Monthly Archives: October 2012

No School!

As an adult, I still get excited to see that classes are cancelled. It brings me back to my elementary school days where I would sit watch the names of schools scroll across the bottom of the screen, keeping my fingers crossed that mine would be one of them. And once I saw the name go by, I would jump up and dance around. It’s the ultimate good news when you’re a kid.

Undergrad U only closed once the entire time I was there. State Grad U seemed a little more afraid of the weather and closed more frequently. I loved it. It meant I had more time to work on the overwhelming amount homework I had…or more likely, lay around in my pajamas all day. If the closing was announced in advance, that meant we were having a party. Heck, if we didn’t close in advance, we’d party anyway and hope for the best.

My school cancelled classes but we did not shut down our residence halls. Student me would have loved it, but professional me hated it for the exact same reason student me would have loved it. Luckily, there were none of those sort of issues. There really weren’t many issues on campus at all. The parking lot looked rather empty…maybe those that had gone home for the weekend just stayed there?

Unfortunately, a day with no classes doesn’t mean a day with no work. I was on duty. I live where I work. And we need to plan things to distract students from doing things like throwing hurricane parties. So instead of laying in bed all day, I have to host programs that are attended by nobody. That, my friends, is how “snow days” differ when you are an adult.

I’m glad my school didn’t see that much damage. I hope the rest of you are safe!!

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Rock You Like A Hurricane

Hello Readers!

My school is closed down like many, many others but of course that means I have MORE to do than usual. Please stay safe if you are in a storm-affected area.

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In honor of it being Thursday and me being on duty…

it’s thursday night and i’m on duty
and i’m so tired i won’t need to count sheep
i’m cozy and warm in my bed, dear students
so please go the fuck to sleep

the windows are dark across campus
yet my duty phone starts to beep
i’ll walk across campus and deal with your problems
if you swear you’ll go the fuck to sleep

and now there’s a knock on my window
it’s just a student, not a creep
your key didn’t get stolen, that’s bullshit, stop lying
now go back to your room and sleep

the students start their stumble across campus
over puddles they drunkenly leap
it’s three thirty in the fucking morning
jesus christ, what the fuck. go to sleep.

all the staff members off duty are in dreamland
back to my bed i sneak
oh there’s vomit all over the bathroom?
god damn drunks, why can’t they just go to sleep?

to the assholes running down the hall upstairs
stomping your incredibly loud feet
last time i checked, you were humans not elephants
settle down. go the fuck to sleep.

you know when the dining hall has good food
and how to chat with your friends without making a peep
how come you can do all this other great shit
but you don’t know when it’s time to lay down and sleep

hey you drunk girls outside my window
trying to have a conversation that’s deep
none of you will remember this in the morning
so why don’t you come inside and go the fuck to sleep

the students are finally returning home now
following one another into the lounge, like sheep
oh, you didn’t know that water is supposed to go in easy mac? there goes the fire alarm
and now you want to go to wawa? fuck that. go to sleep.

i think the birds are starting to chirp now
i want to throw this phone into a creek
my life is a failure, i’m a shitty-ass reslifer
stop fucking with me, please, and sleep

there are only infomercials on tv
as i lie here and openly weep
dear god, will this phone ever stop ringing?
who the fuck cares? i’m not gonna sleep.

it’s time to bust another party
the music is loud and the drinks are cheap
the students win, they escape, they run down the hall
as i nod the fuck off and sleep

bleary and dazed i awaken
to find a student staring at me, what a creep
my fingers crossed tight as i tiptoe away
that all you students are fucking asleep.

i am back in my own bed now
and then my alarm clock goes off with a beep
oh shit goddamn it you have got to be kidding
i have to go to work now while all you students are asleep

 

 

Based on “Go The Fuck to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach

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Oops.

Between the Homecoming from hell and all of my fraternities apparently uniting in a common cause (hint I think it’s to see who can give me the most gray hairs) I clearly didn’t have time to update today. I promise eventually I’ll have something interesting to say.

