New Podcast Episode – #13: with Joe Johnson

Picking Your Own Trash, The Joy of Coaching Your Kids, and Why Quality Beats Quantity (with Joe Johnson)

Listen here:–Picking-Your-Own-Trash–The-Joy-of-Coaching-Your-Kids–and-Why-Quality-Beats-Quantity-with-Joe-Johnson-eofhr0

For this episode I sat down with Joe Johnson, AKA MC Schlep, one of the two good friends I made in graduate school.  Joe has always been just ahead of me in most life events–getting married, buying a house, having kids, becoming a functioning adult–so I feel lucky to have learned from him.  In this chat we explore, among other topics:  the mindset of an East Sider; how his experience at Warren De La Salle, an all-boys Catholic school, shaped him; trash picking; bargain grocery-shopping; coaching his kids; losing both parents relatively young; and the importance of low post position in a marriage.Enjoy.

21 Hopes for the Class of 2021

There’s a line from my favorite show of 2020, Ted Lasso, in which one of the characters shares a common British idiom, “It’s the hope that kills you.” It’s an extreme version of our “Don’t get your hopes up” and one that certainly fits 2020. During a pivotal scene in the show, Ted, a small-time college football coach turned British Premier League soccer manager (trust me, it works) challenges this claim. He argues that hope is what keeps us going.

So for 2021, in the spirit of Ted Lasso, I’d like to offer 21 hopes that I have for our class of 2021.

  1. They hang out together a lot, in person.
  2. They continue to spend time outdoors.
  3. They make college and career decisions based on what’s best for them, not what society expects.
  4. They continue to speak and act out for racial justice.
  5. They continue to unleash their creativity (for those of you who attended Ms. Bomphray’s poetry showcase, you know what I’m talking about!)
  6. They have mature conversations with people from different backgrounds and with different worldviews.
  7. They use credible sources.
  8. They cite their sources.
  9. They engage in the political process.
  10. They read books.
  11. They value compassion.
  12. They seek out challenges.
  13. They don’t wish away their childhood.
  14. They thank their friends, families, teachers, and coaches for their help.
  15. They do things for the sake of doing them, not to check a box or make themselves look good.
  16. They find a career they love.
  17. They cherish their experiences as much as (or more than) their possessions.
  18. They laugh a lot.
  19. They experience a relatively normal graduation ceremony.
  20. They don’t suffer any more losses.
  21. They remember that what they experienced in 2020, cliche as it may sound, will make them stronger.

Class of 2021 and everyone else, here’s to hoping in 2021, even when it seems foolish.