Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Changes: They Are Coming. For You. For Me. (And a Graphical Update on the House Next Door)

I've really missed my regular posting in this space and I hope you've missed it, too.

As a new blogger (my one year anniversary is only a few weeks away), I know that failing to post regularly is blog death. However, never fear, my absence and irregularity is for very good reason. I actually have quite an arsenal of pent up student-professor communication goodness just waiting to emerge for you.

For right now, change is afoot... Exciting changes. I bet you have new changes coming, too, as you move further into this academic year. Maybe you're readying yourself for graduation. Maybe you're finishing your first year. We'll talk about the talk associated with those changes in just a second. First, a little preview on the changes of which I speak:

-Say goodbye to this blog space. The Chatty Professor is moving to a fresh new home thanks to my work with Christian Hollingsworth (http://www.smartboydesigns--have you met him? Followed him? Read his work? Oh my goodness... you have no idea...). Christian is helping me take my social media presence to new and incredible places.

-I recently mentioned some new blog features, which will ramp up the tips I can offer to you each week. Here's a preview:

*Word. Wednesday. Say It Now: Quickie talking tips about your class, college, or other campus-related "stuff" you can use immediately. I'm planning for... guess which day... but you can use the tips any day!

*Let's Talk To: Interviews with experts about how they use communication in their respective fields. It's that "soft skills" training that rarely gets talked about. Well, I'll be talking about it and then you can use those tips to strengthen your abilities!

*Talk About This Today: News to raise your information excellence capital! No more will you want to text before classes. Instead, you'll be 'in the know' when you practice face-to-face communication with these conversation starters. Watch you go! (Okay, I won't be able to see you--that would be weird, but I know you'll write in and tell me about it!).

*And, of course, my regular commentary about all things student-professor comm-related. Don't worry: I'll still add my take on interpersonal communication and, at times, public speaking!

-My book, Say This, NOT That to Your Professor: 36 Talking Tips for College Success is less than 60 days away from release. That's all I'll say about that, but you'll hear more very soon!

-My final change is a little random, but I did promise to update about it in this post called "When the Walls Go Up, How Do You Avoid Getting Down?

Remember this picture? I'll bring you up to speed...

The former view standing on my front porch...
Vashon Island in the distance
My house is on the left. Bob the Builder
rolls in to prep the space. My 4-year old delights. My
husband and I cringe. But we knew it could happen.

We get a taste of what's to come.
No more Vashon Island from
the porch.. or from anywhere.
A few short months later, wallah!
A baby Office Max--er, ultra-modern
house is born. Okay, it's a little cute.
(I'll let you know when it sells.)

So, what's the communication lesson here? 

Even positive change can be stressful to talk about! Maybe you're going through some good changes, like that you're really comfortable with your classes, your degree program, your college, in general. Or maybe, you were thinking about leaving your college and now you're going to stay put. Or, you have changed your mind, but you feel very rooted in that decision (remember my tips here?).

Here are some ways I've messaged some of the happy challenges I've been going through lately:

-"There's an end and I know that. Only a few more weeks left and I can make it. I'm going to hold strong!" 

Nothing lasts forever. A college term has an end. So does a book deadline. I have personally decided that I hate the term, "Hang in there!" because it makes me feel like I have a rope tied in a not-good place. So, I'm replacing "Hang in there!" with "Hold strong!" because it just feels more powerful, more assertive, more positive.

(Remember, you can also ask for help if you need it a'la this post).  

-"It's amazing what the mind can adjust to." 

When our friends see the small office building that has emerged next door, they supportively express sadness for our loss (of a view... I know, it's not like we lost a family member or a pet--we do put this in perspective). But, honestly, a couple of weeks ago, as I was carrying laundry from one room to another (an every day occurrence around here), I realized that the lack of view wasn't really bothering me any more. My eyes adjusted to what was. My family isn't sad, though my son misses the diggers and the builders. The known is so much more freeing than the dread of wondering what would come.

-"This is a good problem to have." 

I have had very, very little sleep lately, thinking about book cover text, fonts, proper endorsement placements, edits, etc. And this is in tandem with other work I have happening. You are juggling work too, wonderful student--probably a lot of it, right?  

Let's put this in perspective:  YOU are in school... you have opportunity ahead of you... you may be working, and you're working toward something. There is every possibility in front of you. You are making it happen. 

I have a dream that I've had since I was a teen-ager about to come true. A dream that's eluded me twice already. A dream that one of my parents and two friends did not live to see. I'm in a pretty fantastic place in my career--this is a full-circle moment. 

Yes, we're both losing some sleep for different reasons. Yes, we're a little (okay, a lot) stressed due to our workload and concern over the quality of our work. But, hell, we're in... the... game.

What a great problem to have! So let's message our "stress" accordingly!

I'm going to end here. To leave this on a positive note, a graphical close:

Look to the right of small Office Max--er, ultra modern. More change may be
coming for potential owners... Other walls could go up later!
Small houses don't always stay that way in Seattle.

Last picture... view from my kitchen window
(back of the ultra modern house). Peek-a-boo view
of Vashon. I'll take it! 

Students, what positive changes are coming your way? I'd love to hear about them! And, of course, I'm always here to talk about those "other" changes, too... Wonderful readers, thanks for your patience with my delay over the past few weeks. See you in the new digs!


  1. Hi, Ellen! Though I'm no longer a formal student, I continue to be a lifelong student, and find your advice useful and inspiring. Looking forward to the new blog--will you keep your Blogger site up for backstory, or will you port it over to the new place? Speaking of which, do you know the URL for the new place yet? Thanks!

  2. NOTHING but great changes going on for you Prof! Congrats! Christian is TERRIFIC and I love him. I'm sure you'll fine terrific success with these changes! Way to go!

    1. Hi, Bruce!

      I know... how lucky am I, right? Thank you... your encouragement and ongoing support means the world to me. You have no idea.

  3. Hi, Donn,

    Thank you so much and I appreciate your kind words :-). You have raised some very good questions and I am going to find out the answers... and report back. Can you tell how novice I am? I definitely feel like a student again!!!!


    1. Being a lifelong student is good. :) No problem, I understand. I figured out how to follow the content stream via RSS, otherwise I would have missed your reply--that's something I just learned myself! I think I'm replying from a different "personna" though--yet something else to figure out. :)

    2. Hi, Donn,

      Quick note! Yes! Many of my blog posts moved over :-). I also hear that the replying tool in Wordpress is much easier. I am so much a student again. Oy! Look forward to seeing you in the new space!