|Me. So small.|
So yes, there is of course some ego involved here. But more so, I just think my profession, and my University, serve up excellent material to write about. So here I am, 50 posts and three years later, taking a moment to look back at some of this material. Of course many of the posts are ones I want back. Maybe they aren't really spot on or not in-depth enough, but not every album has all hit songs. Except of course for Greatest Hits records. I enjoyed writing number 300, because it was about family, Trinity, and Higher Education. I know these topics well.
Over the last five years I have grown in terms of my understanding and empathy related to social justice issues, especially related to race. (This bathroom post took a lot of research but I grew from writing it.) I have many on this campus to thank for this, and two former colleagues in particular: Felicia Lee and Raphael Moffett. Of course there are always risks writing about race. I know some people feel that I can't be an effective spokesperson or ally because I am a white man. I simply have to accept that, because it's true. The alternative is to not take risks and stand silently, so I'll take my chances. I have more to say on this topic, so stay tuned in the future.
Of course in today's era, we have had to be very thoughtful and deliberative when our values for freedom of speech and providing a safe campus environment collide. Some of our students have pushed the envelope on this topic and they have kept us on our toes. I got a little push back on this post about our conservative students, with some (who don't know me well at all) thinking I lean more right than left. At the end of the day, I think the headline holds true.
In my work I deal with alcohol, a lot. Of course I have my personal story that I have become more comfortable sharing. I shared it again when Sarah Hepola came to campus. I wanted her to like me better than she did, by the way. But I am very committed to Trinity University having a harm-reduction model and I think we have put our money where our mouth is with the national award winning Optimal Buzz and B'Low Optimal programs.
And topically, I see now that I have done several posts about sexual assault, including two back-to-back. This is a serious campus issue and we work at serving our students with compassion, fairness, and transparency all the time.
There have been a couple posts that have stood up well over time, no matter how brief. I outlined how students can invest in their own experiences and show school spirit - challenging them to be more active than inert. My post on marijuana made the top ten. It was a hit.
But my favorite posts are not the ones about policy or issues. I love to write about people. Unfortunately, some of these posts are about tragedy. I am still haunted by the loss of our young student Corey Byrnes in a car accident a couple years ago. It prompted me to re-visit a fatal crash in 1987, with my own journey as a back drop. That was one of the most difficult, natural, and real posts I have ever written. So was the one on the passing of Dr. Mike Kearl. His death stirred something in me and the campus community. The post about Tiger football and Roy Hampton was rattling around in me for awhile. The TCU comeback laid it all out and it nearly wrote itself.
Of course, from tragedy we find stories of absolute inspiration. I have started writing posts for the holidays and they have features dome incredible stories. The first was about Jennifer Reese and her mom and it still gives me chills. And the story about Dr. Roberts and how he came to Trinity still inspires me.The fantastic attitude and light that is my former colleague Tony Salinas simply amazes.
Dr. Coleen Grissom used to talk about the absurdity we deal with in Student Affairs. I have used it as a mantra in talking about gravity, levity, and absurdity. I wrote about the gravity plenty. But there were a couple of posts that I still delight in for their silliness. When I ran into Dr. Aaron Delwiche at HEB he was in the right place at the right time as I was developing a post about Michael Buble. He was a great sport and the picture of us is perfect. And I enjoyed the post about Ben Gomez because of who he is, but mostly because it took four years to assemble.
Here's hoping I have a chance to write 50 more posts in the years ahead. I could do with a little less tragedy and a bit more joy. To that end, I will conclude with a link to a post about my own college experience and its timelessness.
Thanks for reading.