26 February 2010

Teaching: Life as a Student Worker

Hello! I believe this will be my first installment in the Teaching Series. I think that teaching as well as learning is important, so by teaching you something I know you are learning! (Now I just need to have you teach me something!)

Having been an employee of my University for nigh on two years now, in different capacities, I feel like I have a pretty good handle of some of the things that every University position requires. I think these tips will apply to people at other schools in other states as well, so don't click away just yet!

These tips are most applicable to campus jobs, but excluding food service - that's a whole different ball game! So perhaps a Ticket Office worker, a job in the Geology Department office, or a part of the Office Staff at the Campus Health Center.

All these jobs will certainly have their own specific tasks, for example, the Health Center employee won't sell tickets to the Orchestra, nor will the Geology Department fax a patient's records to a Doctor's office, and the Box Office help won't be photocopying the GEO 112 midterm either. But they all share some responsibilities, merely because they share a location, the college campus. So without further ado, I present:

Simple Tasks for the University Employee!

1. Be a Campus Resource. As a student and an employee, you should have a good working knowledge of the campus. Where is Admissions? How about the Student Union? Or maybe just the nearest bathroom! Being able to direct fellow students and even potential students and their families around the campus is a useful and courteous trick. This can take some time, since many students only venture into the buildings in which they have classes, but spend some time walking around with a map, and you'll do fine.

2. Be a City Resource. This applies to the city, too. For many students, they live in and go to college in their home town. But for others, such as myself, college isn't just a new experience, its a new place altogether. Though it may be hard at first to situate yourself with a new city, try and get acquainted with nearby neighborhoods and commercial areas. It's great to be able to recommend a good restaurant and give clear directions to it!

3. Be a positive representative. Now this is more of an attitude than an action or task, but I think this is also important. When you are an employee, you have a responsibility to highlight the best aspects of the campus (in my opinion). Use your position to give visitors or community members a positive memory of the campus. Because maybe they don't really like the way that the dorms are managed, but if you tell them how awesome your first year in the dorms were, maybe they will reconsider!

4. Accommodate! Sometimes it might seem easy to take it out on the hapless freshman who just asked where they can find the Bursar's Office. Instead of giving them the stink eye while throwing a map over your counter, remain courteous and polite and say "No problem! Let me get the map and I can show you right where that is." and when they are satisfied, tell them "Have a great day!" Especially in situations where the person is upset or angry, you can defuse the situation by staying calm and doing your best to resolve the issue. Give them the benefit of the doubt, because they could have had a bad day, too.

I think that sums it up, but these are definitely some ideas that I have used and abused in order to have happy customers! And in case you are wondering, I'm the office staff at the health center. It's a wonderful job!

Any other tips or tricks to being a great employee? This is like free job security!

18 February 2010

Stuck in My Head: Guy Sebastian & Jordin Sparks

If we are anything alike, every now and then, you will hear a song.
It's pretty good, so you listen again. Now you really want to get the lyrics, so you listen again.
Pretty soon you are on repeat number 236 and you have every word and vibratto memorized.

I do that a lot. Part of it is how I learn (I find that I can memorize things (especially songs) very easily after hearing them a few times) and another is that some songs are just too good.

This song, performed by Guy Sebastian and Jordin Sparks is definitely one of those. Sure, I'm in love with the sound of the song itself, but the lyrics are golden.

Here is a link to the video, on youtube: "Art of Love". You should go listen to it.

I've found a new level of appreciation for communication recently, and this song is just encouraging open communication. Talking it out is so important in a relationship; with your friends, your boyfriend or girlfriend, and with God.

Have a song stuck in your head? Fill me in. I would love to hear it! :)

16 February 2010

"Bonjour, Je m'appelle..."

Sorry for a brief hiatus there - you always hope that the semester will start to settle down, and then you have your first round of tests! Killer.

I figured a good way to break the proverbial silence would be to give you a peek at what I've been up to lately. You may find it interesting, you may beg for mercy - I don't judge. (I think I'm just so cheeky, don't I!)

