VP for Information Technology & CIO

Walking Smiles

This morning as I turned the corner towards my office, I noticed a red-headed bird nestled in a patch of brown grass, barely noticeable. I thought how we often miss little moments of beauty due to the sheer activity we put ourselves through each day.

Of course today is unseasonably warm for the end of January. Certain the weather will change soon, as it frequently does in Oklahoma; and the fact that I had sat researching for a report for more than two hours, I decided to take a short walk outdoors – just to get some fresh air. Much to my surprise, my walk became inspirational.

Sun shone between buildings as I headed off with no particular purpose other than a few moments outside. Maybe I’ll take time out to walk the Labyrinth. I was pleased to see a couple of students were deep into the walking meditation so I opted to turn east and let them discover what they may. As one may expect, that was just what I needed today.

A young lady with lovely braided hair and earbuds was walking my way. I smiled and said hello. Immediately her face lifted and she returned the most beautiful smile. A few steps further and a gentleman in a golf cart was heading my way. Already smiling I greeted him with a slight wave. He, too, beamed with an appreciative smile. The two brightened my day.

Taking a turn and slightly pondering the path back to my office which required avoiding construction, I passed several more individuals with whom I exchanged simple pleasantries. At the construction site of the Chickasaw plaza, I jokingly harassed the construction manager for walking through the construction site when I had to go around. We had a nice conversation. Then passing the landscapers who were laying grass we quickly commented on the tremendous work that will make the grand old building come alive.

Finally, I rounded the corner of the building, stopping to pick up a random piece of paper that wanted to be in the garbage. Another golf cart and a maintenance engineer stopped. He thanked me for picking up that paper. How pleasant, I thought, this gentleman was to take a moment to say hello.

UCO comprises many and varied faces. Students, faculty, staff, and service providers from other organizations. We are a strong and inclusive body reflecting the state of Oklahoma in which we live and work. Without question, UCO is a great place to work – because of the people. Next time you step out to go to class, to an event, or lunch, or just to walk around this lovely campus, take a moment to smile, stop and say hello. You will be reminded why you come to this place of higher learning.