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Blog

27
Jul16
Time 12:42

 

"Sed, ut spero, propediem vos videbo."


Author: John Hest


Eleven months sounds like a ridiculously long time; but, as I write this blog, I am midway through my last week here at STLF, and I cannot fathom how it is possible that eleven months have come and gone. There’s a lot of thoughts and feelings running through my head right now and I want to use this blog to express some of those and discuss, as the fictional President Josiah Bartlet would say in the TV series The West Wing, “What’s next?”

First off, I want to talk about gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to spend 11 months working with some of the best and brightest people I’ve ever met. Gratitude for all the ways in which STLF has impacted (and continues to impact) my own life and my own leadership. Gratitude to all of the wonderful students, parents, alumni, community supporters, board members, etc. who make this fantastic organization possible. I got married last month and the people who were probably the most excited about it were my coworkers. I am so glad that so many of them made the trip up to Fargo to celebrate with us, and am deeply thankful for the lifelong relationships that I’ve built within my staff family.

Another feeling I’ve been having is the bittersweet feeling of being done with this position. I have worked my tail off for the last eleven months and it will be nice to have a little bit more free time while I transition to the next stage of my life. I am proud of all that we have accomplished at STLF and my small part in contributing to that. But at the same time, STLF is a dynamic and fluid organization and I have enjoyed participating in the envisioning and dreaming stage of our next steps. I wish that I could be a part of the continued organizational growth and evolution, and look forward to engaging as an alumnus in any and every way that I can. I care about this organization deeply and am excited to donate, participate in Glory Days programming, and be a part of our massive alumni network.

As I transition off of the STLF staff family, there are a lot of unknowns and a few things that I know for sure. Next month, I will begin classes in the M.A. in History program at North Dakota State University in Fargo while simultaneously doing research in the university’s archives. My wife Natalie, meanwhile, will be working as a Hospice Care Music Therapist at Minneapolis-based Grace Hospice. We will be living separately and commute to see each other on weekends and holidays. I suspect that this will be supremely difficult but I know we can make it work for the time being because I am confident in the strength of our relationship and our support network. I am thankful for my STLF network who will both help me make the transition home to the Fargo-Moorhead area (I grew up on a farm there and much of my family still lives in the area) and help Natalie here in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

When you’re young, eleven months seems like an impossibly long time; but my eleven months here at STLF have been anything but slow. Again, I am tremendously grateful for the time I was able to spend here at STLF and have mixed feelings about leaving. But as I look to the future, I am energized and inspirited by Natalie and I’s next adventure and the future of STLF. And, as Cicero wrote, “sed, ut spero, propediem vos videbo” – but, as I hope, I shall see you very soon. To my staff family and all the other STLFers I’ve encountered along the way, this is definitely not goodbye and farewell; rather, thank you for the past eleven months and see you all very soon.


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