I can sum up what I love about my job in one word: People.
I love the people in my office suite who laugh both with and at me.
I love my department chair who paces around us all like a she-wolf protecting her young.
I love the eLearning director who has bent over backwards to make my classes work out the way I wanted them.
I love the women who work in eLearning who, while helping 2500 students a day each, still smile when they fix my mistakes…at least to my face.
I love the dean who, without fail, has worked herself to death to make sure that my ideas for programs and events on campus have been able to happen.
I love the marketing director who keeps sending people over to take my picture even after I tell her I don’t like to have my picture made. I love the people who show up with cameras from marketing even after I’ve told them I don’t like to have my picture made.
I love the ladies in the cafeteria who ask how my niece is doing every time I walk through their door.
I love the librarians who always jump up to help.
I love the speech teacher who wore bright green pants on the first Friday he wasn’t allowed to wear jeans.
I love the people who make such serious use of the walking track on their lunch breaks that I can’t even go over there in case they might expect me to keep up with them.
I love the people who read books and show up for club meetings to talk about them with me.
I love the people I don’t even know who always ask me how my classes are going when I pass them on the sidewalks on campus.
I love the social science people who help us all define what is both cool and academic.
I love the music people who all seem to read a whole awful lot and who don’t seem to mind getting involved in my programmatic schemes.
I love the art people who talk Mac talk with me. And, strangely enough, vegetarianism and backyard compost too.
I love the housekeeping people who don’t just clean up after us. They take care of us.
I love the office staff who always know the answers to everything I don’t know.
I love the guy who leaves notes on my desk telling me I should have turned off my monitor before I left the office. He leaves candy too.
I love the coffee and confab crew. You know who you are.
I love the dozen people a day who stop me when I’m on my way to the bathroom to ask me how to do something in Blackboard.
I love the guy who always asks me if I’ve taken any good pictures lately when I see him on campus.
I love the French teacher, who even though we no longer have a French program, and she’s actually retired and not teaching any classes, is still our French teacher.
I love the people who still tell Cynthia Sullivan stories on a regular basis despite the fact that she’s been dead for several years now. You know who you are.
I love the teacher who greets me as “Dr. Gerald, I presume.”
Oh, what the heck. I love the rest of you too, but if I have not mentioned you it is because I am over-reaching my sentimentality quota for the day.
And of course, there are the students who go without saying. If we didn’t love them, none of us would be there because they are the driving force that makes it worth getting up in the morning.
A school is not about buildings. It’s not about protocol. It’s not about state-mandated paperwork. It’s about learning, and it’s about people.
And that is all I have to say on that today.