The Dance of Vocation

by Sharon Fleshman

In my last blog, I referred to one of my favorite scenes in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. This time around, I’m fondly reminiscing about the Peanuts gang gathering for the holidays in A Charlie Brown Christmas.  In this annually aired episode, the part that always strikes me the most is the exuberant dance scene.  While everyone is moving to his or her own rhythm, however odd or offbeat, there is a sense of camaraderie present as well.

As part of the Penn community, you are finding your own rhythm, yet growing more aware that you’re part of a bigger picture.  I encourage you to make the most of this time to develop your understanding of vocation as you connect with others, attend classes, intern/volunteer for organizations, and participate in extracurricular activities. By “vocation,” I don’t just mean what you choose as a career or what you end up doing as your first job after graduation.  Vocation points to a broader perspective, where you can envision how your skills, values, and experiences come together in a purposeful way.

So what more does vocation have to do with dancing?  I’ll leave further explanation of that to Rev. Dr. Chaz Howard, the University Chaplain, who gave an inspiring talk during the recent TEDxPenn conference held on campus.  Enjoy!

Author: Sharon

Sharon Fleshman is the Senior Associate Director of Career Services for students in Education, Nursing and Social Policy & Practice.