Salvador Dali said; “have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” I have certainly been reminded of that this week! It hasn’t been a bad week by any means. It has simply been one of those stretches of days that make me glad that it just simply isn’t up to me, or within my power, to achieve perfection.
As I mentioned before, I have been trying to get roughly 300 student organizations registered for the 07-08 school year. I spent a few weeks giving workshops, which is the first part of the process, and then every organization had to turn in a registration form by September 14. Turning in a single piece of paper doesn’t seem that hard, does it? Well, if you have spent time working with college students you are probably already chuckling. I too was afflicted by this strange aversion to meeting non-academic deadlines during my undergraduate experience. I understand – it can be tough to get that one piece of paper into the office! However, this has made my life at work much more difficult, as I try to track down each delinquent group. (As a side-note here I would like to apologize to those of you who might have been adversely affected by aforementioned aversion.)
Now, tracking down those organizations is a large part of my job, and working with the leaders of those groups is a part of my job that I absolutely relish. But. And this is a big but. But, I have had a few disheartening moments this week, wherein students call or e-mail me with messages such as “Thank you for your e-mail which reminded me of your total incompetence” or “I turned in that sheet! If you can’t find that sheet it’s on you!!!” I have encountered some very angry, and frankly some very rude students! As someone whose sole professional ambition is to educate adults for the real world, specifically to instill the values of good leadership and citizenship in them, these were not encouraging moments.
These were of course balanced out by some of the great students who are always popping into my office, wanting to help with my projects or just generally saying nice things. To be fair, the students I work with closely are wonderful, and I couldn’t think of a way to improve upon them.
Now, on top of these frustrations at work, I had to give a presentation, turn in a paper, and turn in my first legal case-brief this week. Thankfully, I was able to get the paper pushed back, which was helpful – thanks Dr. Wertz! Now, let’s talk about that case brief. I know at least one person who reads this blog has also encountered these. My respect for you grows with each Legal class, little brother! They seem simple enough, summarize a case, put it on paper, be as brief as possible. For someone with an English lit. degree, this assignment was most difficult. I don’t necessarily have the gift of brevity. In fact, when it comes to writing papers, most would say I am closer to my Grandpa’s “gift of gab.” We’ll find out how that brief turned out tonight in class.
The case brief was certainly a challenge, but so was the presentation I gave yesterday in my “Financial Aspects of Higher Education” class. Many of you who are perhaps familiar with my knowledge of financial concepts may be worried at this point. Well, just wait! Yesterday I gave a presentation on the university endowment. Daddy – stop laughing. I was really worried about this. I actually did a lot of research, but I honestly was unsure of how my performance would go down in class. Even as I was giving my presentation, and getting zero response from my classmates, I was really scared I’d get a bad grade! But then – a ray of hope! My classmates were impressed by my presentation, or so they told me after class. I had even used financial terms many of them didn’t understand. This apparently made me seem knowledgeable. (Thank you for those 3 mind-boggling semesters in the Baylor business school) I was somewhat encouraged following those remarks, but then, when I saw my professor in my next class – yes I have Dr. Wertz for 2 classes in a row – he congratulated me on a job well-done! A triumph!
Yes, this week has reminded me that I am most certainly imperfect. But I have also been reminded that just because I am not perfect, that doesn’t mean that I can’t still succeed in many ways and be loved by many people. I guess in the end, that’s all I can really strive for.
Coming soon…a report from the Gamecocks Homecoming game versus Mississippi State. We will of course bring pictures from our mimosa and breakfast buffet tailgate, but this time we will report from inside Williams-Brice Stadium! Thanks to some wonderful friends we have finagled a ticket for Nicholas so we will be attending our first USC football game on Saturday. Stay tuned!