The Chesapeake P.E.A.K.E. is a monthly newsletter sent out by the Dean of Student Services office. It encompasses the Chesapeake Campus’ events, department information, such as the Financial Aid and First Year Success offices, Leadership Institute, and more! Check back each month for the current newsletter.
James Edwards, Ed.D.
Dean of Students
There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe … At every crossing of the threads there is an individual. And every individual is a crystal bead. And every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.
In ways we don’t always acknowledge, in ways we often forget, our connections to others are wide and deep and important. In an organization as large as TCC, that reality can be overwhelming and it can be tempting to want to think only about our small piece of the puzzle.
Most often organizational design is presented on paper as neat boxes connected by simple lines, but the reality is that our lives are much more complex than that. I like to think of organizational design as something more resembling a star chart. Instead of lines connecting each box to one or two others, there are many lines radiating out from each point connecting us to multiple parts of the organization.
Using an image of an organizational star chart, it is easier to understand that my work supports, or interrupts, your work and everyone else’s work as well, and the same is true for every one of us. I hope that when you feel frustrated in this big, complex organization, you’ll tug on your threads of support to ask for help and that you’ll provide support to others. As we go about our work, remember that we all benefit from the good work of everyone else in our organizational net. Our combined light reaches farther and serves our students and college better than that of any individual.
Keep up the great work, everyone!
Create a great day!
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
One of my favorite childhood rituals was picking the perfect school supplies at the start of the school year. I’ve never lost that pleasure though now I call them office supplies. Then, an important part of the process was finding the perfect spiral notebook to write in. Now, it’s the perfect planner. But whatever form it takes, the first page of a new notebook, planner or journal still holds its magic for me. It’s not a collection of terrifying blank pages, but rather a collection of places to collect ideas, thoughts, notes and possibilities.
One of the many gifts that working in higher education provides is a unique calendar. We have multiple places where the calendar helps us stop, take stock of the past and think about the future. August, December, January, May — each of them is a point at which we can consider the possibilities. Whether the beginning of one semester or the start of another, we have the chance to pay attention to what has happened and decide what we want to continue or change. It really is a gift!
Each of us has a preferred method for this process. Some make New Year’s resolutions. Others pick a word to guide the months to come. Some create detailed to-do lists. And there are multiple ways to do the reflection leading up to those decisions. For some it’s a walk through the neighborhood or a walk across campus. The runners run, the writers write, some talk it through with a friend, family member or colleague.
Now some of you may be saying, “The holidays were too hectic to do any reflection,” and I understand that. I hope you will take this time to do a bit of reflection, analysis, dare I say assessment, of the past semester. Take the time to actually write (or type) out your thoughts, ideas, and goals for the weeks to come.
We’re back on campus so the book is open, the pages waiting to be written so good luck and happy New Year!
Create a great day!