I graduated in the late 90's — I feel like that was the peak of an undergraduate degree’s ROI

Back of girl in graduation cap facing crowd.
Back of girl in graduation cap facing crowd.

Is college still worth it? Or, let me clarify, is a private liberal arts college degree still worth it?

I started following Gary Vaynerchuk on LinkedIn. I enjoy his bold, thought-provoking posts. He recently posted this video about the value of a college degree. Vaynerchuk challenges us, especially parents, to re-think our perspective on college in light of COVID-19.

Check it out, he makes some really great points.

This has been on my mind as well — I graduated in the late 90's — I feel like that was the peak of a 4-year college degree’s ROI. …


Baby with older girl sitting on porch with heads looking down
Baby with older girl sitting on porch with heads looking down

My first friend and forever protector


A frazzled mom’s morning experiment to achieve calm

Bright yellow clock amid out of focus items scattered around it.
Bright yellow clock amid out of focus items scattered around it.

I love to experiment, especially on my behavior. Right now, my daily experiment is how to get CP, my 7-year-old son, to school with no drama.

How I define drama:

  • Yelling
  • Getting to school late
  • Forgetting something at home
  • Feeling frustrated

While I can’t control everything that happens in the morning, I can strive for a system that’s conducive to calm. And “calm” is not how I’d describe the typical morning in our house on a school day.

The Morning Mini Kanban

That’s where the infamous morning kanban enters the scene. I used a personal kanban to get back some of my sanity during remote learning. …


Why you should and how to do it without browning your nose

Image for post
Image for post

If you admire your manager, give them some gratitude today. I know, I know. I said the overused “g” word, but hear me out.

Being a boss is thankless most of the time.

When our phone rings or someone asks to chat, it’s usually because there’s a problem. Maybe it’s an unhappy employee, ticked off customer, or disgruntled vendor. By the time it gets to us, it’s escalated — the higher our level, the bigger the issue.

And that’s okay. We’re not in leadership roles to get constant kudos, we’re here to drive change and help others meet their goals.

Our Little Secret

I successfully managed teams across several industries for over 20 years. I loved it. I miss it. I found great fulfillment in leading change, coaching employees, and meeting goals. …


Why I picked this word for this year’s intention

Two bunches of multi-colored balloons released in the sky.
Two bunches of multi-colored balloons released in the sky.

My writers group asked its members to pick a word, or intention, going into 2021. One word. Only one. Yikes.

I don’t usually do annual themes, mantras, or affirmations. They always feel a bit cheesy to me. Hokey. And my “Tigger brain” gets distracted — I forget what I picked an hour after I made my selection. Now that I’m typing this out, I realize the fact that I can’t remember my mantras is probably why I need to do them. Hmmmm. I sense another post topic brewing.

Back to my 2021 word. I’m a rule-follower and strive to be a good student. If my guru asks me to do something, I do it. So, here I am, picking my word, so I can earn my gold star for the day. …


Press your mute button

Man holding remote control with blurry back ground of electronics. Mute button is in focus.
Man holding remote control with blurry back ground of electronics. Mute button is in focus.

Last year, I joined a writers group called Ninja Writers Club. It’s amazing–I’m learning so much from super-talented writers and creators.

Every Monday night I meet (via Zoom) with other Ninja writers to share my work. There’s a feedback rule for these sessions that I think is simple and genius.

Ask for feedback, then press mute.

After you read your work, you mute yourself. Then, the moderator asks if anyone has any feedback.

Your job is to listen to the feedback, take notes, and thank your team. That’s it–no debating. …


How a Young Adult book, 20-year-old artist’s manual, and celebrity memoir helped me find my creative mojo

Young girl sitting on couch cross-legged. She’s reading a book that is open on her lap.
Young girl sitting on couch cross-legged. She’s reading a book that is open on her lap.

This week, I selected my favorite books of 2020. During my review, three books stood out from the crowd. They weren’t necessarily the books that I enjoyed the most — I only gave one of them 5-stars on Goodreads.

These books grabbed my attention because of how they guided me to pursue a writing career. Their words provided encouragement, wisdom, and perspective.

Here are the three books that nudged me to start my writing journey.

1. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Genre: Young Adult Fiction


For years, I doubted my storytelling skills, until a writing group helped me overcome my fear to hit publish.

Woman holding pen and writing in a journal.
Woman holding pen and writing in a journal.

Since my Freshman year in college, the idea of being a good writer eluded me. I felt unprepared when I arrived on campus. My education fell short when compared to the suburban, rich kids at my liberal arts university.

I graduated from a small, rural high school, where many teachers taught from outdated, tattered manuals. I worked hard to earn good grades, but developed bad study-habits. In college, my tendency to procrastinate bit me in the ass — I got two C’s during my first semester.

Eventually, I figured out how to study (and drank lots of Diet Mountain Dew) and improved my grades. I’d like to say I kicked the procrastination habit, but I think I just got better at it. I graduated in four years with a good GPA. Yet, I always felt inadequate in my literature and writing classes. …


Otherwise, readers can’t find your latest posts on their mobile app

Close up of hands typing on laptop computer
Close up of hands typing on laptop computer

When I read online, I want to quickly find my favorite authors’ posts. But, that’s not happening on the Medium mobile app anymore.

I see that authors have new posts, but it takes too long to find them.

As a result, I get frustrated with the process and leave an author’s profile page, not knowing if I read their latest post or not.

This is how I feel when I use the Medium mobile app.

Curious

I see the little number hover above Sally’s profile picture on my mobile Medium app.

Cool. Sally has a new post.

I click on Sally’s picture to see her latest post.

Irritated

The first post appears. It’s from three months ago. I read it already. I scroll down and see another article that I read a month ago. …

About

Adrienne Parkhurst

I’m passionate about personal and professional leadership. I write about lessons learned from managing teams (and myself) for 20+ years.

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