This time last year, I was busy packing my items and saying my goodbyes to my friends & colleagues at the University of Arizona. It was very bittersweet for me because on one hand, I enjoyed living in Tucson & being a part of such a large institution with some great students and traditions. My wife & I had intended to settle down there and raise our daughter.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as well planned. We were unable to close the home we had built, my family got caught in the crossfire of some shady search processes at UA, and I was no longer in a work environment that highlighted to my abilities which left me feeling very frustrated. Then economy gets really crazy with the promotion of Gov. Brewer – leaving the institution to cutting jobs, freeze hiring, and implement furloughs to name a few consequences.
So, we did a national job search with the great state of Texas offering us both opportunities for employment. I landed a job at a new institution which gave me the opportunity to build something from scratch – a rare opportunities for a student affairs professional. We hoped that down the road maybe there would be an opportunity for my wife to build the res life program once it got started. I was filled with so much excitement and optimism.
Now, as I close in on the one year mark at my job, it really has not been what I expected. Now, that doesn’t mean it has been horrible but I’ve been frustrated plenty. I’d love to explore it some more but I don’t think this is the time or place for such thoughts. With that said, I have a lot to be thankful for:
*I was able to get that home to settle in
*I’ve learned how to use social media (especially Twitter) to enhance my professional development
*I’ve had my most interactions with faculty since my days as a student
*I work with a student population that is incredibly grateful
So, for once, I’m stopping to smell the roses. As someone who seeks to constantly improve things around me, it is kinda hard to do.