Monday, March 18, 2013

Conferences

I admit it, I hate conferences.  However; I sign-up and re-attend year after year.  If everyone else gets to run out of the office, so should I.  I think that I hate conferences because I don’t drink.  That’s right, I just figured out the root of my problem, I am bitter and jealous.  I am okay with this bitterness and jealousy factor, but I mitigate it by attending the conference based on my ability to do paperwork months in advance and screwing over a last minute paper work person.  Although I may not be going out and drinking it up, I can still enjoy the peace and quiet away from the halls….but wait, I forgot about being in a building with hundreds of drunks, it’s just now they are my co-workers and other professionals in the field.  <Sigh>.  I still have mixed emotions that I will be returning to work and talking to students about responsible drinking, whereas I have held the head of vomiting co-workers during conferences in the past.

However, conference time always makes me reflect on my favorite and least favorite conference moments.  I particularly enjoyed the drug and alcohol conference that was in New Orleans.  I admit, I didn’t actually attend the conference, but was instead just hanging out in the city.  There was something magical about seeing all the drug and alcohol educators giggling about being able to consume alcohol on a public street.  Now that I think about it, as a graduate student I tagged along to another conference, again I didn’t attend it, but still ran out of the office for a nice trip. Ah! Anything for a pool side drip in the gloomy North West months. The truth is, if you want to be a great mentor, you let a graduate student tag along cheap and sleep on your hotel floor.  If you’re kind, you might give them a pillow, better yet, you might actually try not to step on them when you are getting out of bed.

The last time I was in Orlando I was relegated to the horrible land of the Gaylord.  I kept wandering around lost and confused.  I was also bitter that the day after the joint conference left the hotel restaurant dropped the prices of its hamburgers to $5.00 for a cheerleading conference that was coming in to the facility.  I was also bitter that all the restaurants were closed most of the time and the property was like a military survival camp.  If you wanted to eat you had to walk five miles through Gaylord nothings to get to food.  It was impossible.  In all honesty, my true bitterness with the last Orlando conference and being stuck at the Gaylord was that their pool was near the main walkway.  This meant that all the time I spent in the pool, or at least wanted to spend in the pool, was a bit awkward when I could see my supervisor’s staring at me from the glass walkway.  I overcame this anxiety by remaining in the pool.  I rolled with the assumption that they had to assume that I had attended some of the sessions at SOME point.  Truth be told, I didn’t, I sat in the pool the entire time. Following the Gaylord I spent three days at Disneyworld.  That’s a post in and of itself, but the first thing I did upon getting to Disneyworld as an adult was to call my mother and say “I’m sorry”.  I was sorry that she had ever taken me to Disneyworld as a child, I was sorry if I ever cried, complained, or threw a fit in the middle of Mainstreet U.S.A.  In particular, after one man was about to shake a baby, I knew that Disneyworld certainly was not the happiest place on earth.

I must say, the gays in ACPA have always had a rocking time. Yet, there were a number of times that I was horribly traumatized at the Drag show.  It usually involved some co-worker of mine getting horribly drunk and then being inappropriate.  Just for the record, if only one person is drunk, and it is not the person you are harassing or trying to make out with, it’s not a good time.  In addition, there was a drag show where I was hit with the press on nails of a drag queen.  I should have sued; I did not sign a waiver.

I have also done a shit ton of interviewing for positions and as a candidate. Word of advice, the person sitting across from you in the waiting room is not your enemy.  Also, just because you’re dressed up or wearing a suit, it does not mean that you are the world’s greatest gift to Student Affairs.  Go forth new graduates and fight for a job, but at the end of the day there is a position for most everyone.  It is just a matter of if you end up in California versus Arkansas.    Granted, now that I put it into that kind of perspective, I guess it is a big deal.  You should be scared shitless…they’re all going to laugh at you….wait, no, they’re not.  Yet, having done interviews for schools, I would recommend not showing up to my social, crashing it, and trying to drink as much as you can.  Chances are, unless you were a freaking rock star, after having done thirty interviews in one day, I am not going to remember your name.  I will remember if you show-up to the on-campus and I had to hold your hair when you had to throw up in a corner or be carried out of the social.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Smashing


Today some of my staff just texted me and asked if I knew who was “smashing” who on the staff.  I initially thought that “smashing” was a term for talking smack about one another.  Apparently, “smashing” has changed into the new term for “hooking-up”, which for those of you even further behind than I, that would be having sexual intercourse with one only select and few occasions.  I was about to say that all college kids are whores, but then I realized I would be repeating myself in that statement.  Oh college.

