It has been a week full of work, but in a good way. It has been the kind of week where each day brings its tasks, a steady pace, enough to keep me on task but not so much to make me feel overwhelmed.
We begin a new quarter on Monday, so this past week has been one of getting ready. The most obvious way we've been doing that is our new student orientation: one on Thursday night for the night students and one on Friday, the larger one, for the day students. At yesterday's orientation, we had no male students. We have incoming male students to be sure, but a much smaller proportion than we might once have.
My school offers degrees in the health care assisting professions, along with an AS in Business, so the absence of men should not surprise me. Plus, I know the statistics about who is going to college in the U.S. and who is not. Still to see a room jam packed with only female students did surprise me.
We had two days of faculty development, and I led them, so they were both tiring and inspiring. I love the faculty and their continued enthusiasm and great ideas. Most of our faculty are adjunct, but unlike my last campus, they have always been adjuncts at our campus, so there's not the strange dynamic of people who have lost full-time status but are still expected to participate at previous levels. There's not the low morale and the lack of trust. There's not the fear.
All these events have involved food, which has involved planning and shopping. Yesterday I was reminded that I should do some shopping for myself. There are many reasons that I have not restocked the fridge, mainly ones of tiredness and laziness.
Yesterday, I arrived at work expecting to eat some of the food left from new student orientation that I had left in the fridge the night before--precisely a slice of pizza or two. It was gone. So I subsisted on the rest of the V8 juice that I had stashed away, a donut, 5 donut holes, and some pretzels. Not the best fuel for an intense day, but I made it work.
I have not made my life easier, in some ways, by watching the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary on the Vietnam War each night. I have not gotten enough sleep. But the experience has fed my soul in many ways and inspired me. I am thinking of those of us who work in higher ed as being part of a similar mission. We have higher ups who are sometimes looking out for those of us here on the ground, but often decisions are made from far away, in Washington or in other places. We are trying to win hearts and minds in the middle of an ever-changing landscape.
Or perhaps my poet brain is making comparisons that stretch too far. But I don't think so.
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