I have an idea.  I’m not entirely sure it will work as I envision it, but I am hopeful and it’s certainly worth a try.  I’ve noticed – and I imagine you have as well – that it’s hard to really connect on Zoom, to build and sustain relationships.  Yes, of course, it’s THE way to get things done at the moment.  Can you imagine if we didn’t have Zoom?  So, we make do and we connect.  We try our best.  You try your best.  We’ll continue with our very large LSAC forums.  We’ll be active participants in our collegial LAWS events as long as fire alarms remain quiet and I don’t need to leave the building.  We’ll be on the road again as usual with my colleagues from Chicago, Cornell and Duke and enjoying every one of our virtual destinations.  And, of course, we’ll welcome you to the Farm with our SLS open house events.  I know the true value in each of these options and I am grateful for all the connections we’ve made so far, but I still want to reach for something more.  So, I’m going to add an additional type of event to our recruiting schedule in an effort to connect in way that feels more personal, more comfortable, more warm and fuzzy.  Join me for a conversation with just 8-10 prospective candidates.  8-10 of you…and  me.  Small and intimate.  Dear Dean Deal is what I’m affectionately calling this idea and I’ll host you on various dates this fall and perhaps even into the winter.  Dear Dean Deal.  Maybe it’s me offering up guidance and counsel like that advice-giving maven who started her columns in the 1950s before you and I were born.  Maybe it’s you imagining what you’d say if I asked you to think of your personal statement as a heart-felt letter that starts out with this very alliterative salutation.  Maybe it’s you listening to others on the same path as you and hearing what they have to say.  Maybe it’s all this and more.

Is there one question (or more) you really want to ask?  Is there one piece of advice (or  more) that you are seeking?  If so, consider Dear Dean Deal.  Select a date and RSVP.


(P.S. I know this entry doesn’t really count as a blog post.  However, in keeping with tradition, let me at least leave you with a song to get you thinking about heading west.  Turn up the volume as Melissa Etheridge is in the house.)