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Joan & Dawn: The Personal and The Professional

Joan & Dawn: The Personal and The Professional

December 14, 2018

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As you know, my blog tends to be anything interesting, which is happening in my life.  Sometimes my blog focuses on the personal, and sometimes on the professional.  However, during my career, I found that I was not able to separate these two aspects of my life:  Who I am as a professional is informed by my personal values, experiences, and perspectives, and visa versa: Who I am as a woman is informed by the those books I have read and written, my professional experiences, and my dear colleagues.  When I first started teaching (1966, near Philadelphia), I thought I was to keep the personal and professional separate, as my teachers/professors had told me that I should. I clearly remember hearing: “Don’t smile until Christmas.”

Fortunately, I came to understand that this notion might be a bit gender-centric.  For sure, I had learned it from dear men teachers and mentors.  Somewhere about mid-career, I finally came to understand that I know nothing about being a man, but I sure know about being woman, and at least for me, the personal and professional are integrated holistically. I had to be me, and this meant, loving the kids. When I taught teenagers in AZ, I remember I started to realize that the kid who was the toughest to love, needed it the most. These personal discoveries had a profound impact on my professional career.

WinkWorld Readers, yesterday when my fingers wrote that previous paragraph, I did not know it, but simultaneously our daughter, Dawn, was creating a video “TED Talk” for a class she is taking on Women as Leaders. Dawn only has two more classes to finish the course work for her PhD, and her dissertation is conceptually well-organized already.

When I watched this video later in the day, I had to smile as she was creating a video of the personal/professional conundrum, at the same time that I was writing about it.

Hope you enjoy her video.


Dawn’s “TED Talk” video posted below.


  • That’s my Yaya! Women in leadership…such a journey for all of us. Thank you for sharing Joan!

  • Sharon Whitehead-van Loben Sels

    A wonderful presentation Dawn! You create beauty in our world and I look forward to your voice being heard in leadership.

  • Debra Schneider

    Great images and stories…but let’s get that woman a ppt clicker!

  • LeAnn G Putney

    Such a wonderful retelling of your awakening and journey!

  • Janet Towell

    Dawn’s Ted Talk on women and leadership from multiple perspectives is so interesting and inspirational! Thanks for sharing, Joan. I loved it!

  • Indeed, you will not be cut down, Dawn! Thanks for letting me see this.

  • Annie Wilkinson

    Wonderful presentation. Thanks for sharing

  • Roberta Stathis

    Great presentation!

  • cathy yaap

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey. This presentation was inspirational. Joan proud is an understatement surely. You both are my stars !
    I love you both!

  • Tracy Steffen

    That was sweet and beautiful. I have married into a wonderful family.

  • Laurel Marshall

    So great to see Dawn in action! Wildflower would be a great title for Dawns next book. Although, she’s never been a wildflower in my book!! Love you both!

  • Joan Wink

    Thanks for posting your Dewdrops here, Dawn, as it very much relates to the SUNY Oswego students’ dialogue. They wanted to hear more on Personal and Professional. I have not yet posted that WW, but I am close. SUNY students, you have been very patient with me, and I appreciate it.

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