Cinco anos

Sunrise over Haleakala volcano

“Lisa, where do you see yourself in five years?”

This interview question has been on my mind a lot lately.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it really did get me to focus on the fact that while I have a ten year plan, I don’t have a five year plan.  And so I got to thinking:

I have talked about going back to school and working on my doctorate in Education, but haven’t been sure if I want to continue with Education Leadership or concentrate on something else. Hence my “dragging my feet” to apply.

I really want to be happy with what I’m doing: satisfied, content, EXCITED.  I can’t honestly say I am any of these right now.  Sure, this school year has started off better than last.  But that’s because I have a better idea of what I’m doing, not because I enjoy it.

I love teaching.  I love watching my students discover.  I love watching the “light bulbs” flash when they stumble upon the answer.  I don’t, however, love the politics of teaching … the required curriculum, the massive amounts of book knowledge mandated at times into almost a scripted form where I can’t even provide or allow time for my students to develop a love of learning.

So what is my five year plan?  Well, I want to work with two distinct segments of the population: the elderly and the young.  Pretty broad, I know.  My plan requires me to head back to grad school and complete a second Master’s.  I’m not sharing all of my plan right now as there are several benchmarks I need to accomplish before I can say I’ve truly achieved my goal.

All I can say is this: I checked the temp just now and it’s 64* outside.  SIXTY-FOUR DEGREES!

It’s going to be an awesome day!

Goal Setter

I did something tonite at dinner I haven’t done in a long time: I shared my goals with Hub.  I haven’t shared goals in a long time because I haven’t made goals in a long time.

I’ll be heading back to work in a little over a week (officially, although I’m going to go in next Tuesday & Wednesday to clear up the file fiasco I left last month when we went off contract).  I typically have a plan/rough agenda at the beginning of each school year.  Last year was the exception.  Now that I know what I’m doing (or at least have a better idea of what I’m doing), I can go to each of my campuses and share my vision for the new year.

I can’t wait!

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this alive.

No wonder I’ve been sleeping so well lately 🙂

A case for Facebook

Hub and I graduated from high school 30 and 29 years ago respectively.  Coincidentally, both our high schools are celebrating multi-year reunions this year.  His this weekend, mine late next month.  We went to a pre-reunion get-together with a few of his buds the other night. We had a good time although I kept asking myself, “Why are we hanging around with old people?” All kidding aside, weren’t we teenagers just yesterday?  When did the hands of time have their way with us?

The most interesting conversation starter of the evening was, “Hey I read on your Facebook …”  Yes, thank goodness for Facebook!  It’s living up to it’s goal of keeping everybody updated on what everybody else is doing.  Not to mention, talking about something posted helped to fill those always awkward gaps when we ran out of things to talk about.

So my question is this: if everybody has a Facebook page, why the need for reunions?  The purpose of reunions is to reconnect, catch up on what’s happened and share what’s happening.  We do this through Facebook.  Doesn’t this make reunions almost redundant?  Although, this IS San Antonio and folks around here never need an excuse to throw a party, so I might be losing my own argument.

I don’t have any plans to go to my high school reunion.  This nugget of information drives Mum & Da, not to mention the Spook, nuts.  For them, reunion attendance is a mandatory, no questions asked, experience.  Me?  Not so much.  I’m a fairly shy person when speaking to people face to face … even my own family.  Put a keyboard in front of me, however, and watch me come out of my shell.

I know there will be many former classmates that will miss me at my reunion next month.  I truthfully don’t know why that will be.  We “see” each other almost daily …

on Facebook.

CEO

It’s the first day of my summer vacation and what am I doing?  Planning for next year, of course!  Friends & family know I can’t sit still.  I’ve learned to take time and be reflective and am always looking to answer the following three questions:

  • What went right?
  • What went wrong?
  • What can I do to change what went wrong and make it right?

I was sharing one of my favorite team-building sites with a couple of colleagues yesterday and began to get very excited.  I can’t wait for the new school year to begin!  Yeah, yeah … I know … the old contract was mere minutes from wrapping up and I was already planning for the new one.  This is me.  Love me or leave me.

While I was sharing the one site, another site came to mind and then several books I’ve read and as I began to talk about a book I read in grad school that helped me kick off one of my best school years, I could feel the excitement building in my colleagues!

I owe my quest to be a CEO to Kathy Dodge Clay.  CEO stands for “Chief ENERGY Officer” (credit: Jon Gordon).  Dr. Dodge Clay was my Human Relations professor.  Let me tell you, I am the first to admit I didn’t expect to get as much out of her class as I have!

Human Relations was the one class I dreaded and the one I thought I’d get zero benefit from.  Oh, how wrong I was!

Dr. Dodge Clay began our first day with what I thought was mindless fluff … happy thoughts, “kumbaya” moments.  Standing in our big circle, I remember thinking it was going to be a loooong semester.

Of all my classes, my Human Relations class truly impacted me as an educator and as a leader.  I attribute my change in professional and life philosophy to the 18 weeks I spent in her class.  I now look for tools to motivate myself & other people.  If I find a gem, I pass it along.

Trust me when I say I spent the last two hours of my contract year sharing some incredible gems!  I explained to my colleagues how important it is to hop off the complain trainfeed the positive dog, and fill other people’s buckets.  I declared my commitment to be a continual CEO to my teachers and my colleagues.  Folks in the other department that share our floor were even tuning in.

Positive energy is contagious.  The challenge will be to keep everyone, me included, motivated during the next school year.  I’m up for it. 🙂

Although the work is hard, I’m going to have fun next year.  No doubt about it!

Empty Nester?

“You’re an empty nester so I didn’t think you’d mind me calling this late …”

And so began a phone conversation I had with one of my teachers last night.  Since it was past my bedtime, I had actually begun to drift off to sleep when my phone started ringing.  Please understand I don’t usually answer the phone after work hours unless I really need to speak to the person calling.  Since I really needed to speak to this teacher, I answered.

“Empty nester.”  What an odd term.  I never thought about Hub & me as being empty nesters as we never filled our nest with children in the first place.  The opposite of “to fill” is “to empty.”

Hmmm …

What bothers me is the assumption that because we have no children, it’s okay to call late at night.

And that, dear tatertots, is just wrong.