Don’t Underestimate Students
I wish that Dr. Deborah Daiek could have walked through the library this afternoon to see students sitting around tables and in the atrium diligently working on condolence notes. Surrounded by crayons and pieces of paper, the students were very engaged in their work. She would have been moved by the interaction that the students were having with each other and the kindness they were showing to someone many had not met.
Dr. Daiek’s mother died last Sunday; something that the students learned about today. Some have worked directly with Dr. Daiek, but most did not know her. Yet all have benefited from the work she has done on campus. And they responded to her kindness.
At the end of the day, a colleague and I were reading the cards and were very moved by the heart felt expressions of support.
I put out a bowl to collect money for flowers to which students made contributions. The student athletes who are part of the SASS program took up their own collection for flowers.
The cards will be waiting for Dr. Daiek when she returns to campus next week. I trust that they will give her comfort during a stressful period. But they also serve as affirmations for how she quietly touches the lives of students through her support of quality programs that benefit them through Learning Support Services.
Last week, I offered students the opportunity to participate in Middle School Night which will be taking place on 26 March 2012. We have an eight foot table at which my students will develop games, interactive activities, and handouts concerning student success. The target audience will be eighth graders.
Today, I asked students interested in working Middle School Night to sign up so that I could know who was working on the project. The list would also allow me to compile a contact list so that students could communicate with each other. I can also turn over the list to the individual coordinating this campus event.
Ten students signed up to take responsibility for our table. Several others indicated an interest in participating in Middle School Night but were prevented from doing so because of work or commitments for other classes during the time the event is taking place.
Sometimes, students do not respond because we don’t give them the opportunity to do so. But, once given the opportunity, they are excited to participate in worthwhile events.
I don’t know what my students will prepare for Middle School Night. But it will be well thought out and of excellent quality.
Generally, international students and others from the countries represented take responsibility for setting up the displays. However, for these four countries, any student who is interested in helping out can participate.
The single student from Mexico was concerned when he was volunteered to do a display because he didn’t think he could do it himself. I told him that he didn’t have to; that he had colleagues who would help. At the time, I did not have anyone in mind. But I had faith in the students.
Today, when I was getting the lists together of students who were working on each display, I was not surprised at the number of students who signed up for each country. A culinary student wants to bring in food. Another student already has ideas for the poster. And anther has many artifacts.
I did not have the opportunity today to talk with the teams who are forming for the other three countries, but I know that things will come together for them, too.
I did not watch much election coverage so I did not see former student John Dalton on television with Mitt Romney. However, thanks to Mohamed Nouadir, I do have an image of John from tonight’s victory party.
Since I have met John and had the privilege to work with him for the past couple of years, he has helped bring many speakers to campus including Rick Snyder when he was still an unknown nerd running for Governor, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, and Fred Krager who was on today’s ballot.
John is also a candidate for the Board of Trustees at Schoolcraft College.
Too often, we do not see the ways in which our students commit themselves to doing work in the community.