student affairs

Convention Recaps

It’s March and that means convention / conference season for many people. And yes, there are actually other things happening in the world right now besides college basketball – though you wouldn’t be able to tell based on my location (Dayton & Indianapolis). But I digress…

March is prime conference season and this means attending professional development conferences such as ACPA – where I am now in Indy – as well as attending regional conventions of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma – where I was this past weekend in Dayton and two weeks ago in Atlanta. Busy to say the least, but definitely learning a great deal throughout.

What I hope to do is recap some of the information I’ve gained as a result of attending all of these events over the last few weeks. As an alumnus of Kappa Kappa Psi, I still find that I learn more and more about my organization and how I can help it grow. As a student affairs professional seeking that next gig, I’m building on my existing knowledge base and figuring out how that will allow me to better serve students.

So I hope that you’ll stay tuned over the next week or so as I clean up my notes, put thought-to-keyboard, and re-live some of the highs (and hopefully not many of the lows) of the convention season.

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One Word 2013: COMMIT

Let’s start with the obvious – it’s been a few days *cough* almost a year *cough* since I updated last. Funny enough, that provides a fantastic segway into this post. 2012 is behind us and now 2013 presents us all with yet another opportunity to set resolutions…and likely give up on half to all of them. Case in point, I thought 2012 was going to bring me back into the blogging fold a little more often. Oops.

Last year, I joined Mallory Bower and Becca Obergefell as well as many others in student affairs and elsewhere to set what would be my one word resolution  (#oneword2012 or #oneword365), which was focused on the idea of PUSHThis idea behind choosing push was not to push back, but to push forward. In some areas, I feel I was successful, but not nearly to the extent I could have been. This year, as cliche as it sounds, things are going to be a little (a lot) different. Reflecting back on the highs and lows of the past year, and evaluating how push impacted it, my #oneword2013 is COMMIT. 

This seems fitting not just for me, but I think for many others out there as well. We all make choices and too often, those choices lead us into projects, challenges, resolutions, etc that we just cannot finish for one reason or another. In 2012, I wanted to push myself and but came up short. Maybe it was because I didn’t set a clear strategy of how to do that ahead of time. Maybe it was because I got complacent at times. Regardless, there are things to be done this year that I not only want to do, but are things I feel that I need to do.

My strategy to commit in 2013 initially focuses on four areas:

  1. Professional Development
  2. Running / Fitness
  3. Family
  4. Other* (this has potential to expand outward a lot I think…)

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll go into more detail as to what each of these areas consist of and how I plan to commit to each one and how I will push myself towards the overall end goals. I’ll also explore the potential challenges associated with this goal. But today, I will end with a quote from Chris Esparza, a very energetic and inspiring individual who I met last May through my experience with the LeaderShape Institute. Chris was offering up lessons that he learned throughout the week and his lesson #4 hit home with me the strongest. He said:

LESSON 4: Stay on Course.
“There is meaning in everything we do. Stay with what lights you up.”

This statement is, at least to me, very poignant. There is meaning in everything we do.  Even the most trivial, most mundane, most spontaneous, or the most planned out activity has some meaning behind it. Stay on course, commit to what you love and have fun.

I’m on a mission to commit this year- how will you commit in 2013? Feel free to share through comments and/or via email

P.S. – I’ve been trying (nay, pushing) to find an opportunity to utilize that quote for months.

The Little Things…

A few days back, while working on a few different projects in the office, a link to the Student Affairs – The First Years blog came across my Twitter feed. Of the large number of similar tweets that show up daily, I rarely find myself reading very many of them. However, this one caught my eye for two particular reasons. The first – it is a blog dedicated to the experiences of first year professionals in the field of student affairs. Convenient, as I fall into this category. Secondly, the title of the article (“Student Affairs – I Get a Good Feeling”) just seemed different and worth the read.

Upon further reading, it became clear that this was not just a post about good times, but rather a focus on the little things that get the author through the course of an average day. Naturally, I smiled from ear to ear (as I do when in a LEGO store or a  when I read the first item in the author’s list. “Tap tap tap…the sounds of the marching band in the fall semester through my office window is a good feeling.” Yeah…I’m kind of a band geek. But I digress…

How often do we just take the time to think about those things? In my particular case, not often enough as of late. There are plenty of things that, for one reason or another, keep me pushing forward and get me though the day. Here’s a few of them:

  • Sharing random links with friends and other professionals via various social media networks. Sometimes these are more practical…other times, not so much. I think we all need those at times.
  • Watching various DCI, WGI, and general marching band videos when it is time for a break from something else. Especially videos of the groups I’ve been in or taught.
  • When students come into the office and have/share “ah-ha!” moments. Always a good feeling.
  • Going through old (and recent) photos to re-live some amazing memories.
  • Listening to any of the BGSU Dance Marathon line dances.

So, how often do YOU take the time to think about those little things that make you happy?