Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work habits and structures -- try to stick with what works

This time of year, when life sometimes gets extra hectic, we may abandon the work habits that are good for us and simply hustle to get everything done. I get that, and in some ways, it can be a useful strategy. For one, you might be having to fit school work in between many other family and work commitments.

As much as possible though, I encourage you to stick with work habits and structures that you know are effective. If you need a work space that is quiet, then take a few extra minutes to seek that out. If you work best early in the morning, try to continue to carve out time for school work in the early a.m. Taking that extra time or making that extra effort to work in ways and spaces that you know work well for you, may make you more efficient in the long run.

Cheering you on in your work!
Harriet

Photo by Asif Akbar, via Stock.xchng

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Encouragement from my dad


Hi All, My dad recently sent me a few photos that he wanted to contribute to The Encouragement Lounge. So, as you get back to work after the holiday weekend, know that my dad is cheering you on too!

All the best,
Harriet

Photo by JBS


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving week!

Hi All, For some, this week will bring at least a bit of a break. For those of you who are working on a thesis or dissertation, maybe not so much. Anyway, here's a video to give you a smile.


If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I post this one every year around this time... it makes me smile, what can I say.

All the best!
Harriet




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Remembering Susan -- words of inspiration and hope

Hello. Tonight I am reposting a blog entry from last year. This week marks the anniversary of the passing of Dr. Susan Nelson, an important scholar and a former neighbor and friend. Shortly after she passed away last November, I posted the following:

Hi All,

The following is a sermon given by my friend and former neighbor The Rev. Susan Nelson. Susan and her husband Dave were our dear neighbors for many years here in Pittsburgh, before they moved to California where Susan became the dean of the Claremont School of Theology. Susan passed away from brain cancer earlier this month. Her daughter Kathryn recently shared the following, a welcome address that Susan gave to her students last fall at CST. Susan's words are full of perspective, hope, and encouragement and I'm delighted to share this with you.

Dear students,

I am glad to welcome you

To what I expect will be an exciting

And challenging

Year at Claremont School of Theology.

When I began my journey

Into theological education,

The word “career”

Had not crossed my lips.

I entered my first program, rather,

As a seeker.

I loved to read and muse

And I wanted an opportunity

To think about the meaning of life

And to grow

In wisdom and knowledge

I knew that life is fragile,

But I had not yet learned

How to hold the brokenness of life

With the joy of discovery

That, broken or not

It was worth the journey.

I loved beauty,

But I had not learned that beauty is fleeting

And that finitude is part of what

Makes it so beautiful.

I yearned for loving relations,

And had yet to realize

All the ways in which

I could learn to avoid

The tension of face-to-face relations.

These learnings were critical

To my growth as a human being

And to what eventually became

My calling as teacher and administrator.

I expect that each of you

Is something of a seeker.

Curiosity and possibility

Have drawn you to this place

To this faculty and staff –

To the fellow students you will tussle with

And perhaps enjoy along the way.

I expect that you will not be the same person

When you leave CST

That you are right now.

I expect that you will know moments

When the works feels out of reach,

Your studies less than lustrous

And many other moments

When you will know the satisfaction

Of accomplishment

And the joy of doing something

Really well.

And I expect you will grow friendships

And learn an important lesson,

That mutual respect for all people

Is critical

For the flourishing of life.

May you thrive in your challenges at CST,

May you grow in appreciation

Of the privilege

Of learning

In a community of scholars

May you have stellar teachers and mentors,

May you find moments

When you are surprised by joy

Or struck by a beauty

That totally draws you in

Providing absolute distraction

And, may you risk companionship

And the messiness of life

In genuine community

A year ago,

Students asked me to consider

Giving a “last lecture” –

If I were invited

To give the final lecture of my life,

What would I say?

Since that time,

I’ve had to actually consider

“Last things”

And how to live

In a present reality

That seems so precarious.

What I would say if asked

To give that lecture on this day, is

Practice awareness,

Watch yourselves breathe, -

Every day find at least one thing to be thankful for

- Tell others what they mean to you -

Forgive,

Laugh,

And practice the discipline

Of taking nothing for granted –

Or perhaps, better said,

The discipline of forgiving yourselves

For all the ways

You will take life for granted

And receive it anyway.

Grace and peace

Be upon you.

Creative Commons License
The Encouragement Lounge by Harriet L. Schwartz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.