“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of It.” – Spuriously attributed to Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson and I share the name Thomas. We both had red hair. He read, I read. As a kid he was my favorite Founding Father (you have to imagine an announcer saying Founding Father so it sounds more important). That quote, I thought, belonged to him and provided me with a source of motivation. You want something good to happen? Work harder and more efficiently.
Alas, The Thomas Jefferson Foundation reports no documents written by Jefferson that contain the phrase or any variant. The phrase stills has value to me, except I do not believe in luck. I believe in timing. If you set goals, work efficiently, and believe in yourself, eventually the timing will land opportunity in your lap.
This is exactly what happened to me. No matter where you are in your career, receiving a Kenan Fellowship is an honor. My Kenan Fellowship occurs at the perfect time in my career. After ten years as a public school educator, I needed an infusion of ideas. I yearned for a network of colleagues dedicated to improving their craft, people determined to be the best teachers possible. I wanted to surround myself with people who recognize teaching as a profession. I hoped for a support group for those really tough days. The Kenan Fellowship met all of my needs by placing me in the fabulous 2016 cohort!
So far this experience has reminded me of working hard, and that is part of the journey. I approach life as a journey, not a race to an ever-changing goal. Enjoy the journey. Experience, embrace and share the journey. This philosophy means more than “stop and smell the roses.” But, more on that another day.