Sometimes Life Succulents

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago. Life has changed a lot in that short period of time but after re-reading, I decided this post still has some useful information to help guide me in the days ahead. Technology has become even trickier but the focus of my work always needs to be how to best help a student. That might mean processing a graduation change on a Saturday to give a student some peace of mind or spending some of my vacation time learning how to set up a video appointment. Take care everyone. I hope technology is kind to you today and everyday. – Valerie

Wanting to learn more about succulents, I signed up for a 3 hour gardening course at a college. They couldn’t just email with information about the room location. Instead I needed a student number and a new email address for the host institution. This led to a maze of system logins, junked emails and general confusion. After about 2 hours through luck, intuition, and consultation with my personal IT advisor/husband, I got my new email and online profile set up.

When I finally was able to log in, I realized that the classroom number wasn’t listed anywhere in my profile/registration history/email inbox. They would email me later to my new email address which was forwarded to my pre-existing email. I will also mention the systems’ distrust of one another and their funneling into junk mail.

Two weeks later, I hadn’t received the email but I did manage to log into the system. After poking around I found the room number for the class! Five days before the class, I received an email saying that the course was cancelled. I was not surprised. I couldn’t see some of the gardeners I know and love being able to navigate all of that!

Gardening and plants should be calming. Good news is that students where I work recognize this. They organized a succulent planting session for commuter students. Anya, one of the peer mentors who organized the session, was chosen as a planting guide due to her love of plants, and her ability to keep them thriving!

At the end of the session, there were some leftover succulents so staff were invited to plant them. Anya provided some directions on planting, some soil, a pot and a succulent along with some carefully laminated instructions. I left with my new plant, directions and a smile on my face.

Life has changed rapidly in the past couple of weeks. Students will be taking classes virtually and we will all need to rely more on our technology to accomplish our work. As I launch into the world of working remotely, I will be guided by the knowledge that my connections need to meet the needs of the students without too many extra hoops. Thank you Anya, for the lesson in succulents and true connection. I will miss you and other students on campus, but I still hope we can make sensible human connections online.


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