People Who Make the World Right

I don’t often think of the way that certain people make life bearable and, in fact, even enjoyable. I was reminded today of three people who not only do their jobs, but who do them well. Above and beyond the requirements of their jobs. All three happen to work in the graduate office, or whatever they are calling it these days, at the Ball. Sometimes it is important to notice when people make others’ lives easier.compassionA couple of weeks ago when I was having such a bad spot, the first person to notice my funk was Shawna, our administrative assistant. She didn’t just notice that I was especially flustered or sad; she asked me if I was doing okay. She actually was concerned about my well-being, which is a rare quality to find in another individual, particularly someone who works as an administrative assistant at BSU. (They don’t have the best reputation.) Since I have been at Ball State there have been three people who have done her job, but Shawna is by far the most sensitive and helpful. She goes above and beyond in every way to ensure our (the students’) success. I have learned that if you need something, Shawna is the one to ask.

Similarly, Jill gives as much of herself as anyone I have ever met. She exudes grace and mercy, while also maintaining an air of justice. Some of my favorite classes during my graduate program have been my creative nonfiction classes. I am not sure that my creative writing improved, though that is no fault of Jill’s; but, through thinking about memoir, I have grown in my academic writing. I am more aware of the way I weave words together, more cognizant of my audience, and more interested in choosing the exact phrases to communicate my ideas clearly. More importantly, Jill encourages her students to be engaged and gracious human beings. How? It’s a gift.

Finally, our graduate director is one of the most diplomatic and compassionate people I know. How she is so eloquently and gracefully the liaison between the students and the graduate school, I will never know. What I do know is that she excels at her job, and she does it with a smile. I think my appreciation for Debbie grew exponentially today when I was sharing with a friend about her positive and uplifting role in our graduate school careers. I was talking about how astounded I am at the fact that one person can embody such intense passion for her career, while also exhibiting such compassion for those of us seeking to pursue the same path.

I hope one day a student of mine can say that I influenced his or her life in the ways that mine has been influenced by these amazing women. In case it never feels like it, there are some of us who notice you going above and beyond to make BSU a better place to be. How is it that I always feel better about myself after I’ve been around you? Thanks.


Since today was Veteran’s Day, I was thinking pretty extensively about my family members and friends who have been in the military. Although I disagree with most of what our government does, I do recognize that the men and women of the armed forces go to great lengths to ensure our American freedom, including my right to disagree with the government. I want peace, but I also honor the military personnel. So thanks.

  • Vernon Hash
  • James Roberson
  • Themie Pappas
  • George Pappas
  • Bill Pappas
  • Jim Pappas
  • Mike Pappas
  • Tony Shiner
  • Rick Hash
  • William Keck
  • Vaughn Hash
  • Bernard Hash
  • Dale Hash
  • Calvin Hackman
  • Jack Taly
  • Jack Harris
  • Ed Comber
  • Nathan Neely
  • Drew Hunter
  • Nathan Klink
  • Ty Shadle

If your name isn’t on this list, please forgive me, and know that I do appreciate your sacrifice. 3875416709_28f5eede84*

Exercise: Walked the dogs 1.4 miles, rode my bike from RB to Burris and back

Food: banana, Clif bar, apple, tea, Chinese, Superman ice cream with sprinkles, M&Ms

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