What I learned at NASPA/TPE: my reflection

This is the top 50 words tweet-cloud from my time at NASPA/TPE (and a few days before & after the conference too).

542 tweets.  Wow, that’s a lot.  Considering I’ve got just over 2400 tweets total.  I did a lot of work with the thumbs over the past few days.

I think it’s interesting that the bigger words: blog, tweetup, thank, staff, post, awesome, meet, people, hope, awesome.

I did spend a lot of my twitter voice talking about myself & my blog.
I talked some about meeting great people & how positive people were.

It is interesting that none of the ‘big’ words are things like ‘learn’ or ‘challenge.’  Those two words are up there (learning- not learn), but are not the main words.

When I think about my time at NASPA/TPE both Learn and Challenge are the two words that I really think are central to my experience.

I learned a lot about myself, the field, individuals, other professionals’ stories, and great information during sessions.  I learned that I can work really hard at being a social person and reaching out to connecting with others.  (note: I’m the introvert by nature)  I learned that it is totally ok to take a ‘night off’ and go to bed early in the interests of taking care of myself.  I keep talking about the great session I attended presented by Dr. Srayhorn about black gay male student development.  His talk was so engaging & interesting!  I learned a lot in that session.

I also challenged myself throughout the conference.  While it is easy for me to encourage others and help them to connect, it is a challenge for me to go up to people I don’t know and interact with them.  It is tough to do this all day every day for six straight days.  But, I did.  I think another part of the challenge for me is what I’m going to do next.  it is a challenge to make some choices regarding my job hunt.  It’s also challenging to bring back great ideas and figure out how to implement them here with my current staff.

The other way, however, to spin these two words is the way that I learned how much I get inspired by challenging others.  In almost every conversation I had with others, I challenged them.  Sometimes the challenge was to give twitter a chance while other times it was to meet someone that might help find a job.  I get a huge sense of joy and/or satisfaction out of this challenge.  This is why I’m in this field – to challenge others.

I answered the ‘what is your personal philosophy of student affairs’ question over and over throughout TPE.  My answer remains the same: “to challenge others to reach beyond their perceived abilities.”  This is what drives me in the work that we do.

Now, if only my twitter feed would reflect that.

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One response to “What I learned at NASPA/TPE: my reflection

  1. That is A LOT of tweets!

    Christina

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