Thursday 13: Brain buzzings

For lack of a more creative topic, you will now be treated to a Thursday 13 of things that are currently ruminating in my brains. Enjoy! πŸ˜‰

1. Workplace peer relationships. Right now I’m working on a research project to understand how friendships develop in the workplace. I’m five interviews in and it is fascinating! How many friends do you have at work? How did you know when they transitioned from coworker to friend? What influences do your friendships have on your work and personal life?

2. Online education. Another project on my plate is teaching an online summer school course. Three credit hours in 4.5 weeks, no face-to-face time. I am skeptical of the value on so many levels. How can people meaningfully learn and apply an entire course worth of content in a month? How will the medium influence student interaction, synthesis and critical thinking? How do I engage students who, after reading their bios, I realize are at the end of their college careers and really not caring about school any more? Will they care either way?

3. SHOES. I regretfully spent two hours in the mall last night hunting for wedding shoes. I couldn’t even find a lame neutral to do the job. All I came away with were tired tootsies and a bad attitude after two kiosk vendors insinuated that my skin care regime sucks, that I look “tired” and should buy their magic potions to “turn back the hands of time.” I walked out without screeching at them but was seriously bent out of shape to think that women are being barraged by that kind of bullshit. Must be a reason I set foot in the mall no more than once or twice annually!
Garden early pic
4. Sprouts. Project Greenthumbs Season II is in full swing. Stay tuned for a garden update, but just know that there are beautiful, teeny tiny sprouts that I adore!

5. Birds. I’m highly suspicious that birds ate up the beans I planted. A few days will confirm, but I’m hoping to avoid avian-related rants. Keep your fingers crossed.

6. Weeds. No, not the garden variety. Recent Netflicks subscribers, Tim and I just stumbled upon the show “Weeds.” It’s been elevated to an obsession lately. Just can’t get enough of the wicked humor and wit. Plus, it gives me time to do wedding projects like go through photos or cut petal after petal of organza. (Yes, I am absolutely rationalizing my TV watching here.)

7. Nostalgia. My soon-to-be mother-in-law, M-5, is working on a wonderful wedding slideshow. And by “working on,” I mean waiting for yours truly to bring her the rest of the photos. I have been a good girl though and am almost done sorting Shawna: The Early Years, Shawna: That Awkward Middle School Phase and Shawna: High School Band/Drama Geek. Luckily, Shawna: Adventures in Adventist Higher Education is mostly digital and will take no trouble at all. Note to yourselves: I was a damn cute baby!

8. Pie. Please don’t tell my cute trainer dude, but I bought a peach pie the other day and Mr. T is not eating his share. The compulsive part of me is concerned about letting it go to waste, so I *have* to make sure it gets enjoyed, yes? Yes. πŸ™‚

9. Letters from beyond. For our 10-year high school reunion, our old English teacher brought us letters that we wrote to ourselves senior year. The assignment was to forecast where we’d be in 10 years–careers, family, hobbies, etc. The hardest part of the experience was reading my friend Andrea’s letter. She passed away from lupus-related complications three years ago and to read the 10-year predictions that never came to pass was just heart-wrenching. Harder still is having to send the letter to her parents. It may seem strange, but I haven’t been able to send the letter. It hit me hard enough and I can’t imagine the sadness it will bring up for her parents. After sitting on the letter for two months, I have a card written and an envelope prepared. Perhaps by Friday, I can get it in the mail. πŸ™

10. “The Bride” and other salient identities. Outside of my close friends, I’ve noticed that people tend to pick out one salient feature of my identity and ask about that and only that. Lately, it’s “The Bride” and I get asked all sorts of random wedding questions. Typically, it’s “The Student,” and people inquire about the surface level aspects of schooling. For certain folks, “Tortoise Owner” sticks out, or even “Gardener.” Do you find yourself pigeon-holed, too?

11. Flying to the Moon. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re having a hopscotch honeymoon via Air Redden. At this point, I cannot WAIT to get to cruising altitude. Are we there yet?!

12. The New Girl. My replacement is starting next week, FINALLY. After 7 months of waiting, I’m going part time at work and she is taking over my current position. While I won’t be fully convinced until I see the whites of her eyes, I am excited at the possibility of finally getting rid of the damn newsletter duties!

13. John. Three years ago over Memorial Day weekend, our dear friend John Pogacar was murdered in his home. Still can’t believe he is gone or that so much time has passed. Please keep his family in your prayers and hope that one day his murder will be solved.


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