How I’ve STARTED WITH WHY and the times I LOST MY WHY

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Simon Sinek was able to take things we all think or have thought in the business world and world of creative leadership and make sense of it. He rationalized it all in a way that makes sense to us. I found myself nodding and giving him silent “Amens” as I read along, chapter by chapter, immersed in the question he started asking himself about successful leaders and organizations: How do they achieve the level of success? How do they begin?

They start with WHY.

As I read, I became more inspired with each story, example, and principle underscored and highlighted by Sinek. I haven’t read a book since Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR that has sparked my creative spirit, my entrepreneurial curiosity, and my desire to inspire others as much as START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION.

Sinek took this notion of starting with WHY and theorized it to help him better understand leaders. He made a Golden Circle. He examined the Law of Diffusion of Innovators and the tipping point in companies—when an idea becomes a movement— such as what happened with the iPhone. He puts WHY in plain language for all to understand; he tells stories worth listening to; and, he inserts himself into the bigger picture thinking toward the end.

So powerful is his writing that I couldn’t put the book down, and I was wondering if my students in a new creative course I am teaching felt the same way. After our class discussion only minutes ago, I can tell you that I think they took away the key points beautifullly—those most worth noting—and some were wholeheartedly inspired to always start with WHY.

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The students brainstorming in our new collaborative course on campus.

As for me, I was intrigued and enamored by his connections from the second I started reading his book. During my own careers (and I do mean that, as I’ve had several), I always started with WHY. During my time at the Baltimore Orioles, believe me when I say I wasn’t getting rich there. I had a fantastic job—one that constantly inspired me—and I can tell you that what Sinek says is so true: if you are inspired by THE WORK, the money is secondary to what you are doing and the bigger picture of WHY you are doing it. When I left the Orioles and went to my next job, the WHY was much fuzzier; I went for the wrong reason–to make more money than I previously made. And while I did that, the WHY and inspiration was missing from the work. When I broached the subject of leaving that job while on vacation in London with my husband, I asked him this question: “Why can’t I do the two things I love: teach and have a writing/design business?” His answer was the best anyone could give: You can.

And so I did.

When I made the foray into full-time teaching, I knew my WHY. I had discovered it when I began as an adjunct teacher at a local community college back in 1993. I wanted to be a teacher because I was a born cheerleader—I wanted to inspire, coach, and help others with their education and prepare them for careers. I think I knew this my whole life—that this would be my chosen profession eventually—but it took me working in another profession to find out that the WHY for teaching was not to be ignored and it warranted serious consideration.

When I decided to become an author and write fictional books, I knew my WHY: I wanted to entertain and inspire others through storytelling. I chose to become a self-published author and wrote and produced three novels. I lost my WHY a little this summer when book promotion took hold and made me leery of WHY I was a writer in the first place. But then, upon being asked to give a talk about self-publishing at Stevenson University to faculty and staff, I remembered and was reconnected with my WHY. I write books because it is my PASSION, and I just LOVE the process. How many books I sell should be secondary to the task I adore so much—storytelling. And so, newly refocused, I will continue along my writing and publishing journey.

In 2013, along with my colleagues, Chip and Leeanne, we decided to write a textbook on event planning. After scouring the library and bookstores for a good text to share with our students that attached communication theory to event planning and coming up empty-handed, we decided to write our own textbook. So, what did we do?

We started with WHY and asked this question: What is the WHY behind what we do in event planning? And out of this question was born our book, EVENT PLANNING: COMMUNICATING THEORY AND PRACTICE, published by Kendall-Hunt Publishers.

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If you adopt Simon Sinek’s approach—that anything you do that is meaningful must start with WHY—you are more likely to find some meaning in it and grow from it. In turn, you will learn from it and maybe even have great success from it. And without even realizing it, you begin to inspire others.

START WITH WHY is a book you will not soon forget, and I will recommend it to anyone who wants to be an inspirational leader, as well as to anyone who has lost his or her way and needs to be reminded of their WHY.

 

 

Every One of My Books Has Killed Me a Little More

 

 

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In 5 years, I wrote three novels and a textbook while working full-time as a professor. I think that warranted a short respite.

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You see the title there, and maybe that’s why you clicked over to see what’s going on here.

If you did, please know I didn’t say that quote. It was said by the famous late writer, Norman Mailer. “Every one of my books has killed me a little more, ” he said.

I didn’t know the man. I’m not on par with him as a writer. I am not as prolific a writer as he was. And I certainly don’t earn my primary income as a writer as he did.

And yet, I can totally understand what he said.

