5 Quick Things #285 🎓
milestones, cocktail parties, short chats, & history lessons
Well... here it is. The last day of school was yesterday, and tomorrow my oldest graduates. I'm a casserole of emotions: thrilled, relieved, sad, a bit anxious, at peace, exhausted, and exhilarated — and probably a few others I'm forgetting at the moment because I truly am exhausted.
I'll have more coherent thoughts next week, but in the meantime, here's a blurb of what I said last year when I was our school's commencement speaker, because I still agree with it…
Take advantage of all the people that God puts in your path, and learn from them. Even if the wisdom is accidental, like don’t get drunk because you might inadvertently sing to total strangers on the train. The vast majority of the people you meet will have a story you need to hear, a tip that will make your day better, or an idea that’ll change your mind. If you let it, their experience will help you be more who you’re made to be.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 👈 Both Seth’s and my oldest kiddos are graduating high school, and just like the cliché, we legit can't believe how fast time has flown. In this chat we share a few things we’d tell ourselves when we were younger and in the early, exhausting stage of parenting younger children.
2. Earlier this week I shared with Commonplace subscribers a bit of news in my offline life, thanks to a quote from Zora Neale Hurston I read that I still cannot stop thinking about: "There are years that ask questions and years that answer." I've just made this short piece available to the public, hopefully as an encouragement to you. There are, indeed, seasons that ask questions and there are seasons that answer.
3. We are in a loneliness epidemic — it’s being said more and more, and that’s because it’s true. But what are some practical things we can do about it? Here’s one: a short, two-hour cocktail party with a hard start and stop time. My introverted self cringes at some of these ideas, yet apparently they work? …Maybe I’ll try one this summer.
4. What can history tell us about how to be a Church in the modern age? And what’s the best way to embrace the weirdness of the gospel in a world that’s really weirded out by it? This was a great conversation.
5. And finally, the significance of short interactions. Here’s another time when the YouTube algorhithm gods are good, because I’d never heard of this guy or his channel yet it showed up in my feed. What a great tribute.
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I knew that if you read The Commonplace you were some sort of kindred spirit of mine — but I had no idea there were so many of you on this topic. Morning people, unite! And then leave early so we can all be in bed by 9 pm!
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Creative Writing for High Schoolers ✍️
I asked y'all and you told me loud and clear — you're interested in a semester-long creative writing class for your teenager. I'm honored and humbled that you'd want this! I'll work out details and will hopefully get registration set up in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, please continue to let me know if you're at all interested in the following:
A weekly, one-hour class that covers the basics of story structure and writing craft
Regular feedback from peers and me on a short writing project
A few solid short stories or novel chapters written by students they can use however they like: scholarships, college applications, publication, etc.
A 1/2 elective or fine arts credit for high school transcripts
Available for any freshman through senior in high school
If you're interested, let me know. Doing so doesn't commit you to this class, it simply lets me know how I can best prepare.
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What one thing would you tell yourself at your own high school graduation?
Have a good one,