Unfollowing Everybody by Anil DashAnil Dash (Anil Dash)
...our social networks are not things we generally think of as requiring maintenance or upkeep, even though we routinely do regular updates on all the other aspects of our digital lives. Keeping in mind that spirit of doing necessary maintenance, I recently did something I'd thought about doing for years: I unfollowed everyone on Twitter.

I’m probably going to unfollow everybody from Twitter on Monday. Please don’t take it personally. I’ll then be adding my closest people back, and creating lists so it’s easy to find everybody else later. I just need my default feed to be quieter.

I May Have Found My Life’s Purpose (Katie Linder)
In action, radical self-trust manifests as a consistent practice of purposeful actions rooted in one’s capacity for steadfast self-awareness and self-loyalty that has a comprehensive effect on all aspects of the life experience.
I find myself having a lot of existential crises lately. I think it makes sense for somebody who is preparing for comprehensive exams but hasn’t fully articulated the research question for her dissertation, is parenting full-time with four hours a day of childcare, is sharing caregiving responsibilities for a post-op parent with her siblings, is in the middle of a chronic illness flare up, and lives in the world. (When I put it like that, it sounds like I have stuff going on!)

These crises come up especially when my kid is sleeping, especially especially when he’s having a rough teething night, so I feel like there’s little point in trying to sleep myself.

It was in the midst of just such a crisis that I decided to return to the work of Katie Linder, whom I think I found because she is one of the few people actually doing podcasts explicitly about scholarly communication and engaged scholarship. I took a break from her stuff when this flare up got unignorable, but it felt like exactly what I needed in the middle of my latest existential crisis.

And it was, even more than I anticipated. Dr. Linder’s latest blog post about Radical Self-Trust articulates exactly how I operate when I’m at my best, when I’m managing to keep the imposter syndrome and existential dread at bay. I highly recommend checking it out and following her work.

Launching #EDU 522 Week Zero (jgregorymcverry.com)
Today marks the first day of week zero. Not like in a, Mass Epidemic end of the world story..though I do hope our learning spreads in multiple nonlinear ways. Let’s just go more like plant than disease. https://i2.wp.com/28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmghsoAFsv1qbpp7eo1_500.gif?zoom=2 source: https:/...
Librarians and teachers looking to squeeze three more weeks of PD into their summer might want to check out Greg McVerry’s #EDU522: “three weeks to figure out the web and how to use it to teach.”

Let’s teach students how to own their data, manage their online identity, and build the web.

Ira Glass's Commencement Speech at the Columbia Journalism School Graduation - This American Life (This American Life)
The Columbia University School of Journalism asked Ira Glass to speak at their commencement and gave him an award for “singular journalistic performance.”
I love commencement speeches as a genre. I wasn’t remotely inspired by the one at my own college graduation and when I watch or read others, I like to pretend they’re for me  Because isn’t every day the commencement of something?

I read Ira Glass’s rather than listening to it, and found myself highlighting a lot  so I thought I’d share my favorite bits here.

You just have to get in there and make stuff and try things and push yourself hard and that’s the only way to find your way.

Glass is talking here about what to do when you’re lost and can’t figure out what you want to be doing. Multipotentialites can get paralyzed by possibilities. Perfectionists sometimes think they have to fully learn to do a thing before they can actually do it. But Glass has words that multipotentialite perfectionists (have you figured out yet that I am one?) need to hear: you learn the thing by doing it, and to find out if the thing is in fact one of your things, you have to pick it and try it.

It can take a long time to be as good as you want to be. And be kind to yourself, during that period. And work hard.

I ran into this a lot in improv, but I think it happens everywhere: you see the work of experts and are frustrated that your novice work isn’t good enough. I would watch people who had been improvising for 10, 11, 12, more years, and they would do what looked like magic, and I would think, “Why can’t I do that?” I started thinking this way when I had only been doing it for a year and a half. (Ira Glass has a great quote that expands on this idea.)

…the more idealistic your mission, the more cunning you have to employ to get people to engage with what you have to say.

This resonated with me immensely.

Everything will be better if you’re out for your own pleasure. Noticing what you’re actually truly interested in … and curious about … and making your work about that.

One of my core beliefs is that people do their best work when they care. Work you don’t care about won’t be good, no matter how important or meaningful it might be more generally. Find what lights you up right now (because it might change over time) and use that to change the world. And when it stops lighting you up, move on to the next thing.

Don’t wait. Make the stuff you want to make now. No excuses. Don’t wait for the perfect job or whatever. Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Don’t wait… Don’t wait. You have everything you need. Don’t wait.

Don’t wait.

First Look At Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (cbr.com)
When I learned Noelle Stevenson was showrunning a She-Ra reboot, I was psyched. I haven’t read Lumberjanes or Nimona yet, but her Avengers fan art and D&D tweets are top-notch. I was super into She-Ra as a kid, and I love that this new one is called She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

I’m on board with modern girl culture, at least as it’s manifesting in animation and comic books. I was talking to another parent recently who said she’d been afraid to let her daughter watch My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but was pleasantly surprised by how feminist it was.

I recommended she look into DC SuperHero Girls and see if she would feel okay sharing that with her daughter, because I think it has a similar vibe.

And I need to read the “new” Jem and the Holograms comic, I know.

I love that the stories I’m seeing about girls and young women in these media place the girls at the center and let them have their own adventures. Romance tends to be sidelined. The girls are dealing with identity development and relationship building. Each of these properties has characters who are so different from each other in their interests and personalities. We’re seeing that there’s no one right way to be a girl or a woman, and I love that. The other thing I love is how they take colors and art styles that are coded feminine and use them to communicate that you don’t have to choose between strength and femininity, and that there are many different ways to be strong.

I’m sure none of them is perfect and I know that they are vehicles for selling toys, but I’m still excited about them.

I would buy that She-Ra poster and hang it on my office wall.

(By the way, DC SuperHero Girls creator Shea Fontana is going to be at ALA Annual and you can bet I’ll be at her session. DC SuperHero Girls is an incredibly accessible way to get to know the DC universe and figure out which characters appeal to you. I say this as an inveterate Marvel loyalist.)

an incomplete collection of #wordmetrics from my recent rewrites by Wil WheatonWil Wheaton (WIL WHEATON dot NET)
Before I get into this post, I want to thank everyone who has sent me feedback about my speech to NAMI. I never know how these things are going to go over, and I never know if what I had in my head…
I love reading about other creative people’s processes, especially writers, so this look inside Wil Wheaton’s head as he revises his first novel is my kind of deal. (Add on top of that my near lifelong crush on Wil Wheaton and just… yeah.)

And it inspired me. I’ve been chipping away at my comprehensive examination package, a giant literature review and a milestone in my doctoral progress, slowly but slowly for a very long time. I started while I was still technically doing coursework in the fall, and spent the whole spring semester on it as well. And I expect to be done in December, because I expect it to take me as long as they will allow. (#thanksparenthood #gradstudentmomlife) But I have really been struggling to feel like I made progress.

So starting tomorrow, I’ll take a page from Wil’s book and actively blog each day about the progress I’ve made. I’ll begin with a report about my progress since August, and then add a little bit each day. I’ll be dropping all that stuff in a category called “What Kimberly Wrote” (nothing there yet). It will be everything that counts as part of my writing process, not just getting words out.