Monday, January 3, 2022
Yes, like many, I was saddened by the loss of TV personality Betty White on New Year's Eve at the age of 99--just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday. I have been fascinated by the many tributes and, indeed, tuned in for the SNL reprise of her Mother's Day host night (from eleven years ago!) on Saturday night. Why are so many of us intrigued by this near centenarian whom we have never met in person? I have mulled this as I complete the calculation of my fall semester grades, ready myself for presentations, commentary, and attendance at the 2022 AALS conference (which starts later this week), and prepare to start teaching for the spring semester.
My colleague and friend Stuart Brotman gets a lot of it right, imv, in this short post. I invite you to read it. Stuart is a lawyer embedded in our School of Journalism and Electronic Media (part of the College of Communication and Information) and on the Advisory Board for our Institute for Professional Leadership. Here's what I have culled from Stuart's piece and other articles I have read (and from just watching Betty "do her thing") over the past few days.
- She showed up.
- She brought her "A Game" to what she did.
- She embraced challenge.
- She was candid at the risk of showing herself to be less than perfect--even unattractive.
- She brought a sense of humor to her craft (including a sense of humor about herself).
- She loved people and life--or at least always made it look that way.
I am sure there is more. I will keep thinking on it, for fun. But as I assembled this list in my head, I realized it included a number of inspiring thoughts for the new year and the new semester. So, I invite you to honor Betty White's memory by adopting her norms--or at least some of them--as you begin your work in 2022. They are so positive and strong!
🎉 Happy New Year to all. 🎊 I hope 2022 brings you good health and joy.