As some of you who follow my blog may know, I hit a wall this summer. Exhaustion took over, and I needed a break from writing. While writing novels hasn’t killed me, the promotion of them was making me crazy. Every morning I thought to myself, “Just what do I need to do today to sell one book? How can I market my book today on social media? How can I spread the word about my novels? How can I post one more thing on social media without annoying my friends and supporters?”

img_1179These thoughts began to consume me, and I knew I had to tread lightly. Ruining friendships over book promotion is not worth it, but I needed to put a little distance between me (as a person and friend and mother and wife) and my writing and marketing. I could feel myself slipping into a sort of dark abyss and feeling quite down about things, and I didn’t want those feelings to affect me and my family.

Taking a respite from writing has been just what the doctor ordered. I am concentrating on my family, helping my son with his college applications, teaching at the university, planning a new course I am co-teaching, and exercising, something I had let slip as well.

The miraculous thing that happens when you put a little distance between you and your writing are these things called invigoration and inspiration. I find I am becoming inspired by things I’ve neglected to notice; I am invigorated by relationships I never knew I could have; and story ideas seem to be coming to me at a mile a minute.

It’s a good thing I keep a notebook. I jot down ideas that may be novel-worthy, and I’ll examine which stories I might like to tell next.

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I still keep a paper planner in which I jot down things, keep notes, make to-do lists, and write inspiring quotes. Still works for me as opposed to using my iPhone or Outlook calendar.
I’m not done writing novels, I’m just gearing up for something I can sink my teeth into to grab hold. The inspiration fairy, when given some room to breathe, seems to want to come to life and help out a weary writer and marketer.

And, moreover, because I do LOVE writing so much, I don’t ever want to utter the words Norman Mailer said.

I won’t ever let my creativity and need to tell stories kill me a little.

I absolutely refuse to allow that to happen.

 

FROCKTOBER | DAY 2

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It’s kind of difficult to get happy today with the news coming out of Las Vegas. I’m so saddened by the reports of all the victims of the mass shooting and those who are injured. Prayers go to all of those who have been affected by this horrible, senseless, and heinous tragedy.

However, FROCKTOBER must carry on, because we are doing some good here by raising awareness for ovarian cancer. As I mentioned yesterday, my colleague and stylish lady friend, Chris Noya, has been battling this disease since January. If you wish to donate, you can do so by giving to the American Cancer Society or to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (click the organization names to go to the sites). Much research is being done to try to end this disease.

Today’s Outfit of the Day (#ootd):

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Day 2. Taught on campus today in this #ootd — red pants from #whbm; top from #anntaylorloft; booties by #matisse; bag by #adriennevittadini.

In a world full of nonsense and hate, remember to be kind. Stay safe and hug those you love.

#ovariancancerawareness #ovariancancer #frocktober2017 #style #personalstyle #blog #blogger #bloggerstyle #fashionisfun #professorstyle #stephsscribe #prayersforlasvegas

Love the cute red and blue top with the loose turtleneck and flutter sleeves. I wear a lot of black, so I’ve been attempting to infuse some color into my wardrobe. Just a little.

I’ll always love classic, black clothing.

See you tomorrow!

FROCKTOBER | DAY 1

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I’m so happy to be back and doing this again for another 31 days. Last year when I began posting FROCKTOBER pictures on Instagram, I didn’t realize that FROCKTOBER all started as a way to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. This year, it has even more meaning because I’m doing it in honor of my colleage—a very sharply dressed lady herself—Christine Noya, who continues to fight ovarian cancer. I’ll be making a monetary donation to NOCC—National Ovarian Cancer Coalition—in addition to posting photos to promote awareness.

Today, we’re kicking things off with this BRUNCH DATE outfit. Black leggings, black over the knee boots, shirt from #anntaylorloft . Clutch from #BananaRepublic.

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Follow me on Instagram as we publish one outfit each day for the month of

October, 2017.

On Instagram at stephverni

https://www.instagram.com/stephverni/

When You Quit Something Cold Turkey

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Sometimes you just have to stop.

You just stop, and that’s it. You’ve had enough.

Some may call it stopping; some may call it quitting. Either way, you’re ending a relationship you’ve had with someone or something.

Things people have quit? A bad relationship. A bad habit, such as smoking, drinking, or gambling. Loaning money. Maybe even gossiping. These are just examples of a few.

When you quit something cold turkey, it means, the following:

To “go cold turkey” is to withdraw suddenly and completely from an addictive substance or some other form of dependency.

Have you ever quit something “cold turkey” in your life?

For me, one example was smoking. I smoked a little in high school, a little in college, and a little afterwards during a tough time in my life. (Honestly, I should have known better). When I quit full stop, I never had one again. It’s so darn bad for you, your health and lungs, and the smell of it — the after-effects smell of the tobacco on my skin and in my hair — was horrible. I hated the way my fingers smelled after holding a lit cigarette.

