This is my last weekly post for the SAFirstYear blog.  I may occasionally guest write, so it’s not goodbye.  It’s just ‘ta ta’ for now.  If you are asking, “Why?  Katie, your posts are brilliant.”  Well, it was a hard decision.  I do want to spend some time and energy on my personal blog (www.katieschmalzel.com).  If you are thinking, “Thank goodness.  Katie’s Wednesday posts made me cringe.”  Then my guess is you are probably not reading this.  So c’est la vie.  Personal blog or no personal blog, stepping down means one more brand new professional has an opportunity to blog for this great initiative.  Which I’m all about.  I look forward to reading all of the posts!  With that said I do want to take a moment to thank everyone who took a moment to read each Wednesday.  I truly appreciate the interactions I have had with the Student Affairs community in response to my posts.  I look forward to future interactions with you all via twitter or in person!

I do want to leave you with a few thoughts.

I am involved with our Chamber of Commerce, which is highly involved with the Golden Community.  (And goodness, does Golden love its festivals.  There are about 2 a month on average.) This evening I received the opportunity to volunteer for Chamber Event.  Rae, an 18-year-old female, is running from coast to coast.  She started in Boston in April, and is well on her way to California.  Today she ran from Longmont, Colorado, to Golden, Colorado, and tomorrow she runs to Evergreen.   She runs about 20 miles a day.  This blows my mind.  I can’t even imagine running that distance in one sitting, much less multiple times a week.

 In addition to just running across the country, she is supporting Soles4Souls (http://www.soles4souls.org/) in which communities donate new or gently used shoes and these are distributed across the United States or to developing nations around the world.  It’s amazing how much we have and so little some people have.  One pair of shoes can mean a child gets to attend school.  And while this is not the point of this post, I still find immense value in this cause since our field is education.  So ultimately, Golden raised about 3,220 pairs of shoes in about three weeks, and we volunteered to organize and move the shoes.

 While we were enjoying the festivities, a few of us began talking about the feat of running across the United States. (Or walking around the world – the woman who did it was also at the event.)   All of these concepts are lofty, and require physical and mental strength, time, money, and intense motivation, stamina, and passion.  We began talking about our one large goal we wanted to accomplish: whether it be open a business, go sky diving, complete a triathlon or marathon, or hike all 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet) in Colorado.  Someone brought up the concept of fear.  What are we afraid to do that we want to do? However, someone else countered with motivation.  We may not be afraid, but we just haven’t had the motivation  (because of time, effort, finances, etc.) to complete said goal.  While an answer was not provided for each person, I think it’s a conversation we will continue as we take some time to consider such a question: “What is the one goal you want to accomplish in your life?”

Rae wanted to run across the country and support a cause that provides shoes for people around the world.

While each of our goals may be different and have a different ending, I think it’s a fun conversation to have and to challenge your colleagues with.

Good luck this year!

Katie Schmalzel

Student Affairs - the First Years

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