On the Summer Season

I hope you are enjoying the summer and looking forward to some days of leisurely relaxation, recreation and rejuvenation.

Last month, our “Knights Impact” program of service learning took a group of MGA students on a working cruise tour of the Eastern Caribbean.  Coordinated through the Office of International Programs and Office of Experiential Learning/QEP, about two dozen students of ours engaged in two weeks of service activities in places like San Juan, helping with relief programs, homelessness support, and other humanitarian activities.  In addition to their service work, they enjoyed time on the cruise ship and other normal holiday fun activities.  I received several notes from those students, and was inspired and moved by their remarks.  They consistently pointed out that their work and their enjoyment went hand-in-hand.  One wrote, “this was the best experience I have known.  I was able to learn and do so much, and to relax and enjoy it at the same time here”.

There is a powerful clue to life’s rewards.  We often see vacation as a time to relax and recreate, to get away from our work.  We compartmentalize our time and miss out on much in so doing.  It is possible to do good work—great work—and to be fulfilled and inspired.  It is possible to integrate our times of laughter, relaxation and innovation with what we do to help others.  Not every day does it feel this way, but I hope there are days when our work at MGA brings a rich sense of fulfillment in helping our students.  Those students who went to the Eastern Caribbean were able to enjoy the best of both worlds—work and leisure—and to experience them united and together!

Some days we each find that truth in our work at MGA. It would be naive to think that all of our working days can feel energizing and uplifting, but the day I read the students’ notes on their overseas trip was certainly one in which I felt inspired and motivated.  Equally, as we anticipate another academic year soon upon us, I do wish you some peace and some “time away.”  Whether you are doing a staycation or traveling overseas (where I am this week), I hope summer gives you its season’s blessings and time for space, loved ones, families and renewal.

Happy summer!


(P.S.  To all you soccer fans out there, enjoy the World Cup at Russia 2018! :-))