Midday musings on the day of my tenth year of service celebration

I posted this on Facebook last night

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In under five minutes I got a ton of likes and comments from friends, family (some of whom I honestly don’t know), students and even parents of my students. I’m in the car of a colleague who has generously offered to bring me to the venue so that I wouldn’t have to ride the bus that will shuttle the rest of the faculty. This was the first instance I felt that this event was HUGE.

As you can see from my Facebook post, this is no big deal for me. Ten years is ten years. This recognition means nothing to me. (There. I’ve said it.) I realized I seek recognition elsewhere; I don’t want people celebrating my years of service. I want people to celebrate my hard work–the QUALITY of my service.

This is not to discount or invalidate people’s excitement or joy at celebrating their years of service. I applaud and respect and admire them. It takes dedication to stay with one company or institution for so long, right? I guess, by the same reasoning, you could say the same of me?

Loyalty has never been a problem for me, which is why it was easy for me to stay so long here, and why I lack the requisite or expected excitement over this. In my head, I go, “This was easy as pie. Why celebrate something that presented no challenge for me to achieve? Where’s the fun in that?” What I had really wanted was a recognition of skills and abilities. In my early years I had been frustrated because my rating had been a mere “Meets Standards.” I worked my ass off, didn’t I? I joined community events didn’t I? It wasn’t until years later that I understood why.

It wasn’t enough to follow; one had to LEAD in whatever capacity one can, and one had to do it with grace and courage. This is what I aspire to do. This is what I WILL do.

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