June 4, 2011
Laugh at yourself
I need to remember the title of this post. Sometimes it is too easy to be very serious and not see the humor in my life.
Mind you, there are many serious things that ASP'ers deal with: students on academic probation, students facing dismissal, students with life events that disrupt their studies, teaching courses, sitting on committees. I am not suggesting that we laugh about the serious things that confront us.
However, there is plenty of room for humor and a laugh at oneself. Many years ago, a colleague advised that one always needed to laugh during hectic or stressful times because otherwise it would be too easy to become discouraged. He was right. Perspective is everything.
So what are some of the things that I laugh about?
- By the time I read a slew of student memos with multiple punctuation errors, I begin to wonder if I am the one who does not know commas and semi-colons!
- Last week I walked down to the administrative offices and couldn't remember why I was there.
- In the midst of a busy semester, I tend to pile rather than file. In an anti-clutter fit, I threw stacks of papers for later sorting into a series of boxes. To my chagrin, a student asked me what had happened because he had never seen my office so neat.
- Recently a student told me his name, and I forgot it within the conversation we had. After he left, I had to check our class photo files to remind me.
- I hurriedly photocopied a series of charts for class only to discover when I passed them out that the 2-sided function had printed every back page upside down.
- A colleague asked me why I didn't have any pictures or other items on the wall in my office. I had to laugh and point to a large picture leaning against another wall and admit it had been there for 3 years waiting to be hung once I decided what other things would go on the wall as well.
- After at least the twentieth interruption, I sent an e-mail off before another distraction could hit. Of course, immediately after hitting the send button, I realized I had misspelled my own name in a sentence.
- I attended a law school event which denoted on the invitation that "business casual" was the designated attire. On arrival in the appropriate attire, I discovered that almost everyone else was dressed in cocktail dresses and suits!
- A number of students had been late during class presentations, so I reminded my students to please be on time the next class. On the day, I got engrossed in a project and only made it to class 5 minutes late after one of my students stuck his head in my door and asked me if I were coming!
It helps to realize that as a human I will be fallible. If I accept that fact with good grace, it allows me to laugh at my imperfect moments. I learned long ago that perfection is just not always possible if I want to finish projects, keep up with the workload, and remain productive. Have you laughed yet today? (Amy Jarmon)
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