Voice & Vision Blog

Embrace Your Introverted Self

This is a message for the introverts, written by an introvert.   It is a topic very near and dear to my heart because, until I understood myself, I couldn’t fully embrace who I was.  For a long time, I was trying to live up to a standard that did not suit me.   It depleted me of all energy and lead to crippling social anxiety. Even as a child, I remember playing outside with friends and longing to be up in my room with a book.  When I would slip away from the crowd, there were murmurs and snide...

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Good Meddling!

I sent a text to my daughter Alison one morning last week. I use the Swype feature on my phone to make texting quicker and I often get a kick out of the way it—with help from Autocorrect—changes my intended meaning. My text was meant to begin with “Good morning!” But instead, the message that appeared on the screen said, “Good meddling!” It made me laugh because the reason I was texting her was to make sure she was awake and getting ready for work. I was, indeed, “meddling.” My daughter spent...

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What’s Your Learning Style? Retain knowledge by understanding how you learn

So, it’s a few weeks into the semester and classes are well under way. With the varied and complex coursework, it’s easy for students to become overwhelmed, especially if the subject is not their forte. So what do you do when you have trouble focusing on the droning teacher? How do you switch gears from one class to the next and retain all that information? For starters, it’s helpful to know that everyone learns differently. Someone who understands and retains knowledge by hearing a teacher speak...

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The Treasure in an Earthen Vessel

When my daughter Alexis was a little girl, her dad used to say to her, “Lexie, repeat after me: I am a young lady of quality.” She would stand up straight, pull her shoulders back, and say with conviction, “I am a young lady of quality.” This ritual happened often and usually ended with hugs and laughter. It is among my fondest memories of the years when my children were growing up. I loved that my husband did this for our daughter, and I secretly wished my own dad had done it for me. There’s...

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Become an Expert Conversation Starter

My husband is one of those people who can strike up a conversation with anyone.  He learns the life story of the guy-Vinnie-at-the-pizza-place in the five minutes it takes to pick up our dinner.   For me, it does not come so easily. As a college student, I was the person who sat uneasily at the beginning of class while everyone else (seemingly) chatted away with ease.  While I smiled politely and said hello, my brain would then draw a blank. How could I connect to this person I knew absolutely...

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Overcomers: Finding a way through the Darkness

I recently had the privilege of meeting an unusually resilient man named Matt.* He has lived through extreme illness, abuse and hardship, yet remains upbeat, generous and hopeful. As I listened to him recount the tragic details of his life, I often had to fight back tears. But surprisingly, by the end of our conversation, I felt encouraged. Matt never remembers a time when he was totally healthy.  As a toddler he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that caused him to contract one life-threatening...

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Kick the Procrastination Habit

Well, it’s back-to-school time again, which brings with it the looming deadlines of homework and projects.  Are you usually up late the night before an assignment is due? If you answer yes, you just might be a procrastinator!  Here are some common excuses procrastinators use [2]: I have three weeks to get it done; plenty of time! I only need 1 hour to finish this paper. I’ll be motivated to do it tomorrow.  I’ll do it then. I don’t feel like doing it, so I won’t be able to get anything done. When...

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A Journey Begins

I’ve taken a bit of time off from blogging. I hadn’t planned to, but everything I tried to write was sounding negative and slightly angry (instead of amusing and decidedly hopeful: which is what I aim for). I decided the Voice and Vision audience probably didn’t need any “angry,” and my boss agreed, so I took a brief hiatus from my usual bi-weekly articles. I’ve never considered myself to be an angry person, but lately a lot of things have been pushing my buttons, making it increasingly difficult...

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College Plus: Story of Success and Grant News

Want to go to college, or do you know someone who wants to go to college?  Are there people in your life who gave up hope about the possibility of going to college or making it through even one college class?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, College Plus may be the answer!!  “Sarah”, a student with College Plus for the Spring 2016 semester, hadn’t been to college for 10 years and was reluctant to go even after applying with College Plus a few years ago.  She attempted...

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Emergency Dance Party!

I found myself waiting in line at a U-Haul store one morning a few days ago. I had emptied a storage space I no longer needed and was waiting to close out my account. I was behind 9 or 10 other people, all waiting to be helped by one of three clerks. Most of the people in line were waiting to rent moving vans and likely had busy days ahead of them. None of us wanted to be wasting time standing in line, but we were being polite, giving each other space, waiting patiently. It was already 85 degrees...

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