creativity

Joy today: College for all

I’ve been thinking a lot about the college cheating scandal. As a poor kid, higher education was the ticket I chose to build a better life for myself as an adult. I worked incredibly hard in high school and I was so fortunate to have an amazing guidance counselor.

My college tuition was more than my mother’s annual salary. I am forever grateful to Penn that they had need-blind admission and that they had (and continue to have) a guarantee to meet 100% of a student’s need through loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study.

I worked 3+ jobs all through college. It was tremendously difficult to be a student who struggled financially in a school full of privilege. That shame left a scar that took years into my adult life to heal. I’ve learned to be proud of those scars; they show what I survived.

Now w/ college 20 years in my rear view mirror, a graduate degree from the Darden School (another wonderful school), and currently enrolled in a second graduate degree in biomimicry at The Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University. I understand the pressure to get into a top school and the opportunities it affords.

What’s most tragic to me about this college cheating scandal is how many students there are today who are in the same boat I was in at 18 years old. How many spots were taken from them at these colleges by people who had parents pay their way in? That loss is what hurts most.

My great hope is that this situation will lead to greater equity in higher education. I’m living proof that it is a path to a better life, and it’s an opportunity that should be open to all who are willing to work for it, regardless of the financial status of their parents.

creativity

Joy today: Taking over Young Entertainment Magazine’s Twitter account

I’m doing a #YAAuthorTakeover on Thursday for Young Entertainment Mag ‘s Twitter account @YoungEntMag. I’ll be talking about my book, writing / publishing, turning a book into a film, etc. What questions would you want me to answer?

creativity

Joy today: Enduring winter

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Photo taken by Christa Avampato of Honschar’s street art on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Please include this attribution when using.

Dear ones, on freeeeezing days like today (windchill in NYC was 4 degrees this morning!) I make some hot beverages, hunker down at home, and engage in creative work as I dream of spring. How do you endure? (H/t Honschar for his inspiring street art.)

 

creativity

Joy Today: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Happy birthday to fellow Pisces, Dr. Seuss! Whenever I make a big life change, his book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! gives me courage. Not ashamed to say I get choked up every time I read it. It’s the Hero’s Journey in rhyme. You soar. You fall. You fail. You dust yourself off. You try again. The important thing is that you keep going – through the Lurch, the Waiting Place, the lake full of Hakken-Kraks, and all the games, some good, some bad, some lonely, some scary. Go in search of the Boom Bands and you’ll find them. You’ll face up to all your problems. You’ll figure out Life’s Great Balancing Act. And you’ll succeed. You’ll move mountains. Just don’t give up.
“It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
So…
Be your name Baubaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way.”