“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.”
–An excerpt of Merlyn addressing Arthur from The Once and Future King by T.H. White
I would dare to venture that learning is the thing for all of us, not just King Arthur. It’s also one of the interesting benefits of working in student affairs. We are always learning. We learn from our students, from our work, from our experiences and certainly from each other. That’s really one of the opportunities we get to take advantage of at gatherings like last week’s Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) conference in New Orleans.
As student affairs professionals, these moments also provide us with the opportunity to teach, to share expertise and inspire one another. Many of our Division staff did just that last week by presenting their discoveries, research and experience to fellow professionals in the higher ed community. This tradition of sharing information and best practices…or even the occasional mistake, makes us all stronger as well. We also know that the highest quality learning takes place in partnership with excellent educators.
So as we move into this very busy time of year, take a moment in your day to ask yourself if there is something you can share with your colleagues that would help them grow? Maybe there’s something you’d like to learn more about and all you need is a good teacher. I’d like to offer a special thanks to all those who represented their work and the work we do each and every day with our colleagues at NASPA. Their willingness to share makes us all stronger, as does our willingness to learn from each other. For a full list of our staff who presented this year, stop by our Standouts page.