Happy Friday the 13th! I heard my Grandpa was in need of a new blog, so voila. Here it is.
As typical, I would first like to begin by acknowledging the passing of time. Such a strange thing. People never get over it. It’s probably the most common phrase used in the much-awaited, [glitter-plastered] holiday cards and letters. “I can’t believe how fast the kids are growing up.” “I can’t believe another year has already passed.” Nonetheless, I would like to join in by stating, how in the world is it almost my final semester of grad school? Don’t get me wrong, I’m about done with having homework. But as of now, I only have two weeks of class (and three weeks total with Thanksgiving) before winter break. Unreal.
On the topic of holiday cards, it’s about that time. I was recently thinking about how strange it is that we send the same card to everyone. As if our recipients are going to compare with one another. Unnecessary.
Anyway, let’s see. I feel like my friends and family still have barely any idea what I do, so I thought I’d walk you through a typical week. If you’re not interested in my daily activities, you can stop reading now. It’s about to get [painstakingly] detailed. This week had a wild mix of things happening. Like I’m busy to the point where my room looks like the aftermath of a tornado (relative to how I want it to be). I’m told it’s not that bad. But I’m so unmotivated to clean it that I make Steve sit on my bed and watch me – because I need an accountability partner. Having an observer increases my cleaning speed by like 300%.
Moving on, the detailed schedule below is 20% for you and 80% for me. (So in a year when I look back on grad school – and it feels like a different life – I can grasp onto the minute details that I would otherwise forget.)
Monday: On Mondays I generally greet employers at Career Services. What does that mean? Well, our Career Services office at Miami is very dedicated to building relationships with employers for the purpose of getting students jobs. The ultimate goal is to create hiring pipelines where employers are confident in the ability and preparedness of Miami grads and in turn, hire them. Each year, employers conduct over 5,000 interviews on campus in our office. We have about 12 rooms that are reserved for the sole purpose of on-campus interviewing. My role is to greet employers who interview our students on Mondays. This could be anyone from Abercrombie & Fitch, to JP Morgan, to the FBI. This begins at 7:30 am. Which means I [ambitiously] set my alarm for 6:30, stay in bed until 6:59, tumble out of bed by 7:00, and get ready in 15 minutes. Because morning’s aren’t my thing. After this first hour, I typically have a Career Services staff meeting, followed by a one-on-one with my supervisor, followed by a couple hours at work (all in Career Services). Lastly, I finish my day with a meeting from 3:30-4:30 over in the Wilks Leadership Institute (which is the office I teach out of). And that’s about it! If I’m lucky, when I get home, I’ll watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, because sometimes it’s nice to act like a 60 year old. Then homework.
Tuesday: Tuesdays I typically have two classes back-to-back. I leave my house around 9:35 (if I have my life together and don’t change outfits more than 5 times) and drive the 5 minute commute to class. I’ve given up the hope of finding close parking, so I park about a 1/2 mile away (it’s really only .2 miles – just checked on Google maps). But it feels far. My first class is EDL 656: Practicum. We talk about our experiences in our practicums (mine is teaching a class), current events, and readings we read prior to class. This class is from 10:00-12:40. My second class is from 1:00-3:40. So it’s a long day, but that means I only have class (as a student) two days a week. My second class is called Student Success. Once again, we read a lot before we come to class and then we discuss the readings. All of the readings have to do with what makes students successful (for example: family, k-12 schooling, out-of-school prep, the classroom, faculty/professors, out-of-class involvement, and peer influence). My Tuesdays are long, so hang tight. After 6 hours of class, I generally go to work for 4 hours. The students I supervise through my assistantship with Career Services generally conduct two workshops on Tuesday nights. One is focused on Resumes, the other on LinkedIn. I supervise these workshops (which are open to all students), normally we have about 20 students in attendance for each workshop. I give my students feedback on their presentations and assist as needed. Then I get home around 8:00 and do homework. That’s a wrap.
Wednesday: For the past 7 weeks, I’ve had a group meeting at 9:00 for a case study (assignment) in my Leadership Perspectives class. This is a 3 person group – John, Stephen, and myself. We were provided with a one-page description of a fictional university, a description of an office, and 8 action items to complete. We had to create a new office name, create a definition of leadership, create a mission & vision, devise a new organizational structure, outline 2-year goal statements, outline three new programs, describe the capacities these programs would build (in our students), and consider how we would include marginalized populations on our campus. We decided to name our office The Leadership Center for the Common Good. We were able to present our work in a creative manner, so we chose to build a website to communicate all of the above information. We then explained our decisions through a press release and two memos (made possible by my internship with J.F. Ahern Co.) After that first hour, I have class from 10:00-12:40. Then I have a break! And every other week I teach from 4:00-5:45 a class called the Nature of Group Leadership for Scholar Leaders. In this class I have 17 upperclassmen students. They leave me feeling energized. Some wonderful and thoughtful students. After that, I generally lead a meeting with the 10 students I supervise in Career Services. These meetings begin with some sort of group activity, followed by scheduling logistics, check-ins, and we wrap up by practicing a scenario. For instance, this past week we discussed the difference between a curriculum vitae (CV) and a resume. Then they practiced going through a scenario of working with a student who wants to have their CV reviewed. At 7:00, I head home. Just in time for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. #becauseIm60
Thursday: Thursday is my last real day of the week, because normally (if all goes well), I don’t have anything on Friday other than groceries/cleaning/laundry. #becauseImanadult Thursdays begin with an hour-long, one-on-one meeting with my practicum supervisor. We talk about life and how our classes are going. We review the past class and plan for the upcoming one. Then I have an hour break that is generally filled with responding to emails (I get about 50 a day). My least favorite thing. From 12:00-4:00 I have office hours in the Women’s Center (but I’m working on Career Services things). I just really like the physical space of the Women’s Center. During this time I generally prep for class, grade papers, correspond with the students I supervise, field Career Services workshop requests, and the like. Then, from 4:00-5:40, I teach EDL 100: Career Development for the College Students. In this class I have 22 students and we talk about everything from resumes to finding what you’re passionate about, to informational interviewing to job possibilities. After that class wraps up, I’m “done” for the week.
The next three days are filled with homework, work-work, grading papers, responding to emails, and then doing some fun things. Not that my weekdays aren’t fun. But weekend fun things may or may not include: a lil’ trip to Cincinnati, dinner with the roommates, NFL football, Miami hockey games, outside playtime, The Game of LIFE (or King of Tokyo now!), and interpretive dances by Jade Taylor.
If you can believe it, I’ve starting preparing for the job search. Last week I had my resume reviewed, next week I’m having it reviewed again. I’m thinking about putting together a cover letter. Maybe that’ll happen tomorrow. I check out job postings – because it’s a solid way to procrastinate. Job applications could begin [as early as] now, but typically will fall within the month of February. Right now, I plan to do something within the realm of professional development. That could look like a position in Career Services, Leadership, or Student Success. Time will tell.
I hope you’re all doing well. Shout out to my top 7 readers: Grandma & Grandpa, Grandma & Grandpa, Mama Amy, Aunt Bonnie, & Jade Taylor. Thanks for being interested in the seemingly irrelevant details of my life.
I hope you laughed today.