If you have been here recently, you might notice a post missing. “Being fat in higher ed”, originally written November 29, was removed following the temporary unpublishing of this blogsite. Also on the topic of missing things, I heard Jean Twenge, PhD author of iGen talk last week and what she had to say moved me closer to narrowing down what I want to study next.
I had questions ready to fire at Dr. Twenge on Thursday morning when she spoke at the Real Estate Circle of Excellence meeting for industry professionals. Among the crowd were top representatives from insurance companies, students, and members of my own school's community. Unfortunately, that morning's Q&A came to an end before the microphone reached me. During the author's second presentation on campus later that day, my previous zeal had waned. Lost in thought, I asked none of the questions I prepared. Instead I hoped to sift through everything here, bird by bird at the encouragement of Anne Lamott.
I am not done writing about personal things. There are still stories I have to share. Right now for example, I am buying a home in a volatile real estate market and it is proving to be an exercise in both non-attachment and non-judgment. When I reflected in November on my experience as a former college student now working in higher ed, there were some overwhelming times and emotions I had to face. Considering how this blog is not the right outlet needed to reconcile those memories, they were removed. After checking myself, I return to identifying ways I can be a stronger steward of the student's experience.
Dr. Twenge's presentation to both employer and educator audiences had similarities. She helped companies to understand iGen employees' more practical extrinsic motivations and early proclivity toward emotional safety that underlie their concerns or decision making. Faculty and staff heard a call for incorporating electronic textbooks and other technology, assignments relevant to future successes, and gearing discussions/learning to exams instead of for the sake of learning. Whatever we can do, it only works if it improves their learning and outcomes. This makes sense, but it wasn't until the second talk that I heard how the author proposed we make inroads with iGen students and employees.
Here I am with all these questions about internship longevity as a growing trend, and wondering if shame happens at the intersection of practicality and emotional safety until three words gel: 1) motivation, 2) independence, and 3) empathy. Academic advisors can understand students' motivation and occasional need to course correct. Following developmental models, we are clear on how to promote student responsibility. (Whether or not students act on this, we know, is beyond our control.) The greater conversation pertains to mindset, and how both educators and employers cultivate an environment inclusive of Boomer, Millennial, and iGen populations. Somewhere in the mix is a burning question that I can barely articulate but ask myself constantly. How could artificial intelligence ever truly replace the academic advising experience when there are vulnerable students of all ages and stages who will inevitably seek human rapport from adept individuals with an awareness of their curriculum who, I could further argue, are neither their parents nor their professors?
Creative reflections on academic advising and learning
Cultivating dual resilience: Teaching shame recovery and image rebuilding through academic advising.
Unless noted otherwise, all content copyright 2017-2020 by Tanya Wineland.