Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thousands of handwritten notes

I've been handwriting notes to people for decades - deliberately since I was a Campus Ministries Coordinator in College in 1991.  I've used the same personalized letterhead since 1992. (See the picture of my "Random thoughts from marty" - created on my Graduate school neighbor's Mac computer when this kind of design was only possible on a Mac 'back in the day.')

My department chair was surprised when I had reason to tell him a few years ago, "You don't know I write hundreds of hand-written personal notes to students every year, do you?"  (I didn't tell him then, though he'll know now if he ever reads this, that one of the ways I manage to pacify my impatience during long meetings is to write notes as it helps me feel that something tangible is being accomplished!)

In fact, in recent years I've learned to strategically send more notes to learners who take the hardest courses from me!  Just last week, one student said to me, "I miss getting your notes."  I said to her, "I'm sorry!  You're not in my classes this semester and I use my course rosters to create my mailing lists!"  I sent her a note the next day!

When I was a Children's Pastor, I wrote thousands of time to hundreds children (especially those involved with intentional discipleship with me), "I.B.I.Y.B.I.Y." (I Believe In You, Believe In Yourself.)  I've watched those kids mature to become young adults.  They have blossomed.  I'm delightfully happy for them.

My hope is that students (and colleagues & friends) will realize the investment of my life that I hope to extend to them with these notes.  I genuinely try to bring encouraging words of meaning & inspiration to others.

In our "mobile-text-message-world" - my sense is that my hand-written notes to most University students more often get trashed than treasured.  That's fine.  I get that.

And yet, for all recipients, I genuinely pray that they will know not just for a moment, but in long term ways how much I believe in them and have high hopes for them.

No comments: