Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mr. Mo Mentum

Two weeks ago, my senior seminar students kicked off their Green Bear Project, an effort to secure permanent protection for the Jewel Moore Nature Reserve, with an enormously successful petition drive.  It was one of the best starts any of us could have imagined.  Ideas for follow-up events proliferated.

Between now and then, we had spring break.  And all that energy dissipated, blown away by the winds of South Padre and Panama Beach.

So our job, now that we're back in class, is to get the balls rolling again.  It was surprisingly hard to pick up the threads and figure out what needed to be done next, who should take charge, and what deadlines we could set for ourselves.

In my other class, the service initiative (called the Agora Project) hasn't had any public events yet.  We are still in the planning stages, but time is ticking down to the end of the semester and we need to achieve lift-off.

The two tasks feel surprisingly different.  There is more pressure on the Green Bear Project, because we have already declared ourselves and gathered a cadre of supporters.  Now we need to come through.  For the Agora Project, it can still be anything we want it to be because it is nothing yet.  The anxiety is living up to our own expectations, not those of others.

Four weeks remain in the semester.  Experience leads me to believe with confidence that both projects will come through and achieve their objectives.  But at this point, anything could happen -- and both my students and I are well aware that to see things through will take plenty more effort.

No comments: