I don't really blog anymore (unless you count multiple daily FB, IG and Twitter postings), but there's been so much going on that I felt the need to do an update... This is sort of like one of my new year's posts/emails, except it's July...
The first part of this year has been a bit of a sH!tSh0w nationally and internationally, but as Sam likes to tell me, it's really always been that way, it just took me a while to notice. He's really uplifting that way.
I don't think our particular condition is all that unusual or remarkable. In many ways we have much to be grateful for. We have two healthy kids (Jozy just turned 5 and Nora just turned 8), a roof over our head (the closet doors have all come off their tracks, I can't get a handle on the weeds out back and I found a mouse in the garage...), and friends and family we adore (even if many of you are too far away!). Still, 2017 has proven to be just as upsetting as 2016, if not more so, and we continue to be busy in our personal and professional lives. So here's an update:
Sam and I both have new jobs in 2017!
Sam is in the process of co-founding The Stone Independent School (formerly known as the TBA school) where he will teach all levels of High School History. Stone Independent will open in downtown Lancaster in August of this year (next month!). I urge you to check out their web page to learn about their vision for progressive, socially-conscious, hands-on learning. I'm so excited about what they're doing!
I'm an administrative assistant at Lancaster Theological Seminary (a non-profit, Christian higher education institution). In my role, I support all of the faculty members (full-time and adjunct) and the Dean. Every day is different: sometimes I'm scanning articles for a class lecture and sometimes I'm planning all of the logistics for an off-site course. I work with really wonderful people and, maybe best of all, I don't check my email after hours! (Lancaster Peeps: For the first time in my working life, I take a one-hour lunch each day, so if you want to catch up in person, let's make a date!)
But what we do to earn a living is only part of what's going on with us... Sam and I (and the kids!) have taken on a number of side projects recently, and I want to make sure you (our friends and family) had one central place to get all the deets, so here goes...
Wonder With Us
NEW FAMILY PODCAST
Wonder With Us is a family podcast about watching The Wonder Years with our kids, the same way we did with our parents. You can find old episodes of The Wonder Years on Netflix. We encourage you to watch an episode and then listen to our free-form chats about the themes that come up each week.
What We Will Abide
Sam's podcast is about people who address systemic problems with local solutions. Many of his guests are Lancastrians, but he's done some remote episodes as well. On the most recent episode, marking the program's one year anniversary, I interview Sam!
Lancaster Action Now Coalition
Shortly after the November 2016 election I co-founded a community group to respond to immediate needs in our area. Lancaster Action Now Coalition (LANC) supports and amplifies the good work being done in Lancaster County to protect and empower communities who have long been marginalized and oppressed and/or are currently being targeted. In April we hosted a Women's Healthcare Access Education Forum and in May I spoke at the NAACP Unity Rally in response to a KKK event in Lancaster County. The text of my speech can be read here. Additionally I have been a driving force behind Left/Right Cafe - a series of events that bring together people who have differing political leanings for one-on-one conversation. (Lancaster Peeps - we are looking for additional participants for our August event. Please click here if you'd like to request an invite.)
Write Now Lancaster
LANCASTER WRITING GROUP
In 2015, I cofounded Write Now Lancaster, a monthly meeting for local writers to get to know each other and to get some work done. (Lancaster Peeps - There will be a party with readings from members of our group on Friday, November 10. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for details!)
Jamie's Writing and Storytelling
As many of you know, with my job change and increased work-life balance, I've been able to spend more time writing. I've placed several essays in national markets and am closing in on yet another draft of my novel. You can see links to the essays here.
Sam's new schedule allows him time to work with middle and high school students in private and small group settings. (Lancaster Peeps - If you know a student who would benefit from work with Sam on anything from writing essays to general study skills, please be in touch.)
And I think that's it...except for this...