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Jan 28, 2013

Recently the Enrollment Management team—Ryan Hoffmann, Kathy Van Duser, Angela Paviglianiti, Valerie Holloway, Karla Dawn Meier, Ronit Bezalel, and I—got together for a day-long staff retreat. We do this a couple times a year to schedule, strategize, and just plain get creative as we mull over ways to engage interest and communicate to potential students what a life-changing school CTU is.

Breakfast and lunch fed the scheduling and strategizing part. Twizzlers fed the creativity. I loved our “ice-breaker” exercise (thank you, Karla!). Each of us was asked to provide three clues to a favorite destination, and then name three people, living or dead, that we would invite to a dinner party at that location.

What a glorious exercise! It was a delightful conundrum to pinpoint that special place that our minds often wander back to because of the way its sheer beauty or meaning had imprinted itself upon us, and then try to select three people with whom we would share it.

Several different islands in the Caribbean emerged as a chosen spot, as did a mountain in Costa Rica, the northeast coast of Australia, and Jerusalem. Several of us were stymied with the dilemma of who to invite. Albert Einstein was a genius, but would he make for good dinner conversation? Picasso would be interesting but I’m not sure I’d like him.

Leaders, visionaries, and deceased loved ones were ultimately included in our little dinner parties. We giggled a lot, but I think each of us also honored that we were stepping “through the looking glass” both in imagining these unique get-togethers, but also in seeing the people and places that enriched, intrigued, or touched each one of our lives and imaginations. It was a lovely little mirror to look through on a Monday at CTU.

Me? I chose Jesus, Shakespeare, and Tina Fey for a wind-swept dinner at Warren Dunes in Michigan. I figured the conversation would be lively, intense, wise, colorful, and funny, and who doesn’t like a sunset at the Dunes? And if I didn’t get any eternally lingering questions answered? Well, Tina would, no doubt, keep me laughing uproariously for even thinking I would!