Changed for Good: Academic Advising, Wicked, and Kolb’s Experiential Learning

bc i knew you

We head out to the National Advising Conference tomorrow, and I am thinking a lot about who I am as an advisor. This has been going on a lot lately since my boss has us each working on our personal advising philosophies. I was listening to my Wicked soundtrack today (everyone in the office knows that if Wicked is playing REAL WORK is being done in my office!), and I got to thinking about Elphaba. Now I was a Wicked fan long before the musical…my first paper for my first literature class was on the novel. The novel and the musical are markedly different, but both amazing. One thing they demonstrate equally is the duplicity of Elphaba’s character. She is beautiful in that even she isn’t sure if she’s good or evil or how her actions resonate.

As I listen to For Good, the words seem to strangely meld with the work I’m doing on David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. Glinda sings the following lines to Elphaba…

“I’ve heard it said/ That people come into our lives for a reason/ Bringing something we must learn/ And we are led to/ Those who help us must to grow/ If we let them/ And we help them in return/ Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true/ But I know I’m who I am today/ Because I knew you”


I think we all have instances of questioning ourselves and how our intentions are read by others. In a job like Academic Advising, I wonder everyday if I am making a difference. And I don’t know the answer to that. If I died tomorrow, I hope that there would be people who would say that their lives had been touched by me in a positive way. Maybe it’s more realistic to have Elphaba’s perspective…to have my gravestone read, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

keep calm and defy gravity


One thought on “Changed for Good: Academic Advising, Wicked, and Kolb’s Experiential Learning

  1. Pingback: What I’ve Learned from Wicked: My Personal Academic Advising Philosophy | I Listened to the Mustn'ts and I Won

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