As another semester winds down for me and some of my students take that momentous step toward the next phase of their lives after graduation, I was struck with the realization–yet again–that recognition is a very powerful thing in everyone’s life.
Aside from graduation or any of life’s other great events, the smaller things in life can also make a great impact than the event itself.
My department has an award, sponsored by one of my esteemed colleagues who has now retired, that recognizes excellence in our students, and each semester, I take part in the program for a variety of reasons. But one of the main reasons I participate is to publicly recognize one or two of my non-traditional students, those who study for a college degree despite their many obstacles and responsibilities–economic difficulties, cultural stereotypes, self-doubt, children and other family obligations, work, etc.
This semester, I once again recognized a non-traditional student, a woman with four children who works full-time, as the recipient of my English department’s Brandon Award. Needless to say, that small award carries more significance than the actual physical medal and certificate that the student received. It embodies her dreams, hard work, accomplishments, as well as serves as a reminder that she is a tremendous role model for her four growing children.
Her beam of satisfaction and gratitude for the award got me thinking again of the many people I want to recognize on a daily basis but rarely do because…I forget, I don’t have time, I feel silly, I don’t think it’s a big enough deal, etc. The list can go on, but the giving of the award reminds me each semester that a small token of recognition goes a long way. In essence, I need to recognize the people in my life more, to verbalize to them their significance and importance, that their small actions, words of encouragement, big dreams and hard work, etc. matter…even when they don’t feel as though it does.
So before I forget, or use the excuse that I don’t have time, or feel silly, or don’t think it’s a big enough deal, let me articulate to my beautiful Twinkles that you guys are incredibly awesome and that I love being part of this little community! After a long day, I love being able to read your comments and/or write little pieces of musings or recaps for you to enjoy. 🙂 More importantly, I appreciate your thanks and words of encouragement that reading a particular post made your day just a little brighter…because that makes my day that much brighter. 🙂
So from one twinkle to another, thank you! You guys are awesome!
OK, now back to more grading. LOL. Have a great day!