Now retired from a distinguished military career as a nurse commander and senior administrator, Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock said she missed the energy, creativity and desire to make a difference that she enjoys from being in the presence of young people.
She got her chance to reconnect with that population Thursday as the keynote speaker during the fall Patricia Adams Lecture Series. During two daytime sessions and her main address in the evening, Pollock had some very specific messages for students about their futures.
She asked students to think about what success really means to them. “Once you know what it is that you want, you have to build a plan. And then once you start to execute your plan, circumstances change and the plan goes out the window.
“You have to be flexible and adapt. This is just the beginning of your life of learning.”
Encouraging students to make their goals “so powerful that you can see it, taste it, smell it and feel it,” Pollock also advised them to make their goals realistic. “I want you to make your goals so real that you can’t imagine NOT doing them. And then you have to celebrate them.”
It’s helpful to write down concrete steps toward goals and toss the fear of failure and rejection out the window. “Don’t let any naysayers in your life slow you down,” she added.
Students will boost their chances for success if they find others who shares their passion – a “battle buddy,” if you will. “There are people out there – no matter how unique your niche. You just have to find them,” she said.
She concluded, “Get out there and let’s change the world. It’s long overdue.”
Earlier in the day, Pollock shared her lessons learned in boot camp about the value of teamwork and personal accountability, and addressed the empowering ways that she found to break the glass ceiling, working in a male-dominated profession.
The next PALS presentation will be April 6 when Heidelberg will welcome the Honorable Susan P. Graber, judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.