Every time my staff goes on a retreat or spends a significant amount of time with one another I give the very firm; “Don’t hook-up lecture”.  It’s not because I don’t want the poor kids to hook-up, it’s because of the emotional baggage that comes along with it.  My end game is simply to make staff members who do their rounds, build community, and in the very least talk to each other.  I have seen it happen too many times where the staff hooks up and then I’m left with two staff members bitching and moaning and fighting one another.  Again, I don’t care if they hook-up, but I don’t want the emotional baggage.  Usually I state this very clearly to my staff.  I’m a firm proponent of them hooking up with other staffs, but they need to understand that they are the user, not the other person, and “no, it’s not love”.  That technique has actually worked very well in years past, I usually find a vast number of random student staff who are not mine in my building, they are coming for the hook-up.  I like that because it means that my RA is maintaining his/her staff presence on their floor.  See, it’s about the work for me.  I have no patience for them to come crying to me that So & So doesn't love them and blah.  I think that I have raised a few generations of woman and manizers. 

One of the most satisfactory elements is when the staff members do decide to engage in a long term relationship (more than four days) and they realize they have to come and talk to me about it.  I admit, it’s very awkward for me, but it’s so awkward that I really do try and make the most out of it.  The primary element is to talk to them about alternating rooms that they are sleeping in, you know, so I can again maintain their presence on the floor.  I also will make them vow that no matter how much they hate one another after the relationship ends, they still have to pretend to like one another for the sake of appearances.   There’s actually been many times where they've broken up and I had no idea, hell, even forced those to still do rounds with one another, but I didn't give a shit, I needed them to do a job.  I try very hard to be relationship conscious for those kids and they never seem to appreciate it. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Training


I remember the first year that I was a Hall Director and I organized training.  I was so excited and had all of these great ideas.  I thought that no one in the world had ever thought about incorporating learning outcomes, creating activities that pertained to the job, etc.  Year 1, I remember it well and I was so excited.  I think that I even made door decorations for all of my RA’s AND wrote motivational note cards to them that I would sneak and put up at night.  They would wake up in the morning, after five hours of sleep, rejuvenated and excited to see that I cared about them as a person.  Hell, I even created an entire training theme that I would carry over into the lobby decorations, bulletin boards, and the door decs of my RA’s.   I would also insert two or three game nights where I stayed up with them and we watched movies and I made them popcorn as they worked so hard on their jobs.

Let us fast forward to X number of years later (I admit, I am wee bit embarrassed to say just HOW many years).  I have had enough seniority to wiggle my way out of leading training for the department; rather I giggle every time a new and bright eyed person comes on board and want to lead the process.  Inevitability they always talk about learning out comes and how it’s going to be “better” this year.  I admit, there was a point where I would try and defend the training of the past and try and explain the limitations of what one could during training.  This was also in addition to explaining that about $20,000 was spent on food and if a retreat occurred add on another $15,000.  In all honesty, as the years have gone by, I don’t say anything.  You know what; sometimes the training are hella better than anything I could have done.  Yet, without fail, there is always some level of outrage at how much t-shirts for all the RA’s cost AND no matter what you try and do to prevent it, t-shirt sizes will never align with the actual sizes needed.  I tried having them write the shirt size on their application, as part of their contract, even follow-up e-mails.  Trust me, there is nothing you can do, it will never match-up.

I digress though.  I would say around year three is when I started sitting there thinking to myself “I’ve been through X number of trainings”.  Each year, even though the year had only increased by one, the number of trainings seemed to increase by 3-4.  Fall Training, Spring Training, and Summer Training.  Holy Shit, there are on so many times you can have excitement at making someone cry while doing a Behind Closed Doors Scenario (Oh, let us not forget the yearly genius who always 1) changes the name of BCD or 2) “revolutionizes” how it is run).  …I take that back, there are some fun times in making people cry during behind closed doors, especially when it is about mundane tasks such as a broken pipe, gushing sink, or academic support.  Yet, now I kind of sit there and just stare blankly at the fresh meat who basically just told a kid to go kill himself.  Ah, training. 

