Friday, February 2, 2018

Work Week Gratitudes

When I look back over this work week, what will I remember?  On Monday, I might have said that our experience with the Keurig machine would be the high point.  The machine was taking forever to brew a cup of coffee, and we brew a lot of coffee.

One of my colleagues suggested that we have the machine brew several cups without a coffee pod in the slot.  So, I "brewed" 4 cups of water--and that did the trick.  I loved that the solution was simple and something we could do ourselves.

But no, my favorite part of the work week will likely be yesterday's creation of a board to celebrate African American History Month.  I'd been thinking about how to celebrate, and I came up with events that would involve a Gospel choir, but I don't know anyone who sings in a Gospel choir, and what would that look like:  a sing-along or a concert or something like Christmas caroling? 

In the end, I knew that if I waited for the perfect way to celebrate, we'd do nothing.  We have a board that will be a Wall of Fame eventually, but so far it has not been transformed, except for back in November when I created a Veterans Day display (see this blog post for more details).  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I printed some quotes and pictures of famous African Americans that I found on the web.

Yesterday I decided to just begin the creation.  And I was amazed by how many staff were thrilled at the idea with offers to bring some contributions to the board.  This morning I'll bring some books from my collection to make a display in the library.

I love working in a place where I start a creation, and I'm met with appreciation, not sneers or despair.  I love that it's a small enough school that I can take small actions that will likely make a difference in the lives of our students.

Some of our ideas fall flat--for instance, we were planning to have a chili cookoff a week from today, but so far, no one has signed up to compete.  We'll send out an e-mail on Monday, and if there's no interest, we'll move along to another project.  I've bought lots of heart shaped cookie decorating kits for Feb. 14, so lack of interest in a chili cookoff won't break my heart; in fact, I was only doing it because a few people suggested it.

I'm taking a page from the way my church approaches these kinds of projects.  I see myself in a pastor/leadership role.  There are important tasks to be done, and I do them.  There are ideas that feed my creative soul, and I do them.  If others have a vision that fits with the larger mission of the school, great, if they want to lead that project.  If no one wants to lead a project, we don't do it.

I'm lucky in a way that many church pastors aren't:  my campus has only been in existence for about 6 years, so I don't have to wrestle with the "That's the way we've always done it" response.  People are happy for our efforts to make the campus a cohesive community.

Yes, I know how lucky I am.

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