In just a few days, I will finally meet a critical mass of orientation professionals and student leaders at their annual conference in San Antonio. In preparation for my speech at the conference, I learned as much as I could about their work from their perspective, and I sought input from their stakeholders about how they see the role and worth of orientation. Nothing gives me more pleasure than immersing myself in the world of the work of others. The learning is incredible and the amount of respect and high regard resulting from in-depth knowledge of a profession is the prize I cherish.
When I’m just a few days away from giving a speech to a group of professionals that I’ve studied, I feel like what I think I would feel going on a date someone set up for me. We used to call them blind dates, but with all the information one can garner about another person these days through the Internet, no date should be “blind.” Yet, until you meet someone and interact with them, there is this wonderful feeling of anticipation. What thrills me most is to see how closely the real encounter will match what I thought it would be like. I’m certain that I won’t be disappointed when I meet the orientation providers. It is a privilege to count them among my colleagues.