Friday, June 11, 2010

I Need A Vote

I've started this post about 15 times.  There's alot of history, and how much is really relevant?

Ok, here goes.  Maybe the Cliffs Notes version will be enough.  Oh, bullets.  I love bullets.

  • August 2003 I started my dream job, my first faculty position at a community college in northern Kentucky.  They previously had no full-time science faculty, so I and another female faculty member were hired to develop a Biology department and all course offerings, from general Biology to Anatomy/Physiology and Medical Microbiology for Nursing students.  She left after the first year.  I stayed for six.
  • July 2005 I became Division Chair.  The opportunity kind of fell into my lap, but I very much enjoyed becoming involved in academic administration.  In some ways it was easier to develop the new department when I was in charge of allocating some of the resources and hiring the faculty.  My first year as Division Chair I received the highest rating possible from the Provost for my end-of-year evaluation.
  • August 2006 found that Provost retiring and a new one being hired.  A woman with her sights set on a college Presidency, and all her minions were her stepping stones.
  • May 2007 said Provost called me into her office and stripped me of my position.  With a number of personal zings and choice words in the process.  I limped to my corner to lick my wounds.
  • The 2007-2008 academic year was a tough one for me.  I returned to my position as a full-time faculty member amid the whispering gossip of a small college.  Students who were expecting the "easy" part-time faculty member were assigned me instead, and we were all resentful of the situation.  Somehow I survived.
  • The 2008-2009 academic year was basically Me Being Pregnant.  I had a new Division Chair for a boss, someone I had supervised previously who actually respected me, and that made a huge difference.  I was utterly elated every day since I woke up and whispered "I'm pregnant!" to myself before I got out of bed.  I surved Daily Sickness (it was more than just the Morning - everyone said that meant I would be having a Girl) and heartburn (you've seen The Hair so just IMAGINE!).
  • The 2009-2010 academic year was Me With A Wee One.  I quit my job in June and got a new position at another community college very near my folks in July.  I spent the year teaching courses and trying to adjust to (a) life as a new, single, working mother, and (b) a new job at a new place.  Not to mention a move to my parents and then a move into a new house in the middle of all that.
Now do you understand why I'm crazy?

The end of academic years always brings me to a sort of self-reflection.  What did I accomplish, where am I, and where do I want to be?  This year is no different.  Add to that the new theme of "what kind of person so I want to be as a role model for my daughter" and there's alot to think about.

I have decided that I am interested in getting back into Academic Leadership.  I am interested in once again making a difference, in making decisions that help students and programs to thrive and flourish, to provide opportunities to faculty and staff and students to make their programs the best they can be.  In my planning for next year I have quite a bit of Professional Development planned.  In fact, I may be starting a Master's Degree program (holy crap, what the hell am I doing, I have a ONE YEAR OLD).

So the DAY after we come back from vacation, I am attending a Conference for Women.   There are two "Tracks" - they have two seminars scheduled for each of the time slots - so you pick one.  Some of them are easy choices.  But I'm stuck on two.  And therefore need your help.

Choice One:  Should I attend
How To Say The Right Thing In Tough Situations - tips and techniques for navigating delicate interactions like a pro

OR

Conflict Management Skills Especially For Women - how to keep your cool, stand your ground, and positively resolve conflict

Choice Two:  Should I attend
Presenting Yourself As A Woman Who Is Going Places - super strategies for presenting a powerful positive image

OR

How To Keep Difficult People From Ruining Your Day - take charge of difficult situations and impossible people

The titles of the sessions I have already decided on are:
How To Communicate Like A Pro
A Brand-New You - Assertiveness Skills That Lead To Success
Learning To Lead

Alternatives I have considered - at the breakfast, I might try to link up with someone and see if they are attending the "other" session I am interested in.  I can suggest we get together after and trade notes and perspectives.

I might also attend a "part" of both sessions.  If I start in one, but it's not that good, I can skip to the other.  But what if the first one is really good?

Ok, internets, I need your input!!!!!!

5 comments:

Funky Mama Bird said...

Hhmm... going on titles alone, I would say to attend
Conflict Management Skills Especially For Women

and

Presenting Yourself As A Woman Who Is Going Places

Because I think the first one is actually going to help you with the whole, keeping difficult people from ruining your day, since you'll have the conflict resolution skills. I also don't believe there is always such a thing as "Saying the right thing" for every situation, so I think the other one might offer more concrete material.

Just my thoughts though. =)

hopeful said...

1) Conflict Management Skills Especially For Women - definitely

2) Presenting Yourself As A Woman Who Is Going Places

Exactly the same as Funky Mama Bird so you're now 2/2! The conference sounds really good and great idea to trade notes with someone in another session.

Let us know which ones you choose-

FruitFish said...

I totally agree, and made the decision before peeking at what the other two ladies had to say.
I don't know why exactly, I just think that since you are a SMC/Choice Mom that maybe you already have a feel for saying the right thing (putting yourself in the situation) and have probably dealt with keeping people ruining your day for the same reason. Maybe I'm totally off and apologize if I am!

Sara said...

LOL, no point in saying it but I agree with the previous posters. And I checked with a couple of friends in academia who said the same thing. These seem to be the most geared toward your goals.

Laraf123 said...

Sounds like a great conference and wonderful opportunity! I like the second options in each option/time slot.

Sometimes I fantasize about getting my doctorate and finding an academic position. Don't think it's really possible with a 3 and 1 year old. I don't even have time to read my mail.

I really admire the life you have made for yourself!