I have to admit, while the hours are long and the pay is, well, limiting, I really do love my work in higher education and student affairs. What it lacks in monetary compensation it makes up for in personal satisfaction. (This is likely how we justify working 12 hour days and on weekends.) In this particular case, humor wins my higher ed. heart. Tonight I choose to “reflect” on #ACPA12, thirty-seven seconds style.
ACPA: College Student Educators International is a professional organization for staff and faculty who work at colleges and universities around the world. Each year, those of us in the profession head to the Annual Convention, this year in Louisville, Kentucky. And it is typically so packed full of sessions, workshops, and presentations on everything from leadership education to social justice to strategic academic partnerships, that over-programming yourself for those four days is pretty much inevitable. Claiming that the convention is a whirlwind of activity would be the understatement of the century.
But, this is what we’re used to. We “college student educators” often profess that what we do is not a job, it is a way of life. I believe that, and I’m proud of that. Though, the time we spend being “thoughtful,” “intentional,” and “inclusive,” and the effort put into “making meaning,” “unpacking,” and “creating possibilities” (did you pick up on the jargon?) can end up consuming you to a point that you forget to just… breathe.
So, each night following the final session of the day and after stopping by a few networking receptions and “tweetups”, my pals and I committed to venturing out into Louisville to simply enjoy each other’s company. And enjoy we did.
I’d like to share with you a few snapshots from those nights. I knew that when I finally went to upload these from my iPhone that they would make me smile. Though, in taking some time to really look through them tonight, I’ve come to the conclusion that what happened those late evenings together in Louisville illustrates the first time in a long time that I’ve taken the opportunity to just let go of work, take off my educator hat, and enjoy the company of some incredibly charming and witty people.
When the the restaurant cut off the music and tried to close for the night, Kathy pulled out the iPhone and Tom created a speaker out of this lovely plastic cup. Who knew? Here, we feature Kathy’s “Ultimate Boy Band Playlist.” We stayed for another two hours. And we took the cup with us.
“Michigander in the Middle” (We made him do it.)
Me with social media all-stars, Kathy and Ed. Dream come true. #twitterati
Tom, Ed, and Chris had a slumber party. Tom brought snacks. He shared with me. He’s clearly better at peeling. #tomgerine
“On the count of 3, act like you’re having the time of your life. Ready? 1…2…3!”
Love you, friends. See you for our Vegas reunion at #ACPA13. I hear Planet Hollywood has a rockin’ ball pit… 😉