On not knowing what’s next
Most of you are outside of the Virginia Intermont community who have a gander at this space, and so you haven’t much cared about the fact that VI’s intended merger with Webber International fell through today. Go and read about it if you want. I’ll wait.
All that really says: I, and a whole lot of people I work with, and a whole lot of students I teach, have no idea what our lives look like after July 1. VI has not officially closed yet. But the fact that the release talks about “moving with haste to guarantee accredited options beyond July 1 for our students who are not slated for graduation” gives you a clue how certain the path forward isn’t.
I’ve suspected that this was the direction things were heading for a while. I thought I was ready for it. I honestly didn’t have a clue, and having talked to a lot of sweet people today, they weren’t totally ready for the reality either.
So: if you want something out of me about our future beyond a massive shrug, I ain’t got it. Sorry. I may be able to do better next week.
What I know is this: I’m going up to campus tomorrow morning and running my mouth about physics and chemistry, and I’m going to do some stuff in a chemistry lab tomorrow afternoon, and in the midst of everything I’m going to listen to my students as they wonder about their own futures and how I can help them. Which is, more or less, what I’ve done for the past 14 years of my life. As long as I have stuff of that sort to do, I’m going to continue to do it.
A couple of weeks ago, after David Letterman retired and late night went into upheaval all over again, I remembered how Conan O’Brien carried himself at the end of his run on the Tonight Show and how impressed I was with how positive he was. Today, I watched that again, and got inspired all over again. Frankly, I think it’s the most Christian response to disappointment I’ve ever seen:
All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch. Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you. It’s just true.
There are two things that are true of my life in 2014.
I have not gotten exactly what I thought I was going to get.
And amazing things have happened to me.