Tag Archives: ra training

What I DIDN’T Do On My Summer Vacation

I cannot believe that summer is over. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was making my summer to do list and thinking of all the time I would have to do things since I wouldn’t have students popping in every few minutes. Boy, was I wrong!

Some student affairs professionals have ten month contracts meaning that they don’t work during the summer. While a two month vacation sounds lovely, I kind of collected student loans like Beanie Babies and I need every cent I can get.

Unfortunately, unlike Beanie Babies, my student loans ARE worth tons of money.

I really thought that I’d have time to get all this stuff done. Most of the things on my to do list were things I wanted to do…I wasn’t taking departmental things into consideration because I had never done any of that stuff before. Next year when I’m planning for summer I will definitely know better!

So what was on my to do list?

To Do: Clean My Office

I really wanted to re-organize EVERYTHING and make my office look brand new by the time the RAs returned for training. I had all of these grand plans. My office was going to look like something off of Pinterest.

What Got Done

I did move old files into a filing cabinet to make room for things from this year. I also went through the mountain of papers on my desk…only for a new mountain to start growing. I’ll take care of it during Christmas Break.

To Do: Update The Website

I wish updating my department’s website was more like this…I could log on whenever and update it myself. But that’s not how it works. I have to send whatever changes I want to make to this IT person and he has to do it. There were some sections of our site that were in DESPERATE need of an update and I decided I would do that this summer.

What Got Done

I passed it off to a new employee. She needs to meet people in a different department, so IT’s a great place to start, right?

To Do: A Bulletin Board In Each Building

I wanted to do a bulletin board in each of my building’s entryways. I thought it would give the RAs a good example and be visually pleasing for all of our lovely summer residents. I saw so many cute bulletin board ideas on Pinterest and in the teacher supply store.

What Got Done:

I bought cute bulletin board supplies…that’s about as far as I got.

 

So what am I going to do next summer? STAY OFF PINTEREST!! Pinterest just gives me wonderful ideas that I don’t have the time or creativity to follow through with. I’m also going to put departmental things on my to do list (like planning RA training and training the new hires) and give those items timelines so I can fit my own tasks in more realistically. Did you do everything you wanted to this summer?

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June Goal Updates

This month has been the complete opposite of May! One day it was June first and the next the month was half over! Come on, summer, hang around a bit longer…

Be More Organized

Lately, I’ve been letting things slide. I’m in the middle of working on a ton of crafts for the upcoming Birthday Season and there are paints and brushes and half-finished things everywhere. Also, there’s a growing pile of dirty laundry in my bathroom. It should be in the hamper. But at the end of the day, I’m just so tired that I want to crawl into bed and do nothing more. I need to take ten minutes before bedtime and just use that time to straighten up a bit.

Also, I need to clean out my closet again. I went a little overboard during my shopping trip earlier this month and it’s getting to the point where it’s hard to move things around in there. In my current apartment, I’m blessed with closest space and I’ve come to the realization that I’m screwed when I move somewhere else. My first year at Grad School State, I had this huge apartment all to myself but I only brought what could fit in my car. I wound up spending the year buying things to fill the space…only to move to a much smaller apartment the following year. I think I’m doing that but with clothes.

I have a real fear of being a hoarder later in life because I have such a hard time parting with things. Like, seriously, I’m just one traumatic event from winding up on TLC. In my mind, the more I force myself to clean and part ways with junk, the easier it will become.

Read More

I know that when it rains, people say that it’s the perfect time to cuddle up with a good book. It doesn’t work that way for me. When it rains, I want to cuddle up with Netflix. And it rained A LOT this month. It didn’t help that season four of Arrested Development was released Memorial Day weekend…I had a lot of TV watching to do!

The thing is, I’d much rather read outside! If I’m inside, I could be playing video games, watching TLC, or maybe even cleaning my apartment. Outside, there’s only so many times I can refresh Instagram. I bought a Nook a few years ago for the sole purpose of reading outside, but unfortunately it broke. I do have an iPad with a Nook app, but with the glossy screen it is kind of difficult to read outside.

The books that I have been reading (unfortunately haven’t finished any yet) have been a lot of the novels I loved when I was in middle school. Basically, I raided my own book collection at my parents’ house. Also, The Baby Sitters Club TV show is now on Netflix. I never saw the show as a kid, but I was OBSESSED with the books. I’ll save that for my next rainy day!

Schedule More Me Time

At some point I realized that I had a lot of time off stored up. I guess it’s because I haven’t taken a major vacation – just a few days here and there. PDFM U has a “if you don’t use it, you lose it” policy about vacation time, so I decided to take some time off when my friends came to visit for the Lilly sale.

I also want to take some time off before RA training starts. Once the RAs arrive, we go all day every day until after move in. It’s rough. My friends from Undergrad U have been trying to plan a trip (see below) and some of my friends that I’ve made here have talked about doing a long weekend at the beach.