However, I’m back on track now, there just comes a point where you say screw the matching door decs and maybe you doodle the RA’s names on a note pad.  I measure the success of an RA training by whether or not the organizer has fitted in a significant amount of “me” time and ends the day by 5:00 p.m.  Or, as a super added bonus, only requires one or two HD’s to be present during the training session, thus giving all the other ones time off.  That’s a successful training, not 2 a.m. popcorn parties when your body clearly needs 8 hours of sleep because you’re old. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Fear….



There are two approaches to getting students to talk.  You can try and scare the hell out of them or you can be nice and kind to them.  I tend to lean towards fear, but as I have gotten older I have become a lot more relaxed and calm and kind.  Little do the residents know that I’m about to be a whole lot meaner to them if they steal my lounge furniture or if they are out on the roof vs. smoking dope or drinking.  I mean, I know students drink and smoke weed.  Do I agree with it or think its okay; no, it’s still against the law.  Yet, if you really want to piss me off….REALLY…REALLY want to piss me off, just take my community couch.  In your little head its “borrowing”, but years and years of my missing furniture has made me an angry person.  One time the students had a keg in their room and I would have never seen it, but they chose to hide it using one of my tables from the downstairs community room.  Here I am, focused on this table and it was not until later that I noticed that there was a keg underneath it.  Idiots, you would have been fine, but you took my table!!!!! Moral of the story; don’t steal/borrow/take furniture. 

Today the police found some of my students smoking weed on the roof.  Initially I thought that they were on the roof, but we have a suicide cage which they are allowed to be in.  When I found out they stayed in the suicide cage area, my anger went down significantly.  Poor little kids, the police told them they were being kicked out.  I watched for a little bit, but afterwards the little hooligans came to me and asked if they were going to be kicked out.  As joyous as it might be to see the fear until a conduct meeting, sometimes it’s just kinder to tell them the truth.  “No, you’re not going to get kicked out.”  Today’s rewarding measure would have to be that my little pot head angels gave me a little group hug of highness.  Albeit awkward, it was adorable.  They wiped away their little sniffles and went back on their merry way.  

It’s taken a significant amount of time (ten years), but there’s just a calm that entered me at some point.  Maybe it happened around my transition from punk music to alternative music or when I started to phase out the longing of country.  I went to the psychic recently, it was at the Ren. Fair.  The first comment she came to me was “what happened to you”?  I asked her what it is that she meant and she explained “there used to be a light shade on your head, but now…I can sense you take the light shade off others”.  I just smirked at her, but we all knew I used to have a lampshade, but part of that transition has been focusing on someone carrying furniture off rather than vomiting on my feet because they drank too much.  Perhaps I feel that small children are taught not to steal, but it takes a few years of young adult hood to determine just how much liquor an individual can hold. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Death Cab

The student's think that it is amusing to ride the elevator and ring the "emergency bell". We've had some on-going issues with our elevators, I'm not going to say that someone is going to die, but our typical response is simply "they passed inspection." When you think about it; "they passed inspection" clearly puts the responsibility on the approving agency as well as does not answer the death question. Finally, I heard the elevator bell go off as one of the elevators was on its downward trip. I was about to step in the door way of the elevator and take ID's, when some girl ran in front of me and yell at the three guys who had no idea they were about to be bombarded. The girls sat there screaming at them and informing them "you're going to fucking die and no one is going to fucking come for you, because we'll just hear the bell and ignore it!" My favorite line was about how maybe their mother did not read to them as children, but the "boy who cried wolf" should have been instilled in them by the time they were five. Although I was impressed with her proactive response to the situation, I was a bit sad that she was not culturally compassionate with regards to our large international student population.

My supervisor had a talk with me the other day about what my "next steps" in the profession are going to be. I kindly explained to him that I have a partner who has a "forever job" and I'm quite comfortable. He seemed a bit taken aback and explained, "Surely you don't want to do this for the rest of your life?" My response? …"I don't want to do it now, but it pays the bills". I then paused and reflected on that last statement and re-explained, "no, I want to do this forever". I knew that the second answer would horrify him and leave him confused. It did. I feel that he still tries to push the issue in every one to one meeting I have with him. There's an amazing realization in one's life when he/she recognizes that they have a sugar momma/daddy and what else they do is just meager fodder to the relationship. I feel that graduate programs in Student Affairs should be focusing on matchmaking and finding loved ones who are not in the profession. That to me is better than any professional ladder, requires less hours, and brings a higher level of reward.

