Saturday, September 2, 2017

Limping Towards Labor Day

What a week it has been--but I knew it was going to be a humdinger of a week.  Let me capture some thoughts before September steals them away:

--It was a week of many meetings, some huge and important, some hardly noticeable.  Because we had lots of meetings, we had logistics to consider, like moving classes into and out of classrooms and buying food.

--In short, I spent a lot of the week out and about making all sorts of school-related purchases.  That kind of week is always fun on the first day, but exhausting by the end.

--The smartest thing I did, in terms of food purchases, was to pay a $3 delivery charge.  We had two big meetings on Thursday, and we planned to have trays of Italian food from a local restaurant (hot pastas, meatballs, and salad) that the two groups would share.  While the restaurant is not very far away, I was able to look ahead and realize that I wouldn't want to be racing there just before the meeting started--best $3 I spent all week!

--One of the cool things about being on a small campus with a small staff is that we get to do all sorts of things.  A group of us met with a branch of the Boys and Girls Club that happened to be on the reservation of the Seminole tribe.  My school has scholarships that they didn't know about.  It was wonderful to bring groups of people together to strategize ways to help underserved populations.

--One of the tiring things about being on a small campus with a small staff is how much of the physical work I do on days like this:  moving supplies and food from place to place. Thursday one of my colleagues said, "I don't think I've seen you sit down all day.  You'll wear out your sandals."

--Indeed, by Friday morning I was limping.  I was also exhausted, having gotten to bed after midnight the night before.  I told one of my colleagues that my head felt like a Picasso painting, with parts that didn't line up at all.

--On Thursday, I worked almost 15 hours.  In our efforts towards accreditation, we needed to have one last meeting, and then we needed to generate some documents, like minutes and e-mails with minutes sent to members.  For a variety of reasons, those documents needed to be sent out from our main office on Sept. 1.  So we stayed until it was done, which meant that three of us left at 11:15 p.m.

--But we got it done.  Are there any sweeter words than "Your materials are good to go"?  On Friday morning, I was wearily ecstatic.

--Of course, the night before, when we only had 2 members of the 10 members that we needed for a quorum for our essential meeting for accreditation, I was feeling a very different set of emotions, the "these might be my final hours of employment here" feelings.  Was I being melodramatic?  I don't really know.  Other people in similar positions to mine have lost employment for similar circumstances.

--Happily, I don't have to find out.  Let me take one more moment to breathe prayers of gratitude for committee members who are willing to come to a meeting, for flooding rains that came on Monday instead of Thursday, for the webinar that worked so that people could be counted as attending even if they couldn't physically come to the campus.  Let me say a prayer of thanks and gratitude for my colleagues who worked hard on the meeting and for the ones who gave us gestures of kindness as the week went along--one colleague brought a bouquet off her night blooming jasmine tree (apparently known for its calming qualities) for the department head in charge of the meeting and one colleague brought me a beautiful pastry, a miniature apple tart that looked as good as it tasted. 

--I feel lucky to be in a place where we all work well together, and we're all rowing in the same direction.  It makes me less bothered by the occasional week that leaves me limping.

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