I have long valued being a good colleague; I am pretty much the YES person when someone in my department (or in another one) needs help and support. I have found that good colleagues and friends have done the same for me. When I arrived at my last school in Houston, I pushed to have dept gatherings — be it at the beginning, middle, or end of the year. Holiday gatherings have always been a favorite. We are hosting a history department dinner tonight. It should be fun.