​​CALMING PRESENCE
  • Maintaining proper composure and perspective, even when the stakes are high
     
  • Offering a steady and consistent approach in the midst of stressful circumstances
     
  • Reducing the stress in others while staying collected, despite external agitation
 
COMMENTARY
Judging by the lights going up in the neighborhoods around me, it will be Christmas morning tomorrow. When I was a child, Christmas was a time for freaking out. I can remember getting amped up for Christmas at Thanksgiving – thinking that in a few weeks I’d be eating these same side (wonderful) dishes with ham instead of turkey, but there would be a big payoff after all the buildup at Christmas and I’d get presents.
 
I see now that when I was a child I did not quite grasp the ‘big payoff’ of Thanksgiving. In my own way, I sort of equated Thanksgiving with the meal and I figured we were all just being thankful for that. It wasn’t until I was bringing my own family to the table that I realized all the best things were around the table and not on it.
 
Now Thanksgiving is a welcome reset button for me to start off the holiday season and usher in Christmas with my head on straight. Being reoriented to think about how I have been blessed is a great way to urge me on to bless others as well (aka presents for my kids).
 
That’s the payoff for Calming Presence as well. Being thankful for my family motivates me to the proper course of action (blessings of gifts and family-time) without stalling out on the potential stress of the holidays. Calming Presence fights against inaction, and motivates us to develop a strategy to overcome our obstacles. It isn’t a retreat from the fray, but a measured call to fight the good fight.​
 
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The administrative window for E-rate Funding Year 2018 is currently open. For many of us involved in E‑rate, this can be the inauguration into an annual, high-stakes, stressful filing window. Getting the enrollment data, addresses, and student NSLP eligibility right can have a lot of good implications down the road (and conversely, getting it wrong can be simply awful).
 
Let’s take the opportunity to approach this situation with a bit of perspective. Let’s not talk about ‘sites’ and ‘NIFs’, but consider that these are real schools and libraries that are essential in both education and development. Instead of counting enrollment, we can count students. And instead of NSLP eligibility counts, let’s measure how big of an impact that funding can have on a community in need.
 
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I’m not trying to apply the ‘magic’ of the holiday season to E-rate. Instead I’m suggesting that we set the tone and perspective of the filing window with the right goal in mind – helping more students and library patrons get access to the educational benefits of the Internet.
 
This is not the time for frantic action or a retreat from the situation, but a time for proper perspective to drive our strategy, accuracy and diligence. Fortunately, it’s also a time for candied sweet potatoes with caramelized marshmallows on top.
 
Key Words and Phrases
Steady and collected; Not agitated or disturbed; Steadiness of mind under stress; Composed; Peaceful; Cause to be calm; Collected; Abate stress.
 
Opposite Terms
Agitation; Commotion; Disturb; Stir up.
 
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