I took a look at my Twitter timeline recently and realized that I've been doing a lot of re-tweeting and not using my own voice. So, I've been thinking about it. Mainly because when I look at other people's timelines, when I'm deciding whether or not to follow them, I consider their number of retweets.

So. Again. I've been thinking about it. Thinking about why I tweet, and what I tweet, and what I share, and how I think about what I share. My initial conclusion is that other people have better words than me, and so I'm just sharing those thoughts. But, then I started to think about it some more. Because I have good words. Most of the time. I think.

On top of not tweeting much, I also haven't been keeping up with either blog. The goal was a post a week, and then my work life imploded. I came home with my brain fried and the only physical exertion I could handle was cooking dinner and then sitting on the couch. I went to a conference. Things got better at wor…

In the haze of exhaustion

My goal for this blog in 2017 was to post at least weekly, work got complicated and when I returned home at night I didn't have much energy to think or reflect or write. Starting Wednesday, February 8th until February 11th, I was at the NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students. There were about 300 attendees and a packed conference schedule. I'm on the board of the Veterans Knowledge Community, which helps NASPA plan the conference. My role is Communication Co-Chair, so even when I wasn't in a session or participating in some way, I was wandering around taking pictures or tweeting for the conference.

Being at a conference is an interesting experience for me and this one was even more unique. My paid job isn't about interacting with military-connected students, it's just a topic I'm deeply interested in. So to be surrounded by practitioners who have been doing this work for years was mind blowing. They have so many fantastic ideas and are generally brillia…

Don't burn the place down

One of my goals for this year is to write more. To let things percolate in my brain, or on paper, and then show it to all of you. Most of my blog posts are inspired by things that happen at work, which I narrow down and then find a learning moment within.

This week I've learned a lot, most of it I can't talk about here, or on Twitter, or really anywhere except private conversations. But maybe that's this week's thought: sometimes we learn things that aren't public. Sometimes our actions, our offices, our brains, are better left in the private world where they can be discussed over coffee or a beer.

I don't care because I care

I met with someone recently who I had never met before. Toward the end of our time together, the person said "you have an 'I don't care' attitude, like you're going to call it like you see it".

My "I don't care" nonchalance is not, in fact, because I don't care. It's because I care so much that I can't care. I can't care about being nice, I can't care about sugar coating things, I can't care about making you feel good. I "don't care" because I can make this learning environment safe, even if it hurts. I can fix things, I can make calls, I can put the world right (most of the time), but I need my students to know that there are consequences.

I care so much that I believe students deserve the truth about their situation. If a student is going to fail, if they haven't followed instructions, if they are in bad shape, they deserve to know. Students sometimes need to fail, and the beautiful thing is we have th…

Death by Comment

I bought a new car last week. Ok, I'm leasing a new car. We picked it up Wednesday, December 28th. In the following few days my tire pressure sensor lit up. Now, I know that temperature fluctuation can affect tire pressure, so I didn't think anything of it. By Sunday it was still on, so on Monday I checked the pressure on the front passenger tire, it was at 25 PSI. So, I think to myself, crap, I could have a nail in this. Fast forward to today. I call my dealership, say what's going on, and the guy on the other end of the phone says to bring it in. I ask if I need an appointment, and he says no. So after work, I drove there and they can't help right away I'll need to wait an hour.

I ask if they can just put air in it and I'll make an appointment to come back later in the week. The woman at the service counter asked what was going on and was like "yeah, but if the weather turns bad, you don't want to be driving around with a nail in the tire" and s…

Why I am here

In 2015 when I attended the national NASPA conference, I took down some thoughts for me to blog about later. One of those bullet was:

Why are we here? What are our motivations? What do we want to gain? Are we considering our motivations when planning our days? And I think now is a great time to talk about these. After Ann Marie Klotz' blog post on the infamous student affairs Facebook page, and the numerous responses, and conversations about what we should be doing, I want to talk about what we are doing. What are we doing online, why are we there, and what do we want from those experiences?

I joined Twitter when I was working in a place where it was a bad fit for me. Our values were incompatible, professional development was viewed differently, and my skills weren't taken advantage of. I felt so isolated, so alone. I knew what I wanted to do, the appropriate student development theories for the work I was doing, and current practices to make the office better. I was so unhappy…

Checking In: June

I haven't written here in a while, but I have been doing some writing. I'm working on a piece to be published in August in a new journal through University of North Carolina Charlotte. My paper will describe a new model to better understand the support systems student veterans have. It also gave me a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by brilliant people during a writing retreat.

I really can't say enough about the retreat. I felt like I was the dumbest one there. Half of the brilliant conversations I couldn't contribute to. I just soaked it all in. I met some amazing people doing even more amazing work. I learned about new best practices, tools, theories, data, and other work being done for student veterans. I love learning and it was like being in grad school again. I also decided on my next degree and even had a few programs suggested.

The retreat was early June. Two days after I returned home, after spending one day at work, I had surgery on my left arm. Actual…