A Message from Gage Paine

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. ~ Patrick Young

For some reason, this quotes seems appropriate today. As I write this, I am in my office while the university is officially closed. I’m one of the folks who could get to campus before the University closed on Jan. 28. I know many people are frustrated with the way the weather decision played out, but… see the quote above. This weather call was particularly difficult to make leaving some folks relaxed at home, some stressed on the roadways and some wondering why they were on campus.

Weather is one of those aspects of life we can’t control. We can chose to complain about it and be frustrated or we can choose to make the best of things and move on. Weather is one of the experiences that can teach us both about good planning and about flexibility. We can have all the best plans in the world but we can’t control the weather. We can read all the weather signs we want but we can’t make it rain or stop the sleet no matter how important our plans are to us. Weather teaches us an important life lesson – we need to plan, but we have to remain flexible.

Working with people is a bit like working with weather. We can plan, have policies and procedures, do everything right – then we let the people in and they get creative and strange and often wonderful things begin to happen. We have many different responsibilities in our various jobs, but they all come down to one thing: how can we make it possible for students to learn, grow and better able to handle the twists and turns of life.

Flexibility is important for a healthy life. Physically it helps prevent injury, makes activity easier and more fun. It also makes it possible for us to do what we want – from bending over to playing with our kids (or grandkids) to getting outside whenever we want to. Psychologically, flexibility helps us face challenges (large and small), allows us to adapt to changing circumstances and reduces stress. And we can become more flexible with practice. So next time life, or the weather, throws you a curve, take a deep breath and go with it – you can’t change the weather anyway.