A Few Favorite Things

Cover Image Marsh Plaza

Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

This place is full of life.  Dr. Thurman is muse around here that I draw from when I start to feel like I’m flat lining with my creativity. (I hope you, too, experience Howard Thurman – and after you encounter him, you better catch muses Anna Howard Shaw, Edgar Helms, and Leila Robinson Sawtelle.)  I’m often asked to sum up this place.  Hard to do. Here’s my take on what makes this space a place:


the energy at the start of school;

a certain vibe on The Beach during a warm spell;

Marsh Plaza – its protests, skaters, bikers, and the freestyle;

reading our personal “mixtapes” and online remixes – the blogs, picture streams, playlists, check-ins, and tweets; and

the way we gear up together before big games, the Back Bay Ball, and the beginning of the year.

A fan

of watching the new folk walk strong down Comm Ave;

the cool quiet and joyfulness of the early morning prep before our graduates take the field for All-U Commencement;

of seeing rooms, streets, and arenas full of scarlet and white;

Halloween around here; and of

the sound of so many languages I do not speak.


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights when I can walk this campus and check out groups of people reciting prayers, telling stories, and singing our songs;

encountering the power of a chalk figure to stop me in my tracks;

that I can meet faculty and students for deep conversation in the Pub;

laughter, cigar smoke, and reflection have their place – too – on our week end;

the foot tapping;

the head bobbing;

the heart rocking.

Or, that you can just hang.


listening to wheels, balls, metal, beeps, beats, slurps, and sips in the FitRec;

The Spontaneity – fundraisers, hugs, convos, and characters running on our streets with weights and rockin’ cold boom-box bikes; and

that aerosol smell when The Rock gets a fresh coat of paint.

There’s nothing like snow falling on Comm Ave.  Even better to watch how we are present with it.


that you can see plenty of folk along your way who you know well-enough to say, “Hey!”

Dining Services tweetin’ back with a guest meals and pizza;

the sweet groove of chatter as I inhale righteous coffee fumes on Friday afternoons;

being in Holmes’ center of the solar system with a constant celebration to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here’s my playlist to capture tones, attitudes, and moments I like around here — smooth, move-inducing grooves:

  • Adore – Prince
  • A Song for You – Donny Hathaway
  • I Wanna Be Where You Are – Michael Jackson
  • Together Again – Janet Jackson
  • Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) – Soul II Soul
  • I Want Your Love – Chic
  • Genius Of Love – Tom Tom Club
  • The Glow Of Love – Change
  • A Change Is Gonna Come – Seal
  • Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley (Just Ric-Rolled You – enjoy!)
  • This Place Hotel – Michael Jackson
  • Wishing Well – Terence Trent D’Arby
  • You Want This – Janet Jackson
  • Human Nature – Madonna
  • Pull Up to the Bumper – Grace Jones
  • Come Around – M.I.A.
  • The Look of Love – ABC
  • Say You’ll Be There – Spice Girls
  • Embrace The Martian – KiD CuDi
  • I’m Still In Love With You – Seal
  • Searching – Change
  • Cherchez la femme/C’est si bon – Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band
  • Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) – Chic
  • Sowing the Seeds of Love – Tears for Fears

Closing the turntable with the song that reminds us that we’re at our best – Bruce Channel’s Hey! Baby (Go ahead and sing along – because you can!)


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