A Baby #OneGoodThing – The Student Affairs Collective

2016 was not my favorite year, but it won’t go down as one of the worst (I’m still pretty angry at 2006, and I’m a terrible grudge-holder).

This year, my wife got pregnant—by design, no surprises here folks! In January, we realized it was now or never to start trying to get her pregnant. We had researched sperm banks fertility clinics and the home insemination process for a while, but “now was happening NOW” and we had to go back to our online dating days (we met online) to find the perfect father for our theoretical bundle of joy. Then were the trials and tribulations of two women getting one preggers (look it up if you can’t figure it out).

Continue reading at: The Student Affairs Collective A Baby #OneGoodThing – The Student Affairs Collective


Being in the Moment When Everything is Falling

"I have decided to be happy, because it is good for my health." Voltaire

“I have decided to be happy, because it is good for my health.” Voltaire
from Etsy

I’ve been trying to write a student affairs-related post for about a week now, but I have had no energy to get the thoughts into cohesion. Some of it has to do with end-of-the-year craziness (May 17…on May 17, all will be right in the world), but some of it is personal, which is totally blocking my ability to think about much more than the tasks immediately at hand.

2 days after the mess that was the Boston Marathon Bombings, I received a late-evening call from my dad–Monday he’d been diagnosed with Squamous cell carcinoma & was having it removed Wednesday; totally routine, he’d be in & out that day & could even drive himself! Yeah, not so much. After a few hours at the Dermatologist, he was told to call a family friend because he was going to Worcester for emergency plastic surgery. The cancer was all gone, but so was my dad’s nose. When he called me afterward; distraught, in shock, and totally overwhelmed, I think I broke a little–I’d spent all day Monday watching the news & communicating my safety to loved ones; I found out the following day that someone I was once very close to was a volunteer medic at the finish line, and my empathy for her was immense; now this.

I don’t think I realized just how closed up I had become until reading a blog post from a fellow polytheist/pagan and came upon this line (edited for swearing):

See, [stuff] happens, and that’s the way it is; pick a mythology, any mythology, and stuff on a cosmic level of SUCK happens to all the gods. Any god. Pick one. If they can’t spare themselves and their own families what the hell makes humans think that they’re going to get a free ride and have everything handed to them on a [omitted] platter?”

As I wrote in my last post,  the Gods don’t LET things happen, they just do. The gods of most ancient religions were part of the world, not outside of it, as with many modern religions, and are bound by it. Because I view Them as part of the world, I cannot expect any one of Them to single ME, or Boston, or even the USA out of all the other millions of people, and cities, not to mention animals, plants and ecosystems. Talking to my dad on Sunday, after several more visits to check the healing before the reconstruction, and as he’s getting ready to return to work after a couple of weeks away, he told me that he’d been feeling really sorry for himself until he remembered the woman attacked by a chimp in 2009. Laughing, he said that he had it pretty good.

And he does. So do I.

I’m meeting a friend in Downtown Crossing after work, so tonight I will get off the T at Hynes & walk down Boylston Street, being HERE. NOW.  Hopefully, a few of the negative daemons that have plagued me since Patriot’s Day will be exorcised as I enjoy the sun & air.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Bright Sunshiny Day

Valentine TreatsThis past summer, some colleagues and I formed the Sunshine Committee in response to a felt need for a means of building camaraderie among staff/faculty, administration/support staff, departments, etc. We got full buy-in from our Dean and were even granted a small budget to host events.

We’ve done a lot, from bi-monthly birthday celebrations to lunchtime yoga to (this week) free Valentine treats. We placed a couple of blank valentines in every staff/faculty mailbox and made more available in the mail-room; all anyone had to do was pick a recipient, choose a treat (chocolate, granola bar or clementine), and write a little message. I wasn’t sure how well this would be received–Valentines, work, you know.

The response was amazing!! The committee decided that everyone would get a treat. We had to write VERY few from the committee, which makes me so happy; not only because it shows a level of friendship among the staff/faculty, but also because it shows people enjoyed it. Boy did they enjoy it, we had over 100 valentines written, with many people receiving multiple treats/messages.

All day today the various members of the committee have heard positive feedback. Yes, it was our idea, and we facilitated the activity, but it was really the members of our community who really deserve the praise; they are the ones who took the time to write the notes and spread a little bit of cheer and appreciation.

Sometimes it really is the small things

30 Days of Grace

Thanks to conversation prompted by my last post, I’m starting a new project, which is actually really goo in the last couple months leading up to my wedding (both to relieve stress and put me in a better mood).

In response to conversation @JoeGinese, myself & others were having about grace, @clconzen posted this little gem:

ScreenCap of a Tweet by clconzen


So I did…kind of. I’m going to try to post one positive thing every day on various forms of Social Media just to add some more positive things into my life and the lives of others. This is on top of my endeavor to not continue the spread negativity through social media–we can get enough of that on our own.  I would love it if others did this as well, but this is for me. If you are joining the “project,” let me know how it goes!