Team Lift

One of the many things that is different in 2020* is the fact that I can take a brief break from constant computer use and go for a quick walk around my neighborhood. Sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometime it’s 20, but these walks not only get me away from the computer, they also help my psyche.

On one of my walks recently, I saw a big, heavy box outside a doorway, with “TEAM LIFT ONLY” in big bold letters. Doesn’t that perfectly describe ACC in 2020? The notion of team lifting is to make individual loads lighter. And haven’t we all collaborated to make loads lighter?


Team lifting is often the key to success. I have a weekly meeting with the instructional leadership who make up my work family, and in August we welcomed a new Dean of Liberal Arts – Social & Behavioral Sciences. Imagine starting a new job in a new college in a new city in the midst of a hundred-year pandemic. Where would she have been without folks to help carry the load by offering wisdom, advice, and experience. In fact, she has coined a new word for us: the deanery. The Deanery has been helping lift not only each other’s heavy loads, but the loads of our administrative assistants and department chairs and full-time faculty and adjunct faculty and lab technicians and instructional associates – all in the service of ACC’s mission.

I won’t be able to list everyone who has been part of my 2020* team lift, but off the top of my head I can come up with two dozen or more names (in no particular order): Carolynn, Tammy, Rich, Gretchen, Dianne, Georgia, Mike, Kathy, Margaret, Ruth, David, Stewart, Matthew, Sam, Charles, Gerry, Erica, Jennifer, Shasta, Don, Nancy, Kathy J., Melissa, Marilyn, Suzanne, Courtney, Susy, Jeanette, Theresa, Mary, JoAnn, Carol, Pam, Marie, Katie, Matthew C., Charlene, Kristi, Erasmus, Mison.

Okay, I’ll quit. That is an incomplete list, but we have all been part of large and small team lifts in 2020*. As the year finally, finally, finally draws to a close, please raise your virtual or actual glasses to the members of your team who have been lifting with you this year. A toast from me to one and all for their help, good cheer, brilliant ideas, patience, insights, and fortitude.

I wish you peace and rest and joy and laughter in equal measure. See you in 2021.

*2020. The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year that consisted of endless crises, reinvention of systems and processes, and no relief from staring at a computer monitor ten hours a day. May we never see the like again.

Picture published 2007 by the California Department of Industrial Relations. CC BY-SA 4.0