When President Robert A. Oden Jr. spoke about "The Time Famine of the Nineties" in his opening remarks for the 1999-2000 academic year, most members of the College community understood the phenomenon he was addressing. After all, they were suffering the effects in their own lives.
But not everyone has succumbed. Just ask Assistant Director of Alumni Parent Relations and Annual Funds Shawn L. Dailey.
The twenty-five-year-old Mount Vernon native, who began working at Kenyon in January, has found the time to pursue many hobbies, which include cooking, gardening, guitar playing, weight lifting, winemaking, and woodworking. And that just scratches the surface for this good-natured, multitalented Ohio State University (OSU) graduate, who spent three months at the U.S. Naval Academy prior to enrolling at OSU.
"When I hear Rob Oden talk about the time famine, I feel like I've been there," Dailey says. "I started living the time famine my freshman year in college," he recalls of his grueling academic days, which sometimes included, in addition to his coursework, up to six hours a day of training as a star wrestler and at other times a thirty-five-hour work week devoted to various jobs. "Now I feel like I'm living in a time feast. My hobbies have just exploded. I was relieved to finish school and be able to join the nine-to-five work force."
Dailey's community ties run deep. He and his wife, Amy Dailey, live in a house in Mount Vernon owned by his grandparents, the same house in which Dailey's father was raised. Dailey's great-grandfather, who once owned a hardware store in Gambier, helped build the benches and tables in the Peirce Great Hall.
Dailey, who prior to working at Kenyon was employed as a marketing coordinator at the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche in Columbus, Ohio, came back to the Knox County area in order to live a simpler life than the one he led in the state capital. "After you live in a small town like this, and then you live in a city, it's easy to feel confined," says the self-described farm boy. "I feel so much more relaxed here. Not everyone is in a hurry. This is really what Amy and I wanted for ourselves."
While Dailey's glut of time has allowed him to dabble in many areas, he doesn't think he's had the chance to perfect many things. "I do it moderately well, not as well as I'd like," he says in reference to his gardening. He feels much the same about his winemaking. "To be perfectly honest, I haven't made what I'd call a good bottle of wine yet. It takes a lot of patience, since six months is the minimum amount of time it takes to make anything decent."
His woodworking is a different matter. It's with pride that Dailey says he built his wife a hope chest as a wedding present when they were married almost three years ago. He also makes picture frames, shelves, and tables.
Dailey's office reveals his penchant for antiques, including a circa 1920 camera, a globe from the 1940s, and a guitar of his father's. "I just love it," he says of the guitar, as he feels its wood finish. "It has so much character. And guitars are like wine; they grow better with age."
While Dailey appreciates antiques, he doesn't classify himself as a collector. "Many collectors are preservationists," he says. "We like to use things and we don't hesitate to modify some-thing if necessary. If we buy a corkscrew from the 1920s, we're going to use it to open wine. It's not going to sit on a shelf."
The future looks to hold some farming for Dailey, as he wants to have enough land some day to plant an orchard and produce most of his own food. "I hate to call myself a naturalist because that kind of implies something, but we like growing our own food," he says. Farming aside, Dailey's top ambition for the future is to lead a life that's relatively free of stress. No stranger to hard work, he draws the line when it comes to sacrificing his health and family. While he was living through his own time famine, he found he didn't always make the time to take care of himself physically. "That's something I wonder about," he says in regard to people who can't find time to exercise. "How many people are sacrificing their health because it doesn't fit in with their routine?"
But don't think that Dailey's philosophy means he dedicates anything less than 100 percent of himself to his work in the Office of Alumni Parent Relations and Annual Funds. As the person responsible for reporting the figures of the Kenyon Fund and the Kenyon Parents Fund, Dailey is highly skilled and technologically savvy. "He's absolutely fantastic," says his colleague Nancy Anderson. "We're so lucky to have him. He's already made all of our lives easier because of what he can do with his computer knowledge. He's accomplished so much in the short time he's been here.