Category Archives: Learning

Rejection Therapy


As a designer as aspiring entrepreneur, I try to build small-scale rejection and “failure” early into my process so I can improve what I’m making. As a theologian, I think and speak about it a lot, usually in the abstract. As a human, I fear it.

But this video of Jia Jiang’s talk at TEDxAustin has given me another way to think about rejection. Please take a few minutes to be inspired by this video, and then I’d love to know: What do you think about “rejection therapy”? Would you ever do it?

No, I’m not pregnant, but…

I have a big announcement.

And it will take about 9 months.

Austin Center for Design logo

Because I’ve been accepted into the year-long design program at the Austin Center for Design (AC4D). Here’s a description of what I’ll be studying:

We offer a one year program—held at nights and on weekends in Austin, Texas—that emphasizes creative problem solving in the context of social issues, like poverty and nutrition. You’ll learn about human behavior, technology, and novel approaches to business strategy. The program is ideal for designers, business professionals and technologists with several years of experience doing professional work, or for more established professionals looking to change the trajectory of their careers.

That means I’ll be moving to Austin, Texas, in the end of August. In addition to the AC4D coursework and designing business/service/product ideas to address “wicked problems,” I will be working part time remotely for sparkhouse and am excited to be able to apply what I’m learning to the sparkhouse projects I’ll still oversee.

And even more importantly, I have the support of my incredible husband, Brent. We’ll be doing the long-distance marriage thing for 9 months. I’m not looking forward to that part, but I am unbelievably grateful for his encouragement and wouldn’t be able to do the program without him. (The optimist in me also likes to point out that at least we’ll be able to video chat and visit each other between quarters, unlike the college semester I spent studying abroad in Vienna, Austria.)

So there’s my big news.

The application is done. I’ve been accepted in the program. And now I’m working out logistics like housing, travel, and transition plans for my sparkhouse work.

Kind of scary, but mostly exciting.

(And no babies.)

Immerse Journal Interview

Hey, that's me!

I’ve been honored to write for Immerse, a youth ministry journal that offers a great mix of theologically deep, thought-provoking, and practical articles by some great thinkers and leaders in the youth ministry world today.

When I was at the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta back in November, I sat down with Aaron Mitchum for an interview about my article, “Imagination, Tinkering and Theology: Youth as Theologians” (Jul/Aug 2011). The interview was just posted to their site last week, and you can hear it here.

And then check out the Jan/Feb 2012 issue to see my next article, “Encountering the Messy Midrash.” And then subscribe–or give a subscription to your favorite pastor or youth minister. Because it’s a great publication. 🙂

Manipulate, morph, move

While I’m on a play kick, I wanted to share this quote:

“Someday, rather than measuring memorization as an indicator of progress, we will measure our children’s ability to manipulate (deconstruct and hack), morph (think flexibly and be tolerant of change), and move (think “with their hands” and play productively). Standardized aptitude tests will be replaced by our abilities to see (observe and imagine), sense (have empathy and intrinsic motivation), and stretch (think abstractly and systemically). We will advance our abilities to collaborate and create.”

And here’s the challenge: How many ways can you think of to use bubble wrap?

(via Uniting Work And Play To Promote Innovation – PSFK & Play Power – The Atlantic)
Image by Kirstea