Friday, December 2, 2016

Administrator Week: Letters, Prayers

This week, in the midst of many visions and revisions of accreditation documents, I took a minute to catch up on other administrator paperwork.  Some of it, like transfer credits from other schools, I'm familiar with.  But yesterday came a never-done-before task.

I signed acceptance letters.

I took a minute to remember my own acceptance letters along the way--the ones that admitted me to schools and programs where I yearned to be.  I thought about my spouse's acceptance into the MPA program in 1995--a letter that might have changed our lives more than any other letter, as it was just the start of a half decade of many changes, including selling much of what we owned and moving to South Florida.

I took a minute as I signed each letter to imagine the potential student receiving it.  What life-changing news was my signature part of?  I wondered if my letter would be one of several, leading the student to have to make decisions.  I also know that for some students, this letter will be a last chance at higher education.

I took a minute to say a prayer for each of these possible students.  It was a nebulous prayer, more along the lines of something I borrowed from Julian of Norwich:  "May all be well."  But it was a prayer without words, a luminous moment.  The words have come later, as I've thought about this moment during my work week.

As I move into administrator duties at my new job that are both familiar and new, I also offer a prayer for myself, that I remember to pray for all these lives that are now so linked together in this setting that is new to me.

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