d-log: January 26, 2013
Posted on January 28, 2013
Deans Can Be Slackers, Too
So let me just 'fess up here. The dog ate my d-logs. Oh, alright, fine. I don't have a dog. But I did not write many d-logs last semester (one, I think), and for that, I owe you an apology. You know how it goes. Life gets busy. Other priorities beckon. A new season of The Walking Dead starts. And the next thing you know…
So why does this matter to me? Because it is important to me that you know me and know that I am committed to keeping you up-to-date on things big and small, and I have not done that well, via the d-log, this past semester. This has a lot less to do with a desire to communicate with students than it does with the many unexpected and complicated situations that take up time I had previously planned to use to either write a d-log, attend an event, or even sit in the café. The work we do in student affairs involves both amazing experiences and numerous crises, both of which can sometimes mean that things don't always happens as quickly as some people might hope.
And when things are stacking up, and I find myself in many, many meetings, writing and reading many emails, talking on the phone, d-logs often move to the bottom of my to-do list.
But there's a price to that, which I've come to realize over the past few weeks, and it's this: that you know me less well than you should. If I do not put time and effort into our relationship (yours and mine), I can't blame you when you don't know how to interpret what I'm doing or saying. In this way, we—you and I—are no different than any other people in a relationship. I've been at Wheaton three and a half years, and I hope that my d-logs, occasional all-student emails and opportunities I've had to meet and talk with you all face-to-face have helped you know how I try to do my work. I hope you know that being transparent and honest are things I value in our relationship. The d-logs may seem a bit impersonal on the receiving end, but I hope you know they are very personal on the sending end, and despite the occasional eye-rolling from you, which I can live with, are a way I can maintain that all-important road between us so that when we need to communicate, the road's in good repair.
So I promise to be better this semester: at least a d-log each month. And in return, I hope you'll continue to email or meet with me, to attend the open meetings that SGA sponsors, to share your ideas to make Wheaton better, many of which we have implemented and will continue to do so. We cannot always share information you'd like to know. I sometimes have to make decisions you may not agree with. When that happens, please know this: I was on the receiving end of those kinds of decisions and conversations on a fairly regular basis as a student myself. What I remember from those many conversations with my own dean and associate dean of students was that they treated me with respect, even when they probably wanted to kick me into the pond outside their office. They took the time to listen and respond. That's what I hope you can count on from me: not always agreement, not always a reversal of a decision, but always respect. You can also always depend on me responding to your individual emails and invitations to meet with your organizations, something I have done as much as my schedule allows.
So look for more d-logs full of exciting news like OUR FROZEN SKATING RINK! And Sophomore Symposium. Lunch and dinner conversations over the Blue Tablecloth. And kudos for classmates quietly doing service projects that are changing lives. Just don't look for me around campus for a few more weeks. I'm stuck at home recovering from some back surgery (let's just say that if I was lucky enough to be on our Women's Rugby Team, I'd be spending this season on injured reserve) and so am mostly working from home. But of course, home is where the heart is, and for me, that's Wheaton—a short walk across campus.
You know how to reach me. Stay warm.