Why do I do what I do? Thirteen days without a day-off kinda thing? Well, something magical and miraculous happens pretty much every day.Who else can say that? Well, very few folks who work on college campuses can relate to days off, but any one who works on our college campus sure can relate to witnessing the magical miracles!
For instance, one day, a beautiful young woman came into my office and sat down and just looked at me with this funny smile. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I said
“Ooooh … I am so sorry, I speak with 85-plus students a day on average, and sometimes I just can’t remember the name ….”
She said, “Well, let me remind you. A year ago, you were shopping in B. Moss in Diamond Run Mall, and I was working there. Once again I was telling you my tale of woe of how I always wanted to be a nurse, but I couldn’t go to school because I had two small children and my husband gets transferred every two years, and you just turned around and looked at me and said: ‘All I ever hear is excuses – why don’t you just get off yer butt and do something about it.'”
(I was so embarrassed to be reminded, but she said, ‘No. You were right, you were shopping, you were tired, I was kvetching about the same old, same old.’)
She said she went into the back of the store and cried for an hour. I felt even worse! Then she said: “I wanted to wait to come and see you until I had completed my first year of nursing. Here I am.”
Here I am. Imagine. Magical miracle.
Another time I was loading my car with stuff from Jo-Ann Fabrics in the other Mall – I’m always in a mall, it seems, if I am not on campus. Anyway, a friend from church came up to me in tears. Her world just ended. She had worked at AMES for years and they just laid everyone off and oh, my God, what would happen to her now.
So I asked her, “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?”
She said she wanted to be a nurse. But she hadn’t finished high school. Guess what? GED, CCV and three terms of Castleton nursing down! Here she is.
That’s why I do what I do. That’s why I wear my Castleton name tag when I go shopping. Kinda like Inspector Gadget in the cartoons: “I am always on duty!”
The minister at my church refers to my “job” at Castleton as my ‘calling.’ It’s soul work at its very best. Last year, the students writing in the Spartan referred to me as “the dream-maker” and seriously, I sat in my office with tears in my eyes.
That’s the greatest compliment ever paid me. I’m not magical. I’m not miraculous. I have a big mouth and I have just been blessed with being in a position to give some pretty incredible people a platform from which to leap .. And so, yeah, sometimes, I give ’em a little shove. It’s so much fun to see ’em fly!
That’s why I became a Justice of the Peace – because a student asked me to marry her and her guy. That’s why I come in every day and I’m here late at night and it takes me so long to get my shopping done! Here I am. I’ll be 60 on Feb. 24. I’m breathin’, I’m above ground, I’m havin’ fun. This is my dream. Don’t you dare tell me you can’t make yours come true.