This essay, by Marylhurst Postmaster Mark D. Smith, first appeared on the United States Postal Service blog. We thought our readers would enjoy it in the spirit of the season.
One morning in late summer 2012, I arrived at my job as Postmaster Relief at the Donald, OR, Post Office in Oregon’s rural Marion County. It’s a quiet little town with a quiet little Post Office, but this day there was a new sound – something familiar but often ignored. Birds, chirruping and twittering. But these were no digital tweets. This was real life.
A good number of Donald’s customers work in farming, and this morning’s singing telegram was a shipment of infant turkeys belonging to a local man planning to raise them for Thanksgiving. I phoned him at the number listed on the carefully-prepared Priority Mail packaging, and he arrived an hour later to collect his musical treasures. Before he arrived, I went about my morning tasks of sorting and distributing the day’s mail. But there was something more than just birdsong in the air. Something almost meditative stirred my soul, reconnecting me to the larger, natural world that gets no notice in the Information Age.
Communication studies faculty Kathryn Hubbell’s opinion piece on online education first appeared in The Oregonian on October 18, 2014. Here’s an excerpt:
In response to Ramin Farahmandpur’s Oct. 12 In My Opinion column, Online Courses Shortchange Their Students, I would like to defend online learning. I have taught both online and on-campus classes at Marylhurst University for the past six years.
Originally published on January 30, 2014 in Sightline Daily.
by Anna Fahey
As I listened to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I admit I was encouraged and moved at times. But I couldn’t help giving each sentence Anat Shenker-Osorio’s passive-voice test.
Shenker-Osorio is author of “Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy.” She’s a language researcher and consultant and one of my favorite messaging gurus.
As she wrote in the Boston Globe a while back, when Obama—or anybody—uses the passive, they invariably fail to say who is to blame or why the challenges and problems and outrages they’re describing exist in the first place. This failure, in turn, leaves us with no good clues about viable solutions. If we don’t know how we got here, it’s hard to figure out how we get where we want to go.
by Simon Tam What if you only had 500 words of wisdom to share with your community, your children, or tomorrow’s leaders? This is what I’d tell them: Make every word count. I once heard that “language is the primary moral choice in our life”. The words we choose can build communities, reunite loved ones, […]