Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Trust Me … I have a Plan

If you asked my family whether or not they viewed me as a planner, I can guarantee that the answer would be no, maybe even Hell No.

This stems partially because I never seem prepared. I’m that mom in the carpool line digging through my purse fishing for quarters to pass out lunch money to my kids. I’m the driver scrolling through my GPS searching for directions on the way to my destination. And even worse, I’m one of those last minute appointment makers and birthday gift buyers (typically on the way to the party).

The reality is, though, that I am a mental planner. My ADD-ish brain is constantly in planning mode. Continue reading

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Silly Little Pumpkin Pie Deliciousness

I’ve never been crazy about pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or even pumpkin-flavored ice cream treats, but I do have a fascination with the word “pumpkin.” Ever since my daughter was born, she has been my pumpkin. And when my son came along, he became my pumpkin pie.

Twelve years later and I still call them my pumpkins. I text them with embarrassing lovey-dovey notes such as ‘How is my peppy slice of pumpkin pie deliciousness’ and ‘Mommy loves her pumpkin doodle.’ Continue reading

March 6, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Teaching | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trudging Through ‘Maintain’ Mode

Sometimes in life, you can’t help but feel beaten down. It seems that anything and everything can go wrong all at once. This week has been one of those for me as a homeowner. My dishwasher is dead, my refrigerator’s motor went caput, my carport started leaking, the check engine light on my car popped on days before my emissions test is due and my furnace has decided to only kick on when it feels like it.

On top of that, I have 60 papers needing grading that keep staring at me with the evil eye and several freelance assignment deadlines this month.

I’ve declared this week my ‘maintain’ week. I can’t possibly trudge forward with zestful energy; instead, I must go through the motions and ‘maintain’ to keep my sanity. Continue reading

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | 2 Comments

The Snow-Covered Editor-Writer Relationship

This weekend, my mom got on me about not shoveling the snow off my driveway after the Midwest was pummeled with 12 inches of winter wonderland-ness. My response? “We have 4-wheel drive. Why do we need to shovel?”

I’ll spare you with the ‘you should think of others’ lecture I received after she tried to pull her little car in my driveway and move on to what the conversation inspired me to think about – Editor and Writer Relationships. Continue reading

January 23, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | , , , , | 3 Comments

A Touch of Cream Cheese and Grandma J

It’s no secret that I rarely cook, bake or even get near that thing called an oven that is standard in most kitchens. It’s not that I don’t know how (contrary to what many believe); it’s just that I choose not to.

We are regulars at nearby restaurants and drive-thru windows and have been quite content without dishes in the sink or an oven to clean. However, holidays pose a problem for me. It is tradition for everyone to bring a dish to each gathering and not many restaurants are open on Christmas Day for me to order carryout.

So, my understanding family typically asks me to bring bread or rolls. Continue reading

December 25, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Christmas Shoes

When I was little, Christmas was my favorite time of year. It was the anticipation of spending time with my family, the excitement over gift giving and the nervousness of holiday plays and church programs.

For me, the main events always lived up to the anticipation. But, I’m not so little anymore.

Continue reading

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , | Leave a comment

See You on the Other Side, Grandma J.

To many, my grandma was June, the longtime checker at ShopLand. We knew this as kids because someone recognized her everywhere we went. To others, she was Aunt June, Junie, Mrs. Jordan, mom and Nana J. She was Grandma J to most of us.

Beyond what she was called, she was the one who opened up her home and her heart to our friends, to extended family and anyone else who knew she had candy bars in that bottom drawer of the fridge.

Continue reading

December 6, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , , | 2 Comments

Journalists Serve Up Passion

Passion: It sounds like a dirty word or something straight out of a Harlequin novel, but for journalists, passion has nothing to do with romantic embraces or terms of endearment. Passion is a clean and clear sign that a journalist will succeed.

There’s no doubt that good journalists are passionate about what they do and that passion is contagious. It’s our secret, dirty little word that gets us through the day. Continue reading

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help! Journalists Need Somebody

As a mom, I’ve learned to be resourceful from some of the best moms I know. I’ve learned that Febreeze comes in handy when PE uniforms are crumpled up in a book bag 30 minutes before school starts.

I now know that a quick lick of the finger wipes off cereal crumbs from a child’s face while pulling into school and that luckily, school cafeterias allow ‘charging’ for lunch once in awhile when I’ve forgotten to slip my kids $2 on the way out the door.

In a world where we deem ourselves as independent and self-sufficient, we sometimes forget that resources and a little help from our friends makes a difference in our productivity, performance and most of all, sanity.

But as journalists, we often view ourselves as loners, working on stories independently, hiding the cold hard facts and explosive leads until the published product reveals our hard work and stellar independence. Yes, we proclaim, I did it myself and I don’t need anyone else’s help. Continue reading

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘You’re My Favorite’

We all have favorites – a favorite song, shirt, activity or meal. We also want to be the favorite – the prize-winning student, the angelic child or the loyal grandchild.

I often say to my daughter, “You are my favorite baby girl” and her response is “I’m your only baby girl.” I say the same to my son: “You are my favorite baby boy.” It is my way to show them how special they are to me individually because truly, they are both my favorites and my one and only son and daughter. Continue reading

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting, Teaching | , , , , , , | 1 Comment