I was so proud of you,
as you stood in your cap and gown.
A college graduate at age 50,
you overcame so much to walk that stage.
each accepted their degrees before you
and seemed to disappear into the crowd.
The class of 2017 commenced what we thought were new lives.
I trusted you,
as I had many times before.
Trained to see beneath the surface,
I looked past the verbal jabs and controlled conversations.
and Strategic Warfare took their seats on the Board of Directors,
proud graduates thinking this is success.
Your accomplishments only made you a more skilled and educated opponent.
Yet in a game of no winners that I now refuse to play.
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, and United Nations representative. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).