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Friday, June 10, 2011

Liz's reflection

I have to say that this entire process of participation in SUSTAIN over the past two years has been life giving for me. Not easy by any means, but it has consistently enabled me to grow as a person, teacher, friend, and co-worker. The only problem is that I am constantly confronted with my own shortcomings in all these areas. This has required a level of courage I never knew I are my reflections

1. What worked? What would you celebrate?
I loved getting to know all the people in the Faculty collaboration. Ginger's ability to laugh at herself and us was always a joy. Samuel's silent musing often ended with the wisdom we were all looking for. Kathryn's transparent willingness to speak with passion about her commitments to the university and her discipline were eye-opening. Colleen's ability to balance the concerns of the math department and her own excitement about SUSTAIN was commendable. John consistently showing up and sharing his life experiences added richness. Chance's willingness to keep coming to the group even when he was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to participate was great. Pete's ability to be completely truthful about his experiences and feelings helped us all grow. Roger's wisdom and ability to articulate is always helpful. Linda's honesty about her thinking and emotion combined with her exceptional abilities as a leader helped us stay focused. Neal's participation always has a calming influence for me; it is like he is consistently seeing the value in what we are trying to do. Nina's thoughtful contributions always makes me ponder. I initially forgot to say how much I appreciate Dan, his enthusiasm for what we are doing is so refreshing. I sometimes think of him when I am discouraged, because I respect him so and if he thinks this might work, it actually might.

2. What is missing or yet to be done in order for the 100-student freshman iniative to be successful?
There is so much to still do....this feels a bit overwhelming.....
- recruit students
- develop and specify projects and client relationships
- establish the contextual learning at a detailed level
- develop a detailed assessment plan for faculty, students and community
- work though the financial details
3. What are your reflections on our last day's conversation?
I like how Linda started with a reminder about why we are doing this.
I feel like I bring in too much of my own crap to the conversation. I don't know how to be transparent, yet not weigh down the process with my personal issues. I felt a bit like I talked too much. I was too negative.
I think people were great about explaining their point of view. I really appreciated the openness. We uncovered quite a bit about the system and the oppression we feel.
Roger was so great in our conversation. As always, he saw things we could not.
4. What did you learn? Was there anything valuable?
I have to admit I read Linda's entry before I wrote this....I too have a bias to think how I might be contributing to the problems. To some extent this is a healthy way of approaching problems, but in another way it causes me to take too much responsibility for circumstances that we all create together. I am working on having an attitude of wonder around things. Where we can just say..." oh this and that happened, I wonder what will happen next...."

1 comment:

  1. Liz, thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. I was touched by how you articulated the good in everyone's presence. Nice!