Let It Snow

Photo: Ken Libbrecht

Photo: Ken Libbrecht

Juno. Linus. Marcus. Our friends at The Weather Channel began naming winter storms in 2012 to aid communication during complex storm systems. And although I am not a fan of winter’s shorter days and wind chill, I appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of a snowfall despite the chaos major storms can wreak with travel, school, and safety.
Understanding the conditions and temperature that will produce certain snowflakes allows scientists to assist in the prediction of snowfall. Check out the latest snow science at SnowCrystals.com including beautiful photography and a primer on snowflake physics.  And yes, they can verify that no two snowflakes are alike.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. ~Margaret Mead

Flipside

Photo: Alex Cornell

Designer and filmmaker Alex Cornell took amazing photographs of this flipped Antarctic iceberg last month and forever changed the way I look at ice. The beautiful clear gel of this colossal ice mass reminiscent of Smurf jello salad and the earrings I wore to my last formal is the remarkable alter ego of jagged white frost hiding just beneath the surface of the sea.
Does your day need a flipside? New project need a reset? Wish that last program could have a do-over? Even the worst day has a few shining moments; that email from a friend or a sunset on the drive home. The most tedious committee meeting has an opportunity to chat with a new colleague.
We need to turn things over to the B-side every once in a while and look below the surface. You never know what wonders may be lurking there.

Make Shift Happen

When I first began a career in student affairs, my director was a good and fair person, always supporting a life in balance. Work late for a program? Take a few hours of personal time the next day. Spend a weekend away at a conference? Be sure to take a personal day to catch up on things at home. As a supervisor, I have attempted to mirror this courtesy, believing that people, and family and lives, are more important than a 60-hour workweek. There will always be work to done, reports to write, and programs to plan.
The theme of work-life balance remains a popular topic among colleagues as we seek an adequate distribution. Too many friends make 10-12 hour work days a habit while answering the duty phone each weekend. While we advise students to choose a few extracurricular activities on which to focus, we disregard this advice and drive ourselves to exhaustion.
Clare Cady fired off a discussion on the topic, inviting us to shift our thinking.

I am of the school that work-life balance does not exist. There is life. Part of life for many of us includes work, hopefully in a field where we are happy and satisfied. But life is not about work — it is about living.

Acceptance rate

It began today. The messages were waiting when I checked the family email account this morning. Recruitment emails for my high school sophomore. College recruitment.
Looks like you took the PSAT. Clever. Starting the college search as a sophomore tells colleges that you’re serious about your future…
After a career in higher education, including admissions, I am supposed to be ready for this transition. Choosing a major, applying for scholarships, finding a “good fit” school. It’s a different story now. And I am not alone.
Admissions staff at Penn have discussed the college search process for their own children…
It can be challenging to be a strong self-advocate. All our lives we tell our kids to be humble and polite, but kids need to drive the application process and be self-promoting in this process so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t assert yourself in the college search process or application, no one else will do it for you.  ~Jodi Robinson
Good advice.