If you're in Student Affairs, especially Residence Life…close your eyes and imagine…the one person (usually a lady in her 50's) who is single, made it to the "top" or near "top" and has some nieces and nephews that he/she cares deeply about, and maybe a dog (not always)….but is this what I'm supposed to be climbing the career ladder too? For the time being I will defer and spending my evenings with a loved one and friends at a bar…oh, and out of the office by 5:00 p.m.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lotion & Torn Shades

Tonight I walked into one of my lounges; there was baby lotion on the floor and the window shades were all torn down. If I had my guess there was some wild sex that occurred on that window. My guess is some exhibition. The couch was thrown against the other wall to open up room. Once I again, I sat there asking myself; "Is this really my life?" Granted, the view from the 17th floor is quite lovely. I could certainly see how it would set the mood.


 

Yesterday, I sat in my office as some strange student sat there screaming at the Desk Assistant. I asked the kid if he was a student at my school. His response to me was to almost punch me in my face. Again, I asked, "Is this really my life?"


 

I had a student who was wearing shorts that went so far up her ass that I did not think she was wearing shorts. I really thought she was pantless (apparently pantless is not a word according to MS Word). I had to stop myself behind her and then run into my office. I didn't know if I could handle the situation, it was too much. Again…."Is this really my life".


 

I explained to a parent the other day that once I pee'd on myself. The parent was concerned that her daughter's roommate was a danger to the community because she actually wet herself on her daughter's chair (the roommate). The chair wetter apparently was engaging in conversation with her roommate and accidently wet the chair. Granted, it is not natural, and it brings up its own host of problems. Yet, the parent was adamant that the girl who wet the chair was a threat. A THREAT. There are a lot of threats out there…and seriously, we all know the dangers of students taking a gun into public, but because a girl had an accident. No, dear parent, not this child…but rather maybe the student who actually threatened to bring a gun is a bit more of a threat….or that kid who wears the trench coat and mutters to himself….but I digress.


 

As I had had enough of the parent's stupidity and ignorance I finally admitted to the mother, "I once pee'd on myself and it was the funniest moment of my life." I then tried to explain to the mother that I was playing "ouch Frisbee" with a group of friends. We kept hitting the fat kid with the Frisbee and it was funny. I then laughed so hard, I pee'd myself. Even in re-telling the story my eyes watered with tears at the memory ten years ago. If anything, I shut that mother up with my own breed of crazy.


 

*Look, I'm heavy set, we weren't bullying. Our friend just happened to be really heavy set, I actually lost ouch Frisbee, but the heavy set kid's flip flop broke and it was funny.


 

**Okay, it doesn't sound as funny in writing, but it was the funniest damn moment of my life. …and yeah, I pee'd myself.


 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Really, is that what you want to do with your life?

The other day my boss made the comment that he had told his wife to "plan on me being dedicated to work for the next year and half, meaning weekends will probably be spent doing work". I thought to myself, WTF? C'on, he has to be kidding, right? Who the hell tells their loved one that they are going to be "busy" for the next year and a half? Work ethic or not, do you really think that writing journal articles that no one is going to read, or are going to be disproven in five years, is worth missing time with your family? With your partner? Hell, even your two dogs? Not for me. Not for me.

The thing is…we watch other people's kids for a living. Sure, we can ascribe some great meaning to it, if you really want to, but…we watch other people's kids for a living. The primary difference between my role and that of a Warden is that the Warden can do more in terms of promoting positive behavior. I am assuming it is easier for the Warden to do an eviction to another room or place someone in solitary. I really wish I had that luxury, but other attributes are the same. The furniture. The hidden drugs. …and cafeteria style food.

Community is going to happen, regardless of me being here or not. I think that that is the dirty secret of our profession; we have dreams of impacting the behaviors and life of all those around us, but it is not the same as when most of us were RA's. That not withstanding; RA's typically have a lasting impact, I hesitate to use the term "positive", but lasting and certainly play a role in the lives of their students. Yet, I can tell myself I am creating the infrastructure for RA success, but I feel like I would be lying. Once I went on vacation for the month of Feb. and missed nothing in my building.

