Every November I do a "Month of Gratitude." I started it around 2014 or so, with an aim to reflect on the good in my life. Scientists who are much smarter than I am say that writing down what you are grateful for boosts things like serotonin. I always feel like I can use a free boost of serotonin, so can't hurt to try!
This year, one of my days of gratitude was dedicated to AASE, or the Association of Academic Support Educators. The organization itself, and the work it does. But also the people. These are people I can genuinely call my friends.
Awhile ago Laurie Zimet coined the term "Asp-ish" - which essentially translates to "very giving, supportive, and generous". In fact, I remember vividly at one annual AASE meeting discussing the idea of AASE Awards (start thinking, I'll be asking for nominations in Feb!) and some members worrying that by giving awards to some members, we are excluding others. However, our desire to lift each other up and recognize accomplishments won the day. I just feel like that conversation very much encapsulates the spirit of AASE - inclusion, and lifting each other up!
Never has there been a group so quick to talk about each other's accomplishments, quick to advocate for equity for all , quick to advocate on behalf of students, quick to agree to co-author a book or an article, and quick to share a syllabus, share course materials, share powerpoints. It truly is an incredibly giving organization. As a group, we share our resources, both actual resources we use in class and time spent giving advice and mentorship.
I can't think of a more collegial and positive group, and I am so proud to lead, if only for awhile. On that note, I think we are all missing our in person gatherings. I think, in the past, we have gone into conferences feeling drained, burnt out, and yet left feeling energized and excited, simply after being around one another. I like that we can share ideas, but also be incredibly social.
To that end, I'm very much looking forward to seeing all of you in Texas. May of 2022 can't get here soon enough! Remember to Save the Date! And thank you Afton Cavanaugh for this fantastic teaser video
. A call for proposals will go out Mid December, and we will be updating you all with more details soon! Cheers to San Antonio, Cheers to Afton and St. Mary's, and Cheers to all of you!