February 11, 2016

Task force

So far this year, I have been posting every three days, but this week just got so hectic! I had submitted a proposal for an Independent Study that I never heard back from, and then, four weeks into the semester, it showed up on my schedule. I'd made a shell of a class, but since I hadn't heard back, I figured it wasn't approved and didn't do much of the prep work. So I spent a lot of this past week scrambling to get a few weeks of material together.

We also had a huge meeting last week with the Dean of our college - it was late in the afternoon, and I had to pick up Noah from daycare, so I asked one of my colleagues to send me a text if it was anything important. Turns out, it was: we are going to get our own Languages department within the College. (Right now, we are part of the Communication department, which is a strange combination - we have similar goals, but very different needs as far as teaching and administration.) So the Dean gave his proposal, explained his vision a little, and told everyone that we could choose to stay in our current department, or we could move to the new department. He said he'd be putting together a task force to work on forming the new department, but that he was hopeful about what this could bring to the College as well as to the University as a whole.

Yesterday, the phone rang in my office, and I looked at the caller ID: it was from the Dean. Not the Dean's office. Him. Personally. This is kind of a BFD ... there are about eight or ten people between us who could relay a message. But he called me. Directly. And asked me to represent non-Hispanic languages on his Department Formation Committee.

I kept my cool on the phone, but after, I did a little happy dance in my office. There are a lot of people in this department, and he asked me. I had met with him late last semester while we were nominating department heads for our current Communication department, and he asked what my goals were at this school. I told him entirely honestly: I want to see languages grow to where we have our own standalone department, and I want to be as involved in administration as I can - I'd love to be the coordinator of the French program. I don't have a PhD, but I know my job and I love both teaching and supervising, and that's what I'd love to do long-term.

Maybe he called other people first and they said no. Doesn't matter. I'd like to think he remembered our chat and wants to see what I can bring to this new department.

This semester, things feel different. I'm not the newest faculty member anymore, and I've taught enough courses/enough students to generally understand what to expect each semester. It's getting easier, and I've established myself to my department head (and to my Dean) as a determined and tenacious go-getter who has great ideas and big plans. It's been a rocky couple of years working here, but I'm finally hitting my stride and figuring out what I can do to make this a great job for me.

Even beyond the work itself getting easier, I think a lot of things are getting easier/better at work because my confidence is on the rise. When I am very big, I am fairly quiet. I do my work and I do it well, but I don't stick my neck out too much. But now, just like back in 2010 and in California, I am more outgoing and I am more vocal. I get myself out there. I make myself seen. I stand up for myself - and for our program.

This is such an incredible feeling. I love this assertiveness just as much as I love the smaller clothes.

Maybe even a little more.


Amy said...

I love the positivity in this post! That's amazing that you're getting a relationship with the Dean directly!!

Jennie Palluzzi said...

This is amazing!! Go you. So proud!!! XOXO

Christina said...

Happy for you, Mary! You work hard and you deserve the professional accolades and recognition!

Losing The Rolls said...

Wow Mary, this is great news. I am doing my own happy dance for you. You are strong and I am proud of you.

DollSquirrel said...

This is such great news! Congrats Mary :)

Debby said...

Way to go Mary! You are rocking life!