Monday, April 28, 2008

My Kids

The other day, Friday, despite it being one of the busiest days in my nine years at CGS, did have one bright spot for me. It's a day when the sophomores hand in their Capstone project, a fifty page policy paper/presentation that they work on in an group of six or more. The idea is to combine all of the disciplines at CGS into one immense undertaking and tackle a big, global issue. This year had something to do with the environment. I don't know because, thank God, I didn't have to do it. I did, however, have to set up two different powerpoint presentations and a portable PA system, since our regular one went kablooey a mere 24 hours before.

So, a busy day, but still a good one, because, seriously, I'm not sure that graduating seniors are as happy as sophomores handing in their Capstone project. Something about that group dynamic really brings out the joy when they are done. What could it be?

Anyway, this day also sees various awards given to deserving sophomores who have excelled academically or just in general. I think there were only ten or eleven awards given out on the day, and two of my prized work-study students, Marlene and Justin, received two each. They split the Judson Rea Butler Award, which is named after the deposed Study Center guy, but is still prestigious). Marlene got one of the top GPA's in the whole college, so I think she got a little scholarship money, and Justin won a big cane, the history of which escapes me at this moment, but I know it's pretty cool.

These two were the first hires of the new Katzenberg Center and the first students I hired all by myself without guidance from any higher power. I remember interviewing them individually in one of the new Capstone rooms (probably being the first people to ever sit in them.) It was the very end of summer 2006, and it was a new era. We had a new work place, and most of my staff had graduated (or was Gabe) and I was in need of new blood. I felt really cool being able to hire who I wanted, and I'm glad I hired these two. I certainly hope they don't regret it.

After they won, I leaned over to Tracey and said, "See how great I train my kids?" It was a joke of course, but I do sort of think of it that way. Not that I taught them how to be great scholars or anything, but I hope they learned something from working with me, at the very least how to plug in a laptop. But since I don't have (and probably never will have) any children of my own, I don't have anyone to impart my wisdom to. And I'm not saying I even have a lot of wisdom (So, what am I talking about, anyway?), but I do have some experiences to draw on, and I have been through what these students are going through, so I think I can at least be a sympathetic ear, so hopefully that's enough.

Obviously, I won't take credit for any of their successes, but I can share in it, because they're not just drones who work for me, or just students who I happen to work with sometimes. They are my friends, and that means a lot to me. And I hope it means a little bit to them.

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