Day 213, October 15, 2020

Mother's Mandu

Tonight's soundtrack: BB King Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 2011 (With special guests!)

Two days ago I placed an order at the Rise Above Bakery in Greenfield for a dozen bagels, and today, on my way into work, I stopped and picked them up, excited for my first pandemic bagel. Everything is socially distanced at the bakery. You submit your order online two days in advance, and when you arrive you call and a woman gathers your order and places it outside on a little table. You pick up your order and finish driving to work as the smell of fresh baked bagels starts to fill the car. You wrap the paper bag tight and hope the car mice don't discover the bagels.

By the end of the day, the air in the car was saturated with the smell of sesame and poppy seeds and flecks of onion and garlic. It is intoxicating, and as I drove to Greenfield's Coop for cream cheese I had to restrain myself from peeling open the bag and eating a bagel raw and unadorned like a fruit.

When I was first in graduate school I used to pick up a warm bagel from the health food market at UMass and tear off little bites in my pocket as I walked across campus to class. On a cold winter day, it was the perfect thing. 

It is funny how a thing like a nice fresh bagel can make things a little better. People at work are tired, they are trying so hard, the students are trying so hard. I've been tired too, the last week or so has been exhausting and I end my days ready to close my eyes before I've eaten dinner. But a freshly toasted bagel at 7 pm, and a little BB King is enough to put a smile on my face.

Back in graduate school for my MFA, when we all huddled together in the warren of TA offices in the basement of Bartlett, there was a colleague, Ella, who carried the credentials to know better than the rest of us about what qualified as an authentic New York bagel. She disparaged the Brueggers of the world with all the fruit flavors and bacon infused cheeses. For her, a bagel was clearly reduced to the basic elements, that perfect combination of skin, the tender insides. Anything more only to served to exacerbate the deficient basics. 

I'm afraid I lack Ella's refined palate, but I do appreciate a delicious bagel. And coming after a long absence of bagels, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

I felt the same way when on Monday I was able to visit my parents for the first time since the pandemic started. I planned to only have a quick hello, but of course my mom had prepared a delicious meal with soup, handmade mandu, kimchee, and rice. It was an incredible reminder of how good life can be. A mom's cooking is like the perfect bagel, is like the end of the pandemic, it is like a warm day in late October after all the trees have turned to vibrant reds and yellows. 

We all need little reminders, little tastes, our own special bagel, or a mother's mandu. I hope you are able to find something that lifts your sprits, even a little bit.

Sending out lots of love,


From Our Friends:

From Higher Ed Hot Topics:

Coping Strategies to Avoid Burnout
More and more faculty and staff members are expressing concern that a wave of burnout is inevitable. Unrelenting challenges with work and home, as well as increased expectations for successfully balancing it all, pose serious risks for faculty and staff members’ mental and emotional well-being. Add the uncertainty of the current context of the country and the stress being felt is unprecedented. 

Get actionable takeaways and join this critical conversation with your peers on November 18, 2020 when our expert presenter — Dr. Micky Sharma, the Director of the Counseling and Consultation Service at The Ohio State University and a past president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) — will focus on how you can help your faculty and staff members manage extraordinary stress in a sustainable and healthy manner. 

From ACLS:

Linda K. Kerber to Deliver "A Life of Learning,"
the 2020 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecture

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 3 pm ET

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce that historianLinda K. Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Professor of History Emerita, Lecturer in Law at The University of Iowa, will deliver "A Life of Learning," the Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturevirtually from the College of Law at The University of Iowa the afternoon of Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 3 pm ET.  

Register Now For This Live Virtual Event

From EducationAdminWebAdvisor:

Microaggressions: How To Identify And Combat Them In Your Workplace And School 

Monday, October 19

3:00 PM Eastern; 2:00 PM Central; 1:00 PM Mountain; 12:00 PM Pacific

Higher education leaders Precious Green Gunter and Brandon Washington will help you identify microaggressions and implicit bias. You will learn how to ensure all the members of your campus community are seen, respected, valued, and included. 