I’ve also quit a few bad friendships cold turkey. Never looked back.

Another thing I stopped doing cold turkey was to quit beating myself up over the past. About mistakes I’ve made or people I’ve hurt. I’ve been sorry, apologized, and humbly moved on. Asked for forgiveness. You can’t keep making yourself feel bad about past mistakes or misjudgements. Learn from them and move on from them, certainly, but you can’t keep punishing yourself for things that happened in your way-long-ago past.

Speaking of pasts, I’ve quit a couple of boyfriends cold turkey. It takes a certain amount of gumption to do that. My daughter just did it as well with someone she was seeing. You just kind of say to yourself, “That’s it. I’m worth more. I deserve better.” If you believe it, the act of divorcing yourself from that negativity comes much easier, and you feel healthier for having done so.

You make the decision to go cold turkey because in your heart of hearts, you know it’s the best option. You’ve heard the expression that it’s best to cut the cord. Sometimes you know it’s the healthiest way to move on, recover, or protect yourself from making one bad decision after another.

In the end, it’s really about moving on—from leaving one bad “thing” behind to starting fresh without that bad “thing” in your life.

I’m always interested to learn how these expressions originated. When doing a quick Google search on the phrase, I discovered that the origin “cold turkey” could come from the meaning “suddenly or without preparation,” as noted in the example that a dish of cold turkey doesn’t require much preparation. There’s thought it also comes from the American expression “talk turkey,” which means to speak bluntly with little to no preparation.

Quitting something cold turkey is not always easy, but it’s often best. If you’re struggling with a decision to leave a bad situation, habit, or relationship behind, going cold turkey just may save your sanity—and your life.

Stephanie

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Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

Gearing Up for FROCKTOBER

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Good morning, readers!

It’s September 22, and the month of October is only eight days away. As I did last year, I’m going to accept the FROCKTOBER CHALLENGE and post 31 outfits on Instagram, one each day, and then do a FRIDAY RECAP here on the blog.

Fashion is an outlet for me. I love shopping, buying clothes, mixing and matching colors, brands, consignment finds, and super sale items. I don’t look anything like a fashion model—I’m petite with curves, so that has its own challenges. But nevertheless, when we understand our body type and what silhouettes look best on us, we can pick clothing that flatters and accentuates the positives.

I’ve added a few new pieces to my wardrobe recently, so I’m excited to share some of the things I’ve put together.

If you’re so inclined, follow along in Instagram, and if you’re wearing a spiffy outfit, I may want to feature you on Steph’s Scribe. So tag me on Instagram with your favorite ensemble.

Let’s have fun with this challenge together.

Below are some of my favorites from last year; I can’t wait to share my personal style for 2017’s FROCKTOBER fashions.

Stephanie

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Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

When Queen Elizabeth—The Crown—Waved to Me

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President George Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, along with Prince Philip, at Memorial Stadium, 1991.

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When I think about my time at the Baltimore Orioles, I can only become sentimental about it. Not only did I meet some of my dearest friends there as well as my husband, but I also had opportunities that would otherwise not have been possible had I not worked at both Memorial Stadium and then Camden Yards. The old slogan for the ballclub was Orioles Magic, with a song to go along with it. I’m here to tell you that my time there was pretty magical, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

How many other jobs offer you the opportunity to receive a wave from Queen Elizabeth and President George Bush? When the Queen attended a game at Memorial Stadium back in 1991—her first baseball game ever—I was working as the assistant director of community relations. She gave me a wave and a smile in the lobby, as only the Queen of the United Kingdom can give, and President Bush waved to me as well. I remember being in awe of her, as I’ve always been enamored with British history, folklore, and literature. She is petite like me, and she wore a red paisley dress, pearls, black gloves, and not a hair on her head was out of place. When I recall this quick interaction we had, as she now holds the title of the longest reign of any monarch in the history of the U.K., I’m further reminded of her duty and how well she has executed her job as sovereign of her country.

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This leather and gold coaster was one of the gifts for guests from that evening. It was nice that front office employees were given one, too, as a remembrance of her visit to the United States.

