Stolen from FB--but that's because oddly, we have no pics together!
First things first: Joe has taken my #BlogBOmer post challenge and amazed my by beating my posts on a 12-18 hour basis every day. He's come up with his own challenges within his post and most of his posts have a musical basis. Because that's the thing about Joe. When he sets his mind to something, he ACES it...with a bit of self-discipline, he brings beauty to almost every situation. (P.S. We're talking on Facebook right now and he doesn't even know he's being written about--don't you love technology?)
Joe is one of my regular personal Hillel go-tos (I have about 5-6 people that I message when I'm aiming to better myself professionally or personally within a professional sphere). I reach out to him when I'm stuck, confused, questioning, or when I just feel like amazing him with my comedic timing. Mostly, Joe and I stick together at Hillel professional gatherings--creating our own initiative: the lunch table games.
Being a Hillel professional is difficult--you're engaging in conversations and programming all day long while maintaining some semblance of sanity on very little sleep. When you head to Hillel conferences, you sometimes meander back to the high school lunch table days--where do I sit? Who do I know? Wait...they seem to be meeting about something--I can't sit there! Joe and I discussed the many people we saw wandering and looking for a place to sit and thus created the lunch table games. Whenever we saw anyone looking, we invited them to sit with us. Our table got too full? We moved to another table. That table got too full? We added another table to our original table. Our theory was that our conversation was never more important than someone's sense of belonging.
A bit of compassion coupled with the discipline to keep it going has resulted in many full breakfast/lunch/dinner tables (and an epic birthday celebration for Joe in Orlando!). More importantly, it's helped us to build relationships by making sure we emulate in our personal professional lives what we hope our students will do in their daily lives. We reach out to others with a simple gesture--and from that moment, build on creating sustaining relationships in the field.
And just for Joe, I'll end this post with a music video. Joe, this is how I feel whenever we're together buddy!