Wednesday, December 28, 2016


When I was younger, I would post my poetry rejections on one wall, and my acceptances on the other.

The rejections far out-numbered the acceptances, probably by ten to one.  It was not about me beating up on myself, it was about recognizing that to achieve anything of meaning, you are going to have to fail a great deal.

Failing is a big part of the journey of academics. If you don't fail, that means you have not taken risks. Of course, I am not suggesting that risk taking is the only reason for failure; this blog is full of posts about the various issues that hinder scholar's success. We all know as well that the number of full time faculty positions has been falling; other structural barriers abound. However, we have to become comfortable with failing, or more importantly, with understanding that failing and being a failure are not one and the same.

If you allowed yourself to enter the bravest space you could imagine, what chances would you take? What would you risk losing or failing at? What do you need to do to move into this space? What supports do you need to enter and stay there?

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