Report date
May 2021
Learning Log

This experience has been unique and one cannot say having never participated in a fellowship or through a pandemic. I hope only one is once in a lifetime but both have changed my life ways I could not imagine. When I got the fellowship, I had goals that seemed within reach yet unattainable. Having left university 30 years ago to pursue a career as a professional soccer player I transitioned in the world of philanthropy. As excited as I was when I received my fellowship it was one of the scariest moments of my life. "be careful what you ask because it might come true," was a reality, now I was forced to take on some things I feared, found excuses, and avoid for over thirty years. In accepting the Bush Fellowship and making the commitment to grow, change, and develop my leadership I did things I was always capable of but found reasons not to face them. This rings true and and further reconfirms my belief that we are high on talent and ability, but short of support and resources for may of of community. These are things I was always capable of, but removing some barriers and giving me support have helped me reach my goals. As I pushed off the first year of my fellowship working on myself and not taking any classes I was in a position needing 21 credits in my last 9 months. I decided after thirty years to start with 6 credits and reevaluate. I tackled the 6 credits getting two A's which are more A's than I received 30 years ago over a four year period at college. I gained confidence not only in my ability to handle the extra workload but in my ability to excel in the work. This semester I am in school full time and taking 15 credits, and in my 5 courses I have lost 3 percentage points in entirety 1 for not proofreading a paper and becoming complacent, and 2 for not understanding the assignment and references my readings when handing in my reflection during the first week of the semester. I will finish with 5 A's, deans list, and I will graduate, something I had the ability to do for the last thirty years but only now have I have the confidence to do it. So what I wish I knew when I started the fellowship that I know now, is that this is a race that I am going to win. As an athlete I loved to go to work, practicing study and competing, but game day, gameday was different. Gameday was my theater, as I was an artist and getting to perform. Gameday was about winning, but even more so it was a performance to display a lifetime of work, expressing myself through sport competing with creativity intertwined with mental warfare, playing a chess like match on the field. The fellowship let me know that everyday in life is gameday, and I am enjoying it by performing and loving it. As the pandemic continued and racial unrest with the murders of young black men through the hands of law enforcement in the Twin Cities, it forced me to look at what I was prioritizing and made me realize I am in the theater of life, and I will keep playing focusing on developing pathways for people of color into the field of education, taking away the barriers and watching them flourish as the support and set an example for our youngest most precious asset we have, the children in this county. In focusing on what we do and supporting service as a way of life, is something that can connect us all, and understanding that we are part of something bigger than us, makes it easier to succeed in life with our ability to serve others. So, as I look at my grades and smile and realize I am a good student, heck, I am a great student, and if I am a great student, we all are great students, and with great teachers students can learn, so it is so important that we develop, train, employ, retain, and support people of color to serve our community by being a role model teaching and giving back so every child smile and is excited for game day, and everyday of school needs to be gameday where our black and brown kids are excited to go and perform by excelling in education, in community and service to us all.