Saturday, June 27, 2015

One Last Gig

In the Hacienda Courtyard, in my uniform
I stuck around in Colorado this long because I work a summer gig at FVS called the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute. I have had the pleasure of being their Director of Operations (a little like being both a Resident Assistant and a Cruise or Tour Director) for their annual Leadership Lab for the past three summers. This is not the type of work I had done before, and it grew me in new ways, in good ways. It made me humble and appreciative of so many people that we overlook in every day life. To accomplish my mission of a successful and enjoyable experience for nine faculty members and 59 participants, I worked closely with our dining hall staff and our maintenance and facilities crews. I texted and made phone calls early in the morning and after 9 PM, and they were always there to help and deal with the issue at hand. I was simply the liaison, the person to find the appropriate help to address an issue. (Thanks to Sharon, Eddie, Tommy, Conrad, Brett, Lupe, Ruby, Patrick, Bryan, Madeline, Iris, Tammy, and every other person that made the week awesome!)

View over our prairie one morning
This reminds me a bit of how they say (that strange collective they) we should all be a waiter/waitress, at least once in our lifetime. It provides perspective and appreciation for the work that those employees do. This is also true of being a behind-the-scenes person. I took pleasure in seeing the participants explore our campus, engage in the work with faculty and peers, and honestly, enjoy a few days away from their regular pace and way of life. Many of them take a moment to thank me, and it's strangely embarrassing. Because I'm behind the scenes, I prefer to be almost invisible. That's the humbling piece. 

When I moved to Education 10 years ago, a wise mentor librarian told me, "the most important people in the school are the admin assistants and the custodial crew. Know them, and appreciate them." That was valuable advice and I took it to heart. These are the people that get shit done! And if they can't do it themselves, then they know who to reach (and how) to accomplish the mission in the least amount of time possible. They make the business run, the world go 'round. 

"Oh the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss
At the closing dinner on Wednesday evening, the faculty took a moment to recognize my work and to wish me well on my Grand Adventure. They gave me a copy of Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go and a gift card to Amazon (though I've had to give up Amazon Prime, I CAN still stock my Kindle! Yay!). Their gift was thoughtful and meaningful and just the way for me to head off into the wild blue yonder. It also prompted more participants to seek me out and "hear the story." 

Confession: I don't want to talk about the work I did this past week, BUT I do so love to tell my story. The story of Zorig and Heather. How a few days of friendship, followed by a long distance, virtual relationship, then led to a flight over the Pacific and seven weeks together to DISCOVER what was real, or not....has led to the biggest love and adventure of our lives. Yes, this is a story I will never tire of telling, or living. 

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