Imagine this – it is 8:30pm on the evening before a long weekend. A woman wearing a business suit, lugging a laptop bag and purse while pulling a suitcase, is skipping stairs up the escalator and sprinting through the Atlanta airport. Her heart is racing. She knows that there is not another flight this evening because she has already done that research in the first airport when she knew her first flight was delayed. She knows that she does not have a moment to spare. She is desperate to get home because her 12 year old daughter is having a birthday party sleepover with her friends and cousins.
Do you wish this story ends a certain way? I know I did. Sadly, last Thursday night, despite my best efforts, I got to my gate six minutes after my connecting flight had shut the doors and so I spent an unexpected night in Atlanta.
Somewhere just after 8:30pm, when I had texted my husband and kids with the update that I wouldn’t be home, I got a text from my colleague Sarah who asked if I made my connecting flight. With all of her international travel, she knows this scene all too well. I replied, “PPP.” This has become our code for rotten news. It means: Pity Party Please.
The whole concept of living in the moment does not seem to apply at these times. In fact, travel mishaps are actually some of the most challenging parts of my job – flight delays can leave you in a strange city, late at night, alone, and homesick – how do you snap out of wallowing in that woes me whine?
That night provided another reminder of the need to focus on what is good. And I mean to really train your brain to shift from that unbecoming state and instead think about gratitude. In Thursday’s case, I had had an amazing day.
A group of educational leaders of national and international organizations met in Ashville, North Carolina this week for an Independent School Research Summit. It seems that all schools are hungry for research and some schools are in trouble, so there is a sense of urgency for associations to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of collaborative research. At this time, all of our associations – even the big ones! – recognize this challenge: we have big questions and small shops.
As those of you who work with me know, I really believe that we can do things better together, so I was grateful to be invited to participate.
In our next news letter, I will give you a summary of the great work underway with my colleagues at NAIS, TABS, NCGS, CASE, NBOA, CSEE, AISAP, SSATB, INDEX. There is an exciting new initiative, and CAIS is proud to participate in this North American effort to identify possible opportunities for larger-scale research about independent schools.
Our next meeting will be in Washington. I might drive. And I will definitely bring the kids with me.
p.s. Two articles you need to read:
1. NYT on Tony Wagner (Who will be at our Summer LI along with the CWRA)
2. The amazing case of Hotchkiss’s international travel legal case