Netflix’s recent series called The Crown, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth from her days with her father, King George VI, to the time she ascends to the throne and takes over duties as Queen, has offered an insightful glimpse into the life of Elizabeth. Along with her husband, Prince Philip, and their families, The Crown provides viewers the opportunity to perhaps get to know the side of Elizabeth that we don’t get to see; the reserved Queen is presented as scrupulous, well-meaning, tough, sensitive, and yet fully aware of the duties she is expected to uphold to her country, even when they are very difficult decisions. The interactions the show offers us between the Queen and her husband, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Princess Margaret, as well as with her own mother and father, illustrate the softer side of Elizabeth. And while I know The Crown is a show created to garner ratings, it’s well done and not full of crazy, gratuitous sex and drama. As viewers, we are able to understand the characters because it is directed beautifully and takes its time acquainting us with the characters, their choices, what makes them tick, and why they may have made the decisions they made as the ruling family and associates of the monarchy.

With Season I of The Crown completed, I’m breathlessly looking forward to Season II, which will premier on December 8. Season I ended with Winston Churchill stepping down as Prime Minister and Anthony Eden taking over, Princess Margaret not receiving permission to marry her divorced beau, and the Queen beginning to go it alone without the supreme guidance from Churchill. This series has intrigued me and forced me to look things up and better educate myself on British history, about the lives of these people and their influences in our time. It also makes me consider just how much responsibility it takes to wear a crown. It’s a duty that never goes away. And while her position may be one primarily in name with historical fortitude, the throne remains a high-profile, respected  representation of the United Kingdom.

Thank you for the wave all those years ago, Your Majesty. You will never remember me or the instance, but I will forever remember you. I had the pleasure of visiting London with my husband, and toured many of your iconic historical sites, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace among them, and I look forward to a return visit soon, especially now that I have an even deeper understanding of your duty and responsibilities and the many years you have served as Queen.

Stephanie

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Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

 

Creating the Physical Space in which to Write

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I N S P I R I N G    S P A C E S

One of the things we talked about in my college classroom recently is not only WHEN we find time to write, but WHERE we find time to write. I’m very lucky that our home came with a beautiful office that we have tweaked a little with paint and a chandelier. (My husband said, “You took down the fan for a chandelier? We have enough chandeliers in the house.” To which I replied, “You can never have too many chandeliers.”)

Finding the TIME to write has its own challenges, but part of it, for me, lies in having a space I don’t mind spending time in to do my work. Therefore, I had to make my office “feel good” and be that space where it can be quiet and pretty and inspirational.

Anyway, these are photographs of my home office and the space where I write. It inspires me.

And, please, by all means, let me know if you beg to differ on the chandelier issue.

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Stephanie

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

 

Dickens Is Missing

Image result for great charles dickens quotesI’ll make this one short and sweet.

Where the hell is Dickens?

My son is now a senior in high school, and all this time I’ve been waiting with anticipation each year to see which books have been selected for the high school English classes for the year. I am sad to report that now, for four straight years, we’ve had no Dickens on the list.

I’m not a fan of Common Core, but I am a fan of Dickens.

When I was in high school, I read Great Expectations. I read A Christmas Carol on my own. Now, Dickens’ novels are missing from high school reading lists. When I took MFA courses from 2009-2011 in creative writing, I took a WHOLE COURSE in Dickens. I reread Great Expectations with vigor and experienced it in a whole new way than I did when I was in high school. It was so much better and much more meaningful. I read the 800-page Bleak House and loved it.

My love affair with this man’s creativity continues.

I love his writing.

I love everything about it.

His writing has taught me much, and I’ve learned so much from his technique. I was hoping my kids would be prompted to do the same through school.

It would be my wish that Dickens returns. There’s so much to gain from every aspect of his storytelling.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

Stephanie

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

 

 

 

A Love of Fashion: Ageless & Timeless

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know I post a lot of pics of me in my work and casual clothes, the bargains and designer stuff, as well as the cheaper fashions simply because I have a #loveoffashion and am a #fashionenthusiast. (I use those hashtags all the time when posting on Instagram.)

While my side job of being an independent author drives me, and I spend a lot of time writing and promoting books, I do consider it a second JOB. However, my love of fashion is just a side PASSION and HOBBY. I do it for enjoyment and amusement, for me, and I like to share it with you, because honestly, it is just meant to be FUN, damn it!

I used to believe that life was going to end when I turned 40, and that I wouldn’t be able to wear some of the fashions and trends once I “hit that age.” Now I’m over 50, and I just don’t give a rat’s ass. I wear what I want, in good taste, but I still have fun with it. I may even have MORE FUN with it now. As I’m quite familiar with my body type, frame, and deficit in height, I have to choose my fashions carefully; some things work and some don’t. But I can still play the game of style and incorporate the trends that best suit me.

One of my current students, Taylor, read my blog and took note of my love of clothes and passion for fashion. She shared a site with me that she follows, and I became even more motivated. It’s called ADVANCED STYLE, and it’s for women “of a certain age” and how they still have fun with fashion. Honestly, I was quite inspired by it.

