On the faculty at Ermapalooza! Registration opens tomorrow!

When humor goes, there goes civilization. –Erma Bombeck

I’m excited to announce that I’m on the faculty at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (April 10-12). I’ve been to the conference twice as an attendee, and it is definitely one of my favorite conferences. The conference made me better as a writer, led to some major assignments, a book blurb from Senator Sherrod Brown, and, the best part, I made some real life friends, who are hilarious. That’s the great thing about a humor conference, the people who attend it are typically pretty darn funny.

I’m teaching one section…

Writing Nonfiction: Connecting People Through Stories
Kelsey Timmerman

Writers of creative nonfiction explore truths through verifiable facts, shaping the narrative using the same tools as writers of…

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Where Am I Speaking in November?


Want me to visit your high school, university, or group? Let’s make it happen. 

Falls really zip by for me. November wraps up a busy few months of speaking at high schools, universities, culinary schools, and libraries.

Here’s where I’ll be speaking in November:

11/7: Lock Haven University / International Education Week: 7PM at Price Hall (free and open to the public)

11/8 5:30 PM – South Bend, Indiana: Facing Project event: Voices of Teenage Girls

11/9 7:30 Michigan City Public Library – Writing Out Loud (free and open to the public)

11/11 Private High School

11/11 Purdue N. Central Westville, Indiana

11/16 Writers Center of Indiana: 2013 Gathering of Writers / Teaching a nonfiction workshop at 12:45

Truth, Justice, and the Creative Nonfiction Way
Works of creative nonfiction…

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Lesson from my stupid big bro: It takes courage to change

Dr. Timmerman

Kyle, either posing like a “scientist” or planning to takeover the world.

My brother, Kyle, always led my earliest adventures into imaginary realms. We fought trolls with wooden swords, goblins with clumps of dirt scooped from the field surrounding our club house.  (Once I was the goblin and Kyle made a throw that could’ve been on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 as it connected with my face.)

He was the best big brother an annoying little brother looking to prove himself could have.  He never whooped me. Not once. I tried like hell to fight him and he would figuratively and sometimes literally hold out a brotherly stiff arm atop my head as I swung…

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July Appearances: California for chocolate and wine, Indiana for writing friends and libraries

Summer is a time of rest, bike rides, backyard pools, and teaching my 4-year-old daughter to rider her bike without training wheels (on Father’s Day! I won Father’s day!).  But I love summer events.  They tend to be more intimate and laid back.

Here are my July Appearances

July 20 – Paso Robels, CA: Project Hope & Fairness Fundraiser at Pear Valley Vineyards. Wine and chocolate? Yes please! I traveled with Tom Neuhaus of Project Hope and Fairness in Ivory Coast while researching WHERE AM I EATING? Happy to help them raise money to improve the lives of cocoa farmers in West Africa.

July 22 – Columbus, IN: Batholomew County Library.  Love visting libraries and happy they are having me back to talk about EATING after I spoke there about…

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Part I: Meeting a slave to chocolate in Ivory Coast (video)

I met a slave when I visited a cocoa farm in Ivory Coast researching WHERE AM I EATING.

His name is Solo.

Shortly after we first met, a villager began recording Solo teaching me how to harvest cocoa.  (As a writer, it’s rare that I capture such poignant moments on video.)  I began to ask Solo about his life, where he was from, what he gets paid, when certain disturbing facts came to light:

1) He called his boss “master”

2) He had worked 4 months and hadn’t been paid

3) He told me that the donkeys are treated better than he is because at least they get fed when they don’t work

4) He asked to leave and wasn’t allowed to

5) Solo is a…

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What has aid ever done for anyone?

Somewhere along the line aid has become less cool.

Everyone is all about teaching a man to fish, not giving him a fish. Everyone is all like trade and not aid. I’m guilty of this too. (See my give a man a job making shoes not a free pair of shoes argument regarding TOMS.) In response to this, Save the Children UK made a Monty Python inspired video about the not-so minor things aid has accomplished.

It’s hilarious and gets the point across.

Want to support smart aid? Be a smart giver. Learn how here – here….

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Kelsey Speaks

Interested in having Kelsey speak to your group? email hi@kelseytimmerman.com

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“Kelsey puts names, faces and compelling stories to the global economy.”

I connect students to the world and help you:

  • Empower students to think globally and act locally.
  • Engage students with their educationsand the world.
  • Help students see where they fit in as doers, learners, consumers, volunteers and glocals (local and global citizens).

(Teachers & professors you can get a free copy of Kelsey’s book Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes HERE & learn about using Where Am I Wearing? in the classroom HERE or as a first year common reader HERE)

“Kelsey has…

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Where Are You Teaching?

J.R. Jamison wrote the service-learning section in the Appendix of Where Am I Wearing? Below you’ll find a few of J.R.’s ideas followed by some resources and how to contact him if you need consultation on developing a service-learning curriculum or creating a roadmap to becoming an engaged campus.

Take it away, J.R. –

Spending the past decade of my career guiding campuses throughout the world on infrastructure development for the intersection of community engagement and higher education, I know the challenges institutions face when working with their local communities to focus on a shared issue. Add in glocal (global + local) experiences for experiential learning, and the complexities rise. Often, our own infrastructures hold us back from achieving what is possible.

Imagine a…

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Farewell to a friend

Brian Eckstein

If you’ve had four kidneys – two that were yours and two that were someone else’s — cancer, and are nearly blind, you’re allowed to be pissed off at the world.

If, on the other hand, instead of scowling and complaining – which are well within your rights – you travel, compose music, and make the world around you a bit happier, you are one of a kind.

And that’s exactly what my friend Brian Eckstein who died last week at the age of 40 was.

One. Of. A. Kind.

Brian worked at Indiana Public Radio, the local NPR station, and he loved his job. I first met him when the World Vision Report…

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A slow clap for stay-at-home moms

IMG_4126 copyI’m on stage. She’s putting the kids to bed.

A thousand set of eyeballs stare at me. Two stare at her.

My words inspire laughter, hers tears.

When I’m done, I’m rewarded with a standing ovation. She’s rewarded with silence.

I hear: “Good job. Well done. Thank you.”

She hears: a ticking clock, a baby rustling, a lullaby singing.

Everyone wants to know what my wife, Annie, thinks of all my adventures and if she wants to come along. She doesn’t. We’re different like that.

I’ve been away for the past week and I miss Annie, who recently became a stay-at-home mom, and our kids. I can’t wait to pick up my daughter, Harper, and twirl…

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