Living to Learn, Learning for Life: Housing Honors Classrooms and Offices in an Honors Residence Hall
KeywordsCurriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and Social Inquiry
Educational Administration and Supervision
Higher Education Administration
Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
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AbstractI left the interview with high-hopes: being Assistant Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Honors Program sounded like an excellent fit for me. A full-time job, a real income, and no longer having to depend on year-to-year contracts as an adjunct were appealing. The opportunity to teach tied into my strengths, and since I had taught UNL honors classes previously, I knew the high quality of the students. I also knew the director and was excited about the prospect of working with him. As I wended my way, in heels and suit, through the extensive construction going on in the renovation of the honors offices, I had only two reservations: my office would be in the Neihardt Residence Center, and Neihardt had no classrooms, so I would have to walk across campus to teach. I mulled over those points with skepticism. Did I really want to spend most of my days in a residence hall when I had been out of college for nearly 30 years? How uncomfortable would that location be after being in my own little office tucked away from the noise and commotion of the students changing classes? Would I feel terribly out of place among people less than half my age? What would be the students’ expectations of me? Would I turn into a surrogate mom or, more likely, grandma? And would I like having to walk across campus to my classrooms when I was accustomed simply to going downstairs in the building, especially in January in the minus-twenty degree wind chills or the heat and humidity for which the Midwest is famous? What would I do if I forgot something or misjudged traffic and was late? When the offer came, however, I accepted it immediately despite those reservations; after all, I was clearly aware that no absolutely perfect job exists. The result: I have never regretted taking the position and my fears were in vain.