Saturday, June 24, 2017

Training Week

It's been a long week of training sessions at the main campus, which has meant that I spent the week away from my office and home campus. 

It's only 18 miles to the main campus in Ft. Lauderdale, but it feels so very different from my usual commute.  For one thing, the commute of this past week was on I 95, which meant I got to experience rush hour traffic.  During my regular daily commute, I experience similar stop and go traffic, but it's on neighborhood streets so I expect to go slowly. 

I feel like I've been living out of my car, which was a familiar feeling during my adjunct years.  Plus, I had to try to remember what's in my office that I might wish I had with me, like a mug or an extra lipstick.  I realize how lucky I am to have an office.

I haven't been able to access my work e-mail remotely--that, too, is a good reminder of the problems that adjuncts face.  As an administrator, I use whatever e-mail address faculty prefer I use.

The week was helpful overall.  I'm the Director of Education, a dean-like position at one of 5 campuses.  The most helpful part of the week was meeting the directors of education at the other 4 campuses.  I most liked the exchanging of ideas.  I've come away with lots of good ideas.

We spent part of the week learning a computer system that will let us track the skills of particular cohorts of students.  It was good to strategize with department chairs across campuses to agree on what those skills should be.  And it was interesting for me to hear those conversations, since I don't know as much about the life of a medical assistant as I do about British Literature.

Still, it's both encouraging and disheartening to realize that I have another computer system at my disposal that can do so much more than I'll ever realize that I want it to do.  I can generate all sorts of statistics about who is successful and who needs help--but then I need to figure out the best way to deliver that help.  Years in administration have taught me that it's never as easy as I think it should be.

It was good to be away, good for all the inspiration that a change of scenery inspires.  It will be better to be back.

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