Everyday anxiety may or may not look the way you think…or maybe it does

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

I took my dog on a pre-coffee hike this morning. It was a beautiful day — slightly muggy — following a couple days of rain, the rocky trail slick with a delicate layer of black mud. Just enough light broke through the leaves that sunglasses were while nice but not necessary. The only sounds were the bubbling of the replenished creek and the confident pronouncements of birds. Judging by the familiar but slightly off-putting brush of spider silk between the trees, I might have been the first person to pass through today. All in all, it was peaceful, benign, unprovocative…


Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson called the photoshoot with Phillies manager Ben Chapman “one of the most difficult things I had to make myself do”

Robinson, left, and Chapman in 1947. Image donated to ExplorePAHistory.com by Corbis-Bettman

The rookie second baseman strolled to the plate in the first inning of a late April game, just as he had done since his call-up earlier that month. Digging into the batter’s box, he heard the familiar sound of chatter from the opposing bench. But in the chatter this day was a more sinister message, aimed directly at him.

“Hey, n****r, why don’t you go back to the cotton fields where you belong?”[1]

It was the voice of the opposition’s white manager. …


When you think you might need to be more social, ask yourself who you’re doing it for.

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

I like my dog more than I like most people. I like being at home more than I like being most places. I like watching baseball and lifting little neon weights in my living room while my dog watches through half-closed eyes more than I like doing most other things.

I’m not a textbook introvert, nor am I lazy. I’m not boring, and I don’t have social anxiety. In fact, I can be downright gregarious, and I love to get out of the house. …


Adobe Stock photo capturing what it used to look like when I taught

When I started teaching public speaking over a decade ago, I noticed quickly that, no matter how exciting I thought something was, students were overwhelmingly more interested in what mattered to them. This isn’t some revelation. Research has shown for years that connecting the classroom to real life (subscription required for full text) or materials to students’ interests (subscription required for full text) generates more enthusiasm. Online teaching resources like TeachHub, education organizations like the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and even publishers often feature tips for engaging students through their interests or real world connections.

Maybe I was…


Image from Adobe Stock, and I’m sorry about that, but I have far fewer weird photos on my phone than I thought.

For the last seven months, I’ve been lurking on Medium, trying to figure out why I can’t look away. I spend a lot of time on the site, and I mean a lot. Sometimes I just read and move on. Other times, I clap for articles that speak to me or highlight poignant excerpts and send them and their accompanying link to less invested friends. I occasionally follow and admire interesting people, and I’m tickled when they follow me back. When I’m feeling particularly brave, I even comment various forms of “yeah, man, I’ve been there, too.” …

Erin Looney

Media professional. Professor. Baseball fan. Academic fraud. Hair farmer. Demigod. Miscellaneous superpowers.

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