Tuesday, October 26, 2004

This is getting serious

Thanks to my enterprising assistant and publicizer, news of my blog appeared today in American University's announcements, "AU Today." This is getting serious - will the pressure be on to come up with something profound every day? ...Impossible! This morning I was up at 5AM to play tennis and then off to a meeting with the University Librarian. No time for reading Gandhi.

Over the summer I was seized with a powerful vision of a transformed AU library - it even had sidewalk cafe, with striped awnings in front. It was overflowing with students who wanted to be there. When I started pushing these ideas, both my colleague, the Librarian and my own staff reminded me that the Library was not really my affair, I had enough to do running the Center for Teaching Excellence - which is true. I suspect may be viewed as a campus busybody, by some.

An undergraduate in the School of Communication stopped late late evening and we had a long interview/conversation about the Faculty Resident's role --- this for a class assignment on writing a feature story. She was a relaxed, poised interviewer, our discussion was fun and it highlighted my thinking on one aspect of life in the dorm, form my vantage point. She asked if I didn't find living in the dorm 'burdensome' at least from time and how I coped with that. I had to think about this --- my response will perhaps sound like Polyanna but is, nontheless true. I hardly ever find my life burdensome - students are considerate, friendly, and seem happy to have me there. I feel that I am making a difference. Most important, I am having an opportunity that must be shared by a relatively small number of 66 year olds in the US or anywhere - being able to authentically share, to some degree, in the lives of a generation that is nearly 40 years younger than I am. There is a a lot to be learned; and I have many teachers. Life in Anderson hall is a gift, not a burden.

Of course there are the occasionally fire alarm evacuations - the bane of life in American University's South complex, but this can be viewed as an opportunity for bonding. Lately, I have been handing out Reese Cups and Nestle's Crunch Bars to make the experience more bearable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last fire alarm at 3AM was in fact made more bearable when we saw you standing at the door with a bucket of candy as we trooped back into the building. Thanks!
-Rachael from centennial

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the candy is definately a bright spot in those early morning fire alarms. THANKS! --jamie from anderson 5

10:08 AM  

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