Hello from my apartment in Palo Alto, CA, USA. As of the posting of this newsletter, I have been here for 6 weeks. I imagine you all have been sheltering in place for the last month or so as well. Things are topsy turvy and no doubt you have heard from many voices providing solace, inspiration, and direction. There have been symphonies, choirs, piano players, guitar solos, opera showings, Broadway musicals, podcasts, and poetry readings. Something for everybody. What should I, in this newsletter, give voice to that would be of support? I decided that, as Walt Whitman says, we contain ‘multitudes,’ – so here is a bit of humor for your fun side, a bit of what’s up in my book writing for your mind and an word activity for your heart. Determine which facet of your being needs some love and read on.
For a laugh: Nick Heath is a British sports announcer. Like so many, he was at a loss when his work dried up – no sporting events for him to announce! So he started doing live commentary on the day-to-day actions of dogs and people. He has made us see that quotidian ‘goings on’ can be described with so much humor and he offers us dramatic renderings of our ordinary experiences. The videos are delightful. ESPN wrote a story that includes several of his videos. Check it out.
For your mind: My days are spent in contemplation of my next book on adult development – becoming a better self at work. This book is not about the urgent needs of now. This book is about ideas, exercises, and self-assessments which help the reader reach farther up on the hierarchy of needs when there is time to think more aspirationally and reflectively – pushing towards that ‘self-actualization’ peak. Yet, it does offer us a way of answering the question: What can we do as individuals to develop ourselves to be better professionals and human beings in our schools? How can we think and behave and speak in ways that will make our workplaces even better for us all when we come together again in person (and even when we don’t)? The exploration of this question has been on my mind for over two decades…and this book is a beginning for me to explore it out loud. If you have thoughts and want to contemplate with me, I have a structure for us in which to do it. Send me an email and we will talk!
For your heart: I don’t know who started it but going around Twitter was the post – “5 words, 5 tags.” You share a thought about what this pandemic has got you thinking about – you share that in 5 words and then you ask five others to share their thoughts as well. My contribution was “Deep awareness: dissolution of you/me.” Others included Jane Kise’s “Focus: What you can control.” and Angela Buckingham’s “In hope, I am fearless.” Let’s live into a better future together.
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at Jennifer@jenniferabrams.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
*Jennifer Abrams, “We Contain Multitudes", May 1, 2020,https://jenniferabrams.com/we-contain-multitudes/