Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The impatient patient

As some but not all of you know, I’ve been a bit laid up for the past 2½ weeks following an unfortunate fall at home that resulted in a compression fracture in my back. I underwent successful treatment for the fracture, but my recuperation will take time – and that’s the difficult part for me. I was out of action for the first week and have been back to work in a limited capacity since, unfortunately needing to reschedule meetings and forgo attending some events to make my schedule more manageable.

I’m so thankful to many people here on campus, from my office staff for holding things together and moving forward, to those who’ve been so patient as I’ve needed to reschedule my meetings (or have arrived late because of my increased across-campus travel time!), to the many of you who’ve sent cards and words of encouragement. Your support is very much appreciated.

This time of recuperation is challenging for me. I have been an impatient patient! I’d love nothing better than to be back at 100 percent, and I know that will  happen in time. I’m very much looking forward to again being physically able to fully engage in our work together.

This campus community is an important, sustaining source of energy for me as I work to get my activity level back to normal.  Thank you for your continued understanding  as I do my best to follow doctor’s orders. And please know that we still fully intend to celebrate UW-Eau Claire in a big way when we hold inauguration festivities on Friday, Nov. 8 — please plan to attend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Surprise visit in the chancellor's office

Fifth Element members with Kim Schmidt outside UW-Eau Claire chancellor's office
Kim Schmidt, wife of Chancellor James Schmidt, was photographed with members
of UW-Eau Claire a cappella group Fifth Element after they put on a surprise
performance Oct. 9 in the chancellor's office. Fifth Element members, from left, include
Adam VandenHeuvel, Tyler Graf, Adam Bergman, Seth Hale, Grant Nerison and Will Berendsen.
On a recent afternoon,  I heard wonderful singing coming from Schofield Auditorium and walked in to find one of our male a cappella groups rehearsing. I listened for a bit, thoroughly enjoying what I heard, and took the opportunity to have a conversation with these talented young men.

I learned they are members of Fifth Element, and they come from a variety of academic majors here at UW-Eau Claire. I'm growing to love that here: So many students take advantage of the countless opportunities on this campus to pursue diverse interests outside their fields of study. It's exciting to see them pursuing their academic and career goals while still keeping active with outside activities purely for the enjoyment of it. I'm happy to see them setting in place the groundwork for lives of balance.

Unfortunately, I missed a visit from these talented students today when they showed up at my office, ready to put on a surprise performance, and I was out. Fortunately, my wife, Kim, happened to be there and, along with a number of happily surprised staff members, was able to hear them sing. Judging from her happy face in the photo above, I missed a really good show.