Please join us!


From the Community Economies Research Network:

Methods for Participatory Research in COVID  - exchanging practices and possibilities.


The Centre for Sustainable Communities (CSC) at the University of Canberra invites you to join us for an interactive session about research methods for COVID. Opportunities for face-to-face research methods have been severely limited by restrictions on international travel and travel to rural and regional areas of Australia. Together we will explore how social researchers are adapting and innovating to maintain and strengthen community partnerships and foster online collaboration. In this session CSC researchers will speak about their experiences and facilitate a discussion about how to re-design participatory and community-engaged research approaches to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic.


When: 10.00-12.00, Monday 2nd November

Please register in advance

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

From the Vermont Studio Center:

10/16 - 7:00 pm Temim Fruchter, a featured reading with VSC Alumna & 2020 Rona Jaffe Award Winner

10/18 - 7:00 pm Virtual Artist Talk: Nina Katchadourian - an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes video, performance, sound, sculpture, photography, and public projects.

10/25 - 7:00 pm Writer to Writer: Featured Readings by Two VSC AlumniCaroline M. Mar & Francine Conley In support of the debut collection, Special Education by Caroline M. Mar

From the Poetry Center at Smith College:


Poetry Center Events

Dedication of the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center and a Reading by Tracy K. Smith

Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30 PM

Tracy K. Smith is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, including, most recently, Wade in the Water (Graywolf 2018) and Life on Mars, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2012. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015. “The surfaces of a Tracy K. Smith poem are beautiful and serene,” poet Toi Derricotte has said, “but underneath, there is always a sense of an unknown vastness.” Smith serves as the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and also hosts the daily poetry podcast The Slowdown, described by Electric Literature as “a literary once-a-day multivitamin.”

Registration Link:

From the Rural Assembly:

Former US poet laureate among lineup of poets, artists, and musicians at Rural Assembly Everywhere

We are excited to share a great lineup of poets, artists, and musicians sharing their work with us at Rural Assembly Everywhere including...
  • Juan Felipe Herrera, former poet laureate of the United States
  • Becky Hill, percussive dancer, Appalachian square dance caller, and choreographer
  • Anthony Wiles, Jr., national student poet representing the Northeast region of the United States
  • Rui Fui, singer-songwriter
  • Anna Harrod, Appalachian musician, farmer, researcher, and activist
  • Kyshona Armstrong, singer-songwriter
If you are not registered for Rural Assembly Everywhere, register today to claim your FREE spot and join us October 26 to 30 for a great line-up of keynote speakers, breakouts, artistic showcases, and happy hours. If you have registered, spread the word or share with your friends and colleagues.

From the It Gets Better Project:

"Attitudes will change. Life will get better. And you will have a lifetime of happy memories if you just allow yourself and give yourself the time to make them." (Joel Burns - October 13, 2010)

That quote was taken from Joel Burns' It Gets Better speech, which went viral when he delivered it ten years ago in front of the Fort Worth City Council. We'll continue to revisit quotes from early It Gets Better stories throughout our ten year anniversary. 

Your Weekly Uplift is filled with young people doing incredible things, starting with our new docuseries, "Out in Front: Queer Youth Changing the World." Watch the first episode today and read on for stories about love, National Coming Out Day conversations and more.

Hmm, I wonder what's on this disc?

Today's Online Teaching Tips:

From eCampus News:

Supporting First-Gen Students through Inclusive Course Design


From the Online Learning Consortium:

Asynchronous Technology Test Kitchen 

The technology test kitchen (TTK) is excited to forge new frontiers in the delivery of ‘hands-on’ asynchronous learning experiences for all conference attendees. TTK is designed to provide you with hands-on learning experiences that will support your online/digital teaching and learning efforts.

From Magna Publications:

We are offering a free Magna Online Seminar, Engaging College Students Using Active Learning Techniques, in which you will learn about active learning techniques that have been shown to improve college student learning in the classroom and online as well as three barriers to active learning and techniques for overcoming them.

Learn more about this free seminar!


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