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.

Neutral zone infraction

enterprise_romulan_warbirds1
In U.S. football, when the two teams are lined up before a play, a penalty is called if a defender improperly enters the neutral zone prior to the start of play. This can cause an offensive player to jump or false start before the play. The neutral zone is defined as the length of the football, 11 inches, from end to end. The only player allowed in the neutral zone is the offensive player snapping the ball. This penalty is called a neutral zone infraction.
For geeks like me, neutral zones are the buffers and borders of spacefaring civilizations requiring treaties and agreements; think Klingons and Romulans. Bigger than a football, these un-owned, unnamed, impartial spaces are meant to keep the peace.
We keep neutral zones around us, these somewhat safe places, to protect ourselves. Maybe we need to poke a few holes in them instead, make a few infractions. Let the air in. Or let it out.

Cold nose, warm heart

As the January wind howls and daily highs hover in the single digits, it’s nice to know our lovely city is among those with a coldest average low temperature during the winter months. Cold nose, warm heart.

Winter in Iowa

65° F:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.
60° F:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.
50° F:
Italian & English cars won’t start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows down, radio blasting.
40° F:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
People in Iowa throw on a long sleeve shirt.
35° F:
New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout before it gets cold.
20° F:
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.

Arizonans vacation in Hawaii and Mexico.
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.
-10° F:
Hollywood disintegrates.
Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling cookies door to door.
-20° F:
Washington, D.C. runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.
-30° F:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans are upset because they can’t start the snowmobile.
-40° F:
All atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa begin conversations with…”cold enough fer ya?”
-50° F:
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools open 2 hours late.
State universities remain open for business.

 

Too awesome not to share…

Iowa in January