WTF Wednesday 23:
 Celebrating Vivian Vasquez

My friend Vivian is brilliant, brave and bubbly. She’s creative, kind, supportive. And bigtime fun.

Her academic accomplishments are staggering but they’re dwarfed by her wide smile, her modesty and the steady and generous gifts of her heart.

Vivian’s an award-winning, scholarship-named-after-her professor; a teacher, an author, a podcaster, a conference organizer, a public speaker and a passionate promoter of literacy, equality and life-enhancing thinking skills. She’s a ground-breaking harnesser of new technology. A talented free-style toy and cake maker. And a committed and compassionate wife, mother and friend.

Though we’ve been co-located only a handful of times, Vivian’s brightened my days across geography for years.

In The Beginning

Vivian and I met at the first ever PAB. In Kingston Ontario, 2006. Neither of us were podcasting — we were humouring our partners — and in that sea of insider guys and audio geeks, Vivian’s warm, unguarded ways and easy laughter were lifesavers.

Within weeks, and unbeknownst to each other, Vivian and I became podcasters. Children’s literacy podcasters, no less. Almost instantly, Vivian, our friend Charles Cadenhead and I transformed into Invisible Friends. I’d sit at my PC sheepishly giggling as we three g-chatted silliness and podcasting support until the wee hours. It was the highschool giddiness I’d never had.

Epic Then

In our podcasting days, Vivian and I were avid followers of each others shows. We gobbled up each others content, left each other excited comments and banded together for crossover shows.

Those were the exciting early days of online content creation and I am so grateful to have shared them with such a passionate, generous, fun and knowledgeable friend.

Epic Now

These days, Vivian and I see snippets of each other on Facebook. And, though our exchanges are few and far between, each time I read Vivian’s words, her broad smile and twinkling eyes leap vividly to the present and warmth washes over me.

I’m so grateful Vivian and I met and became friends.



University of Vivian

Vivian’s knowledge and know-how in the realms of literacy, education, critical thinking, inclusion and creativity could keep me studying for years.

The hands-down juiciest slice of her program offerings, though, is her consistent choosing, with seeming ease, of genuine connection and service over ego, coolness, busyness and swagger. Vivian’s huge heart and healthy perspectives humble and inspire me. Again and again.



Fantasy Fabulosity

If I could magically conjure a next adventure with Vivian, I would pick five days of family fun and exploration in the blooming cherry blossoms of Washington DC. Vivian, Andy, TJ, Mark, Lucy, Bayla and me.

We’d check out some great museums, fill our phones with landmark group-selfies, eat well, catch up and have lots and lots and lots of laughs.

It would rock.


Related Links:



WhatI’m Thankful For.
Why They’re Fab.
What Terrific Folk.
Why The Face?
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  • clippodcast

    What an absolute honor and joy it has been to have you in my life
    Andrea! I have learned so many life lessons from you about love and
    caring, generosity of spirit, heart and mind. I am so moved to have been
    included in WTF Wednesdays especially after having read about some
    awesomely wonderful individuals on previous Wednesdays. I wish everyone
    could have the experience of friendship with someone like you because if
    they did life’s ups would be so much brighter and life’s downs would be
    so much more bearable. Thank you for this incredibly moving gift my
    friend. Maybe if we conjure up some magic together we could make those
    five rockin’ days happen sooner than later. I look forward to that!
    With much love now and always…Vivian

    • Thank you, Vivian. Let’s whip up that magic!! xoxox