The last few weeks have been a very busy blur. Graduation commenced and I took off to DC for a week of PD w other ‘science based’ educators from across VA. After spending a week in our nation’s capital, it was time to truly come home for summer in my town. My favorite.
As I started my new position, I was greeted by old colleagues, friends, and had manner passerby stop in my office to welcome me, say hello, and make me feel like I was home. While the notion of returning to the north is not in the cards for me in the near future due to a poor economy and limited job prospects, this transition reminds me of the old saying,
You can always go home.
I may never return to the north, but I have felt nothing but welcome returning to agriculture. Agriculture is where I have spent so much of my personal and professional life, it has felt like a welcome that only an agriculturist can give. Hearty. Genuine. With a smile. Usually some food and a cold beer. The comfort behind it is immense and I’m so thankful to be able to return to agriculture without hesitation.
STEM was a great path for me to take. Technical science was something I had wanted to dabble in and had immersed myself in it wholeheartedly for the past few years. I can clearly see that agriculture education has the chops to do the work and make itself viable in hard science, we just need the manpower to do it, the rigor to run the research, and the students who want to teach it, not drive cattle trailers all day. Collaborating with the engineers, the mathematicians, the ‘all-stars’ in the field–that was something I’d wanted to see for myself.
Having an agriculture based background makes me different. It was never more stark than it was during my week in DC w the other faculty. No one really knew what CTE does. There’s a stereotype among faculty about what “we do” and I can’t help but feel very proud to share the good work we do do <——come on, really…… 😉 I get to be the messenger, I got to validate some of the worthy things we are doing, and I get to be a part of the rigorous future.
I guess you can chalk this post up to hearts and flowers for everyone. I am officially back in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences working on international agriculture initiatives and will also be teaching and working with undergraduates in research. I could not be more excited.
This blog will remain. I’m still a new faculty. I’m still putting myself on the struggle bus on a regular basis and while the lens has changed slightly, the rewards and challenges have not. Whether a budding grad student or a fresh faced faculty who is struggling to keep up, I hope you’ll continue to join me.