Recently I found myself sitting in a room filled with professors. These were academics from all fields. Mathematics, Arts, Sciences, Languages, Economics, Engineering, et cetera. The reason for this meeting was a university wide open forum for the purpose of gathering information in order to improve a certain area of the work these professors perform outside of their responsibilities in the classroom. Some suits, some shorts, some jeans, and one me. I was fortunate enough to attend this relatively open and honest meeting between faculty from vastly differing fields. How did I get this invitation?
I am the writer for a training module they’re planning on creating for addressing potential issues in a certain area across the spectrum of colleges and departments. This puts me in a very unique situation. If you’ve followed this blog at all you’re aware that I’m currently in a doctoral program and I’m working towards becoming a professor. Because I am a writer (and I’ve taken on other writing assignments at the university) I was able to sit in a room with the types of people I hope to become. In a strange twist, however, I sat in the room not as an apprentice but as an artist. I was there for my talent in another area entirely.
I’ve titled this post “The Future Room” because the room was filled with the people I hope my future somewhat emulates. They hold the position I hope to one day hold. They do the great work I hope to one day build upon. They are my desired future. I will grant you that my situation was unusual (being the expert in one area led me into the closed doors of the field I hope to enter) but I encourage you to take it upon yourselves to seek out those who hold the positions you hope to one day occupy. Schedule an interview with that graphic designer, buy that inspiring manager a cup of coffee at a local shop, send an e-mail to that wonderful columnist — who better to tell you the truth of the field you wish to enter. Be the apprentice and enter your future room.