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Showing posts from 2012

My Job in 467 Words

How do I list on my resume what I do?
Duties:
Faculty: I train faculty with the new student information system and other requirements of the university. I keep them up to date with the newest forms and regulations, sometimes on a daily basis. I send and fill out forms for them. I print and file syllabi. I store resumes and other important files for their records. I fix the copier, printers, door tags, mail items, and submit requests for facility maintenance. I hold student documents, send them to faculty and others offices for faculty. I also help put out fires, which come in the shape of students, frantic phone calls, administrative issues, event emergencies, and other offices on campus trying to solves problems.
Office: I schedule up to five students to work in the office between the hours of 10 and 4 on weekdays. I assist with assigning projects, expectations, and general work needs for the student workers. I student workers home when they don't dress appropriately. I make su…

Office Space

So, now that students are back, I figure it's time for the blog to become active again. I'll try, once again, to post on the weekends. The last two weekends in September might be a bit rough due to travel and life, but I'll try to get by. I've even started a new inspiration list! Here's my first blog during the 2012-2013 academic year on office life in academia.
Most days I really enjoy learning about the academic side of higher ed. I work with faculty, tenure-track, tenured, non-tenured, visiting, and adjunct, I work with support staff, administration, student services, and occasionally student affairs. I’ve learned that faculty work hard, mostly, and care about the students, mostly. I’ve learned that being a program/school/head chair is a lot of work and is similar to herding highly intelligent cats. I’ve learned some dispise meetings as a waste of time and other people love them because it gives them a forum. There are so many personalities that it’s hard to pinp…

Life Lessons by Daisy

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I've been slacking off in the blog area, but I've had a lot of ideas about what to post. I've come across a few blogs while surfing around the internet, and I've experienced a lot of different things since the last time I posted. One of the best posts I read was written by a woman (I'm pretty sure) who had moved from a city environment to a more suburban area (maybe), and she wrote about how her dog has taught her about life.
Daisy, my dog, has helped me a lot in the three years we've had her. We got her because I was unemployed, unmotivated, and depressed. I had just been fired from a job I hated, and couldn't figure out what to do next. I had no one to talk to during the day and no motivation to do anything while I was alone. So, we went to the local pound/rescue/shelter. We wanted to look at a beautiful dog named Bella, who was featured on their website. There were other families in line for her, so we went for a walk around the pound. There were puppi…

Finding the fire

I don't get to use many of my student affairs talents very often, most of my student interactions come from scheduling appointments or prospective tours and visits. I see students in the hallways, but many of them don't recognize me, which is fine. But a few days ago our office received a phone call from a prospective student and her mom. The student's name was the same as mine, and she even spelled it correctly!
Her mom called us one day while I was on my way out of the office for lunch, and the information she needed could be handled by a different office so I had the student worker transfer the call. When I returned to the office I found out that she had be re-transferred up to our office again. She did not leave her number but said she would call back. I felt terrible, I thought I was helping this woman by showing her an appropriate resource but she was just jerked around. She called back the next day while I was in the restroom.
Before calling her back I called the off…

Thoughts on #dayofhighered

I started writing this blog post earlier today, and now I don't have it, so I suppose I'll start again.
I participated in #dayofhighered, and followed it as best as I could during the day. Monday brought some interesting surprises. We have our weekly office staff meeting, which created a three-page long to-do, check-up, please-remind-me list. I generally start my day with my email. I get in before most of the people in my building/college/school/etc. I get there when staff members are emptying garbage cans and the sidewalks are being pressure washed. So, I try to get as much done during that time so that when I work on stuff during the day and get interrupted I still feel productive.
Faculty can have it really rough. Classes include prep work, class time, homework review, then you have office hours, email, and stops in the hall, on top of all of that they have professional development and research and publishing requirements. They have a lot to do. There are upsides, such as te…

Who's on First?

