Friday, December 16, 2005
Christmas break thoughts…
Like a giant expelling a belly-driven yoga breath, the campus is exhaling students. Which leaves only a remaining skeletal staff wandering empty halls.
In some ways, there’s the inevitable sense of completion. Another marker met, another chapter closed, another semester finished. But the accompanying silence bears witness to the fact that this is a place now missing its heart, namely, student hustle and busle. Bright-eyed or at times asleep on the coach outside my office. Whatever their state, they make the place more than a barren structure and my work more than a job.
So, in looking out on a now deserted library and listening to the sound of blowers whooshing heat through the building, I find that I’m grateful. Grateful for all the students I’ve met over the last few months. Grateful for their energy, enthusiasm, and idealism. Grateful for their questions. And, lastly, grateful for the fact that I can look forward to their return in a few weeks. Which is when I’ll be back blogging (January 3, to be exact).
So, until then, have a merry and, most especially, blessed Christmas.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
There’s a little plaque which graces my wall. It’s rather crude and obviously made by hand. But I picked it up from a street vendor a number of years ago because of the saying, “Do your homework and know your facts. But remember, it’s passion that persuades.”
I’ve posted a number of blogs over the last few months on choosing a major and career decision making but not much about passion, most likely because there’s a part of me that thinks passion, in the sense of “do what you totally love”, is over rated. There are few people indeed who remain passionate about their careers. Reality sets in sooner or later. Hopefully, what they do day to day will hold a core of meaningful activity amidst the minutia of seemingly irrelevant details.
But when you connect passion—defined here as what keeps you up at night; what you long to see righted, fixed or restored; or, more positively perhaps, what brings you joy—with life calling, the two concepts help set life direction which transcends specific jobs or careers.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Talking turkey at Christmas time….or, some thoughts for parents
So, did “the topic” come up over Thanksgiving break? If you have an underclassman in the family, the question might have run something like this: so, have you decided on a major yet? Taken any courses which look interesting and might lead to something? For parents of seniors, the tactful, roundabout approach may have been abandoned for something more direct like—so, what are you planning on doing after gradutation?
In case your questions ended in a very short conversation, Johnson and Schelhas-Miller in their recent book, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years, include some very helpful advice.