My Whole Heart and Soul: What Being a Fish Means to Me

What being a FISH means to me? The FISH Philosophy website asks, “Imagine what would happen if people at your organization felt comfortable to be themselves and throw their whole heart and soul into what they did every day. What kind of difference would that make to your organization?” I feel fortunate to have had […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: Choosing My Attitude

I have just finished reading about the Pike Place Fish Company’s work philosophy and I love it! They focus on play, being there, choosing your attitude, and making other people’s (and your own?) day. Works for me! So now I have been asked, “What does being a fish mean to me?” This is a timely […]

The Joy is in the Planning

What I love about camping isn’t just the camping itself, it’s the lead up. It’s selecting the site, expertly crafting the cooler friendly grocery list, and in my case, it’s also climbing into the stifling attic to sweat it out, while carefully handing down each camping necessity to my husband, standing at the base of […]

Finding Myself in Nature

A friend recently asked me if I considered myself a spiritual person. Of course this means different things to different people. For me, much of my spirituality revolves around the outdoors. I grew up going on long walks in the woods with my dad and sisters, identifying trees by their bark and leaves, watching things […]

My Life on a Continuum

Running, playing guitar, and speaking Spanish; these three activities are some of the most rewarding yet most frustrating parts of my life. The runner’s high, nailing the rhythm of a song, or speaking Spanish with friends in Madrid provides a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. However, any athlete, musician, or language learner can confirm that […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: What’s Out There in the Big World?

When I think about what being a fish means to me, I think about my pregnant belly as a fish tank and my baby inside as a fish bonking the glass trying to get out. Boop boop, “What’s out there in the big world?” My baby ferociously attacks the glass like a Beta fish when […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: Stay in Your Lane and Enjoy the Journey

It’s 6:00 pm on a beautiful sunny, summer night. The beach crowds are thinning, and the orange bubbled, colored capped open water swimmers are showing up. I meet up with my buddies, and we head right in. Although the water has warmed up this week, and wetsuits are no longer necessary, the initial plunge elicits […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: What Kind of Music are You Making?

My reading lately has led me to John Cage’s book Silence, which oddly reminds me of our team’s desire to embody the FISH! Philosophy of Seattle’s Pike’s Place Fish Company. Cage, an avant-garde composer, is famous both for his writing and for the experimental piece 4:33, in which each of the three movements begins with […]

What Fishing, er Clamming, Means to Me

Some of my most treasured times, first growing up and then raising a family, have taken place near the ocean in Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod – breathing in the salt air, riding the waves on the Atlantic side of the Cape, walking along the Outer Beach, sailing the waters in Pleasant Bay, or just […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: The View from the Deep End

As I was thinking about how I might contribute to my colleagues’ wonderful reflections about our annual theme What being a fish means to me, a childhood memory accompanied by one of my dad’s favorite admonitions kept popping into my head. Dad called this constant stream of parental warnings “healthy fear.” I later realized that […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: You Are Not Alone

Growing up, our family had such a large goldfish that we named him Big Fish. He was the only fish in the ten-gallon tank in our kitchen surrounded by a faded green plastic reef and we’d communicate with him daily. Tap the tank and he’d come to the surface and enjoy some fish flakes. Walk […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: Come Swim with Me!

If you read my colleagues’ recent blogs, you know that we at McMillan have embraced the Fish Philosophy to bring more joy and productivity to our work. As a result, a lot of fish images, fish jokes, and fish stories have filled our inboxes. One recent image caught my attention – it was a fish […]

What Being a Fish Means to Me: It’s Not About the Catch

My husband is an avid fisherman. Freshwater fly fishing, saltwater fly fishing, spinning, tuna trolling, you name it and he does it. He ties his own flies and strings his own rods. He spends hours scrubbing barnacles off the bottom of the boat and coiling lines. As soon as he hits the water, he zens […]

“What Being a Fish Means to Me: Just Keep Swimming”

After attending our annual NACAC and EMA conferences in Seattle last fall, we returned to Boston refreshed and renewed after reconnecting with colleagues and touring Reed, Lewis & Clark, and the University of Washington. We also found inspiration for our 2022 blog theme in Pike Place Fish Market’s FISH philosophy of teamwork: Be There, Play, […]

In Sickness and In Health: What Character Means to Me

It has been said that suffering hardship builds character. For most of my life, that statement didn’t mean much to me. I lived a semi-charmed life, for the most part, and considered myself a person of strong character. One can’t manufacture hardship, I thought, and I am still a good person with strong beliefs and […]

What Character Means to Me ~ Nanny Noyes

It was after my mum had suggested a shortcut through Fenway Park that turned out not to be when I told myself “to get over it.” You see, I was carrying my best friend piggyback because she couldn’t walk. She had Muscular Dystrophy, and this was before any Americans with Disabilities Act made Fenway handicapped […]

What Character Means to Me

Every card or letter my mother ever sent me was signed the same way, “Hugs and kisses, Love Mama, A.B.N.” A.B.N. was my mother’s acronym for, “Always be nice”. It was so much more than the closing on a birthday card, it was a call to action, a way of interfacing with the world that […]

A Gift from my Parents: Lessons in How to Be a Character

My dad was a character. My mom is too, in her own somewhat less outrageous way. Or maybe she’s the more outrageous one? Either way, I learned about character from my parents, just not in the usual way. My dad, Jerry Paul, used to greet people he’d just met by singing a few lines of […]

Blood, Sweat, and Sisterhood: Thoughts on Character

As I scramble up yet another steep incline, my buddy asks what happened to my leg. I look down and see blood streaming down my calf. Not feeling a thing, I laugh and say that a little blood is the least of my worries. She has warned us about the route, texting us that “Lol, […]

What Character Means to Me

I am starting to think it is no coincidence that I am tasked with writing this blog a few days before Father’s Day. When I think of the people closest to me with the strongest sense of pure moral character, I have to admit that I think of three amazing fathers in my life: Marshall […]

What Education Means to Me

I’ve always loved stories, especially biographies and memoirs. In elementary and middle school, I always seemed to have my nose in a book about a famous person. It wasn’t unusual for me to be called out by a teacher for reading a paperback (paper covers are easier to hide!) inside my desk while she conducted […]

What Education Means to Me

What Education means to me has a great deal to do with relationships. When I look back at the influential people that have taught, guided, and nurtured my learning, the process began early. The teachers, coaches, colleagues, supervisors and peers possessed a joy and passion not only for their craft, but more importantly for those […]

What Education Means to Me: In the Heart of the Sea

It’s 2am and I’m twenty miles out to sea. It’s my shift so I’m alone in the wheelhouse lit only by the instruments on the helm and staring out at the black sky. If I’m lucky, there’s a moon lighting my way, nature’s flashlight I always say, and I’m grateful for it since I don’t […]