Monthly Archives: February 2021

Day 12 – A story about a Higher Ed scar I have – #100DaysofHigherEd

There is a higher ed scar that I wear. One that I think about often and struggle with. This week has been a reflective time for me and one where I have tried to be honest with myself about when I was at my best and when I am not.  This is a story of when I was not at my best.

When I was 28 the dean of students at my university was fired for embezzling money from the university. All the units in his portfolio were parceled out and I was given the responsibility to oversee the sprit teams. And at my university cheer and dance were BIG. We had won nearly 10 national championships when I got there, and we won many more after I arrived at the program. I have to say, winning was quite a rush. And this is how I got my scar.

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Day 11 – That Overwhelmed Feeling Started Before COVID

“This whole thing started well before COVID” a friend of mine told me not too long ago. She followed up, we were headed for the great burnout and we just would not admit it to ourselves. COVID just accelerated this process. This conversation happened around the holiday break. I was struggling to the break finish line. I was struggling to keep focus on my work, I was tired all the time, and irritable. And quite frankly I was lucky. I do not have routine contact with too many people. I basically worked alone in my office and my work puts me in contact with very few students. On the other side, this friend has a high contact with students’ job. On an almost daily basis she needed to work with and advise students. We both felt the same way, tired.

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Day 10 – What Meatloaf and Patrick Bateman have to do with morning routines – #100DaysofHigherEd

Good Morning! Every day begins with a Good Morning! At least I hope it does. There has always been a lot of talk about what a good morning routine looks like and why it is important. Like the argument for breakfast, it is often said that a good morning routine gets the rest of the day in productive momentum. And there seems to be a bit of science to back this up. According to research a solid morning routine can create lower stress because it sets expectations. It helps busy people feel more in control. It can also help people develop healthier habits and boost energy levels all day. Afterall, if you get a good start it can help you get to a strong finish.

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Day 9 – Why do we Higher Ed folks have such a hard time taking a day off? – #100DaysofHigherEd

It is going to happen. This weekend I will find myself on the patio of my local World of Beer and I will have my laptop. I will be working. Despite the weekend being a gift of Labor Unions and a product of the 40 Hour Work Week outlined in the 1937 Fair Labor Standards Act there is just an urge to work at almost all times. If it is not over the weekend with a nice pilsner it is in the evenings following up emails as I watch The Bachelor or an NBA game on TNT. No matter how much I talk to myself about work and life balance, I find myself working outside of the normal work hours.

And you know what, I am kind of good with it.

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Day 8 – On staying connected in higher ed – #100DaysofHigherEd

I think we have all felt this a bit. As the COVID-19 virus keeps us working remote or in isolated offices I have noticed that I do not feel as connected as I once did. The friendships I had on multiple levels have struggled to be maintained and even good friendships feel more distant. But the funny part is I am not sure how I can pinpoint in what ways these disconnects happened. All I know is that I really have a hard time connecting when the vision on the other side is a screen or a voice. And I am not a touchy, feely person either. I am not a hugger. So, I know it is not that. But here I am, longing for a big hug from a friend I have not seen since last NASPA.

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Day 7 – What my Family Thinks I do – #100DaysofHigherEd

Each fall I get the honor of teaching an Organization and Administration in Higher Education course on the campus of the University of Central Florida. I love teaching this course because we get to learn and discuss my favorite subject of untangling the mystery of higher education. I often start the class on university hierarchy by having students bring in job descriptions for aspirational jobs they hope to be one day. Of course, they bring in job announcements for Dean of Students jobs, Vice President of Student Affairs jobs, Director jobs. If you are reading this blog, you know the jobs. The ones you find yourself dreaming of on a sleepy Friday on HigherEdJobs.com. As you look upon the job you picture yourself in a corner office in a quaint college town or sprawling mega-campus. The students love this, they mention their hopes and aspirations. Then I turn the tables and ask them to now, explain that job to their families . . . . . .

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Day 6 – What would I change about my career? #100DaysofHigherEd

What would I change about my career? Well, the snarky answer would be nothing but then again, I would be lying. There are lots of things about my career that I would change if I had the chance. I am 48 years old. And while I still have about 20 years left in my career, I have more days behind me than ahead. And this is a reflective time for me. My boss and one of my mentors for the past 10 years, the VPSA at UCF, Dr. Maribeth Ehasz is retiring. This is her last week at her post that she has held for 16 years and after a 40+ year career. As I am watching her make this transition, I am often asking myself, how do I make the most of the time remaining in my career.

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Day 5 – That feeling that I am always behind on work and projects – #100Daysof HigherEd

We all know that feeling. That feeling that you are somehow behind or you are missing something important. I get that all the time. And, of course, it usually manifests itself in a recurring dream. I think all of us have some version of this dream. We are back in high school or college and we discovered that we have not been to a class essential to our graduation all semester and if we do not pass the final, we won’t walk across the stage. For me it is always math. Be it Calculus or algebra, math is the thing I continually feel I am overlooking.

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Day 4 – My Favorite Movies about Higher Education #100DaysofHigherEd

Today I get to have some fun. I love a good movie and I cannot wait to get back to the movie theatre when it is safe to return. The popcorn, the cushy seats, the 150oz. diet coke, I just love the way the movies make me feel. I even dig the previews. It should not be surprising that I really like a good movie that has a college theme. As you can imagine, college is a good source for filmmakers to mine for content. Afterall, its and experience many of us have, and even if you never went to college you can imagine what college is like since it is a vital part of American culture.

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Day 3 – On Drinking and Higher Ed – #100DaysofHigherEd

For today’s topic I want to stress, this is not an anti-alcohol consumption post. I like a good beer or a glass of wine, maybe even the occasional bourbon, especially after I have had a good, hearty meal. As I write this blog, I am enjoying a nice Hefeweizen at a local brewery. But I feel like there is something that we need to address as COVID starts to slowly descend past our lives and we start to come back out into the world. The topic is how much we tend to use the same enticement measures we discourage our students from using to get our faculty or staff to attend a function and that is the inevitable question, “will there be wine?”

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