The forest after the storm. Photo Credit: Leland Howard Nature Photography

I stopped by our Facilities office while on an errand this afternoon and ran into their coordinator Katy. We stopped to chat for a bit about upcoming events, how recent events- most notably Dancing with the EC Stars- had gone, and some changes that are going on in our office. As other staff members passed in and out of the office, we had the chance to chat about the community on our campus, and how we all had found (from Dancing with the EC Stars to Alternative Spring Break to attendance at ticketed events) very unique ways to be involved on campus.

Katy then paid me a wonderful compliment, but also made a really interesting analogy that I wanted to share. Now, I should say that I don’t know much about the climate of my office before I arrived. The precise details have been shrouded in secrecy, and much of it I sense I just don’t really want to know. But several people have told me that I’ve brought a positivity to my office that wasn’t present in the months before my arrival. Katy framed that compliment a little differently, saying “You’ve brought sunshine to an office where there was a lot of rain, a lot of storms.”

She went on to say, “There are still storms now. But now it’s to help things grow.”

I like that. There are definitely storms in our office, to be sure. Few offices can truly say they’re without their storms from one day to the next. But the fact of the matter is, for all the tiny to moderate frustrations that build up, I work with many good people who care about one another. So when we storm (not a Tuckman reference, I promise!), I need to remember to trust that the end result of the storm will be growth. Flowers, trees, all those things that Bob Ross so loved to paint…that’s the image I need to keep in mind when fighting for my students and my vision for them.

Thank you, Katy, for the kind words and the reminder that even on the tough days, something good is likely on the way. Mondays benefit greatly from those sorts of reminders.

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