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Day 254 & 255 - Details, Details

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Yesterday I drove to Marysville, California, to the campus of Yuba College, one of two main colleges in our college district, for New Employee Orientation. In addition to finding out about benefits, computer systems, and processes, I also got to meet the head of the branch of the union that represents my employees (I am in a management position and will not be joining the union) and learn more about the labor agreement between the district and the union. The district is pro-labor, and it sounds as if the relationship is very good. I do not expect any problems, but it was good to get confirmation that my transition to my position should be smooth as far as that is concerned.

The highlight of the day was the presentation given by the Chancellor, Dr. Douglas Houston, who is head of the district. The two colleges in the district (Yuba and Woodland Community College) each have a president who reports to the Chancellor. Dr. Houston's talk was energizing, enthusiastic, and captivating. He is a natural leader, and he inspires leadership in others. Dr. Houston works closely with the Board of Trustees, and he was emphatic that he doesn't want anyone serving as a Trustee who aspires to higher political office. He wants people who care about the colleges and our mission and vision, not someone who is looking for a stepping stone to the state Capitol. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear him speak, and hope that there are other occasions in the future.

After the orientation, I was able to meet briefly with Roy Jewell, the Director of Fiscal Services, with whom I'll be working closely on budget and finance issues. It was nice to start building a relationship with him. He is also relatively new in position, and he is also new to academia. He was a career military office whose most recent tour was in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013. He affirmed what Dr. Houston said, that it is important to bring in leaders for the highest level positions in the District. Roy said that was one of the reasons why he and I could be brought in. Before, positions were usually filled internally, and choices were made based on seniority, rather than ability. Once again, I was reminded how grateful and fortunate I am to have been chosen for this position!

I drove home feeling pretty euphoric, but that feeling was quickly brought back to reality after I started driving through the hills on the way back to Lake County. There was plenty of evidence from the Rocky Fire (nearly 70,000 acres, now 88% contained). Charred trees rising from blackened landscape, with all the scrub and grass burned away, tire tracks the evidence of the firefighters who battled back the blaze. It was awesome and devastating in the true sense of those words. Black and soot on one side of the freeway, golden grasses waving in the breeze on the other.

I wanted to tie up as many loose ends today as possible, since tomorrow I'll be at the Fall Convocation at the Woodland Community College (our new "parent" college). I had to get fingerprinted and also have a tuberculosis test. The fingerprinting was easy and relatively painless. Getting the TB test was a bit more challenging, but I did find a clinic that did it on the spot, Unfortunately, that means I have to go back to the clinic on Thursday before our campus's mini-convocation at 3pm for the results before driving back to campus.

I also brought Steve with me to show him my office and introduce him to some people I'll be working with. Some he had already met from when he was taking his cooking class. He even introduced me to his instructor, who will be preparing the dinner for the mini-convocation on Thursday.

The hectic week has thrown a wrench into my exercise routine. I was up at 4:30 Monday morning, and only had time for a 10-minute cardio routine before I had to take my shower and get ready for the drive to Marysville. It will be the same tomorrow - I'm meeting the Dean at our campus at 6:10am to drive to Woodland. Today I took a break from Shaun T and tried one of Coach Nicole's total body challenges. Not bad, but not nearly as vigorous as the Focus T25 sessions. Friday I am driving to Sacramento to spend the weekend with my folks and help them with the final settling-in at their new apartment (hanging pictures, organizing the office, getting Netflix working) and some shopping at the places that are only in the bigger cities, like Costco and Trader Joe's. It will be a fun weekend, but Steve has to work so he and the dogs will stay home.

There is still a part of me that can't quite believe that I have this job. It's so perfect, that it feels like a dream. I fear that I'll wake up and realize that it was all a mistake, although yesterday certainly did a lot to confirm that it is real. I feel so blessed to be part of an amazing organization that cares about student success, but also about employee growth and nourishment. It's the kind of "career fuel" that I haven't had in a very long time.

Now that's a hunger that won't make me gain weight!

Keep Sparking, friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • RHOOK20047
    I am so glad that the job is starting out as great as you thought. Have a great night and enjoy Sunday!
    2024 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    I am so happy and excited for you. It sounds like a perfect match with lots of opportunities to spread your wings.

    Good Luck and God Bless!

    2027 days ago
    It all sounds so exciting!!
    2028 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13516725
    Wow, what an inspiration to know that you were picked from highest of the clan. You will do well, and good luck with orientation. I'm very happy for you. You've come a long way.

    2028 days ago
    I wish you only the best! I have a feeling this is going to be your perfect fit job and you will be there for the long haul! Good luck! and... don't forget to have some FUN! emoticon
    2028 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    I am filled with joy after reading your blog!
    2028 days ago
    Boy are you busy, and boy do you deserve this job. There is nobody more supportive, always kind, and always helpful, than you. Walk with your head held high. They know they got a treasure with you, and you know it too. Sounds like a perfect fit.

    Even though you are not doing cardio, those walks around a campus can be pretty long. You're getting in your fitness minutes without even realizing it.

    I know about the fires. They are awful and devastating. The only good news, is that everything will be as green as you have ever seen, in a year. Fires bring out the best in wildlife, and it proudly shows that it has returned.

    Sounds like a fun, busy weekend with your parents. Who doesn't love Trader Joes and Costco?

    Enjoy your job, and don't worry about the small stuff.

    Spark on.
    2028 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/12/2015 8:01:12 AM
    Well, Steve - you deserve it.
    2028 days ago
    Great blog, Steve! I am so happy for you living this dream! You sure have earned it...and so great to be able to transition from your last position of disappointment! Little did you know when you moved there you would end up in this dream job! I know your positive attitude and caring nature will enable you to do a great job and be a great boss!
    Please enjoy the rest of your week and top it off with making sure your parents are all settled into their new home.
    Love & Hugs to you...be safe!

    2028 days ago
    Fab blog, Steve, so exiciting and life-affirming! Maybe when you settle into your commute and new job, you can find somewhere to exercise in your lunch break - a couple of my collegues live an hour´s drive away from our culture centre and they run along the riverbank or go to a local gym at one o´clock every day.... they are two of the most resiliant and smartest members on our team!
    Hope you have a good time with your parents, Steve - they will be delighted to have you come to help!
    2028 days ago
    Wow this sounds so wonderful and exciting. You have to be about ready to pee your pants with happiness!!! (Laughing) Your excitement comes out so much in your writing, and I am sure you will get back into a routine with exercise once you get settled in at the new job. Steve I am so happy for you. This sounds like not only an awesome oppotunity, but an amazing one as well. I hope it continues and you can work with this kind of happiness the rest of your working life.

    2028 days ago
    Very exciting times ... enjoy your new colleagues and work. I have no doubt that you will be beaming in pride come graduation. It is such a privilege to see students grow and blossom.

    2028 days ago
    Busy busy busy Steve. Your life is full, but ever so healthy! Enjoy the weekend with your folks and hope the adjustment in your new job will go smoothly for you! If you and Steve are ever in my neck of the woods, let's break bread together!! ;o)
    2028 days ago
    sounds GREAT!

    very happy for you emoticon
    2028 days ago
    So excited for you. Sparks everywhere. Like 4th of July. Go Steve..
    2029 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    I like knowing smart people. emoticon
    2029 days ago
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