I’m afraid there will be a lot of nostalgia, self congratulation, and general indulgence—is this a new thing?—on this blog over the next few months as I transition from UMW to Reclaim Hosting. I believe this will be temporary, but I wanted to provide a warning anyway given it could get ugly quick.
I finally got around to picking up my UMW mail today, and I was surprised with this gem of a letter from the Offices of Disability Services.
Wow, how cool is this? I never got a letter from an office before highlighting something cool an anonymous student said about me. Kudos to Sandra Fritton, the new Director of the Office of Disability Services, for this simple and quite effective form of outreach and promotion to help create a sense of purpose and community.
As for the student’s remarks, they make me very happy. The question came up whether I’ll miss teaching after leaving UMW, and the answer is no. I will definitely continue to teach here or elsewhere. That said, I will miss being embedded in an institutional community of higher education full time. That’s all I’ve know since 1989 when I became a college freshman. I’ve continuously been part of higher ed since, whether as a student or an employee. I think I’m going to miss so many elements of being part of that community full time, and most of all my personal, day-to-day interactions with students.
I write many, many letters of recommendation for students, and I must have taught well over 300 or 400 students at UMW since I got here in 2005. I have no idea the student they are referring to, but the simple idea that our humanity is what helps students through their educational journey must never be forgotten. Say what you will about institutions, but partnering with faculty and rotting the minds of students at UMW has been a deeply human experience for me.