Tag Archives: #prodevo

NASPA SA Speaks: A Recovering Racist

Hi friends. A few months ago, I took the stage at NASPA and shared my story of growing up in a racist environment and the transformational college experience that shook me out of my white privilege and set me down a path of deep reflection and purposeful action. NASPA has recently posted the video and I wanted to share with you. Please feel free to use, share, post, and send to your uncle who keeps forwarding you terrible email chains about the downfall of America.

 

To see a text version, click here

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SA Speaks: Getting a Tshirt that Fits References

If all goes according to plan, this will post just as I’m taking the stage for my NASPA SA Speaks talk about the intersections of shame and overweight members of the student affairs community. It’s possible I forgot every single word, but it’s also possible I killed it. Either way, several publications and resources helped inform my talk and are listed below.

References

Bennett Shinall, J. (2015, January 15). Why Obese Workers Earn Less: Occupational Sorting and Its Implications for the Legal System. Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2379575

Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. New York: Gotham Books.

Cable, D., and Judge, T. (2011). When it Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 96(1), Jan 2011, 95-112.

Kinzel, L. (2014, November 28). New Study Finds That Weight Discrimination in the Workplace is Just as Horrible and Depressing as Ever. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://time.com/3606031/weight-discrimination-workplace/

Ross, J. (2014, November 11). 9 Facts That Disprove The Most Common Stereotypes About Fat People. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/11/9-facts-stereotypes-fat-people/

Strange, C. C., & Banning, J. H. (2001). Educating by design: Creating campus learning environments that work. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

All photographs used in my presentation were accessed at Flickr.com and are licensed for public use under Creative Commons licensing. Or were taken by my mother before a dance recital when I was five. 

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Need Not be Present to Learn: Distance Learning from #ACPA15

I had a great ACPA experience. I learned a ton, I was challenged, I connected with other student affairs professionals, I debated the merits of ideas in the field, and I widened my professional circle. I supported my friends, asked questions to presenters, connected an awesome SA grad with an equally awesome SA pro, and I already have ideas of how to take my conference experience back to my campus.

The catch is that I accomplished all of this from the comfort of my apartment. I cooked dinner, took my dog for a walk, worked on a blog, called a friend, and in between, grew as a professional. This is all because of the vibrant Twitter backchannel, generous pros who documented their “a-ha” moments, as well as their struggles with the conference experience through blog posts and copious tweets. While I wasn’t able to feel the energy in the room of the annual Cabaret, I caught snippets of Instagram videos and more pictures than I knew what to do with. And you had better believe I will watch every single Pecha Kucha once they are posted online.

The days of in person conference attendance being a requirement for learning are over. There’s no excuse. Can’t afford to go to both national conferences or any conferences at all? So what. Get online. Engage. Ask questions. Critically reflect. I didn’t spend a single dime and still feel like I had one of the most fruitful conference experiences of my career.

Does my online experience take the place of sitting in a session and dialoguing in person? Of course not. The feeling of seeing an old friend, being challenged by a mentor, or running into a faculty member in the hallway will never be recreated online, but learning? Learning is always on the table. It’s up to you whether or not you take a seat. 

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Complaining vs. Commiserating

Let me set the scene: It’s Friday at 5pm, you’ve had a really rough week and a trusted colleague invites you for dinner or drinks and a little destress session from a long five days. You join them and a few other co-workers at the local bar or restaurant and the stories of the week start. Who had the worst student interaction, who had the worst duty call, who experienced the most ridiculous request from a parent, or perhaps the worst interaction with a supervisor.

We’ve all been there. We’ve commiserated and felt the sense of relief about having conversations with people who get it. Not with your parents who perhaps don’t really understand your job or a partner who empathizes and supports you, but doesn’t share your world, or friends who are still a little confused as to why you haven’t technically left college. There is something liberating about commiserating with people who simply understand.

I must admit that I am a member of this club. I have a group of six former colleagues who have since moved throughout the country, but we share a group text that has been going for the better part of two years. We’ve shared joys and sorrows, engagements, pregnancy news, the adoption of a wide variety of pets, and job search woes. What I love the most about this group of friends is the diversity of our conversations. Are there moments of pure steam-letting about colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, or University politics? Of course, but that is not the main connection to one another.

This leads me to question, when does commiserating in a healthy, reflective way border on complaining for complaining’s sake? I can’t help but think of all of the Twitter accounts that are based on the idea commiserating (or complaining), depending on your lens. Some of those accounts include SAProblemsBadSAPro, BadHallDirector, SAProSarcasm, BadSAPro, BitterSAPro, ResLifeSpouse, BitterHD, and the list goes on and on and on! Combined, these accounts have thousands of followers.

Are these accounts, and more specifically, conversations that in reality are complaining, moving our field forward? Are they doing us a service by pointing out the areas of frustration and tension or are they simply a way to play the “one up” game and think your woes are the worst?

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