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The truth of the matter is this: there is no age limit for having fun with fashion. It’s ageless and timeless.

In the meantime, if you share my love of clothing, style, and an enjoyment of fashion, I’m going to continue to post about it, so feel free to follow along and share with me what you’re wearing these days. And also feel free to connect with me on Instagram. I’ll follow you back and see what clothes make you feel good about yourself.

We can inspire each other.

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Both of these images showcase something I’m trying to improve on: stepping away from so much black in my wardrobe. It ain’t easy, people.

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Stephanie

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

 

Perhaps It Was An Omen

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Dr. Leeanne Bell McManus (in front of the class) and me in our seminar class.

Spiral notebook. ✓

New pencils. ✓

Planner. ✓

Pink rubber eraser. ✓

A folder with pockets. ✓

Highlighters. ✓

New outfit. ✓

Some things don’t change. I still have this checklist today.

I was always excited at the prospect of starting a new school year. Ever since I read a book about a girl who walked to school on the sidewalk past the white picket fences in her neighborhood as the leaves were falling, I’ve always loved the thought of going back to school, seeing friends, and learning something new.

Perhaps it was an omen of what life had in store for me.

Strangely enough, I was one of those kids who relished going back to school. Don’t get me wrong—I loved summertime—but I was also excited to reconnect with people and discover something new.

In high school, when I took Creative Writing with Ms. Susek, things began to connect for me. I realized then just how much I loved writing and storytelling, even though I’d been writing since Junior High (yes, that’s what we used to call Middle School). Ms. Susek helped open my mind even further and fostered a love of writing that I still have today.

I loved the smell of books, going to the library, decorating the lockers for Homecoming, and hanging out with my friends.

High school is a time in your life where worries can be small—the biggest concern is getting the grades good enough to get into a college you might want to spend four years attending, playing a sport and having fun with it, cheering for your favorite teams, participating in clubs that float your boat, and maybe working a little part-time job. I remember a team of us creating the Homecoming float on our street. It was bonding time–a time for fun.

The essence of my love for high school didn’t translate too well into college, where, for my first year, my dad would tell people I was majoring in partying. It wasn’t until I changed my major from Business Administration to Mass Communication at the end of my Freshman year that I fell in love with learning again. In hindsight, I look at that Freshman year as a true learning experience. Once I figured out what major suited me best and then secured a part-time job at the Baltimore Orioles my sophomore year, I truly started on my path to success.

Some kids have the first-day-of-school jitters; I had the first-day-of-school excitement. And perhaps that’s why, after a stint working for two companies and owning my own business, I found my way to a job in education. As a professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University, I continue to learn every day.

And I’m always excited by the notion of the first day of school.

Omen or not, I still get pretty excited about beginning again and learning…

Always learning.

Stephanie

P.S. Thanks to my friend Mike for the idea for this post. 🙂

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.

 

Goodbye To All That

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I’ve always loved the title of Joan Didion’s essay, Goodbye to All That, which pays homage to New York, the city, her love for it, but the need to leave it behind. Her love affair with New York begins as most love affairs do—with awe and passion and all-encompassing rapture; however, the city ends up burdening and exhausting her as a writer with its frenetic pace and way of life.

It’s quite the opposite for me when considering the ideals of the summer season. Summer rolls in mid-year with its sunshine, flowers, humidity, warmth, relaxing tendencies, and languid days. And while I keep myself busy in the summer, its pace these last couple of years has been nothing short of wonderful.

And now it’s September and cooler (unusually so, especially today). Pumpkin spice coffees and sunflowers are already making appearances on Facebook and Instagram, and not to rush the season, I actually got suckered into purchasing a pair of velvet booties (velvet is a hot trend this fall/winter season).

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So now it’s time to say farewell to the summer days that offer us few cares and worries. My son’s senior year of high school begins this Wednesday, as well as my daughter’s sophomore year. It seems like just yesterday they were running through the sprinklers in their bathing suits out on the front lawn of our Ellicott City home—carefree, spirited, and wide-eyed with wonder. Now they are two teenage people with jobs, school, and extra-curricular activities. Time has marched on, as it always does, and we’ve all grown older.

But Summer, dear, sweet Summer, it’s difficult to let go of you. You cast your spell on us and allow us to be young and free-spirited for a while; you harken back to those carefree days when I watched my children play and the days seemed endless. You give us the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without deadlines and appointments and commitments. I wish you could stay, Summer, but I understand that you cannot.

So, I’m afraid I have to say it, although it breaks my heart: Goodbye to all that.

For now.

Stephanie

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.