Sometimes I really do giggle about how lucky I am to have this job, I mean…I get paid to put on events AND I have access to a dining hall 24/7, but to tell my loved one I have better things to do? I would argue this point regardless if it was a Housing Professional telling me this or not, but still…really, to give up a life for this?

…no..not I.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Don’t Believe In Student Empowerment

I have a dirty professional secret, I don't believe in RHA or Student Government. The U.S. was founded by the elite; the elite had the wisdom to set-up checks and balances and give the illusion of representation by the people. In the end, rights would never move forward if we sat with what the majority always wanted to do. Sometimes the majority is wrong. I feel this way about RHA. They get this sense that they can accomplish something, maybe even whispering to a HD "just you wait, I'm taking this to general assembly." I'm sorry, your plan to make quiet hours start at 2 a.m. is stupid. It is hard for you to believe, but some elements that are put in place by the administration are done so with a purpose. The purpose typically revolves around us liking our sleep, but still, there is a purpose.

There is also that element of the RHA "type". I love some of my RHA people, I really do. It's just that the majority are either socially awkward and /or gay. I'm sorry, my quota of college age gay male drama maxed out my first year of my graduate program. Ten years later it is non-existent. I don't give a shit if the RBD isn't responding back to you because you rebuffed his efforts. …or that you crazily stalked him during the chat messages and afterwards. Stop it. All of you. The only blessing I find in it is that sometimes I can guilt free throw one of my males into a female room without having to pay extra for a male in a room. There, I said it, I let my student's sometimes co-habitat at conferences. Sure, it's wrong, sure I'm violating a secret RHA rule of the world somewhere, but it's about money.

Continuing with the "type". I don't know there are the twenty year professionals who find their most rewarding moments at that conference where socially they fit in too. They recall their time twenty years ago where they fell in love with the profession, made their choice to go into Student Affairs, and now are clinging on with a death grip that is tragic. Please, move on, you/it were awkward then and it continues to this day. It is even more awkward when you're involved in the drama that unfolds in the board room. It's not necessary to coach your kids that they were not voted in because "so and so has something against you" or "it's not fair, you're right, it's not fair!". The reality is they weren't chosen, it is fair, there is a process. Sometimes qualified people get chosen, sometimes they do not. It's part of the cycle of RHA life. I find it particularly amusing when the unqualified, but must more entertaining get chosen. In the end their social qualifications probably far exceed the person they were selected above, but that's my two cents.

With that being said, I move away from RHA this year. It has been a happy and rewarding transition. No more late nights buying things I asked them for months before, or mediating a stupid conflict over whose t-shirt proposal is better. No my friends, I bid adieu to RHA for now.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learning

I have had to learn not to mutter "I hate my job" in front of my G.A. I think that sometimes it is traumatizing to her. I mean, you know when I'm coaching her on how to get into the profession and how wonderful her career will be when she gets here it is sometimes awkward. I don't hate my job per se, but there are just some days when the idiotic nature of the bureaucracy or the sheer wonton stupidity of a student is overwhelming. (How does this "mail" and "stamp" thing work?) My poor traumatized G.A. It will get better, I promise her. The RA's won't ALWAYS hate you and some day they will be somewhat grateful, but not yet, not today. Little do her bitter angry RA's know she's actually the NICE one, the meanness of job action and documentation comes from my puppet strings. Oh well. To my G.A., I promise a rewarding and fun filled career in the profession you have big dreams pertaining. To my other G.A. who is not going into Student Affairs…I'm sure your life in Social Work will be rewarding as well…if not miserable, more depressing, and filled with disappointment but with a younger generation.

My co-workers and I have a motto at our job. "Yes, it can always get worse." I always keep that in the back of my mind. There is no golden ticket to a land where it's perfect, I promise that to all professionals. Yet, there are places where there is a better "fit". I found a much better fit a year ago, that is why some of the elements are more amusing because the entirety of my life is not wrapped up in the work. The university still gets 50 hours of my 40 hour work week, but there is more balance, more hope, and more focus. Even if there is a significant amount of misery in transition and stupidity.

