Saturday, August 22, 2009

Questions as Motivation

One of the carrot sticks that kept me moving forward in the application process over the last year, despite all doubts and apprehension, was the picture in my head of sitting at a café on campus and feeling the off-shore breeze or sitting in Powell’s marble Library (this visual is thanks to a recommendation by Dr. Agbayani) with a tall stack of journal articles to read.

Reading calms me and helps me to feel like I am standing on the shoulders of giants. When I am feeling lost, confused or overwhelmed about a client or my work it helps to call forth what our predecessors have done. What have others tried and failed or succeeded doing? What works? How do we do that? How can we address the epidemic of depression on our campuses?

It’s a changing climate and a changing world. There are new expectations, demands and opportunities to learn and adapt in order to survive and grow. Accountability and outcome measures – how do we know that what we are doing is working? Always an important question, but in lean years when decision-makers have to prioritize and make difficult choices, the question goes from a whisper to a scream.

How do you build an airplane while in flight? Coming home after work to google “evidence-based practice” and “outcome evaluation” felt inadequate and taxing at the same time. My hope is to create the time and space to learn what this truly means and how to translate it to our work. Don’t our students and families deserve having interventions that work? Don’t we deserve knowing and doing interventions that work? And won’t we all be inspired by the “proof” that it’s working?

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