Keep In Touch

Just like I don’t like reading indoors, I don’t like talking on the phone indoors. My mom used to yell at me growing up for pacing around the house while talking on the phone. Apparently my walking drove her crazy. Why couldn’t I sit still and talk on the phone? It was a good day for both of us when my dad brought home a cordless phone that I could use in the backyard. Anywho! On the days it hasn’t been raining, I’ve been heading outside to chat with my friends while walking around the block. I figure it kills two birds with one stone – exercise and communication.

As I mentioned earlier, my friends are attempting to plan a vacation for next month. Normally, the girls do the bulk of the planning and the guys just show up, but for some reason this year the guys decided to take control. That’s cool…except the weekend we blocked off is two weeks away and we don’t even have a location. Oof. I’m sure they’ll pull it off…and I’m really excited for it. Even if it means we’re just hanging in somebody’s basement for the weekend.

I recently went to visit one of my friends from Grad School State who accepted a new position and will be heading out west this weekend. We arranged to have brunch at a little place in between the cities we currently live in and then did some shopping. I’m sad to see her go, but super excited for the next chapter in her life!

Be a Grown Up

I wrote a whole post earlier this month on the idea of feeling like a grown up and how I usually associated it with negative things. Just the other day I remembered another time I felt like a grown up. My second year at Undergrad U, my friends and I held a cook out. People brought different dishes and we had appetizers and stuff on the grill and desserts. It felt like all the cook outs I had been to with my family growing up. There was definitely drinking at this cookout, but I don’t remember anybody getting wasted or playing any drinking games. It was a classy affair.

Earlier this month I went to another cook out. There were drinking games at this one, which was fine by me. I’m starting to realize you just have to re-frame what’s “fun” as a grown up. I look forward to putting events with friends on the calendar, even if they aren’t “parties”.

And in the more boring aspect of grown up life, I’m still paying off those student loans. I’m constantly looking for “better” ways to pay them back. Author, wouldn’t that just be paying more?  Well, yes, but that’s not what I meant. I’m paying much more than my minimum payment and it’s about as much as I can pay per month without resorting to eating ramen noodles for every meal. BUT I am researching things about consolidation and which loans I should try to pay back first. I know absolutely nothing about student loans. I just signed away! Maybe high schools should offer a “College Prep” class that teaches you about financial aid and loans and all that jazz.

I’m also still afraid of the dentist. Next month I tell myself, next month.

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Bout that time? Right-o.

Posts the next few weeks are going to be a bit spotty because…do I really need to explain why? It’s August and this is a student affairs blog.

In the meantime, I leave you with these dancing animals to entertain you on days I can’t post.

 

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The World’s a Roller Coaster

…and I am not strapped in. Those lovely words from a song off one of my favorite CDs can sum up how I’ve felt the past week. Suddenly, I feel busy. I have so many meetings to go and they are all about planning RA training and orchestrating move in and last minute changes.

It’s like the past month and a half, I’ve been waiting on one of those terribly long lines for a roller coaster. The type of line that you can’t even seen the beginning when you get on and there are electronic displays telling you how long the wait is from that point in line. You’ve probably seen the kind of line I’m talking about at a place like Six Flags, Universal, or Disney. That line is long and boring and hot and that’s almost exactly how the past six weeks have been. I’ve just been sitting on my desk waiting for the next thing to do and looking at my calendar to see how much longer I have to go.

And right now, it’s like once you’re on the roller coaster. You’re held in by some seemingly inadequate contraption and the cars are slowly starting to move forwards. You’re scared and excited…and if you’re anything like me, you’re hoping you don’t throw up. You’re climbing up that first hill and it’s so big and it feels like it’s taking forever, but you can see it! You can see the point where the fun (or terror, depending on who you ask) begins – the very top of that hill. I’m on that big hill right now. All these meetings and all this planning, it’s all for when the RAs and students arrive. Which is in…three weeks, wait now two weeks, wait NEXT WEEK. They are coming next week. And down the hill we go…

Once the RAs (and later the students) arrive, everything moves so fast. There’s twists and turns and ups and downs and occasionally, the upside down loop or two. I’m kind of hoping I don’t get any of those anytime soon. I’ve never been a fan of the upside down roller coaster. The days and weeks will fly by and will be filled with programs and recruitment and student meetings and philanthropy events.

Then suddenly, much sooner than you expect, the roller coaster slows down and you pull back to the platform. Your hair will be a mess and you may have lost your hat or a sandal (or your lunch). And then it’s over. In May, we will pull up to the platform after the school year ends. We will be tired, but hopefully we will have enjoyed ourselves. And then we will quickly run to get in line for the next ride.

You might want to turn off the sound before watching the following video.

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