Saturday, April 10, 2010

A job well done.



(me, doing the introductions for the conference this morning, as conference organizer extraordinaire!)

Today was our conference on campus, the one for which I have been planning and working and organizing all year. I spoke of it in an earlier post here.

We had over 120 students and faculty on our little piece of Erie earth today, from 13 different institutions. It was a HUGE response for our school to get, all due to my own efforts at promoting and recruiting participation from the region.

Organizing the conference, which I did basically single-handedly, was an UNBELIEVABLE amount of work. So many details to think about, so much to coordinate, that I never thought I could pull it off. I was nervous and anxious and kept thinking that sure I MUST have overlooked SOMETHING.

Today, I was waiting for the big catastrophe to hit.

Anticipating the problems to unfold.

And then.....the day came off beautifully. Without a hitch. No glitches to speak of, not even with the technology! Now THAT was a miracle!

I mingled and greeted and encouraged students all day long.

And I got rave reviews from the faculty and students from our visiting schools.

They told me that they appreciated all of the hard work that it took to pull off this day so well. They thanked me for a great conference. They told my I had done a great job.

And I HAD done a great job. I was FLYING today, on the wings of a job well done. I am GOOD at this. Everyone thought it looked easy. That is the magic of doing things well - even difficult things - making it look simple.

Meanwhile, the faculty from my own institution could barely bother to even just SHOW UP. Three of them left before the Keynote speaker's talk. The fourth disappeared sometime thereafter. Only one of my colleagues stayed to the bitter end. Nary a thank you. Not one single "wow, what a great day this was!" No appreciation for what I had done. Zippo.

And it made me question, again, just WHY I did all of this work? Hosting the conference was not MY idea, by the way. I was "encouraged" to do this by the others in my department, and I just agreed.

And as I stood on the stage at the end of the day, watching the auditorium empty after the awards were given out, I KNEW why I had done it. I did it for those students, who had a most amazing experience today, sharing their work, engaging in academic discourse, and testing their wings. I let each of them FLY today, too.

And there is no more worthy thing in all the world than to help someone else FLY.

2 comments:

Christine Claire Reed said...

Bravo, Chris! YAY! :)

Christiana Spiritguide said...

So today I got yet another email from one of the visiting advisors, who called me an "organizational genius." It's nice to be appreciated, at least by SOMEONE for all my hard work.