Validation presents itself in many ways. Today it arrived via a graduating student’s visit. In the short hour that we visited I was delighted to learn that he realized that so many of the things we have students do in our program added up to more than the sum of their parts. He learned this when he went out into the world to apply what he learned. He also confirmed that the things that we told him mattered in the field of emergency management- really mattered.
Honestly, I almost cried. Not because I was ever unsure about what our program does for students – I have always believed wholeheartedly that we are doing the right things to help them grow into the professionals they will be out in the field; but because I was able to see so clearly the results of the seeds that were planted in this young man – the growth from an unsure student to a confident young professional. And yet, it was more than just that – it was this particular student. This student was always quiet and I was never really sure how much he had absorbed beyond the coursework. Because the coursework is merely the foundation for our students – we try to give them so much more in their time with us. Some students clearly absorb all the additional efforts we put into them, but some we cannot tell from outward appearance. Some stay to themselves and quietly move through with little comment – such as the student who visited me today.
As such, the recognition that the growth we hope for our students has been realized in this specific student was particularly powerful and moving. It made me so happy for him and it provided me a gift that can never be taken away – the gift of knowing that even in the quieter recesses of our student cohorts, our program is helping students accomplish their goals. This was a good day folks…a very good day.
Day one thousand four hundred of the new forty – obla di obla da