Wishes for the Holiday Season

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I hope that teachers of writing everywhere are finishing up their last grading of the term, seeing students off for the break, and enjoying some quiet, peaceful, loving holiday time. While we all have much cause for concern—and alarm—at the state of our country and our planet, while many are suffering from unspeakable loss and pain and grief, my hope is that this holiday season will provide at least some bit of respite and some time for repose and rejuvenation.


Just this week I’ve finished reading Michelle Obama’s remarkable memoir, Becoming, and reading her words has given me many moments of respite from the cares and woes of everyday life along with great inspiration. In case you haven’t read it yet, here is the final paragraph of this fabulous book:

In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why. I've been lucky enough to get to walk into stone castles, urban classrooms, and Iowa kitchens, just trying to be myself, just trying to connect. For every door that's been opened to me, I've tried to open my door to others. And here's what I have to say, finally: Let's invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.


I can’t think of better words, or better goals, to aim for in 2019. I’m wishing the grace Obama speaks of for all of you, along with good health and happy teaching in the coming year.

Image Credit: Pixabay Image 2953722 by rawpixel, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License

About the Author
Andrea A. Lunsford is the former director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University and teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English. A past chair of CCCC, she has won the major publication awards in both the CCCC and MLA. For Bedford/St. Martin's, she is the author of The St. Martin's Handbook, The Everyday Writer and EasyWriter; The Presence of Others and Everything's an Argument with John Ruszkiewicz; and Everything's an Argument with Readings with John Ruszkiewicz and Keith Walters. She has never met a student she didn’t like—and she is excited about the possibilities for writers in the “literacy revolution” brought about by today’s technology. In addition to Andrea’s regular blog posts inspired by her teaching, reading, and traveling, her “Multimodal Mondays” posts offer ideas for introducing low-stakes multimodal assignments to the composition classroom.