You call the doctor’s office and tell the receptionist that you need an appointment and that any appointment will do. The receptionist looks at the calendar and says “Ok, we’ll put you down for Monday at 11am” You: Well, Mondays don’t usually work. Is there another time? Receptionist: Of course! How’s Tuesday at 3pm? You: Tuesday afternoons are busy for me. What about Wednesday, anytime on Wednesday. Receptionist: We only have a few spots available on Wednesday, is 10:30am ok? You: No, I have another appointment from 9am to noon. I’m sorry about that. Do you have anything available on Thursday? Receptionist: Yes, but the doctor only works a half day on Thursday, and then spends time at the hospital. How does 8:30am look for you? You: Well I have a lot of appointments on Thursday, especially in the morning. I guess Thursday won’t work. Friday I don’t come into work, so I think it would be hard to schedule an appointment with you. Can we go back to Monday?
The above is kind of like an Abbott an…

Always learning

This week presented a few issues. To begin with, it was the first week back from spring break. Then, on Monday, Daisy had a seizure (if you didn't know, she is epileptic, so this is something "normal" in our lives), which means one of us needed to stay home with her all day. My husband called in sick but needed to be on campus by noon for class, so I took a half day and left at 10 to do a switch. Then my coworker, Gina, came down with an icky illness, so she was not in the office Thursday or Friday. Friday we had an emergency on campus. On top of all of that I did not feel well for most of the week, and finally kicked the migraine by mid-Friday.
Besides all of the normal work week stuff, I also came across a job posting. Now, I haven't done a lot of job searching since being offered this position in October. I've been at my new institution for four months, and while I have checked the job boards, I haven't really considered applying to other positions. This pa…

Work distrations

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This one is less about me and more about a really super fun conversation and experience with my husband.
One Friday, specifically the one before Mardi Gras, Husband and I have the following conversation (via instant message):
Husband: People are finishing up their Mardi Gras Carts for Tuesday's parade me: wait. What? Husband: check your mail me: We'll find some beads for you. You totally have to post pictures Husband: no thanks me: it sounds absolutely hilarious. Free food! Who types in bright purple? Husband: that would be HR me: Not very professional, but the whole idea of it cracks me up! Where are they parading? Husband: What's professional about wasting office hours and materials to create a "parade float" just to hand out a $10 gift card. me: I find it rather funny (not fun though). How many people are participating Husband: I know of at least two teams
Now, the part of the company where my husband works doesn't have a lot of work for him or the people who work in …

A fairytale!

I have a wonderful fairytale for you today. All inspired by current conditions at my institution. There are lots of changes happening and I have spent some time reflecting on those changes.
Once upon a time there was a merry band of misfits wandering around in their very familiar territory, the wooded lands of Quarterdom. Quarterdom was a vast place with many varieties of flora and fauna, and even hundreds of tiny bands of misfits. These bands of misfits could be very set in their ways and incredibly stubborn. One day the council of misfits decided that it was time to move. There was fresh, undiscovered land on the other side of a muddy stream called Regsem. The council saw fit to create many committees to assist with the move, and these committees decided to make the move in small batches. Some brave explorers would be the first to cross, and then they would teach everyone on what was on the other side.
Then one day, the council of misfits decided on a specific day to begin the move …

Music, silence, and noise

So this morning I read this article by Dean Dad inInside Higher Ed.
It made me think a lot about this week. And last week. It’s been kind of slow around here, which I’ve been told is normal around this time. Spring break is close and then the end of the year approaches, which I’ve been told can be a crazy time of year.
Normally, as I work in my office and get all sorts of things accomplished, I listen to Pandora. I have several stations to listen to, ranging from classical, symphonic, to acapella, and rock. But this week, I haven’t put it on once. The quiet is really relaxing and calming, with everything else going on in life (my husband and I are hosting the largest gathering ever at our home this weekend) the quiet is really nice.
The quiet also allows me to pay attention to the other things happening in the building and outside in the hallway. I’m located at the top of an open stairwell, so I hear lots of things. It’s interesting to listen to students and faculty as they pass in the …

Event planning and life lessons

When you plan a wedding there are so many things to do. Among them are choosing outfits, food, cake, favors, music, dates, a wedding venue and reception hall. Now, when you begin planning a wedding there are a few things that come first, without these first few steps planning for a wedding can come to a stand still. Generally the couple picks the time frame, say, the month of June. Then they visit reception halls and choose their venues, when they've picked a hall/church/country club they then choose an exact date. After this takes place, everything else can fall together nicely.
The couple, generally, isn't going to make a choice about food (ex: we need to serve steak, chicken parm, and pasta primavera), before finding a place to serve the food. They won't pick a specific date, unless it's an exception or a couple with very specific needs, until they have some sort of venue. Rooms, venues, a place to actually host an event, need to be the very first thing established, …