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Sorority Recruitment – Not BS…S (Big Southern Style)

Throughout the fall recruitment season, I saw many blog posts and articles about how to make sure your daughter gets through sorority recruitment and into the house of her dreams. Apparently some people even hire consultants for this very purpose. Um…what? While I understand that at some schools recruitment is VERY competitive and you do need rec packets and all that sort of fun stuff, there are plenty of schools that are not, but I find very little information telling young women how to navigate recruitment at these schools.

The majority of schools I have worked at have deferred recruitment, meaning that first year students are not allowed to go through recruitment until they have completed a semester. The good news? If you are unsure about whether or not you want to join a sorority, you don’t have to make that decision right as (or even before!) you set foot on campus. The bad news? If you don’t do so well academically in your first semester, you may not be eligible to join your second. The somewhat better news? If you do better in the spring, they do have fall recruitment for non-first year students.

So you’re attending a smaller school or a school with a smaller Greek system. How do you find out information? ASK! Policies and procedures differ from school to school to some extent. I bet you have at least one sorority woman in every single one of your classes. Each campus also has an office that deals with Greek Life, whether it’s its own office or lumped under “Student Life”. You’re going to need to know when recruitment is and if you need to register. Other things you might want to find out – what happens if you can’t make an event due to evening classes, if there is a registration fee, how many credits you need, if there is a minimum GPA…some of these things may be posted online but some might not. There are two main types of recruitment – formal and informal. Both of these styles can happen at the same school (although at different times). Formal recruitment usually means you will see all of the organizations and have a set schedule. Informal recruitment usually means you can pick and choose what events you want to go to. As a first year student, you might want to go through formal recruitment in order to get to know women from each organization. As an older student, you may already be friends with women in one organization and want to primarily check out their house – informal might be a better route for you!

Even if you are at a smaller school, some of the advice coming from these articles and posts is still relevant. First impressions mean a lot when you are meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time. Make sure your outfit looks neat and clean and is appropriate! Just like you wouldn’t show up to a job interview in pajamas (although some wannabe-RAs showed up like that recently…) you are not going to go to a recruitment event in sweats or worse, something that looks like you’re heading to a club. Also, stay on appropriate conversation topics. Don’t talk about who you’ve hooked up with or how hungover you are. These are seriously things I’ve heard women bring up in conversation at recruitment!

The golden rule at recruitment is to be yourself. You ultimately find the house where you feel at home. At the same time, try and give every house a fair chance! You will generally have a sense of where you feel welcome and where you don’t. Feel free to leave comments with general questions, but you will get the best answers from your on campus resources.

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TBT: That Time I Went On A Blind Date

One day during my freshman year, I noticed an advertisement for a dance. Being a freshman, I thought that a school dance was a big deal and everybody and their mother would be in attendance. Eventually somebody clued me in that these things didn’t happen, but for some reason I became very focused on the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend. This led to me and my roommate doing two things.

The first thing we did was to create a flyer stating that I was looking for a man and hung it all over campus. Now, we’re not idiots, so we didn’t actually say who I was or anything and we made a fake email address. I’m pretty sure the only response it got was my college’s resident creepy kid.

The second thing we did was Facebook stalk the entire male undergraduate population of our college. This was back in Facebook’s infant days and for some reason this seemed like a totally acceptable way to find a date. We started looking at friends of friends and it just went out from there. Eventually, I found this kid that I thought was cute and decided to friend him or message him or poke him or something. I don’t exactly remember. The important thing is, this led to us hanging out.

I think eighteen-year-old-me believed this was a date. I remember getting ready for it. I can even remember the shirt I chose to wear. Girls that I really didn’t hang out with came over to help me get ready and came and waited with me in the lobby. I don’t know exactly what happened on the date…I think I went to this kid’s house and met his roommates and we ate food and watched MTVu. Looking back, I wonder how that conversation went…”Hey guys, so this girl messaged me on Facebook and she’s coming over tonight.” I hung out with this kid a few more times and became friends with his group of friends. I still talk to a few of them every so often even though things fizzled out.

The ironic thing about this whole story is, I would NEVER be that confident now. I know some of my friends are signing themselves up for online dating sites and the premise basically sounds the same as mine and my roommate’s stalking and messaging, but I could not imagine myself going on a date with a person based off of that.

