The New Work of Composing

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50 Defining Choices

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We see ourselves—and our choices—through multiple lenses. As Gen Xers, a recent COACHE study (Helms, 2010) provided us an opportunity to consider a range of definitions for Gen X faculty members via true/false statements. One statement is particularly compelling: “The quest for community may be the ‘essence of X.’” Over time, we have come to the conclusion that we don’t want to argue any more because it is ultimately separatist. Looking back, finding community has been a cornerstone of our work.


“Work is a substitute religious experience for many workaholics [women].” (Mary Daly, n.d., as cited in Cook & Gibson, 2007, p. 608)

  1. I am a woman. I am a wife, and I am a mother.

  2. I am a scholar.

  3. I am a boss.

  4. I advocate service- and client-based learning and civic engagement.

  5. I write grant proposals.

  6. I teach.

  7. I make choices.

  8. I am a feminist.

  9. I am issuing an invitation to change the world by opening conversations one bubble at a time.


10 Little Known Facts About Me

  1. 1.I hate to fix my hair. If I ever win the lottery, I will pay someone to fix my hair every day for the rest of my life.

  2. 2.I could eat chips and salsa

  3. 3.I thought I was going to be Miss America when I grew up. My older cousins told me that I was going to be Miss America almost daily; I was the baby and the only girl. I was in second grade before I learned it was a contest. I was crushed.

  4. 4.All I have ever wanted to do was teach.

  5. 5.I don’t trust women who always have a manicure. How do they have the time to do it? How do they keep from messing it up?

  6. 6.I believe in blowing off work to spend time with friends and family. I make each choice by asking myself which I would be more proud of on my deathbed: submitting to one more conference or snuggling on the couch with the girls.

  7. 7.I can pop every joint in my body (and do so regularly) except my elbows.

  8. 8.I rarely talk about writing without talking about Morgan.

  9. 9.I do not think I am a good writer; I think that makes me a better writing teacher.

  10. 10.I don’t understand why people like ice cream so much.