“Change is such hard work.” Billy Crystal
Change – for some people it’s an exciting prospect. The experience of routine is deadening and, if change isn’t on the horizon, they’ll find a way to create it. For others, routine is comforting, reliable, and the idea of change is difficult. No matter our perspective though, change is disruptive and we all cope with it in different ways. Some are excited to see what is around the next corner and others get sick to their stomach – and everything in between.
“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher
Challenging though it is, and it is challenging for everyone, change is part of the growth process. Even folks who embrace change as a general rule have something they would rather not have changed. When we learn something new, we change. When we try something new, the very act of trying it creates changes. As educators, and all of us are no matter what our job title, we are in the business of change and therefore we must be able to change ourselves as we ask others to change in some way.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” Anatole France
I’m writing today’s newsletter message on the deck of our new home. We’re currently in the chaos part of change. I’m on the deck because the painter is here to do some touch-ups to his work, so the dogs need to be outside. We’re not ready to leave them out here unattended – too many unknowns yet. Peter’s making the first of the inevitable trips to the hardware store, so here I sit with plans to start organizing the bathroom put on hold. Turns out, though, it’s a great time to finish this endeavor.
Plans that work, plans that are put on hold, plans that go awry – that’s the way life works and change happens. Moving into a new home is both exciting and exhausting. Starting a new job is both exciting and exhausting, but so is starting each new academic year! No matter who joins our staff or who leaves, each year is different from the previous years. Each year brings us new challenges and new opportunities. Each year also brings losses and disappointments, but we learn from those experiences as well.
And so we come to today’s change. This is my last newsletter for UTSA and Tuesday is my last day to work for UTSA. There is not enough time, nor are there enough words for me to express what I have learned, the ways I have changed and, I hope, grown, and the true joy I have experienced working at UTSA and in the UTSA Division of Student Affairs. Everyone who has been a part of our division has been part of our success. In the dance world, it’s not possible to be an effective leader if you have a partner who refuses to dance well or, worse, refuses to even try. It’s just as impossible in everything else we do. Any success I have had at UTSA is because I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing partners across this entire community, but especially because the people of the Division of Student Affairs dance very, very well.
For your energy, creativity, passion, compassion, enthusiasm, willingness to speak up, to disagree, to listen, to learn; for your humor, your colorful personalities, your hard work, your care and concern for each other and the students we serve;
and, of course, for your willingness and ability to connect, communicate, collaborate and create,
for these attributes and so many, many more, all I can say is Thank You.
I will miss you more than I can ever explain and I count myself privileged to have been part of this great community and wonderful university. Now and forever, we are Roadrunners!