I know that there are many things that we did as college students that we no longer do, but what is something that you are honestly surprised that college-you did?

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Training

Once upon a time when I was a lowly graduate student, I entered my first “job” (aka my assistantship) with several other individuals and we were all trained together. The returners were there to both mentor and make fun of us. A wonderful time was had by all.

Fast forward a few years. I decided that after years and years of attending/working at large schools, I wanted to give a small school a try. And I love it. I do. I’ve probably said it a hundred times (well, at least here). But one thing that was kind of a bummer was training. Well. I should say the lack of training.

I was the only one hired in my department this year, so there was no formal training. No time where I was sat down and told “this is how we do things here”. I had a brief orientation with HR, sat down with my boss to go over my job responsibilities, and then hit the ground running. It wasn’t so bad in the summer when things were kind of dead and I could ask questions without bugging people, but now that we’re in the swing of things, everybody is busy with meetings and I can’t find people to ask them questions and when I do, I almost feel bad.

I know it’s not my responsibility, but if there are any new people in my department while I’m here, I’m going to make sure that they are adjusting okay and know some of the stuff they NEED to know. How did you all feel about your job’s training? Anything you would want to improve?

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Gap Year

Well hello there new followers! I’m not sure how you all found me, but I’m glad you did! One of my new followers is a recent grad who’s life story sounds very similar to mine. She always thought she’d graduate and go somewhere and get a job and do all those grown up things we all dream of. Except. She didn’t. She’s still in her college town. Why that sounds oddly familiar… So, my fellow blogger (and all you out there with similar situations) this one’s for you.

In our culture, a “gap year” is when someone purposefully takes a year off, usually after high school or college graduation, to travel, see the world, or do something else, like volunteer work. While some people see it as something only the rich do, I’ve had friends with similar socioeconomic backgrounds save and save and save just so they could backpack across Europe. I’ve also had friends be willing to teach English to small children in third world countries. My version of a gap year wasn’t so kindhearted or glamorous. I graduated. I didn’t get a “real” job. I was what the news calls “underemployed”.

(Side note that’s going to be so long it deserves its own paragraph: The jobs I had were most certainly real as I spent many many hours at them for very little money. However, I had some friends, adults, and even my then-boyfriend criticize them as not being “real” jobs. That’s why it’s in quotes. If I were speaking to you in person, I doing the whole air quotes with my fingers thing.)

So what did my freshly graduated unemployed self do? Well, I promptly threw myself a graduation party and invited all my relatives. And that, my friends, is how I survived the first two months out of school. I was constantly going to my local mall and applying to every single store that was hiring. One hired me pretty early on but wanted to wait until they hired more associates so I could be trained in a group, so that was six more weeks of sitting on my butt. I wound up working two mall jobs, being an “independent consultant” doing those home party type shows, and working at a bar. When I wasn’t at work, I was hanging out at my college doing college things with my college friends. I guess everybody else got the warning about the crappy job outlook and decided to take what I like to call a victory lap.

I was actually really glad to have only part time jobs. I knew I wanted to go to grad school and I was able to request time off to visit the campuses, chat with professors, take my GREs, and work on applications. My mom kept pushing for me to get a full time job as an administrative assistant somewhere, but if I did that, I would not have had the same amount of time to search for grad schools. Was I constantly worried about money? Yes. Was it worth it in the end? Yes, I went to my top choice school and eventually landed a job I love. A few weeks ago, I spoke with a recent grad in a similar situation. He could either be a substitute teacher or take a full time position. We worked out that subbing was probably the best option for him so he could have time to go research grad schools. Is it impossible to work full time and figure out grad school? No, but it really depends on how much you already have done and how hard you are willing to work. If you have already researched schools while in undergrad or only plan on applying to one school or have already taken the GRE, working full time might be more feasible.

What did I do in my free time? Well, once I had been accepted into grad school, I went through a period of a few months with probably the least responsibilities I’ll ever have in my life. No homework, no grad school apps, I didn’t live in my own apartment or home, so no housework. I didn’t have a dog yet and I still don’t have kids, so no looking after anybody. It was glorious. I spent as much time as I could visiting friends that lived in different areas. I made sure to reconnect with friends from high school that I had lost touch with during the college years. I explored different areas of the city I was living in. I hope that some day I can save up enough money to have a few months with no responsibilities again, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen until I retire. (Although I do make time to visit Undergrad U every so often and shrug off a few responsibilities for a weekend.)

