Episode 6: Redefining Productivity with O Tomas Bell

We resume our series on living, teaching, and creating during COVID-19 with words of wisdom from the brilliant O Tomas Bell. In this episode, we talk about redefining productivity, reframing our creative process, and finding inspiration in our current circumstances to make positive changes in our lives.

Tomas is a Certified Life, Communication and Wellness Coach offering “you focused” coaching services as well as creative focused coaching. A creative himself, Tomas actively balances his coaching career with his entertainment career by providing audio, music, and voice-over services. You can find Tomas on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio issues. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

“I think the part that people often forget in terms of their own productivity is their emotional connection to that activity…Being productive now is not about the product. It’s about the process…We could make this a complete negative. Or we can reframe and explore and discover the positives.”

O Tomas Bell

“I’m not a big fan of beating yourself up. I am a big fan of learning the lesson…It’s about making a conscious choice to do things differently in the future.”

O Tomas Bell

“You can be isolated physically, but you do not have to be isolated socially…Don’t let your physical isolation disconnect you from the world.”

O Tomas Bell

Episode 5: Changing the Conversation with Mandy Hobmeier

We’re taking a break from the current moment to return to a conversation we recorded before the pandemic.

In this episode we talk to Fulbright Scholar Dr. Mandy Hobmeier about engaging in research that inspires us, changing the conversation around multilingual writing, and finding fulfillment in mentoring and volunteer work.

Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

Texts/ Links
  • How to Tame a Wild Tongue by Gloria Anzaldúa
  • “Cultural Thought Patterns in Intercultural Education” by Robert Kaplan
  • Bumi Sehat Foundation

“[Our research] has to feel authentic to us. I couldn’t engage with the research just because I felt like I had to. I needed it to feel actually inspired.”

Mandy Hobmeier

“This was always the biggest concern…How do we respond to grammar-based issues? Everybody’s always concerned with that the most, and I was more interested in changing the conversation around that.”

Mandy Hobmeier

“Now we’re getting to a point where there’s so much nuance to language identity…It’s much more diversified than we’re even aware of. So there’s so much opportunity for a multi-faceted approach to the writing that we’re doing, but a lot of the approaches we’re taking are limiting that.”

Mandy Hobmeier

Episode 4: Healing through Language with Aimee Herman

Episode 4 continues our special series on teaching and writing during COVID-19. In this episode we talk to novelist, poet, and professor Aimee Herman about coping with anxiety during this particularly stressful time, caring for our students and ourselves, and finding solace in language. You can learn more about Aimee here.

Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are some slight audio issues, especially at the beginning of the episode.

Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

Texts mentioned in the episode
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • My Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Everything Grows by Aimee Herman
  • to go without blinking by Aimee Herman
  • The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
  • The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  • Secret Feminist Agenda by Hannah McGregor
  • Unqualified by Anna Faris
  • The Joe Budden Podcast
  • “Prodigal Daughter” by Kamilah Aisha Moon

“[Online teaching] feels like this weird movie; you know, we’ve got our headphones on like we’re playing a video game together, and that game’s called Learning.”

Aimee Herman

“This is a hard time for teachers…Little do [students] know that them being there is what’s keeping me going…I think for us as teachers we need to be as patient as we can be right now, mindful that not everybody’s circumstance is the same.”

Aimee Herman

“Language always has an important role in day-to-day life, whether we’re going through a pandemic like this or we’re not. Words are one way in which we can create bridges toward each other and create these alphabetical band-aids to make us feel as though, okay I can get through this hour, I can get through this day…Language is going to save us, in every way.”

Aimee Herman
Serious podcasting in progress

Episode 3: Writing During a Pandemic with Danielle Lee

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (aka the episodes we recorded before COVID-19) to bring you a special series about writing and teaching during a global pandemic.

Our first guest for this series is Dr. Danielle Lee, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Old Westbury. In this episode, we talk to Danielle about teaching online, processing trauma through art, and documenting the narratives that emerge during a crisis. You can follow Danielle on Twitter @dlitephul.

Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

Links

“Moments like this are when we get some of our best writing, at its most authentic and raw.”

Danielle Lee

“As an archivist, I see these narratives, these social media posts, these blog entries, things on YouTube–these are our modern archival documents.”

Danielle Lee

“We have to remember that as writers, as appreciators of literature, we study literature for its representation of the human condition. And we have to remember our humanity most of all, above everything else…We can be physically isolated, but we don’t have be creatively isolated. Share. Reach out. Create.”

Danielle Lee

Episode 2: Engaging Community with Ben Pack and Emily Artiano

In our second episode, we talk to Professors Emily Artiano and Ben Pack about working with community partners, deconstructing hierarchies in the classroom, and experiencing things alongside their students. You can learn more about Emily here and Ben here.

Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

Texts mentioned in the episode
  • Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference by Nedra Reynolds
  • Service Learning as a Pedagogy of Whiteness by Tania Mitchell, David Donahue, & Courtney Young-Law
  • Circulating Communities: The Tactics and Strategies of Community Publishing edited by Steve Parks
  • #StayWoke: The Language and Literacies of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Elaine Richardson and Alice Ragland
  • From Candy Girls to Cyber Sista-Cipher: Narrating Black Females’ Color Consciousness and Counterstories in and out of School by Carmen Kynard
  • Teaching While Black by Carmen Kynard
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Links

“[Rewriting the prompt to be more inclusive] seems to have had a really great effect on the way that students feel like they can write about their differences at USC. One thing I know I’m going to be much better about in the future is not gearing the class toward an assumption about what students would consider different.

Emily Artiano

“We move through the world in so many different ways and so many different spaces, and so if the class can begin to open up and dissect the information that’s being privileged so we get more diverse voices then I think that actually does a lot for [students’] critical thinking skills…It shows them how they can pull ideas from anywhere.”

Ben Pack

“I think that there is value to students seeing you experience something with them.”

Emily Artiano

“My favorite moments as a teacher now absolutely happen outside the classroom.”

Ben Pack

Episode 1: Stepping into the Self with Stephanie Renée Payne

In our first episode, we talk to Professor Stephanie Renée Payne about transgressing boundaries, modeling vulnerability, and helping students find their voice.

You can read more about Stephanie here.

Texts mentioned in the episode
  • Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • Pedagogy of Hope by Paulo Freire
  • “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts (coming soon!), Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.

“It’s not really about the mechanics of writing; that’s the easy part. It’s about opening up a space for students to feel safe to say how they feel.”

Stephanie Renée Payne

“There’s reciprocity in this process. You are learning your students. They’re teaching you who they are, and it’s shaping your pedagogy.”

Stephanie Renée Payne

“There are aspects of our vocation that are sacred. Our work is not merely to share information but to share the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students.”

bell hooks