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

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A year of accomplishments, scatterplots, new resolutions

Poor, sad, little neglected blog. I used to think that I did not have time for writing while I finished my dissertation. This year demonstrated that a preoccupied mind prevents reflection as well. I have been working on this draft for many days and struggling to verbalize the happy and not so happy of it all. Americans are supposed to be the outlier on the happy scale, more upbeat about their days than most people. When we are not in that place, it can be hard.

FT_GDP_Scatterplot

At the end of last year, I was not selected for a promotion that I fiercely wanted and had stringently prepared. It was a position I had strived for in the past, only to be discouraged from applying due to lack of a terminal degree. This “job” was not the driving force behind completing my Ph.D., but the degree was one of a series of steps that I took to prepare for a “next step” in my career. Side note, being rejected from a dream job five days before holiday vacation is not ideal for one’s self-esteem and seasonal jocularity. I recommend against it all costs.
This year began with a new boss (not getting the “job” meant working for the person who did) and the adjustments that come with a change in leadership. It also began with a new opportunity.
A position with an education non-profit came on the horizon and a new job search began. For those of us who lament the prodigious time required for campus employment, this process reached new heights. Non-profits include a scaffolding of decision makers. Whether in discussion with a screening committee, organization leaders, elected board, and the membership; each audience sought a different answer and a different set of skills. The job posted in January and concluded with a hire announcement in late September (more on this later). A colleague termed it as the job search that rivaled a pregnancy.
Meanwhile, real life work this year included financial shortfalls, intense budget negotiations, staff reorganization to address financial shortfalls, a staff member on family leave, and a staff member following a partner to new employment. Even knowing in advance, it is difficult to prepare for the transition of a dedicated colleague. Rewriting position descriptions, preparing a search committee, waiting on HR approvals, the calendar was inching along. And all of this while attending to the needs of smart and amazing students (who sometimes have tragic days) and doing my best to be a good leader and mentor for the amazing student staff and graduate assistants that I am lucky to employ. The wiser than her years, Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, recently opined “There are really awful days amidst the really great days, and we need to be more honest with ourselves and others about that.”
Facing those “awful” days and separating work from family needs was complicated this year. I am enormously grateful for a loving and supportive partner who keeps me grounded. I am happy and proud to be mom to an amazing teen and tween who are high achieving and in search of their strengths. They are my most important work every day.
I will be embarking on a new adventure in the not so distant future. Despite every obstacle, 2014 will be remembered on the happy scale as the year that I resolved to get my dream job. And succeeded.
More soon. Happy 2015!

One Word: DO

My 2013 one word is DO. And to be precise, it is not Do. It is DO.

As I reflect on projects nearly completed and opportunities ahead, it makes sense.

Wisdom of YodaDaddyPlus.com

eighteen and life: exit 2011

Thanks for joining me here at eighteen and life. As my doctoral studies heat up, my writing schedule has taken a hit, so I appreciate when you stop by for a visit. That being said, these were the favorite posts of 2011.

Not the Alice you were looking for

Future Earnings

Student debt: No new, car caviar, four star daydream

Outside the lines

More Type Links in Student Success

As I look ahead to 2012, the word focus resonates with the things I need to accomplish. Doctoral coursework, family, work in student affairs; these can all benefit with more focus.  I look forward to seeing you.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~Mark Twain

Keep the Ball Rolling

There are those occasional days when perhaps it is raining buckets and you are in back to back meetings making your head spin and you finally make it home and just need something to make you smile. And as today was one of those days, what made me smile was this post on the zen wisdom found in a video of a little horse chasing a giant ball. Thanks to Jennifer Blackwell for sharing.

Read more about Einstein and be sure to check out the video and his Twitter. You’ll smile too.