In the Thick of It …

So, my job is titled Graduate Advising Coordinator.  When people ask what I do, it is always a little hard to really put it into words, but I decided today, while I am in the thick of it, I would give you a glimpse into what my days entail.

It seems like there are different seasons to my job every semester.  Right now is the beginning of advising season.  That means that for  the next 6 weeks, I will spend all day everyday meeting with our graduate students and doing their advising sessions.  These happen over the phone, online, in my office, and through email, so I am pretty much at my desk for everything but meetings for 6 weeks.  I am in charge of advising for 10 different graduate education programs and have around 650 actively enrolled advisees.  I also work with the readmission process for those that took a break in the midst of their program, advise and register the new students that are being accepted, and spend a good chunk of time helping with our processes and tracking things.  That seems like a lot of really boring desk work to most people (me included) and that is why I say it is so hard to put into words what I do everyday.

The conversations that I get to have with our graduate students are inspiring.  Sometimes my job is to be their shoulder to cry on.  Sometimes it is to be the one to tell them to get focused and get it done.  I get the privilege of sharing in their successes and being a confidant for many when life is hard.  That doesn’t really fit well in a job description.  Since most of my students are online students, I don’t get that many that come in my office on a daily basis.  Kinda seems like it would be lonely, doesn’t it?  Luckily that void is filled with undergraduate students that need a place to hang out or unload about what is going on in their life.

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I’ll let you in on a secret … the thing that I loved most about teaching were the relationships I made with my students and helping them more than they thought they were capable of becoming.  Fortunately for me, that is now what I do all day every day.  I’m not a counselor, just a shoulder to cry on.  I’m not their mom, but I will share my life experiences with them.  I’m not the one with all the answers, but I will help you figure out some possibilities.

A lot of people would look at my job from the outside and say that I spend all my time with spreadsheets and emails.  I prefer to look at it from this side and realize that I really spend my time with people.  People that may share some of the same characteristics, but who are unique individuals that are working towards a goal.  It isn’t a job that you will hear much about, and it isn’t a job that you hear children say they want to be when they grow up, but it is my job and I am thankful for it.

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Sometimes it isn’t easy to take the time to do something for someone else.  It isn’t that we don’t want to help others, but we are busy.  There are a million things on our plates, the stress level is high, the caffeine level is low (this can’t just be a thing that happens to me), the patience is worn thin, we are tired, we don’t feel good, we just want to be left alone, or we just aren’t in the mood.  Remember, showing that you care doesn’t take a long time.  Sometimes it can just be a simple email or text of encouragement.

How will you make a difference today?

2018 . . . Outside My Comfort Zone

Word of the year.png2018, so far, has been all about trying new things that test my comfort zone.  I started a bullet journal, which pushes my boundaries of being creative and is forcing me to step away from my computer more often; I started the year down one organ (everything is ok, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing how life changes without that extra baggage); I just finished the Crossfit Judges course (which is pretty comical to have thought this time last year that I would be judging other people on their workouts); and I have chosen a word of the year.

The bullet journal is something that I had looked at for a few years, but never committed to because I thought I couldn’t keep it up and that I wasn’t artistic or creative enough.  We are one month into 2018, and I have been keeping up with it ok.  This week I have not done very well, but I am trying desperately to give myself grace and remember that skipping one week is not the end of everything.

Speaking of “Grace,”  I guess now is the time to announce my 2018 word of the year.  I have chosen Grace.  It kept coming to me when I was thinking about how I want to grow this year, so I finally just looked it up to see the exact definition of grace and determined that there are so many (8!) definitions (for real there are 8 definitions for the word grace https://goo.gl/Jkvbsv ) that it really fits what changes I would like to see in myself over the next year.  With my bullet journal I am learning to give myself grace to not be perfect.  Grace to let things slide every now and then.  Grace to keep rolling when something doesn’t go as planned.  I also want to push myself to give others more grace when they mess up or irritate me or don’t follow through.  I am a slight (yes, I know you are rolling your eyes if you me in real life) control freak and I tend to not give very much grace when things don’t go as planned.  Also, let’s just be real that the person who broke her arm falling off a box from a step-up needs a little more of the physical type of grace as well.

I have truly been making a concerted effort to show more grace and I am finding that I feel better about daily life when I am able to stop myself and give grace, whether it is to me or someone else.

 

 

Welcome

Welcome to my new home.  My vision for this is a place of inspiration and growth.  I am a former high school teacher, current adjunct faculty member at a community college teaching Criminal Justice and Graduate Advising Coordinator at a university advising all graduate students in Education.  I am also a wife, mother of 2 amazing kids, sister, daughter, friend, musician, and Crossfit enthusiast.  I have done a little of everything through the years, and am finally finding what I feel is my place to land at 36 years old.  I like to push myself beyond what others think I can do, and I tend to break open the boxes in which people like to categorize me.  I like to think that I am a realist that looks at things logically, but I know sometimes that doesn’t happen.  One of my goals in life has always been to make the world better and influence people, so this is going to be my little way of contributing.  I don’t know exactly what that is going to look like, but my guess is that it will be a mixture of humor, inspiration, and real life stories.  One of my favorite quotes has always been Beautiful Minds Inspire Others

and that is where the title of my blog comes from.  I truly hope this becomes a place of inspiration and enjoyment for others.  At the very least, it will be a place for the random acts of life that pop up all the time.  Until next time, I will leave you with this thought.  It is one that I have found myself clinging to through many times when I felt like the world was shattering and falling down around me.

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