Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Disseration Week, Doctor!

Yes, you know who you are. I have never, never been more proud of a scholar in my life. The way you have persevered, have transcended deep dark spaces, have embraced your research with a spirit of caring and compassion, the work that you do to empower communities who have so little voice. You do research that matters. You have shown courage and grace.

Three more days until I get to call you doctor.

You rock. You are amazing!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

My New Adventure!

So, I am going back to school! Yes, Rich, the academic writing coach, is going to be a student again. And in writing! Starting this summer, I am going to be a student of Creative Nonfiction at Queens University Charlotte's MFA, Latin America program.  This is a low residency program, with summer intensives of two plus weeks in different Latin American cities (somebody has to do it!), with individual mentorship during the year. I am going to be (probably) focusing on flash nonficiton, although I am sure I will be exploring other essay forms, and perhaps some longer forms of creative nonfiction as well. This is a bucket list item for me, and I am really excited!

Of course, I am continuing my full time gig as professor of social work at University of Washington Tacoma. I will also be continuing my coaching practice, but will not have as many clients as in the past. So, if your interested in working with me, best to get on the waiting list well in advance!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Why Strengths Matter

When things are not going well, it is natural (well, human) to ask "what is wrong?" What is wrong; the focus of Freud, most of your doctors, your mechanic, dishwasher repair person, and the costumer service manager that you complained to.

I am not publishing enough? What is wrong
I am not writing enough? What is wrong.
I have ideas that I cannot organize? What is wrong.
I get so anxious that I can't write. What is wrong.
I beat myself up so much. What is wrong with me that I do this.. What is wrong, what is wrong, what is wrong.

And yes, you are wise to attend to "what is wrong."

Yet, if you have made it to a PhD, no less through a PhD, you have a thousand more "what is rights" (writes) than you do "what is wrongs."

You are a bundle of capacities, strengths and resiliencies, and "goodnessess."

Fine Rich, all well and good, but I want to fix what is wrong! My strengths are fine, so I can leave them alone.

Well, my fine feathered friend- maximizing what is right is one of the most effective ways of resolving what is wrong.

Let me say this another way-maximize your strengths in service of mitigating your weaknesses.

Or another- the more you focus on your strengths, and continue to developed and grow them, better you will do.

And finally-build your strengths for greatness. Reduce your weaknesses for fine-tuning functionality.

Nuff' said.