Yesterday, as I was helping to create our second annual chocolate potluck on campus, I thought, with any luck, we're creating the traditions that someone will want to upend in 20 years or so.
First, some background: last year, we had a chocolate potluck that was a contest. This year, we ditched the contest aspect and decided to do it to celebrate graduation. We invited grads back, but in my mind, it was really to remind current students of the ultimate goal.
I put out cards with an invitation for people to write a note of congratulations to a grad--and people did. That made me happy.
I've spent a lot of time in institutions that have long standing traditions--most of us have. Long standing traditions can be both a blessing and a curse. It's hard to try something new when people already have annual events that they love dearly. The calendar will only hold so much, and people increasingly have less time.
It's also hard not to have those traditions--it's made me realize how much societal glue a longstanding tradition can provide. So I've been trying to create some. Happily, I'm at a place where I have support for that.