. Three days later, Dean and I awoke at 4:30 in the morning to fly to Hawaii for a bit of sunshine and rest. It took several days before I was able to relax and enjoy the slower pace of vacation instead of thinking about projects, obligations, and future plans. Rest is a discipline and a skill.

For the past five years, the pressure o…

the stories we keep telling

If you have parents, you have no doubt heard some stories of how it was back in the day when things were different. Perhaps they had to suffer hardships like walk all the way to the television to change the channels. Can you imagine? Sometimes we tire of the stories we hear older people tell over and over. I have been known to roll my eyes when I hear the familiar phrase, "Did I tell you about the time...?" But really, there is a reason for this repetition. Stories are told again and again because they remind us who we are. For instance, my ancestors came to Canada from another land in order to escape religious persecution, and I don't want to forget that heritage. Stories such as the ones told by people who have lived through a war help us remember what is important and put things in perspective for those of us who enjoy relative peace. Stories invite us to enter into the experience of another person, so they give us chances to practice compassion and empathy. Stories …