Mental Health Monday: Have Another Cup of Tea

There are multiple ways in which we can alleviate the stress that sometimes consumes us. Drinking tea is one of my personal favorites. It's something good for us physically that can also be good for us mentally. In this time between winter and spring when the cold can’t quite let go but the bugs and plants are arriving en force, it can be difficult to commit to one kind of comforting beverage. Fortunately, with tea, you don’t have to choose! You can brew cold or hot tea, so there are multiple ways to enjoy…continue reading →

Mental Health Mondays: Granted

In the words of someone I respect a great deal, “I'm just trying to focus on the fact that much of our world is the same world we had two weeks ago. It's just how we have to interact with it that's changed the most.”  I think it is easy to say, for myself at the very least, that communication has changed drastically over the past few weeks. Where a few weeks ago, we could congregate in restaurants, theaters, and shopping malls, we now have to stay at home most of the time. The…continue reading →

Mental Health Monday: Free Resources for Mental Wellness

How are your coping mechanisms doing with all of this added pressure? I imagine they are stretched pretty thin.  I’ve seen many articles trying to pinpoint what the most terrifying part of this pandemic is: the isolation, the uncertainty, the shortages, the misinformation, the helplessness, the dramatic responses from employers and others in power.  The best thing I can do now to quell my own pulsing insecurities is to focus on facts. The CDC, WHO, and FEMA seem to have that covered on COVID-19, along with other organizations doing exhaustive work to keep…continue reading →

Symbols: the Key to Visual Communication

We communicate in so many ways. A touch on the arm. A murmur of exhaustion. A chuckle. An extended palm.  But our bodies are only one canvas for expression. Over the millennia, humankind has developed thousands of different forms of written communication, from hieroglyphs to kanji to the characters I’m using to talk to you right now. What connects them is that they are all kinds of symbols.   Symbols have evolved throughout the centuries. Even since 2000, there has been an eruption in the variety of symbols we use to speak to one…continue reading →

Native American Heritage Month – Powhatan History

November is Native American Heritage Month. In Virginia, we live on land the Powhatan Confederacy once inhabited. In honor of them, let’s learn!   The Powhatan language, not spoken for centuries now, is called Virginian Algonquian. We have this language to thank for several words that we use now, such as racoon (aroughcun, pronounced a-raw-coon) and (o)possum (opassum, pronounced oh-pah-som). To say hello, Disney – surprisingly – got it right: it’s Wingapo.  Counting in Virginian Algonquian starts like this:  One: Nekut  Two: Ninge  Three: Nus  Four: Yough  Five: Paranske  To learn more, here are…continue reading →