I think that I have encountered more mental health issues this past year than I have ever encountered before. There comes a point in your professional career where you realize you can't fix crazy. Sure, calling a kid "crazy" isn't the most professional thing, but we all say it in our heads. It's okay, try saying it out loud. Sure, your supervisor might get pissed, but it reminds them that you're not a counselor. I'm not a counselor. I don't have a counseling degree and I do not want one. I don't want to deal with crazy kids all the time. And it's not fun "crazy", but the vacant stare possibly will kill themselves or someone else at some point crazy. My mom always tells me there's resources on campus for those people and I should make sure they get there…then I remember…I'm one of the resources for those people. Having a supervisor telling me to "check-in" on one of these student's still doesn't negate the fact….they're crazy and in that bad way.

I laugh because the paragraph before, some people read it and go "my God, help them, you're a horrible person! Tell someone, tell the counselors!" To that audience, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. To the others who read it and go…"yeah, there's nothing you can do…" You understand, you know, there's that look that some students have. It's different from other students, it's a smell sometimes too, maybe the way that they respond to questions. It's different and it's not just the normal depressed student, or the angry student, or the drunk student….it's that special student who you know, given the chance, they could set the whole college on fire. Yet, they have their rights….and they have lit the match, but haven't done anything illegal with it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wet Vac’ing

It was only a matter of two days later…when I found myself on the 17th floor Wet Vac'ing. Luckily the student's had yet to move in, but my staff was in the building. Explain to me why I walk up thirty minutes after the leak started and there are three RA's, two night security officers, and four police officers pointing to the celling saying "yup, it's the sprinklers, nothing we can do." Mind you, the water was coming from the smoke detector, not the sprinkler head.

Thank goodness for my superior intellect where I pointed out that there was a laundry room upstairs and asked if they had perchance gone up the stairs and looked at the floor above. The statement must have been too logical for them to comprehend; they all looked at me like I had grown a second head. As we went upstairs we could hear the water GUSHING from the washers.

Again, I must remind you that I am with emergency response personnel who just stared at the washer gushing. At this point there was about three inches of water on the floor and it continued to gush. As they stood there screaming "calling facilities for them to shut off the water" I walked over and opened the washer lid and it stopped its cycle, thus stopping the flooding. My assumption is that they are all so preoccupied with saving lives that an understanding of washing machines must elude them. I felt it was an appropriate punishment to leave my staff behind after I showed them how to wet vac. Ah, I'm so fortunate that the opportunity arose during RA training so that they can have that skill early on.

The other most recent moment of pure awesome had to do with bystander behavior. I watched as all my co-workers went downstairs to a going away party for a co-worker. I was walking up late, carrying two armfuls of boxes, whereupon I see a male and female couple SCREAMING at one another. It was somewhat stereotypical surreal as the boyfriend was wearing a wife beater with massive bulging muscle arms. However, I continued walking up and they screamed for about the five minutes it took me to finally get to them. They were located DIRECTLY outside of the room with the going away party. In fact, the office had glass windows. As I walked up and stepped in between the feuding couple two of my co-workers rushed out to see if I needed help.

Honestly? We could have had us some serious beat down time, but no one seemed to terribly concerned until I stepped in between the two. I just don't understand how someone could overlook screaming people outside of your window as you're throwing a party. The last time I checked rooms full of professionals are supposed to be interventionists, you know, confronting behavior when they see it. However, some farewell cake seems to void this action step from my co-workers.

One week down.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I went to school for this?

The summer tradition of trying to do twenty-five years of upkeep in three months has just ended for me. After enduring periods of no hot water, scalding hot water, no air conditioning, banging at seven a.m. and fire alarms, I am now faced with opening a building missing twenty doors to student rooms. It just baffles me that year after year the lesson is never learned. I also don't have locks on some of the doors that are up, but whatever, the student can just sit in their room waiting a few days for a lock. I'm okay with it. Never mind the whole community bathroom thing. Our locksmith is working as fast as he can. Granted, he has one arm and is legally blind. However, he does maneuver quite quickly. I guess I'd rather him that the alcoholic locksmith at the last school. That one wore loud Hawaiian shirts.

