The calendar may read almost-February, but it still feels like New Year’s to me. We still see vivid, inspiring pictures of the possibilities that lie ahead, and not those dark, uninspiring portraits of opportunities lost.
So in honor of the year still feeling new, I wanted to share a short clip of something I find inspirational – the work that I do with high school and college students. I can already see some people cringing at how they would rather work with any population than a bunch of kids who think they have the world figured out, yet can’t get out of their own way. I’ve heard it before. I’ve seen the eye rolls when I tell people that I love working with high school and college students. During those conversations, I bring up one of my co-workers…
She wears so much makeup that she kind of resembles the Joker from The Dark Knight. Lipstick running up to her cheeks, eye shadow extending to her ears. She rarely has anything pleasant to say. When I offer “good morning”, she responds with, “yeah, what’s so good about it.” And, when I say, “at least it’s Friday”, she looks at my blankly and says, “I have so much to do this weekend, I don’t even know if I’ll have time to breathe”. She is the complete antithesis of what high school and college students are about – She sees a world that has already passed her by. Students see a world where possibilities are endless. She emits negative energy just riding the elevator with her. Students exude positive energy, even when they’re having a silly conversation about their favorite concerts. She goes through life as if she’d rather be alone. Students want to experience life with everyone around them.
Maybe you know my ornery, jaded co-worker. Or maybe you have one of your own. It might even be a friend or family member, who sucks the life right out of you, whenever you cross paths.
So, yes, I’d rather work with high school and college students, and even though it’s a different kind of a challenge than working with adult populations, here is how I approach the work I do with this fun-loving bunch! This is what has worked for me. Feel free to adapt it, and see if it can work for you! Just remember, don’t preach.
When 2013 began, I made a pretty bold statement. I predicted 2013 would be a good year. I may have even said it would be a damn good year. As I look back on 2013, in preparation for 2014, I’d like to think there was some truth to my prediction.
February – The entire month was a celebration because it’s my birthday month! Yes, I celebrate my birthday for an entire month! I’m not vain, I just like my birthday…and I think everyone should celebrate birthdays in as great of a way as they can.
April 9th – I signed the publishing contract for A Matter of Semantics. It was the first publishing contract I’ve signed…and hopefully the first of many more to come! Finally, someone observed how my writing is worthy of publication. After years and years of writing, it felt amazing to finally see my book in print!
Summer – Was named Secretary for the Board of Trustees, for the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Pretty sweet that my peers think that much of me!
June 22nd – First I attended the Alumni Reunion of my alma mater, Quinnipiac University. Then, my wife surprised me by inviting my friends out to my favorite bar/wing spot to unveil A Matter of Semantics. Good wings, lots of laughs, and a few beers may have been consumed! I have to admit, though, it still felt kind of weird (pompous, even!) to sign my name for my friends. New rule — If I become famous, my friends can’t ask for my autograph!
At some point in July – Went to the Yankees’/Oriole’s game at Yankee Stadium – tailgating and afterwards, a dance fest with some of my best friends. Can’t wait for 2014!
August 11th – Release party for A Matter of Semantics, for my friends and family members. I sat behind a table and signed books for 3 hours. Personal messages and notes to the people who have supported me the most. Thanks again, everyone!
August something-or-nother. I don’t remember the exact date, but I received my first royalty check from the publisher. It wasn’t much. BUT, it was worthy of celebration for no other reason than to validate that all the work I’ve put into A Matter of Semantics paid off. Literally.
September 25th – Birth of my daughter. I’m predicting she will be a strong woman, from a line of strong women. Feminism continues.
October 9th – Celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary! Years later, anytime I heard “Always and Forever” and “Umbrella”, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
December 16th – Updated my website. Check it out!
There were other highlights here and there, but those are the ones that stuck out the most! This year, I’m making an even bolder prediction – 2013 was good, but 2014 will be even better! I can’t say exactly what just yet. But, stick around…there’s tons of cool stuff on the horizon! I don’t make resolutions (not really my style), but as we start the new year, my motto will be – if you’re going to do it, do it right!
Doing a lot of things this year…and doing a lot of things right!