May 16

Tonight after my college’s graduation ceremony, we had a reception for faculty and staff. I almost didn’t go. My allergies were bothering me again, and I wasn’t sure I was up to socializing. However, I was part of the committee that put the reception together, so I did feel a small measure of guilt for wanting to skip it. So after a nap and some medicine, I put myself together and went. I ended up talking with a lot of people I don’t normally get to see on a daily basis, which was fun. There was also a recognition of the newly tenured faculty and our provost had a very touching speech he gave thanking them and the rest of us for the role we all play in our students’ lives. Later, more people danced than I expected, which was a pretty interesting sight to see. Overall, It was a good evening.I ended up staying later than I planned to, but I’m thankful tonight that I went.

May 13

My semester is officially over! I love working on a semester schedule. I love the sense of renewal it brings. This week is also graduation, and it’s been a pleasure to see how our grounds crew has been sprucing up the landscaping with white flowers. They’ve also been mowing this week, and I will never tire of the smell of freshly cut grass. The downside to the end of the semester and graduation is knowing that there are students who will be leaving. I will miss seeing the familiar faces, some who have been working in my area for over a year. It’s always a little bittersweet saying goodbye, but I’m excited for them, knowing that they are moving on to bigger things. Today we also had a reception for several faculty and staff who are retiring at the semester’s end. Retirement receptions at my college are a slightly formal affair. The division dean or director reads a resolution, which is basically a list of the person’s accomplishments over the years, oftentimes with humor injected, and always ending with it’s our hope that his/her happiest days lie ahead. Then the retiree is presented with a gift. It’s really a rather touching ceremony. As I sat and watched today, I was reminded again how thankful I am to work where I do. There are many, many people on campus between employee groups and students, but it often feels intimate, especially at times such as the reception. We employees take the time to get to know each other. And if we’re lucky, we have and take the time to get to know some of the students who come and go. And that’s what life is about for me, the people who surround us who make a difference in our day to day.