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Lesson of the Goose

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.

Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful.


What LESSON did you learn from this passage?

On 9/17/12, we had our inaugural Evening Services Event which has been affectionately and appropriately called PIZZA NIGHT in past years.  Although I did not know what to expect, I certainly was not prepared for what happened.  At about 5:00, students started milling around in the hallway in front of Student Services for an event which was not scheduled to begin until 5:30.  I went out and began talking with them as we awaited the pizza delivery which was at this point overdue.  Finally, to our delight, the pizzas arrived – all 17 boxes.   Amazingly, the pizzas were made available about 5:25 and were gone by 5:49.   Now that’s not the clincher.

Under the “About Us” tab is the following entry:

Choosing The HUB as our blog name was the result of considerable research.  “Hub” is defined as a point of origin from which ideas or influence originate.  It is also descriptive of a focal point around which events revolve and a center of activity or interest.  For students taking evening classes, Evening Services is “The HUB”.

On this rainy evening students gathered in small groups holding conversations about class and other topics …

I didn’t pay close attention to those exchanges because I was so busy talking myself.

Suzanne Previte from the Language Center came over with bookmarks and did an informal presentation about the services which are available to help students in all language related activities like writing papers, doing projects or presentations and more.  She began by saying she knew there would be a meaningful gathering around the pizza table and there certainly was.

As I did a rerun of the event in my mind, it hit me like a ton of bricks – this was The HUB – “a center of activity” with students exchanging ideas and receiving information.  So, our events will be known from this point forward as The Gathering at The HUB.  I am in the process of planning at least three more gatherings with surprise menus during October and November.  Check your emails and get connected by reading “The HUB”  blog regularly.



The Fall on campuses everywhere and at all levels presents opportunities for anyone willing to make preparation for them.  Thus the quote to jumpstart our new year focuses on opportunity and preparation.

One of my favorites come from Heny Hartman who says, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”

Among the hundreds of students I met this summer while taking their ID photos, two bring home the message of this quote in my mind.  One young man had considerable proficiency in the field of engineering from apprenticeships and work-related experience.  However, he was unable to get desired positions for which he had the skills because he did not have the credentials.  Thus, lack of preparation kept success just beyond his grasp.

Another young lady related her inability to land a $100,000 a year job because she did not have at least an associates degree in marketing.  She now sees the importance of being truely prepared in order to achieve specific levels of success.

What’s your take on this quote?

Without a doubt, excitement is pervasive throughout college campuses nationwide and the same is true for Volunteer State Community College.  From my perspective in Student Service, I get to witness and participate in your excitement  –

  • excitement about coming to college for the first time after high school graduation;
  • excitement about coming to college after years of having to put off this opportunity;
  • excitement about coming back to college at age 78 and defeating calculus which was a stumbling block during the younger years;
  • excitement about getting a college ID card – YES,  students are ecstatic about getting that first college ID card
  • excitement about graduating from Vol State to either enter the workforce with credentials or continue on this journey in a four year institution

…. and that’s just the tip of the excitement iceberg.

As you move about campus, you’ll also notice many changes taking places in our beautification project and the anticipation of new buildings.  Looking forward to their completion is truly exciting.


From all of us in Evening Services – welcome back!