Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bread and Butterfly Initiatives, and All of our Arcs

Today is the last day of week one of our Fall term.   There are many difficulties with a term that starts on a Wednesday--this week, I've been feeling like we've been going through week 1 for about a month. 

In addition to the week 1 tasks, we've been getting ready for our accreditation visit.  There are binders and folders and a room to get ready. 

Today the accreditation visit happens at our Gainesville campus.  We've been hearing how ready that campus is, but it still must be a bit of a nervous time up there.  Let me send them good wishes.

In addition to this intense time of impending accreditation visit, there are all the various reports that need to be written, rewritten, and revised yet again.  And we really should be doing some of the activities that those reports say we will be doing--many of the reports are improvement plan reports, so we need to actually do the work of improvement.

I am that kind of bone tired.  I am thinking of the last few miles of the half marathon I ran back in 2001.  I remember being so thirsty and having a quarter of an orange that I kept in my parched mouth.  I just kept putting one tired foot in front of another and inched ever closer to the finish line.

Yesterday a student asked if I had an extra notebook; her mom hadn't had time to do the back to school shopping.  I said that I didn't have a notebook, but I had paper.  I gave her a legal pad.  When she returned it to me, she had written me a note, thanking me for all I did to make the school a better place.  She specifically mentioned the bread and the butterfly garden.

When I think of things I've done to influence retention, I, too, think of the bread and the butterfly garden.  I do not think of increasing the Average Registered Credit (ARC), that idea that if we could just get every student to take one more class, all sorts of problems would be solved; every male administrator to whom I've ever reported has been a big believer in increasing ARC.

Let me record a poem thought that just jabbed me.  I've been at with a group planning a retreat around the theme of Noah and that ark--let me write something that weaves together that ancient thought of an ark, and the modern idol of the ARC.  Let my subconscious chew on that--maybe on Thursday I'll have a poem.

I also thought about writing a poem in the voice of the water.  I've also thought of the fairy tale of the Little Mermaid and her sea foam destiny.  Sea foam and dead sailors and some explanation for why the sea always wants to swamp us.

I feel better knowing that I have poems percolating, even if I don't have time to do much writing these days.  Two weeks from now, we'll be at our last day of accreditation visit, and I anticipate having a bit more time and energy for other projects once we get to that point.

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