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
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.
Italian & English cars won’t start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows down, radio blasting.
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
People in Iowa throw on a long sleeve shirt.
New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout before it gets cold.
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.
Arizonans vacation in Hawaii and Mexico.
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.
Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling cookies door to door.
Washington, D.C. runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans are upset because they can’t start the snowmobile.
All atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa begin conversations with…”cold enough fer ya?”
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools open 2 hours late.
State universities remain open for business.
Too awesome not to share…
Spent a morning with student affairs colleagues developing new program and learning outcomes to define our work in connection to university and division strategic plans. Beginning at the bottom of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomies (below), we crafted outcomes statements to link programs and goals to unit learning domains.
Student Affairs assessment is not spontaneous. It must be intentional and carefully defined to provide meaning for your unit and for your students. If not, it becomes just another “so what” to toss on the shelf.
Learning outcomes are all about the verbs. Check out this great list of Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs.
That line in the sand… you know the one. That fine line between serving students and the need to separate work from personal time. The ability to decline that after-hours cell phone call or cut off the never ending stream of late night email requests that cannot wait until morning.
The expectations of millennial college students for synchronous customer service in an era of social media shaming takes a toll on student affairs professionals. Despite the satisfaction we derive from service to students, we cannot be on call 24 x 7 x 52. And yet students are only too willing to make a complaint, or worse yet, lambast our programs on Yik Yak. Where is the middle ground? Do we offer too little challenge with our abundance of support?
Don’t feel you must instantly respond to every student question and request. Sometimes it is good to encourage a student to THINK.
You don’t last as long as I have in student affairs or any profession without recovery skills, so this article on resilience captured my attention. It featured a new British study where 75% of respondents identified “managing difficult people or office politics at work” as the most substantial impact to overall career stress.
The original study sought to gather stories of successful women as inspiration for women striving to advance in leadership. It found 90% of men and women surveyed credited resilience as important to their success, but only 6% found help in building this skill in their workplace. This may be a reminder that relationship skills and organization politics are smart topics for that next professional development meeting.
One final thought. What if you are the “difficult person” being managed?
As we head back to our work and careers in this first full week of the new year, let’s remember that it is the extra efforts, the little risks that move us forward. Be BOLD.
I hope that in the year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing the things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. ~Neil Gaiman