I’m feeling quiet tonight when I think about the week that has just passed. While an overwhelming amount of campus energy has been directed toward THON, I’ve noticed that our staff energy has gone toward things like seasonal illness, chemical burns and dealing with the loss of a dear companion dog. Too often we think of personal experiences as backdrop to the work on our desks, to the demands of our rigid schedules and agreements we’ve made. But this week I saw how the things that pause our forward motion can actually serve us as well by expanding–in tiny ways–our ability to care for one another and by making real our common vulnerabilities. So when we show up to work in the morning, we are not cogs in some wheel; we are flesh and bone, we have needs. I’m the one who usually sends sick students home from class when it’s obvious that that’s where they need to be. But this week, someone sent me home. I like to think that knowing one another and taking the time to care about what is happening in the background doesn’t really slow us down. It makes our work stronger.