So, to all you underemployed recent grads, to my fellow blogger, enjoy this time while you can. Yes, you may be broke and sleeping on a couch and surviving on leftovers and mac and cheese, but in five, ten, twenty years, you will look back and not remember how much your back hurt after sleeping on your best friend’s floor, but how much fun you had with him or her. Work hard, play hard, and remember what The Ataris say…”Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up, these are the best days of our lives.”

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Homecoming? Come home!

As you read this, I will already be in a car heading towards my wonderful home sweet home, UNDERGRAD U!!! Woohoo! I haven’t been back in about six months, so I’m pretty excited.

*not my actual sorority houes

What I’m sure my welcoming committee will look like.

I mentioned in a previous post that sometimes I feel hypocritical working with students. I’ll impose a new policy or sanction as part of my job, but if I hear that nearly the exact same thing is happening at UU, I get mad. In the previous post, I mentioned a fraternity being kicked off campus. I was a little upset about that, but I also saw their point…that particular fraternity was ALWAYS on the verge of being kicked off. More recently, two campus traditions have ended, one because it was “dangerous” and the other because it was “hazing”. Now, I know hazing is a serious issue, but the reason its in quotes here is because UU takes any complaint a student has and turns it into a hazing charge. Nothing I can change about that though…at least I don’t go there anymore?

People keep asking me if I’m ever going to get a job at UU. People have been asking me this ever since I mentioned that I wanted to go into student affairs. I don’t want to say never but a lot of people still need to graduate before I’d even consider it. As a professional working at a school, you have to be on your best behavior in front of students. I sometimes might not be on my best behavior in front of friends still attending the school. I have several coworkers at my current job that went here for undergrad…homecoming is just around the corner and they are lamenting the fact that they can’t go tailgate or to any of the “fun” activities.

I actually once almost took a professional job at UU. It would have been in ResLife and it would have been supervising the residence halls that all my friends were assigned to live in for the following year. I immediately saw that would not end well, so I chose to leave the lovely city where UU is completely. As much as I would love to be close to my friends (most stayed in the area after graduation), I don’t want to constantly be looking over my shoulder to make sure that a student is not at the same bar as me or has wandered into the party.

Some of the fun things on my agenda this weekend – family dinner, meeting the newest member of my sorority family line (!!!), crafts, brunch, and showing UU to my friend that’s coming along for the ride.

Would you ever work at your alma mater? If you already do, what sort of policies boundaries are set for you by the school? What do you personally put in place? Leave your answers in the comments and have a wonderful weekend!!

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Smoking

Once upon a time, I worked at a school with a no-smoking policy. Smoking was not allowed anywhere on campus. You would see students (and employees!) walk to the edge of campus to have their cigarettes. It was a wonderful place.

The other three schools I have worked at have all had policies that could could smoke X feet away from the building. Many took this to believe that they could smoke X feet away from the DOOR which two places meant right outside my window. Lovely. The third school set up a little “smokers’ area” with a picnic table but it’s right next to my air conditioner which means I ALWAYS know when somebody is smoking out there. It makes it really easy to catch all my residents that smoke “illegal substances”.

Why is having a smoke free campus better than merely limiting smoking on campus? In addition to having smokers congregate outside my window, I’ve gotten stuck behind smokers walking on a campus pathway, and had to force myself through packs of smokers (HA get it?) huddling outside doorways and overhangs when the weather is unpleasant.

Banning smoking on campus will also make for a cleaner campus! No cigarette butts, empty packs, or plastic wrappers littering the ground in areas that smokers commonly use. For campuses that have those extra ash tray things either mounted to walls of buildings or free standing, they won’t need to be there any more (which is good because they are ugly) and your custodial staff won’t have to spend extra time cleaning them.

What are some of the smoking policies you have seen at either institutions you’ve attended or worked at? What sort of policy would you want in place at your school?

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