The project manager for the renovation was sad yesterday. Explaining to me that she was up at 2 a.m. vacuuming the hallways and getting a lesson in humility as all my lazy staff members watched her bust her ass. Something she said resonated with me. "I went to college for four years to vacuum hallways?" My immediate thought was "Yes, to use a Wet Vac you need at least a six year degree." That's right; my M.Ed is actually an online certificate of appreciation in Wet Vac'ing skills. I can Wet Vac like no other, in the cold, in the heat, in the middle of the night. I am there. I even have my little technique of hiking up my PJ's and wearing my no-slip Addias flip-flops. Hell, I've even pulled in my loved ones and family members and forced them to Wet Vac with me.

My student's now don't believe that I know how to Wet Vac. I refuse to do it any more, well…now that I'm in a position of authority. I mean, I did some Wet Vac'ing about a year ago, but it was only because there was dire need and the student staff was allowing himself to get hit in the face with the a powerful stream of water to prevent me from getting wet. However, I recall Wet Vac'ing showers, other HD's apartments, and a laundry room that would flood anytime anyone used washer #6. I guess the more logical thing would have been to ensure that the sign always stayed on it…but I digress.

Let the children bemoan me. I did my time; I have nothing to prove to them! I even wet vac'ed after my co-worker's apartment pipes burst. Sprinting the 45 yards to her apartment I grabbed her illegally stashed dog and ran across my own lobby dripping wet. To this day I can only hope that the night security saw me running with a 45 lb Mastif Puppy across my own lobby. However, after that puppy was happily shoved in my bathroom I went right back and wet vac'ed scalding hot water when it was 20 degrees in that apartment. That's right, I'm a trooper.

Four years of higher education earns you the right vacuum the hallway, but six years of a higher education allows you the opportunity to operate the heavy machinery.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Opening

It seems to happen year after year, the summer is quickly upon us after a fleeting school year. Okay, maybe it's just me. May always seems to drag onward and then August starts running full force in early June. July is non-existent and then here I am, year after year, looking August on head first.

One would think that after seven years I would have learned by now. I had one slightly productive summer in May where I remembered the year before that August appeared very soon. I spent all of May copying my duty logs, making binders, re-purchasing supplies for my RA boxes. I remember everyone mocked me, thought I was an idiot. Come August it was wonderful.

…I don't know why I forgot about that process. I think it's because every May now I do my best to scream "Don't let the door hit you on your way out!", do my damage billing and then hop in the car to head south. Or actually ANYWHERE, as long as it's away from there or here, as long it's SOMEWHERE. God knows, I just sit around waiting for them to leave.

I don't understand though, how is it, year after year, month after month, thousands of reminders via e-mail, text messaging, signs, letters to their parents, etc. that student's still do not know when move out is. It baffles me. I can tell you today when move-out is in next May. I just don't understand.

Anyway, so where am I? A week out from training…asking myself if the RA's really need supplies to open. ...or even bulletin board materials. I mean, can't they just do a damn bored with butcher paper? Be creative, use the student newspaper, toilet paper, just don't give me that line of…there's no paper. There's plenty of paper! Idiots! They just prefer to use a whole sheet of construction paper for one letter of the alphabet instead of shoving Hernandez-Smith onto one sheet.

Then it's always…I can't do my door dec's without names! Whatever. Just make up student's names, they'll appreciate the game and I honestly wouldn't know better as an RD.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

No, I don’t have any resources for you.

For a profession that prides itself on being on the cutting edge of student services, it does very little to establish its own super-neato resources.

In doing a quick domain search for resources I found that "halldirector.com" was currently available for purchase at a very significant price.

However, being the refined, educated, seasoned professional that I am, I realized that I should add "residence" to URL and see what magical resources pop-up.

None. Zero. Nadda. In fact, being as refined as the profession is, ripe with competition over domain names I found that the URL www.residencehalldirectors.com was dirt cheap. So cheap in fact I decided to claim it as my own. Trust me; it is not a long term investment, but rather me just getting bored one night wanting to claim it. It's not for money and it's not to provide other professionals with useful resources. I mean, if in ten years someone wants the URL and offers me a ton of money, sure. However, we're all in education so it's fairly doubtful that anything will materialize with that dream.

Go someplace else for your programming resources, ice breaker, and door decs. I promise, I have none of that to give you.