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Tag: Grab Bag

Eight Things I’m Proud to Have Accomplished This Year

At year’s end, my thoughts.

It was, for me personally, a very full year. It was full not just with busy-business (though there was some of that to be sure) but full of value and purpose, full of meaningful engagement.

I look back on several accomplishments with some pride. So, with no further humility…

  1. I wrote my first grant, and it was successful. Actually, I wrote the application in late 2012, but the award wasn’t announced until 2013. It’s enabled a new initiative I call Sustaining the Dialog, which sent three Xavier faculty to Smith College this summer to learn about contemplative pedagogy. Many thanks to the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society for funding this work, which continues into the next semester at least.
  2. I brought two speakers on to campus for workshop sessions in a series which I’m calling “Contemplative Practices in Diverse Traditions.” In January we learned about lectio divina with Rev. William Thiele. In December, we learned about Zen meditation with Rev. Michaela Bono. It has been a great blessing and a privilege to work with spiritual practitioners in the local community, and to help them share their practices with teachers at Xavier.
  3. Continuing the work-related theme, I went all the way up to Amherst to deliver a presentation on “Contemplative Faculty Development: From Spiritual Emergency to Visions of Wholeness.
  4. On a more personal note, I stopped drinking. Kinda sorta. I guess it would be more accurate to say I cut way, way back on my drinking. About every couple months or so, I’ll still indulge in a few libations. But it’s so much more dramatic to say “I quit drinking.” And from a New Orleanian perspective, I am practically a teetotaller. This is just what I felt i need to do to maximize my health and happiness.
  5. After having lost 20 lbs. over two years, this summer I started pumping iron and bulking up. I’ve gained 25 lbs. since then. I wish I could say it was all muscle. It’s not, quite. But I feel like I’m ending 2013 in better shape then I started it, and considering I started the year in fine health, that’s an accomplishment.
  6. The Mayor of Bloomington proclaimed July 7 as National ROX Day. There’s a tale to tell there, but it will have to wait until I get some choice video edited. Thanks to Councilmember Steve Volan for his advocacy.
  7. I was nominated for a Cox Conserves Hero award. And I won! The $100,000 prize went to the local nonprofit of which I was a founding member and president for three years. Many thanks to all those who voted for me and promoted my cause.
  8. I officiated a civic tree blessing ceremony on the banks of Bayou St. John.

But wait, there’s more!

Catching Up

I’ve been preoccupied, so a lot of very important stuff has slipped past in the last week and I haven’t had a chance to write about it. Herewith, a grab-bag of updates.

  • Xy’s had a moderate amount of morning sickness, but she’s coping pretty well. She canceled a conference she’d been planning to attend in DC next week. Too bad, she was looking forward to it and I was looking forward to having her out of my hair for a week.
  • Someone smashed the rear window of the abandoned car that’s still on our street.


  • Geraldine and “the girls” who used to live across the street stopped by yesterday. I didn’t even recognize Danielle when she knocked on our door, and Donika has grown too. They are going to rent a place in New Orleans East and hope to be back in their old rental soon. It still needs a lot of work; Geraldine said the owner’s waiting on the “Road to Home” program. I’m amazed that she’s so determined to return to this specific rental unit, but it sure would be nice to have them back.
  • I knew eventually I’d find a connection between Dominica and New Orleans, but I didn’t think it would be as weird as Operation Red Dog.
  • I took the Happy Planet Index survey and scored 32.7, which they say is “similar to that of countries such as Djibouti, Cameroon or Ethiopia. Sorry to say that this is below the world average of 46… Your score is about the same as that of your country, 28.8.”
  • Senator Vitter’s days in office are numbered. Just thought I’d mention that.
  • John Edwards has virtually endorsed the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project.
  • Citizen Crime Watch blows the competition to the weeds, as far as the interface. The city’s site does appear to have a more complete listing of incidents. They should share that data.
  • I’ve discovered I enjoy having a small amount (half a glass) of wine with lunch, and a full glass with dinner. I can skip the wine at lunch, but I’m committed for dinner.
  • Today I tried to sleep in but ended up riding my bike out to the fitness center for a workout before work. I guess that means I’m addicted to exercise. I’ve been sticking to a light workout routine every other day, or every third day.
  • My parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. My first thought upon hearing this was, “Wow! They’ve now been married longer than I’ve been alive.” It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that’s always been the case. There was a nice story about them in the Reporter-Times.