Hello friends, family & Jade Taylor.
It has been quite some time since my last blog post. Which I am frequently reminded about by my dear friend, Jade Taylor. She is the poster child for a dedicated blog reader. So in return, I dedicate this post to her.
Guess what?! Tomorrow marks one month of me living in a state where the drivers are horrific and the weather is constantly boiling. Also where the crickets piggy-back me into my apartment. And then position themselves on my bed, floor etc. But it also marks the completion of week #2 of grad school. Week #3 at my assistantship with Career Services. And week #4 of living with my wonderful roommates, Nicole & Jade. But seriously, sometimes we just talk about how lucky we feel. I think we’re pretty blessed in thee eight seventeen.
So back to the basics, I’m currently in the Student Affairs and Higher Education (SAHE) program at Miami University. Usually I simplify this degree by saying, “I want to work at a college someday.” But it’s more than that. And if you wanted to talk about it for 7 hours straight…I may just take you up on that offer. Even after two weeks in, I am beginning to understand why I truly love this field and why I wish it was more accurately understood and appreciated. But I’ll save that for a post of its own. 🙂
So essentially, my schedule consists of three classes and 20 hours at my assistantship. Each class meets once per week, for 2 hours and 40 minutes. My classes this semester include:
(1) Student Cultures in the University Environment
- A mix of anthropology (the study of humankind), sociology (the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society), and cultural studies
- The main emphasis is on studying a subculture of the university. This is a group project that includes a combined 36 hours of fieldwork and assignments totally 43 pages.
(2) Foundations of Student Affairs in Higher Education
- This is essentially an introduction to the profession!
- It primarily includes an overview of socialization into this type of program/profession, an overview of SAHE, the professional competencies of this profession, and the process of engaging.
(3) Educational Leadership and Organizational Development
- The essence: Understanding the organizational structure and inner workings of schools, colleges, & universities!
- We will also be learning about organizational change, effective operations, leadership, & multicultural competence.
That probably means confusion to you…but to me it means excitement, 1000s of pages of reading, and time doing something I am incredibly passionate about. Note: number one and number two are not one and the same. I just wish everyone could love their work so much. But seriously. That’s a genuine wish. Which helps explain why I am so drawn to Career Services. But before I jump into that, let me just explain these 2 hour and 40 minute classes. They’re not boring. They’re not long [like they sound]. They’re authentically engaging. The classes are arranged in circles [with about 15 students (both 1st & 2nd years)] and essentially, we have a discussion. I wish I could capture the honest emotion, the limitless passion & the rich diversity of thought, person, and desire…so I could share it with all of you. Because it’s pretty great.
Career Services. My on-boarding (training) process included individual meetings with each of the full-time staff members. This was a fantastic way to meet everyone early on and I personally appreciated it so much because of how much I value understanding the big picture and in what ways each individual contributes to the success of the office. Not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing (…it’s a good thing, but I’m a bit nervous), but I officially start advising students one-on-one – on my lonesome – this Tuesday. So in like 4 days. I’m advising science & math majors. So wish me luck! But, to calm the nerves a bit…I (by chance) met with a Biology/Spanish major today and it went incredibly well. She said, “Coming in, this is exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you so much.” Oh my happiness. Yay. 🙂
Aside from all SAHE-related things, I do have a life. I have become addicted to healthy cooking. Hence the new blog: awakenhappy.com. I have explored a few thrift stores. I want to adopt a cat. The work out facility at our apartment is pretty nice! I made a trip to Illinois to see Russ & meet his extended family! And I held a precious baby while I was there. The cutest. I got a paycheck. I drink water all the time now. I know my way around campus kind of. I hate parking here – equally (or more) than I hated it at Norbs. I love having a laundry room 10 feet away from my bedroom. We had a Packer party yesterday! And I constantly get made fun of and/or asked if the Wisconsin “cheese” stereotype is accurate. No. Stahp. Last, but not least, there was chaos in the eight seventeen just a few days ago. Story below.
I came home a few days ago to our apartment raining from the ceiling and 4 men. Our upstairs neighbors’ washing machine flooded their apartment. So that was pretty not cool. Came home to buckets, rags, soaking carpet that squished between our toes, dripping light fixtures and vents, and industrial-size fans. I asked the maintenance men if the flooding was contained, or if it would continue to spread. They said it would not spread. Wrong. Walked into my bedroom an hour later, looked down and saw that my shoes were wet. Strange. I hadn’t notice them getting wet as I walked in. Nope. Ceiling was bubbling and there was a small stream of water dripping down onto my wooden shelf and TV. Cheers. Happy to report that it’s all dried up. Carpets have been washed. Twice. Once by the washing machine flood & for a second time by the shampooers. And my TV still works.
So yeah. I think that’s about it. I miss my friends, fam, supervisors, coworkers, campus, pets & golf course. But I love my dry apartment (dry in terms of no flood, not alcohol), my roommates, my cohort, the second-years, my coworkers (S/O to Angelina La Lima + igloo time), my faculty, my classes, & my new home. But still not the crickets.