I'll begin with the title, so that you aren't thinking that it's just random.... I would never do that... maybe. I just enrolled in another class (because I have a death wish) and it's a 399, or 300 level special topic. It's French, and I'm actually part of a language learning project in which we are corresponding with students from a French University and actually using all of the gibberish we learn in class. (That was mean, it's not gibberish. I quite enjoy French!) So, I suppose I will challenge myself to translate this paragraph into French -- native French-speakers, I apologize!

Je serai commence avec le titre, alors que vous ne pensez pas que c'etait bizarre.... Je serai ne jamais faire ca... peut-etre. J'ai enrollé dans un autre classe (parce que je souhaite a mourir!) et c'est un 399, ou 300 classe topics speciaux. C'est le francais et je suis un partie d'un projet de apprend les langues dans quel nous sommes utilise tous le nonsense nous avons appris dans classe. (Que c'est mechant, ce n'est pas nonsense. J'aime francais!)

Bad, good? I guess we'll never know.

I've had a few tests, started my "Creative Non-Fiction" class, which is wonderful and my teacher is a blast, though I think slightly crazy. Although I should differentiate, I've begun to notice that all English teachers are off their respective rockers. My first writing assignment ended up being about a deer. A completely awesome crazy deer. Maybe I'll put it up sometime.

I've had my first interview to be a Resident Assistant at school next year, and I have my second interview (thank you Jesus!) tomorrow. Hopefully that works out, because it would be nice to be able to take some monetary responsibility of my parents' shoulders. Woo free room and board!

I'm also applying to be a Kayette. Their motto is "Spirit, Service, Smile!" which means that they do a lot of volunteering and that is totally what I am into. I should do a post about that.... another day!

I promise after this long and rambling post has been read by you (how kind) that I shall soon return with photos for you to peruse at your own leisurely pace as opposed to my chatter.

How has your week been? Busy, lazy, boring, dramatic? Fill me in.

(Hope it gets better from here on out, no matter how good it's been so far!)

08 February 2010

I DIY: Valentine's Door

Since the day is getting closer (oy! It's this weekend, isn't it!?) I put together a little door decor for our dorm room. I saw a picture of a deer on something, maybe on facebook... and thus the inspiration hit me.

You may not think that deer are very romantic, but they are very sweet and lend themselves to punny valentine's poems, such as; "You are deer to my heart" or the like. And baby deer are just ADORABLE! Goodness. There's a deer farm nearby, and I think I need to make a trip.

As far as the technical side of this goes, I looked up deer photos online, sketched it out till I got a good silhouette and then cut away. I gave them some foliage to enjoy, since I live in the north now. Cactus are even less romantic than pines!

The words were in fact the most difficult part. Construction paper is not the ideal medium for precise x-acto knife usage. It's actually in two pieces because it accidentally ripped! Don't tell anyone, it's a secret.

Anywho, hope you like it, and feel free to quiz me on any more specifics, dears.

(Gotcha. Bahahah!)

02 February 2010

Thoughts on Singing

This is an excerpt from an essay by Susan Mitchell, entitled "Notes Toward a History of Scaffolding".

I like it, but I can't quite decide what it's telling me.

I actually saw it happen. A bird falling from the roof of a building. The bird let out a little cry as it dropped -- one story, two -- then, just as if it had hit something solid in the air, it bounced into flight. Hardly back on the roof, it was falling again, and falling, letting out that little cry. But were the falls failed attempts at flight? The bird seemed to be throwing itself off the roof -- falling on purpose. Out of the plunge perfected, flight pushed up as a necessity. There was thrust behind it -- the fear of falling. And with each practive fall, the cry lasted a little longer until the cry became a run of notes, a flutter down the avifaunal scale. Out of the fall, the cry shivered up and down, the natural embodiment of thrill. Suddenly, I understood. The bird wasn't practicing flight. It knew how to fly. It was teaching itself how to sing.

What do you think?