Thursday, May 14, 2009

I am adding photos of good friends/colleagues as I am thinking a lot about them these days and trying to figure out how we will stay connected once I am out of picture so to speak. They are significant people to me. I will continue to be interested in their good work with students and in what is happening in their lives in general. Given all the readily available options in electronic communications, staying in touch is made easier perhaps.

Today is our last day of exams and our residence halls will close tomorrow morning...both of these events signal an end to the academic year. My staff is ready for it. They have grown weary.

I'm packing up one home to move to another home. I load up my car on week-ends to move "stuff" from one place to another. One home looks more empty while the other home fills up. How come we have soooo much "stuff".

Moving provides the opportunity for cleaning out and reorganizing - both in my home and at work. For cleaning out my office, I have saved the month of June. Once I start going through files and all the "stuff" I have collected and think necessary to hang on to, my organization skills will kick in readily.

In the meantime, we focus on finishing and cleaning up from another year. It's what we do.

And so it goes....

Monday, May 11, 2009

I want to share some photos of my friends/colleagues whom I've come to know as a result of our work in student affairs. I don't think they will mind. Great people!

Exams begin today and graduation is at the end of the week. We are racing to the finish line of another academic year.

People are asking me more and more if I am counting down the days. I say, "first things first". It's about wrapping up another semester, another academic year, another month of May. It's about getting the work done. Not much time to think of other things. It takes the month of May to finish up and bring closure to the work done in an academic year.

I am quietly attentive to each of my professional staff as I picture the good work they will continue to do. And, with the younger staff, I think how much further they are going to go. I learn a lot from my staff and the work we do together and I hope they have learned a thing or two from me as well.

Tonight is our end of the year banquet for my student hall staff. Another chicken-prepared-in-some-way dinner. I can't say that I am going to miss "chicken banquets". I have found that a staff of Resident Assistants gives one a window into student thinking and doing. Can be scary sometimes!

And so it goes...

Monday, May 4, 2009

The man in the photo is responsible for the timing of my retirement even though he did not know so at the time ! Currently, Brian is the VPSA at a private college in Massachusetts. I have known him since he was an 18 year old college freshman at another private college in Massachusetts where I was the Dean of Students. Brian was a student leader from the get go! He was a psychology major from NH, a class officer, an RA, on SGA, and the pub manager (back in the day when the drinking age was 18 and campus pubs were part of the norm for campus entertainment).

Since then, he has gone on to receive a masters degree and his Ed.D. He entered the field via residence life. Stopped out for a few years. Returned to student affairs with progressively more responsibilities that brought him to his VP position today.

We both have been very active in NASPA within our region. In 2006, Brian was electd our regional VP and he asked me to serve on his Advisory Board. My plan was to retire in 2006. When he asked me to serve on the board, I thought this would be a good way to bring a close to my career. He and I would work together as we had many years before when he was the student and I was the Dean. So, I postponed my retirement until he completed his term as regional VP. I don't regret one moment of it. It will be a time that I treasure.

On my campus, we are in our last week of classes (you an hear my staff cheering!). We are all pretty warn out by this time in the semester and are looking forward to students leaving for the summer and wishing our seniors all the best as they go on their ways.

The last round of banquets have almost wrapped up. It is amazing how many ways chicken can be prepared! I cannot say that I will miss the end of the year rush.

One thing for sure that I know about my first year of retirement, I will not join any committees, attend any meetings, or go to several banquets between late April and Early May.

Until next time....the closer I get!

Friday, May 1, 2009

You are looking at Camden Harbor (ME) taken in the month of July. When I look at this, I think about how great this firs Summer in retirment will be . And, when I think about Summer, I think about how I am going to be able to enjoy the Fall season so much more in retirement than when I was working.
I have a beautiful view outside my office window. It seems like Fall arrives overnight and the leaves on the trees outside my window have changed from green to shades of yellows and reds. And before I know it the leaves are gone and the tree is bare.
This Fall will be different. I will be looking out windows that are not my office. I can actually have time to be out and about looking at the beautiful foliage that Maine has to offer.
In the meantime and back to reality, we are moving into our last week of classes followed by exam days and graduation on May 16th. There is much to do in the next couple of weeks which makes Fall seem a long ways away.