Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

Although the old cliché sounds corny, laughter really is the best medicine sometimes. Nobody ever died of laughter. In fact, you don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

I love to laugh although others may not appreciate my loud cackle or the snorting that accompanies it. Sometimes, though, I forget how much I love it and how much I need it. Sometimes, I think we even forget to laugh while caught up with the drama of everyday family life, relationships and work-related stress. Continue reading

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting, Teaching | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kids Should Be Kids

Today, I realized I am a grown up. It’s not because I have a mortgage or a few stray gray hairs poking out. It’s not because my knees pop when I get out of bed or because I use clichés that people under 20 do not understand.

I realized I was a grownup when I told my kids a story about “when I was a kid” and they both rolled their eyes, just like I did when I was younger. When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand it when those “wise” adults used to preach to me about what kids should do.

Kids should be kids – how much more vague does that get? Continue reading

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , | Leave a comment

WiFi Anyone? Nature Girl in Training

So many times, I hear people talk about the “wonders” of the Great Outdoors and the magical sounds of nature. They rave about the healing effects of fresh air, the natural aroma of campfires and the sweet, soothing sounds of crickets chirping at night.

While I appreciate the beautiful lands, trees and waters that we are blessed to have, I’ve never been a nature-type girl. The thought of sleeping on the wet ground, fighting off nature’s creatures and cooking (yes cooking … ugh) over a campfire, makes me itchy and hungry.

With that said, it doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I’ve tried and I’ve failed miserably. Continue reading

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Productivity: One Wet Dog at a Time

For the past few days, I’ve had the house to myself. It sounds like a wonderful thing – time to complete all of those tasks that I’ve been putting off, time to sit back, relax and catch up on TV shows, and time to do all of those things I’ve wanted to do, yet I’ve been too busy to accomplish.

Wrong. It is a horrible thing, especially for productivity.

Instead of vegging out on the couch, completing home projects and freelance gigs and washing the dog who has smelled up the entire house, I have been a miserable wreck of ADD-stricken angst. Continue reading

June 11, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Writing is Like Dancing

I’ve never been much of a dancer. Besides a few wedding receptions, 20-something bachelorette parties and a teen party in the past, I don’t usually show off my dancing moves for all to see. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try to pop, lock and drop it for the sake of embarrassing my kids, but I’m not an expert by any means.

My daughter, though, is an avid dancer and has performed in recitals for the past five years. I sit in awe each recital weekend, amazed at the determination these dancers have and the grace they exhibit with each number.

When I watch my daughter dance with her peers, I’m reminded of how dancing is such a beautiful art of expression – just like writing. Continue reading

June 6, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Writing | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m a Scaredy Cat Writer

It may sound incredibly ironic for me to admit, as a teacher of writing and an active freelance writer, that I am deathly afraid of writing. With every project I begin, fear consumes me and I initially panic. I doubt myself and sadly, procrastinate.

And then, I breathe and realize that I’m human.

Fear is a natural reaction for writers. The pressure to create a phenomenal piece that influences the world, inspires a reader and possibly win an award mounts and eats away at our confidence and ultimately, can tear away at the creativity we have the talent to create. Continue reading

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Inspiring Summer Reading Program

When I was younger, I loved to read – everything from each book in the Sweet Valley High series to magazines and newspapers. This love of reading inspired my love of writing. I would read books and articles and try to mimic the style, the action and the flow that engaged me for hours on end.

Over the years, time has not been kind to my love of reading. Between preparing for my classes, running kids to soccer games and dance lessons and maintaining somewhat of a clean house, the hours turned to minutes (and often these minutes consisted of keeping up with my RSS feeds on my mobile phone).

My children, though, have found the time to read and they read hours on end, especially when the cable is out or their Nintendo DS games need to be charged. Continue reading

May 28, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Use This Only For Emergencies

When I traveled to Europe the summer after high school, my mom handed me a credit card right before I boarded the plane. She looked at me sternly and said, “Use this only for emergencies.” The next three weeks were filled with “emergencies.”

It was an emergency when I found the cutest jacket at EuroDisney. It was also an emergency when I was starving for a Belgian waffle on the streets of Belgium. The “emergencies” continued until I reached the $500 limit. Continue reading

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Reflecting, Teaching | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sell Me Like THAT

I’ve never been a fan of sales people. As a journalist, I’m naturally skeptical and I always feel like sales people are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I question whether they really have my best interests in mind or if they are truly looking out for themselves.

I generally dislike when people try to sell me. A car lot is a miserable place for me because I have this internal struggle of trying to stay strong and negotiate while carefully monitoring my budget and my needs/wants. Door-to-Door sales people make me even more uncomfortable. I feel like they are barging into my private life and interrupting my day. Continue reading

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | 2 Comments

In this Room …

Tonight, after a 13-hour day of teaching and advising, I stood in the doorway of our student newsroom and paused with my head and my heart heavy. It was late and my kids at home were missing me, but I didn’t want to leave.

It was the last production night of the semester and I don’t deal well with the “last” of anything, especially in this room.

An outsider might not see the appeal of the newsroom. It is littered with soda cans, pizza boxes and empty energy drink containers. Papers overflow every desk and cameras are piled unorganized on the corner table. The recycled, dilapidated couch from Goodwill sits in the middle of the room and the floor looks as if it hasn’t seen a mop in a few months, if not years.

However, this room is the most appealing place on campus to me. Continue reading

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , , , | 5 Comments