The Student Affairs New Professional

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Learning To Fly - Post 32

Quote of the Day:
"I think people talk too much anyway. Sometimes people are talking to me and in my mind I'm just like 'shut up, shut up, shut up, blah blah blah blah blaaaaah.'"
- Ellen DeGeneres



I came across this quote from Ellen today, as I was looking for a quote of the day for this blog that fits my current mood, and this one was just perfect! So i decdied I need more "Ellen" in my life and I check who's on her show in the next few days and there's a scene from Harry Potter on the show tomorrow (or actually today, since it's past midnight) and then Orlando Bloom on Monday...and now I'm really really excited. Haha. Of course, I'll have to tape it because I'll be at work, but it'll provide some perfect dinner-entertainment tomorrow. :)

Our Summer Orientation program is coming to an end. Only five more sessions. CRAZY! This summer definitely flew by.

You know, I was e-mailing my friends from Austria the other day and I mentioned how this summer just went by really quickly and that I can't believe it's basically over...and they were like, "What? Summer hasn't started yet." Which is so true...but being in ResLife, it's like, once Fall Training starts, it feels like summer's over. It's like we're living on a totally different schedule, like we're living in a totally different world.

So back to Orientation...
There's a lot of things I love about Orientation, working with the Orientation Leaders and Office staff, meeting the incoming students and seeing their excitement, watching how these students start making their first connections with other students...there's so much potential, so much future....
Some of my colleagues have said, "You either love Orientation or you hate it." I'm definitely one of those people who loves Orientation.
This year, I've been responsible for a lot of the administrative tasks, the behind-the-scenes work of Orientation. That's not usually my favorite thing to do...I'm much more the go-out-and-do-it kinda person. I live for that "student contact" we talk about so much. But then again, I'm also pretty organized, so doing some administrative tasks isn't too bad for me and I'd say, I do a decent job.
Anyway, it's definitely been an interesting learning experience. There's three areas of Student Affairs that I'm passionate about: Residence Life, Student Activities and Orientation (no offense to any of the other areas; it's just not me). And having seen some of the behind-the-scenes work of an Orientation program has definitely been educational; and if I ever decide to leave ResLife (or find a position that does ResLife and Orientation...which would be just "bloody brilliant"), I'll have a much better idea of what you do when you work with Orientation.
The thing I don't love about Orientation is that you have to work with so many different departments and something have to deal with a lot of incompetence on their part and there really isn't much you can do.
Here's an example: We've said from the very beginning that we'd be using these four buildings to host parents; using two for the even-numbered session and then the other two for the odd-numbered ones to give the Housing Staff a little more time to turn them around. Most of the time, we can fit everyone from one session into one building but once in a while, we have to go on to the second building. It just so happened that we've never had to use the second building for the odd-numbered sessions until today. So today, I get this phone call from Conference Services (they do the check-ins and check-outs for us at the buildings) and they're like, "We have a big problem" (all their phone calls start like this and usually it's something that's really NOT a big deal). The "big problem" was that they "didn't know" that we were using that second building (even though we'd said that from the very start; there's been e-mails; there's been reports for each session that have listed this building...just so far always as not being used). And apparently they didn't have any keys ready for that building. AND they didn't notice this until today when one of the families was coming in, even though I sent them a report listing all the rooms we were using four days ago (as I always do). And of course, this is all my fault!

Oh well...
Life in the ResLife World is interesting as ever. I have a 10-month position, so right now I'm not on contract with ResLife (which is why I'm working for Orientation). So you'd think that I don't have to work for ResLife. THINK AGAIN!
While I'm not allowed to volunteer for anything I'm actually interested in (or certain staff members may think that I work too much and can't handle advising RHA next year), I can definitely volunteer to help with any coordinator interviews and prepare training presentation, meet with central staff members about training presentations and and and. Those are training presentations, by the way, that should have been put together in the Spring, so that we wouldn't have to do that now. But thanks to certain other staff members not having their act together, we're nowhere near being done.
I just don't get it. This is a 10-month position!!! What would they do if I just wasn't available? Next year, I'm planning on going back to Austria for the summer...which means, I will NOT be checking my e-mails every five minutes, they won't be able to call me and there clearly won't be any time for these last-minute meetings.
You know, I'm a workaholic, so I'm always doing ResLife stuff. And I don't mind preparing some things for my building over the summer, doing some of that long-term planning that you don't get around to during the year, etc...but I just don't feel like sitting through endless meetings where nothing will get accomplished.It's like I'm being punished for being around this summer. Definitely not the way you want to start off a new semester....

On a personal note, I actually hung out with some people lately. I still sometimes feel like the fifth wheel when we go somewhere - I guess I just don't fit in really. I'm just interested in different things; like I listen to hip hop instead of country; I go to dance clubs not bars; I obsess over fictional characters from my favorite books not athletes. - but I've hung out with people lately and it's been alright. I guess I just have to force myself to be social around here; and I have to use some of that patience and acceptance that I try to use when working with my students when hanging out with colleagues. ;)

The whole getting-in-shape thing hasn't really worked out this summer. It's not that I don't have time. I just don't have the will power to do it. When I get home at night, I'm tired and all I want to do is read or watch TV. So instead of working out, I've been eating lots of ice cream. Hey, ice cream's good for you. It's got milk in it.

I'm still working toward accomplishing about those job-related goals, the getting stuff ready for the semester. I feel like I'm a little behind what I wanted to do, but not to bad. If I manage to get some work done this weekend, I should be all caught up.

Hmmm, have I talked (or actually "written") too much? Are you going, "Shut up, shut up, shut up, blah blah blah blah blaaaah" yet? Just kidding.

One of my all-time favorite student leaders, a former RHA president, now has a blog about her life at grad school (no, she's not in Student Affairs...at least not yet...haha...I kept teasing her that she'd come over to the "dark side" one day but she insists that she'll be a vet) and it's really fun finding out how things are going for her. I think, everyone should have a blog. ;) (But you may want to be careful who you tell about your blog...hmmm, and doing it anonymously may be a good idea because you never know who's gonna come across it and find out your deepest darkest secrets. And even if it's anonymously, people who know you may guess it's you. Have you guess who I am yet? If you did, don't tell me or I'll get freaked out about the fact that people are actually reading this and will now know what I think.)

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