AdamforMayor
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
8M ago
My husband, Adam Searing, is running for Mayor of Chapel Hill. As the campaign has become increasingly acrimonious, I wanted to share a few thoughts and let you get to know Adam a bit better. During my PhD program I took a few classes over at UNC Law. As a social work PhD, I held my own, but it was a foreign environment and one day an argument broke out between me and a mansplainy fella on the front row.  Tongue-tied, I was not sure where to go next to make my point. Adam spoke up from three rows back, “I think what Mimi is trying to say is ________,” making the point: clear, concise ..read more
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Monday
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
10M ago
Friends: I wrote this for the Coalition for Carolina about the events of Monday, August 29th, 2023. Reposting here. Texts, Tears and Fears By Mimi Chapman Monday afternoon, I began to receive worried texts from my younger son.  We were both locked down, he at a local high school and me in my office, because of an active shooter on campus.  We’ve had scares before and students killed before, but it’s been a long time since there was an active shooter, well before that term was coined.   This was the real deal.  Sirens, so many sirens, coming from all directions. The ala ..read more
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Learning to Live Without Adrenaline
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
1y ago
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”  -E.B. White 1 Jul 2023 “Resting (ca. 1880–1890) by John” by National Gallery of Art/ CC0 1.0 Years ago, my mother and I sat in a bar, arguing about politics. In an uncharacteristically patient voice, she said, “I don’t want to argue anymore. Your dad and I lived through very hard times when we were growing up. Your father went to war. We both lived through the Depression. We’ve worked hard all our lives. Now, all I want to do is enjoy the world, not d ..read more
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Ghosts in the Bookstore
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
1y ago
In the pre-holiday bustle of the neighborhood bookstore, I wander from table to bookshelf, idly reading the staff recommendations. Although I came to buy books for my boys and a friend or two, after a few minutes I realize I’m really shopping for the dead. Would my dad–this will now be our third Christmas without him–have preferred the new book on J. Edgar Hoover or the one about a naval mutiny? Maybe my mother–this makes Christmas number five without her–would have liked the new Elizabeth Strout. This year my friend and mother-in-law is added to the ranks of those who will no longer be at the ..read more
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Broken Things
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
1y ago
This post is about my mother-in-law who died on Monday. It is published with my husband’s permission in hopes that is might speak to families who struggle to find a way through a loved one’s alcoholism. There are no right answers. These are simply thoughts and ideas I struggle with while respecting whatever choices give people peace. Lying in a hospice bed, at last she seemed at peace drifting through opiate dreams, calmed by Ativan and Valium that now she could have without judgment. These drugs treated the pain and agitation that came with her acute illness and quenched her thirst for alcoho ..read more
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The Things We Do for Love
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
2y ago
We arrived at the “Rumble in Richmond” just after 11 a.m. and I braced myself for a long day. Heavily tattooed and long bearded people were abundant, including the two who chose to stand in front of where I’d set up my chair. Together they stood, accompanied by a girlfriend who said nothing and a pit-bull, uttering the “F” word every other sentence. This was not my scene.   The preceding week had been full of mini-eruptions with my younger son, who is a BMX cyclist. The “Rumble in Richmond” is a once-a-year BMX event. By participating, he might get noticed, he argued, maybe win a spo ..read more
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School Days
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
2y ago
When I was a teenager, my school would receive the occasional bomb threat. The student council donut sale would be relocated to the parking lot farthest from the campus buildings. As the police were arriving, someone would crank up their car’s cassette deck, and we’d dance while crossing our fingers that the Spanish exam or the History essay would be delayed. Not once did I think those violent threats were real. I believed then that if I was with a group, be it classmates, choir members, family, or friends, I was safe. Out on my bicycle after dark, in a parking lot by myself, all bets were ..read more
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Days of Remembrance
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
2y ago
As a military couple, my parents regularly welcomed newcomers to dinner. Their Navy tours instilled a duty and a delight in paying forward the hospitality that had been extended to them. Circa 1979 there was a dinner much like any other: jello mold on the buffet; table set with the “good china.” Cocktails and “jezebel sauce” – chutney over cream cheese – with crackers would have started the evening. Nothing much to see here until one of the guests asserted that the Holocaust might not have happened; after all there was no definitive proof. Sixteen-year-old me looked up from the peas with pe ..read more
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Atmospheric Memory
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
2y ago
If I choose to be a leader who speaks — whether in measured, angry, or conciliatory tones — there will be days when I am punished. Silence in a leader also merits punishment. People’s curiosity and entitlement to information are strong. The right voice-to-silence mix shifts from day to day. Even when I’m confident in the balance, the punishment may come anyway, in words and in deeds. Both linger, reminding me of an art installation in which spoken words were translated into smoke or water vapor letters, dissipating yet remaining invisibly in the atmosphere.  Occasionally I encou ..read more
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The Human Leader: A Faculty Chair Diary
Sympathetic Ink | The Personal, Professional, and Everything in Between
by Mimi Chapman: Writing about the intersection of personal and professional life
2y ago
In my home office, I am surrounded by tokens and talismans–a glass bird my mother kept in her kitchen, pottery given to me by a now deceased colleague, a portrait of my great-grandmother, Molly, and a mysterious book that belonged to her. Published in 1890, The Secrets of Life Unveiled, contains methods for divining the future, understanding others, and influencing them through palm reading, dream interpretation, and well-timed, carefully arranged words. How effective she found the contents I don’t know, but when leadership challenges arise, that battered red cover catches my eye and I fi ..read more
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