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Week in Review: All Choked Up

Believe it or not, I’ve already started my 2017 garden! I’ve got about half of my seeds and plants ordered and big plans for relocation to fend off the deer who decimated just about everything last year—I can’t believe I thought they were cute. I’m finishing up the border on my herb garden and this week, I started my artichokes inside. They’re funky, massive, and really quite lovely plants. While I’ve grown them before, I’ve never successfully harvested a homegrown artichoke due to late planting, early frost, deer devastation, etc. Here’s hoping that 2017 will be the year of the artichoke!

If you’ve already had your fill of vegetables today, get your fill of higher ed news instead by scrolling down for this week’s latest.

What’s new this week:

Professor Joanne Pierce of the College of the Holy Cross wrote a piece for The Conversation on why the legacy of the Shakers will endure.

Holy Cross professor Donald Brand shared what American’s can expect during Trump’s inaugural speech in Fortune.

In the wake of Trump’s Department of Agriculture cabinet nomination, Drake University’s Jennifer Zwagerman weighed in for The Conversation on why rural America matters to all Americans.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, it’s all about looking ahead—don’t miss tips on taking creative risks and trends to look out for this year.

What’s we’ve been talking about:

Don’t miss a Quick Hit from Teresa with media guides for writing on race and LGBT topics.

What’s next on our calendars:

On February 3, Erin will co-present at NACUBO’s 2017 Endowment and Debt Management Forum in New York City on how institutions can communicate effectively about their endowments in a time of heightened legislative scrutiny.

On March 30, Erin will be presenting with Inside Higher Ed’s Paul Fain on crisis communications at CASE’s 25th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations.

What we’ve been reading/watching/consuming:

Ali Lincoln
My aunt gave us a play kitchen for my daughter that her girls loved when they were younger. She’s still a bit too small to use it, so we’re saving it for her second birthday with plans for some renovations for the well-loved set (hello, countertop upgrade). And since I’ve got until the end of October to stock her fridge and pantry (and one of my resolutions for 2017 is to make more things from scratch), I’ve been scouring Pinterest for DIY play food tutorials. This round up from Apartment Therapy is the most comprehensive guide to felt food I’ve found yet. So far, I’ve only made two felt carrots, but it was a lot easier than I thought—and super adorable.

Erin Hennessy
Today, on the west front of the Capitol, power will transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. As I’ve done with the last two inaugurations, I’m getting out of town to avoid the gridlock and the stress of this particular weekend. While I’m away, literally sitting on the dock of the bay (in this case, the Chesapeake), I’ll be reading two great pieces: this History Channel oral history of the Obama administration, and this New York Times interview in which President Obama discusses the important role reading and writing played in helping him manage the challenges of the loneliest office in the world.

Teresa Valerio Parrot
People always perk up when I say I live in Boulder, Colorado, because there are so many impressions of what this must mean (some laudable, some laughable). This article nails being a Boulderite it in the most excelente way. Please consider moving here, because I need at least one person I can outrun until you get used to the altitude and leave me in your dust.

Erin encouraged each of us to join Instagram last year and the list of accounts that I follow has morphed into a pretty accurate reflection of who and what make me happy. Besides friends, family, and colleges and universities, I enjoy a number of sites that post breathtaking photos of nature. Some examples include @usinterior, @bbcearth and @dailyoverview. I also follow a number of National Parks on Insta. Each time Glacier (@glaciernps) and Grand Teton (@grandtetonnps) post photos I reminisce about my great trip last summer and smile as I think about my return visit. And speaking of smiles, I can’t help but smile each time @todaypuppy Charlie has a new video or photo posted. Good gracious is he cute!

Kristine Maloney
The best thing I’ve read this week was a handwritten letter from an old, dear friend. Tomoko and I were best friends from kindergarten through sixth grade, when her family moved back to Japan. Over the years we sent hundreds of letters (if not more!) back and forth. (Email wasn’t a thing.) She also visited most summers, and we were allowed to call each other on our birthdays. Our parents set timers for 10 minutes because the international calling rates were so high!

Our writing dropped off altogether when life got busy after college. I was working full time and in grad school. Tomoko was in med school. And then we both got married and had children. Seeing her handwriting on the envelope after so long made my week. I dug out some stationery she had bought me more than 20 years ago (I liked it so much, I didn’t want to use it all!) and figured now was as a good a time as ever to use it. I think I found my resolution for this year: more handwritten letters to old friends.

Cristal Steuer
I’ve been binge-watching Speechless on Hulu. It’s about a family of five with a handicapped child and an over-protective mother (played by Minnie Driver). Following the families’ adventures and everyday life, the show is touching, yet hilarious. Apparently I’m not the only one that thinks so; the show is receiving great ratings.

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