Good morning - as I look out over campus from my office on second floor St. Ed's I am amazed as how busy I have been since Commencement. This morning I am working on my book - yes, I am attempting to finally put down in writing the many, many thoughts/comments/essays from my students in response to a paper I assign in Men & Masculinities - How My Father Influenced My View of What A Man Is - is the assignment and for almost 8 years I have been accumulating their responses with the idea of eventually putting all of this down into a book. That eventually is NOW and it has been interesting to say the least to go back and re-read their essays. I just emailed one of my students who wrote an amazing paper describing her father and his influence on her view of what a man is. I am so appreciative of my students that they have always given me "permission" to use their work "someday." For now I am just inputting their responses - at some point I will try to organize this into some coherent format :)
The other day I received an email from one of my former students, a recent graduate. He asked for some assistance on research he is doing in his graduate program. As we corresponded back and forth, he said the following, which I copy here with his permission:
"On a side note, I would like to let you know that I fully appreciate the quality of education and even more-so the outstanding quality of the professors and level of guidance that I received from them at St. Mike's. The quality of teaching, academic guidance, and of the professors themselves at my current University is questionable, even at the best of times; making me realize what I took for granted while in Vermont. Hope you're enjoying your summer break and take care. Thanks again." It is this type of response from students that keeps me going - he was a good student who went on to work on an advanced degree and his response was something that we don't often hear - not because it isn't true, but because in many cases students never tell us what we mean to them and/or they don't realize this until they are many, many years away from SMC - so thanks for this.......
I had lunch with a former student yesterday, ran into another recent grad and an "older" grad (she would not appreciate being referred to as "older" :) down on Church Street [her place of employment had just hired their 4th SMC graduate],dinner last night with another one and last week I had dinner with another recent grad. There are many of our more recent grads who have chosen to stay in the area this summer and it is great to run into them all over the area. I was at the Burlington Farmer's Market a couple of Saturdays ago and ran into Ryan Stanley and Logan Pinka - it is always so funny when they see US outside of the college environment and are reminded that we are PEOPLE too, with our own lives.
I also met this past week with two prospective students and their parents - one is the daughter of another former student and Mom and the other two daughters were here while the oldest daughter was interviewing in Admissions. The other is a dear friend of many years who graduated from SMC before I came here - she brought her son here for his interview and I not only met them in Admissions but then had the pleasure of having dinner with them downtown. We went to RiRa's as I wanted Jack to "see a college town" from that perspective. It is also nice when parents ask ME questions about the value of a liberal arts education - that question is a no-brainer as to my answer...... Hopefully both of these students will be accepted and will come here.
Back to work - take care, be well, and as July 4th looms in the near future, please remember that OUR freedoms have been earned with the lives of so many others and keep all of the members of our military and our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers.