Park off cliff drive

This park is not deserted. I was expecting this to be a quiet space without any distraction. But instead my mind is cluttered with the conversations of those around me. Phone conversations, meaningless to me, but meaningful to them, become the new norm. This is Exhibit 1 in the argument of the overcrowded world. My favorite exhibit, however, is the noise. Growing up in the OC has flooded my ears with the always constant buzz from the freeways. That's why the nighttime is so scary–the absent of that buzz. The buzz comforts me, cradles me, and rocks me to sleep–always. While this park has the familiar buzz (this time from PCH). It also has a newness to it. Visually paired with a landscap I've never seen before, my ears–my senses are tempted to explore. //

On my way to University President. (the next 30 years of my life)

People ask me what I want to do with my degree and I answer, "become a university President." It's a scary thought. But I feel like I have no choice. I love reading about Higher Education so much, that I can't see myself doing anything else.

I recently contacted the Arizona State University President, Dr. Crow, to get some tips on my path towards higher education administration. Dr. Crow was instrumental in the refocusing of ASU, and maybe even the whole field of universities. You can read more about his vision, "A New American University", it's pretty interesting stuff.

But so my email bounced back and forth a few times and I eventually got a scrape of advice from his Communication Coordinator that he gave to someone a year ago. I've included the text in full:

Thank you for your e-mail and the opportunity to help you in your quest. While I don’t believe that there is a single, exclusive pathway to success in my field, there are some things that are vital to a successful career in higher education.
One is having a passion for teaching and learning. Neither begins or ends with college. You can’t effectively administer a process that you don’t understand from all perspectives: student, teacher, researcher and administrator. Find your area of passion and build from it. Read all you can about everything you can. To this day, I still teach a class and I still consider myself a learner. This is how you can best identify how knowledge delivery can be improved and tailored to the needs of students.
From the knowledge you gain, develop a vision. Something that you must work hard and creatively to accomplish. Look for opportunities to strengthen and test your leadership skills. Be willing to collaborate with others to bring your idea to fruition. By setting a goal, inspiring others to work cooperatively toward its achievement, and ultimately realizing that vision, you are testing a process that will be repeated over and over as the head of an institution.
Be willing to take calculated risks and do not be afraid of failure. Sometimes ideas work, sometimes they don’t, but you can’t let the fear of failure keep you from trying to things. It’s important not to be reckless in this respect, yet it is only through trial and error that real progress is made.
I hope that these points are helpful to you in some way and I wish you the best as you work toward reaching your goals.
Michael M. Crow

I am seeking to gain knowledge in every field that I can. I hope to come from a Community Life start to reach a Student Conduct level, then continue to Education policy, and tha\en jump to President. 

Here is my life plan (I am currently 20):

  • 21: Graduate with Batchelor's in Communication with minor in Graphic Design
  • 23: Graduate with Master's in Student Affairs.
  • 24: Work as a Community Life Director / RES Hall Director
  • 26: Graduate from the WASC Assessment Academy
  • 28: Graduate with Master's in Communication (allowing me to be a professor)
  • 33: Transition into Student Conduct
  • 35: Earn my Doctor of Education in Higher Education Policy
  • 40: Work as Dean of Students
  • 41: Earn my Doctor of Organizational Communication
  • 45: Become Vice President of Student Affairs
  • 50: Become University President

Whoa, in just about 30 years, I will serve as a University President. That's a scary thought.

Run more, Pray more, Grow more.

New Year's Resolutions are a lost art, one that most people now-a-days don't engage in. Right before all the madness of New Year's Eve, I sent out a group message to my friend group of eight people asking them about their resolutions. No one responded initially, until later did someone make a joke of their own resolution. This is what resolutions are now, either non-existent or a joke.

My own personal resolution is the title, "Run more, Pray more, Grow more". I feel like it encompasses the stage of life that I am personally at. I see bad habits trying to creep in to my daily routine, stress overflowing and an inability to solve problems. Normally I just get past it, but this year I want to put in place a foundation of stress relief: running. I can see many benefits in running; stress relief, endurance training, increase in metal will power, feeling better, etc. I just hope they can outweigh the cost of waking up early every morning.

Prayer is a huge topic that I don't think I can (a) discuss to the fullest extent in this post or (b) discuss with full intelligence on the topic. I don't know a lot about prayer, but I'm learning. This year I'm set out to seek time with God more through prayer. Both in daily life and struggles and also through dedicated time spent alone with him. 

Grow more is kind of the catch all for the resolutions. I just want to grow. I want to be a better person today than I was yesterday. This is involved in some very general areas (such as faith, principals, education) and also very specific areas (such as design, encouragement, never letting the trash pile up). This one I can use as an excuse to motivate myself when I feel like I'm not doing my best work.

I feel that we are the cusp of the ending of New Year's Resolutions. I'm not completely sold that it's a good thing. I love mine, I love doing them. It allows me to grow throughout the year and ultimately be the best person I can be. I'm all about personal growth, however. I think it works because it is more vague, while I set up tactical objectives in accomplishing this, I don't have it included in my resolution. It gives me some wiggle room.

So, let's take this to the branch. Let me know specifically what you think about New Year's Resolutions right now.

Marty Card

I enjoy University Life. I could get lost on University websites looking at the Student Life section. I love conversing about it and getting other opinions on it. 

So with that in mind, I was casually watching a video made by the Associated Students of Biola University on events they have coming up. My jaw was on the ground drooling over all the iMacs they have when they started talking about their Red Sea Card. I immediately perked up. This was a way for them to gain support for their home basketball games on campus. After all, this was my job (home athletic event promotion) and we had been in discuss about a point system where students can earn rewards.

After sneaking on to campus as a "prospective" transfer student, I met with the Spirit Coordinator at Biola. She told me some information on the program after I expressed interest in starting one on campus. 

The idea is simple. Students carry around their Red Sea Card and find a representative at home basketball games. They get one stamp for attending and two stamps for wearing their Red Sea shirt. After ten stamps, they turn the card into the office and get entered to win an Annual Disneyland Pass.

The MARTYCARD is born.

I took the same concept and applied it to our campus. We would call ours: the MARTYCARD, after out fearless mascot. We decided to expand ours to include all sports. Since we already identify one game per week to heavily promote (Game of the Week(), we would use those as our chances for stamping. Bring your MARTYCARD to a Game of the Week and receive one stamp. Wear your Screaming Eagles shirt and receive an additional stamp. After ten stamps, turn it in to be entered to win the grand prize (yet to be determined). Students can turn in as many cards as they want.

The program has yet to be released, so we'll see how it works out. I'm pretty excited for it.