Category Archives: Professional Development

Whipped Into Shape

Sorry for the pessimism, but I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.  (Probably because I’ve never been able to keep them.)  In that past, I’ve used them as an excuse to put things off until January.  I’ve also made more New Year’s resolutions than I can count and I can’t think of a single one that I’ve actually kept.

For the last 3 months I have been getting “Whipped Into Shape.”  I stopped hiding under the security blanket of the New Year’s resolution, took advice from Brooke Wyndam, and decided to “work it out!”  I feel as though I’ve accomplished more, personally and professionally, than had I waited around until January.

In the musical Legally Blonde “Whipped Into Shape” is about working out the body, but the lesson is that it takes hard work to accomplish what you want.  Yes, the New Year is a great time to reflect on your past accomplishments, turn to the future, see where you can improve, and set new goals… but you can do this exercise anytime throughout the year.  In fact, I think it is important to constantly reflect, re-evaluate, and re-align personal and professional priorities and goals.

It appears that I am not alone.  A number of my colleagues in higher ed have been getting whipped into shape.  People have changed jobs, started new/exciting projects,  published books, and more.  I can imagine there were no “easy miracles” to any of these endeavors.

In this clip of “Whipped Into Shape” the audience is impressed by 11 women singing and jumping rope in sync, which they’ve been doing for about 4 minutes already.  They make it look so easy.

I hope 2011 is a big year for you.  I hope you accomplish the goals or resolutions you have laid out and don’t forget to periodically reflect on how the year is going.  There is no need to wait until January 2012 to get whipped into shape.


Free professional development, a click away

I’m hooked on TED

“Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.”  I can’t argue with that!  These videos of interesting and often jaw-dropping presentations are truly “ideas worth spreading.”

I’d like to share with you some of the TEDs that I have recently found inspiring.  I hope that you will share links to your favorites with me.

Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media

Julian Treasure: The 4 ways sound affects us

Jonathan Harris: The Web’s secret stories

Chris Anderson: How YouTube is driving innovation

Bobby McFerrin hacks your brain with music


I have been inspired by the Little Mermaid and Dylan Wilbanks.  (I bet that’s never been written anywhere before.)

The holiday season is a time when I become very thankful for the many blessings in my life: a wonderful family, good health, a supportive network of friends and colleagues, and of course… a job.  Not only a job that pays the bills, but a job that I love, a job in higher ed, a job that lets me combine my passions with my talents.

One of my favorite songs from the broadway version of the Little Mermaid is “Under the Sea.”  (It’s worth watching just to see them on Heelys.)  For the three of you who have never heard the song, the crab tells the mermaid to quit her complaining and appreciate what she has and the world around her.  “What do they got? A lot of sand. We got a hot crustacean band!”

Dylan Wilbanks, Web Producer at the University of Washington School of Public Health, walked away with the “best of conference” red stapler award at the High Ed Web Conference this year.  His session was inspiring, witty, informative, and full of honesty.  (In fact, Higher Ed Experts had Dylan present his session as a webinar.  This is now on-demand for your viewing pleasure.)  My biggest take away and probably the most tweeted quote was “Love the Web, Love Highered, Love People.”

Dylan said, “I think if we focus on those three things we can overcome the bitterness and the cynicism.  We can make a better world… we can help make not just the web better but we can make higher ed better.”

Sebastian said, “Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor.  Such wonderful things surround you.  What more is you lookin’ for?”

If Dylan is A and the Little Mermaid is B,
A + B = Higher ed “is the bubbles.”  Let’s be thankful we work in it.

My job is like any other, there are tough days and frustrating days, but I would like to take this opportunity to remember why I #lovehighered.

I #lovehighered because:
– I feel I can make a difference in the lives of prospective students.
– Higher ed has allowed me to build meaningful connections and friendships with colleagues from all over the USA.
– It is one of the few industries where idea sharing across “brands” is championed.

I would like to challenge you all to join me.  Let’s declare today National #lovehighered Day and let the world know how proud we are to work in such an amazing industry.  Please take to the twittas and use the #lovehighered hashtag.

Thanks web.  Thanks higher ed. Thanks people.

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