Everyone Everywhere

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, August 27, 2010

I sometimes like easy categorization. For example, I can divide the world into two simple categories:
1. Never gets old
2. Grows old quickly

I'm a big Michigan State fan. You would think after going to the Final Four in men's basketball for the 6th time in 12 years, diminishing returns would set in, and my enjoyment would've gone done. Nope - it never gets old. Spending years dealing with the arrogance and cheating spewing from Ann Arbor from the bevy of Walmart Wolverines, seeing Michigan lose in basketball and football? Nope - it never gets old. However, watching MSU football choke away yet another game they should've won, and hearing "Same Old Spartans?" Yep - Grows old quickly.

In teaching, seeing students grow, mature, and devlop and find their passion never gets old. Hearing feeble excuses and lies grows old quickly.

In HR, rewarding employees in a meaningful fashion never gets old. Writing job descriptions or reviewing resumes grows old quickly.

What never gets old for you? What grows old quickly?


by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's hard to believe that next week, I will start my 16th year of teaching. There's been trials and tribulations and ups and downs. I come from an academic family, so, even as a youngster, I thought I would know what to expect when I entered the classroom. Yet, I've had a few unexpected turns in my tenure:

  • Having a student have her water break and go into labor during a class session. I don't recall the session for that in grad school.
  • Being hit on by a student at a bar and getting a booty call at 2 a.m. in the morning.
  • Living in Mississippi, let alone for five years.
  • Starting over again and again
HR is a dynamic field, so it is to be expected that I would have to change textbooks regularly to keep up with changes in the law. However, I never anticipated how fluid the relationships I build with students would be. In most cases, I don't see students until their sophomore year, when they sign up for my statistics class. A fraction of those I can convince to become involved in human resources and join our SHRM student chapter. I may even get a fraction of those to join the chapter leadership and attend professional chapter meetings and HR conferences. Then, in what seems like an instant, they are gone and starting their professional careers (I am starting with an all new SHRM e-board). And, the cycle begins anew.

An influx of new students are preparing for their first year. Its too early to start saying goodbye again.