I wasn’t paying attention.

“Violet, your hem looks like Vietnam, honey.”

I fiddle with the hem of my dress, when I’m nervous or bored, excited or sad. Mama would slap my hand anytime she caught me, but I always ended up looking like a ragamuffin. Especially at church, I’d do it until the threads were just bare. All that loud talk would get to anybody with any sense. And there I was, front row, while my little sister would come back from Sunday school with paper Angels and warm cookies with no thought of the Devil or much of anything else.

Just so you know, “playing doctor” is frowned upon. Perhaps if Levi had been seven like me, he would have had to sit front row too. He was not. Meanwhile, I had to talk to the law, see a bunch of doctors and be more miserable than when the whole thing started.

And to boot Grandma Bertie was mad at God. I had so many questions about that. “Why did she get to be mad at God and I had to sit next to her? Wouldn’t it rub off or something? She was old and I’m pretty sure would die any minute, was that of no concern to anybody? “Bertie, aint no sense in getting all tore up over it now – it’s done,” Mama would rock that old woman just like us and end up with a drenched collarbone. “You’re gonna wake them babies up.”

Mama would smooth Grandma Bertie’s wiry gray and silver hairs back into their tight bun. While her left hand would wipe away her own tears, her purple eyes would make a sweeping inspection of imperfection, from head to foot of her own mirrored reflection.

Persistent as she was, Mama would inevitably draw blood.


More times than not, I spell this word wrong. You would think after more than 20 years, I would have learned how to spell my favorite past time. We started out on my microfiche, scrolling endlessly through old census records that we had to order from far away places and wait weeks and sometimes years to receive. Now, what we used a magnifying glass to see is available at the click of a mouse. Amazing! My Grandmother and I still marvel at how much technology has given us and at times taken away. From long lost relatives to family mysteries, genealogy is not for the faint of heart – no matter how you spell it. More on this later as I delve into DNA results, our countries sad and triumphant history and the other DNA (Do Not Answer Anything).

My EdD Story

Recently, I was accepted into the EdD in Student Affairs Leadership program at the University of Georgia’s Counseling and Human Development.

While excited, I am a little nervous to go back to school after ALL these years. Yet, I have to for my intended career path and I want to for me. Why an EdD and not a PhD (which would be free by the way)? I wanted a program that I could finish. I know me. Running from my desk to my school desk would have driven me to distraction. The EdD option is a cohort model that meets on designated weekends and is primarily online. Having a cohort of professionals to draw experience and knowledge from was very appealing – actually more so than the online component. Being with people who want to learn like me, for probably the same reasons I do in the way that I want to, just rang true. I am wagering that my career projection will outweigh the initial hurt of a loan payment. We shall see.

Top 7: What I’m looking forward to:

  1. “Disrupting” my thinking about everything that I “think” I know about Student Affairs (and perhaps the world)
  2. Meeting my cohort and professors
  3. Learning about the history of Student Affairs and the profession’s future
  4. Best Practices within the field
  5. Assessment vs. Evaluation
  6. Learning more about current research trends
  7. How to leverage technology within Student Affairs divisions?

Desire More

You ever reach for something and find that it isn’t there?/Like rummaging around an old house/Lights out from a storm/No one to tell you to “Stop.”/Nobody around to say “Watch out!”/Just you/One arm outstretched/Fingers splayed wide/The other arm feels its way around/Don’t fall/Don’t trip/Stay calm/ Carry on/ Right?/ Turn right or left or center moderate/Relax/Reaching/Adulthood/Reach for something/Anything/Everything/Find that it is not there/Never was/Know in your heart that it is gone/Quite another matter/Adulthood from childhood again and again/Are we there yet?

“This Is Our Time”


Where there is time there is no mercy/Marching along sands and faces/ a like/Human beings are like ticking time bombs waiting to explode beyond thier intended parameters/What some will call destruction others will denote/as progress/We make mistakes/We move on/We don’t stop for the weak or the dead or the living/All in/All for ourselves/ as people/Beautifully, deadly and insanely flawed/beyond measure/There is nothing but will/Will to love/Will to stop/Will to stand/ in one place and say I am here/I am/Time has no mercy/but we still do don’t we?