When I look back on my life, I realize that, in spending far too much time bemoaning the failures of the past and fearing the uncertainties of the future, I’ve overlooked – and sometimes missed entirely – the joy, hope, and grace to be found in the present moment. (I’d like to think my ability to recognize this pathology in myself is evidence that I’m not too far gone; this, too, is grace.) Now, given this “confession,” you can only imagine the level of anxiety and trepidation I experienced in anticipation of the responsibilities associated with my appointment as Interim Dean of CBU’s School of Arts this Fall. Suffice it to say, I’ve been surprised by hope. . . .
Working and serving alongside such caring, compassionate, devoted, supportive colleagues has made my transition from department chair to dean surprisingly smooth (at least from my perspective), and has reminded me of both the utterly unique character of our faculty and the collaborative nature of our enterprise as educators. The support and encouragement I’ve experienced and enjoyed these past few months is something our students have also come to expect from our faculty, which explains, at least in part, why the second floor of Barry Hall is almost always bustling with young women and men who recognize the face of love – the face of hope – when they see it.
This, according to CBU’s founder, is the essence – the very heart – of our vocation as Lasallian educators. And even though I’ve been a part of this graced community for over ten years, I must confess (here I go again) that I’m still, from time to time, surprised by the hope that is so much a part of the ethos, if you will, of the School of Arts.
I’m reminded of something one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, wrote in a December 2012 Facebook blog entry; a hopeful note, to be sure, on which to end:
“This is the time of year when in every wisdom tradition and religion, we ask ourselves, Will there REALLY be Spring? Left to my own devices, I think, Probably not, or 50-50, but faith tells me that no matter how sick and in trouble the trees look, things will be okay, that we are all connected, that if we light a few candles, scatter some seeds, plant some bulbs, try to help as we can, stick close to each other as we prepare for the end of despair, that there will be enough light, buds on the trees, hope. And hope always catches us by surprise.”
Faithfully, gratefully, and hopefully yours,
Dr. Scott D. Geis