When given the topic of “enthusiasm” and how I am committed to supporting our students, I think, for most us, that enthusiasm is pretty much synonymous with our vocation and infused our daily interactions as educators.
Last year, I was honored by one of my former students, Reena, who took the time to recognize me in the “People Who Made a Difference” survey the college sends out to graduates. I had no idea that I touched her life. I was and am so grateful for that opportunity. “Enthusiasm” is defined by many as “intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval”. While the intensity may vary, that passion to cultivate and support others fuels that expression. We may have tough days, we may not be feeling well or dealing with a personal matter, but we try our best to remember the bigger picture, our values, our mission with every student interaction… Whether we are faculty, staff or both, I think we are privileged to be able to play a role in students’ lives as they learn, grow and achieve their goals. When I remember this, how can I not get excited?
At Moraine, I get to do what I love and play two roles with students—one in the Job Resource Center, and the other as Student Club Advisor for the Asian Diversity group on campus. Part of my day may be spent helping a returning non-traditional student find her voice and be able to articulate that confidence to an employer or providing encouragement and career guidance to our student employees.
Another part of my day, may bring me unexpected surprises and student needs. As one of the Advisors for the Asian Diversity Club, I meet dedicated students who bring their unique views, passion and energy and it motivates me. I sometimes get to help nurture their inherent skills and discuss their goals for the organization, or perhaps for their own lives. I learn from them, too. Nearly every year, I enjoy learning about these students– their dreams, passions and their aspirations. I do not take that trust for granted. Whether I am seeing the student in the context of our student club quite regularly, or if the student has just stopped in for a resume review and I may never see that student again—those are precious minutes to me.
We wear many hats and juggle so much, but we have to remember to be “present” and practice self-compassion. That is contagious and motivates others to do the same sometimes. Recharge, reflect and re-energize. I try to set aside a few minutes in the morning and I remember why I am here and what a gift each interaction could become— for me, for them, and perhaps for the college. Service is a gift.
Tamima Farooqui is one of the college’s professional staff in the Job Resource Center. If you’d like to contact Tamima, please contact the CTL and we will forward your message to Tamima. Be sure to reference this post in your message.