Jennifer Abrams -Consultancy that informs, inspires, and empowers VOICE
March 2013

"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal."
Paulo Coehlo

This month I turn 46. I bought myself some slippers. They are warming my feet as I write this newsletter. Little gifts are sweet. I also gave myself another birthday gift. I resigned. After 24 years in Palo Alto USD, two of them on leave, I sent in my letter of resignation. 7 years in the making, 30 minutes in the writing. One stamp.

I am including an excerpt from the letter here. You will tell that the English teacher part of me is alive and well and still enchanted by Thoreau.

"I spent twenty-two years teaching both students and teachers in PAUSD and took a leave of absence in 2011 'because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.' (I have always loved Thoreau, and his words speak for me so appropriately at this time.)

Now I know, again with my hat tipped to Thoreau, and a few changes in verb tense, ‘that I have several more lives to live, and cannot spare any more time for this one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I do not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I can best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.'" (Italics are mine).

So what does this mean? The adventure and journey continues...

It means...

  • New workshops in the offering such as...
    • "Having Hard Conversations Part II – Extending the Learning"
      (Prerequisite: participation in Having Hard Conversations Part I)
    • "Supporting Those Who Support Others – Staying Resilient, Empowered, and Effective"
    • "Creating Identity Safe Schools and Classrooms"
    • "Building Capacity in Aspiring Leaders"
  • My next book, Being Generationally Savvy: Leading and Learning Across the Generations, will be out by the end of this year.
  • My Corwin Press e-study on Having Hard Conversations will be live the week of March 11th.
  • And so much more. It is exciting...

What can we dream up together? Design? Partner together on?
Let me know. Send word if any of the workshops sound of interest or you'd like to co-create something together.

If it supports the work of helping individuals and organizations be more humane and growth-producing, I am up for it. See you "on deck."

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Cool Resources

1) The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. I continue to do a gratitude journal after a 14 day Greater Good gratitude email reminder that went with a research study they were doing. It has shifted my attitude on a daily basis.

2) Love & Forgiveness in Health Services - Global Gathering video on You Tube. "Calling upon the healthcare sector and caregivers worldwide, the Fetzer Advisory Council on Health Professions offers this vision of what a healthcare system infused with love, compassion, and forgiveness could be. Using 2 skits and a video, this plenary session models and amplifies their Call to the World for better, more loving, more holistic healthcare sector." Educators and nurses can both learn how to be more caring in their language by watching these skits.

3) I am heading out in May to a conference in Cincinnati where a group of us will work with and watch the magic of Peter Block. His book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, is the focus of our weekend together and my learnings will shape and inform my work around creating authentic PLCs, building supportive school climates, and will give me a different lens with which to look at how community can be developed at many levels.

Upcoming Events

Each month I will share with you information about a few of my upcoming trainings.
If I am going to be in your area, contact me so we can say hello, hopefully in person!

March 12 &13
Having Hard Conversations "2013 Tour"
ACSA (Association of California School Administrators)
Burlingame & Redding, CA

March 16
Having Hard Conversations
ASCD Annual Conference
Chicago, IL

March 20
Having Hard Conversations
Orange Unified SD
Orange, CA

March 26 & 27
Having Hard Conversations "2013 Tour"
ACSA (Association of California School Administrators)
Bakersfield & Stockton, CA

March 29
Training of Trainers-Presentation Skills
NIOS Training Cadre
Not in Our Schools
Oakland, CA

For additional upcoming events, please visit my Web site.

Until next time,


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© 2013 Jennifer Abrams | Email Jennifer | 4290 Wilkie Way #L, Palo Alto, CA 94306 |  (650) 858-0699