Star Wars, an Event, and Cheese Drops

Several things are going on in this post. I'm taking a few lessons from Yoda and Star Wars this week. I hosted the first event in which I took a major part of planning. I'll also share the recipe of my new finger food for a Super Bowl party!
Star Wars lessons:
Do or do not. There is no try.-- Turning in a paper late with the excuse "well, I tried to get it in on time" would not work, why should I hold you to a different standard?
I don't care how many wookies are bearing down on you, I have other things to do.
Threatening the copier with the force of the entire clone army will not fix the paper jam.
If you can assist with operating the Death Star, I would assume you can follow directions.
The force is not strong with this one, nor is the brain
This is not the office you are looking for
When your head is in space, it's hard to breathe
Event:
The first huge event in which I took a large role went , well, it didn't go nearly as well as planned.My tech person did not a…

Limits and the freedom they provide

There's something to be said about being "hourly". I'm not responsible for checking my email while away from work. I get an hour lunch, where I don't have anything to do except for eat lunch. I have a finite list of responsibilities, and if I attempt to go outside of that list I can be written up and dismissed. I am an at-will employee, meaning I can leave whenever I want, without a reason why. I work at an institution with very defined policies and practices which require people to be civil and protect me from harassment and discrimination.
I always thought that being hourly meant being in a low-end job. But in all reality I have a pretty cushy job that allows me to have responsibility but also a work-life balance. I can't be ordered to do something outside of the set parameters, for example I cannot paint while on the clock. I can't (or shouldn't) drive my car to do university business. And the institution where I work has an entire process for being…

Taking responsibility

My husband and I are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. There is a two-part episode where Captain Picard is transformed into a Borg; this episode is apparently the best two-part episode in the history of television (pretty much a direct quote from my husband). Part of this episode (or an episode around that one, we're watching them in succession on Netflix so I get confused) includes a young woman who aspires to be Picard's next Number One, she goes over Riker's head and attempts all sorts of feats to prove her worthiness. Riker continually tries to remind her that she has a lot of learning to do.
This episode really reminded me of some of the complaints about the "Millennial" generation. I've heard many negative things about this up-and-coming generation, including that they feel privileged and that each of them thinks they are unique and special. People think that Millennials don't take responsibility for their actions and don't take time to le…

Hostage

I was going to post a really cool link about a craft retreat on facebook. However, I became highly annoyed, almost to the point of yelling at someone, and so I decided to write a blog post during my lunch.

I’ve worked in some pretty interesting jobs. I’ve work at a pet store, florist, dining facility, administrative offices, non-profit offices, and academic offices. I’ve had all sorts of different supervisors/bosses. Some are mentoring, education-oriented, and fantastic to work with, other are harsh, rude, inappropriate, uneducated, and all around terrible to work with or for. Office environments have included hostile, friendly, casual, semi-formal, and all sorts of things in between. So, for all of those things above, it means I’ve also worked with a large, diverse group of people.

I worked at one school, I previously called it Gold College, where I was absolutely miserable. My boss was terrible, the workplace was hostile, I didn’t trust human resources, and the ladder to climb regard…

Grocery shopping

I grew up in a small town. There is an incredibly small Main St., with the only two lights in town on either end, some shops, restaurants, and pizza places. The school district is very good (in my uneducated about primary/secondary opinion), we had college-level courses, instructors with Master's Degrees, and an administration I respect. I remember when housing tracks were fields, when across the road from my parents house was a swamp, and when lots of parents volunteered to work with Booster Clubs, committees, and school activities. There were drugs, cigarettes, sex, and all sorts of scandals (one of my locker neighbors in Middle School mysteriously disappeared after rumors of pregnancy).
I now live in a small city, which is located in a very rural county. There are a few places I can buy groceries, including a local supermarket, Target, Walmart, Aldi, and now a small grocery store. Walmart is generally poorly organized, poorly staffed, and highly annoying. Target is much better, …

Language

I've been attempting to write this post for several weeks. I've learned a lot so far in my new job, I have also come across a lot of problems, concerns, and issues (for me personally and for the office/program I work in). The main one that stuck out in December was language.
We don't normally pay a lot of attention to the language we use, until we're in a new environment. I guess it's like getting dressed for work. At the restaurant I had to wear specific pants and specific shirts, wore a similar underwear everyday, black socks, and restaurant shoes. When I interviewed, I put on nice clothes and nice pants, just like I used professional language in the interview. Before I started my new position I asked what dress code was like and while I still dressed up, jeans are generally acceptable.
The language in my department is the opposite of my professional training. The people paying for an education? "Students", or in my department: "kids". I hated…