Alice Conner

Dec 3, 2020

Dealing with the Fs (Fear and Failure)

A Discussion with Alice Connor

New Books Network 2020

purchase at bookshop.org


Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Email us at cgessler@gmail.com or dr.danamalone@gmail.com. Find us on Twitter: The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

In this episode you’ll hear about: board games, Edge House, how to rethink “failure” with the replacement word “successandfailure”, facing our fears by asking for what we need, and a discussion of the book How to Human.

Our guest is: Alice Connor, the author of How to Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-Up World. She is an Episcopal priest, a college chaplain, and runs Edge House. Alice is a certified enneagram teacher and a stellar pie-maker. She lives for challenging conversations and has a high tolerance for awkwardness. She lives with her husband, two kids and a dog.

Your host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women, gender, and sexuality. She specializes in decoding diaries written by rural women in the 19th century. Her favorite board game is a version of Sorry! she invented with her dad long ago [directions provided in this episode.]. Christina seeks the extraordinary in the ordinary, writes poems about small relatable moments, and takes many photos in nature.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • Enneagram Transformations by Don Riso
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • “The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research” in Journal of Cell Science by Martin A Schwartz
  • “The Guest House” poem by Rumi
  • Brene Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability (not the one on shame)
  • The How To Human Study Guide (free download, on Fortress Press website)

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is a historian of women, gender, and sexuality.

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