Welcome to EOPO
Momentum: Sometimes You Have to Change Direction
I am the daughter of a mathematics teacher. This means that when I was growing up I learned all kinds of interesting things like how to compute the number of gallons of water flowing in a section of a river, how money was a good tool for teaching long division to fifth graders, and how revolutionary the Metric System would be for life as we know it. One of the phrases my dad said often enough that it is engrained in my DNA is “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” And, he was a master at making this adage apply to many aspects of our world and lives. The college where he taught even applied this principle to where they built new sidewalks. They renovated buildings and built new ones but did not put in the sidewalks until the students had worn their “shortest distance” paths.
Wouldn’t it be great if all of life allowed you to take the shortest distance from point A to point B? I certainly would appreciate a straight road from my house to where I work, but I am guessing that everyone would enjoy the same thing. What would allow me to have a straight line to work would be in the way of others who would want to draw a straight line to their work. We might as well pave everything and let people drive wherever they want. In order to have some order to our highway system though, someone decided that roads that mostly run either north and south or east and west would be the most efficient. Diagonal roads are the exception in most neighborhoods.
There have been many turns in my life. I went to school to become a teacher, but after two years in the field I decided this was not a good permanent direction for me. My life took a turn as I moved to attend graduate school. From there I planned to find a church job and walk along a path for which my three years of school had provided a foundation. When nothing became available, I was fortunate my supervisor at Otterbein found a way to expand my job to full time. Again, this was a change in direction. Two summers ago I accepted a new position at Otterbein which has taken my professional career in yet another direction. On a personal note, my son graduates from high school this year bringing some aspects of my life to another turning point.
Directional changes can come for many reasons. Some come because we decide it is time for a change or there is an opportunity for change. My husband recently applied for a new position with his company. We are not sure if he will have the opportunity to take this new road, but at least he was the one making the decision about whether to turn. When my friend decided to go back to school to get her master’s degree, she made the decision to turn her vehicle in a new direction. And, I am proud to say she is graduating this spring.
In some cases life thrusts change upon us. This can come in the form of downsizing, an accident, bad health report, or even something happening to someone close to us. The bumps in the road are not necessarily ours. Sometimes there is debris from others which requires us to circle around in another direction. I have colleagues, friends, and family members who are facing layoffs, cancer battles, job restruc-turing, waiting for transplants, isolation at work, the passing of close loved ones, and more. And, I am guessing you know a similar list of people who thought they knew the direction for their lives, but suddenly they find themselves pointed in another direction.
Life’s road is not straight. Some people have a curvier path than others. But, no matter how we get from one place to another, it is important to know that we are not traveling alone. We travel with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. One thing a professional organization like EOPO can do is give you a larger support group to assist during your travels. It can help equip you for the journey through learning new skills and information. It can be a way for those of us who have walked the path before to share how we managed the bumpy road. If you are already an EOPO member, thank you for being part of this tremendous support system. If you have not joined, please do so soon. We want to be there beside you on your journey through life.
Katherine G. H. Reichley, CEOE
President and NAEOP State Membership Chairperson
Educational Office Professionals of Ohio
Asst. to the Associate VP for Academic Affairs for Assessment and Accreditation
Office of Academic Affairs
c/o Otterbein University
1 S. Grove St.
Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: (614) 823-1173 Fax: (614) 823-1335
The Educational Office Professionals of Ohio is dedicated to promoting professionalism through developing skills, enhancing knowledge, and encouraging growth.