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Mementos: Letting the Days Go By

In two weeks I will be fifty. Birthdays have always been difficult for me. Over fifty years, I’ve racked up a passel of dysfunctional celebrations, which have worn grooves of negative comfortability in my life. Mindful gratitude is a good antidote. I have spent the past few weeks marking the occasion of my semi-centennial with a Facebook countdown and a…

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Overcoming Speech Anxiety

Students who take my public speaking classes are fearful of delivering speeches. Although we work on speech anxiety, that is not our focus. As I generally tell students, anxiety is a “fight or flight” physiological response left over from the “caveman” (That’s Sexist!) days when we needed adrenaline to face a predator. Since, classmates are not predators, no one should…

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You’re all Nguyens, Right?

At Walgreens pharmacy today a gentleman, late 60s, was called to pick up his prescription. The pharmacy tech was Asian, presumably Vietnamese, presumably named Nguyen, but I didn’t look at his name tag to be certain. When I experience moments like the one, I am consumed with the urge to apologize for my race, which makes me look equally as…