Monday, September 27, 2021 (Day 269)
Relaxing Music for the week: Matamua: Deuter (9:47) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-ndoU0_bf8
Question: Describe one or more interesting people you’ve met through traveling.
Answer: Wow, that’s a hard question because I’ve met A TON of interesting people through traveling, many who’ve became true friends. Most of the interesting people I’ve met have been through the various types of Life Design Catalyst workshops, presentations, and trainings I’ve done since I started doing these sessions in the early 1990’s. Many of these relationships started at National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and On Course conferences, then through First-Year Experiences and various other conferences. When I thought about the most interesting person that I met, I have to give a shout-out to my dear friend Jeff Gardner, who past away many years ago. He was one of the first people in NACADA that took me in and made me feel like I was part of something special. It was such a shame when he past away, because I felt like a piece of me left this earth when he past away. Those who knew Jeff understood the positive impact he had on people, either through his “Humor in Advising” sessions to his “game nights” (that turned into game mornings) at conferences and regional meetings. Just thinking about him brings a smile to my face. But to be honest, he’s just one of many, many others who are not only interesting, but also have made an impact on my life in a positive way. And to all of you, know that you’re in my thoughts and grateful for all of your love and support over the years!
As a Black person and a male in higher education, it’s disturbing to read stories about a troubling trend in higher education – a decrease in the number of males and Black males going to college. I know it’s really hard, especially when you think about the costs, but as a society, we must find a way to help makes things better. Here are two articles that hit home for me this morning:
- A ‘Loud and Clear’ Call to Invest in Black Men – https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/09/27/college-leaders-seek-boost-enrollment-black-men
- An NYU professor says fewer men going to college will lead to a ‘mating crisis’ with the US producing too many ‘lone and broke’ men – https://www.insider.com/growing-trend-fewer-men-in-college-leading-to-mating-crisis-2021-9
Two articles with different themes, but both addressing the need for males to attend college. I have a few thoughts; first and foremost for me starts with relationships. For example, at my institution (UNCG), we had a great person who ran our minority males program, giving our minority males someone to challenge them, someone who cared and supported them, someone who made sure they could be successful. He left – and they didn’t fulfill the position. And now, there are VERY few minority males staff that provide that same kind of support. To be honest, how many institutions have male faculty and staff that they can identify with? That they can relate to? That can understand their situation? When an institution is driven by numbers, they forget to see the person – and it’s hurting our males, and specifically, our black males. It’s time to be the change we wish to see in the world, right?