After the Jennings Area Government, I also serve as the grad adviser for the Writing on the Wall (WotW) project. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to implement it on your campus asap!
WotW is a two-week social justice program sponsored by our Inter-Residence Hall Association. This is the first week of WotW, which consists of brick painting. Anyone – professors, residents, students, random people of Gainesville – can come by the Plaza of the Americas (one of our free-speech zones on campus) to paint a brick with any word or phrase that has hurt their feelings, made them feel marginalized or offended them. No censorship whatsoever. Then, the wall stands all of next week. On Friday, we come together to literally tear down the wall.
Here’s the baby I’m most proud of from fall semester: Harry Potter Week.
The absolutely flawless area government (AG) I advise pulled off six-days worth of Harry Potter activities in early November, bringing in more than 300 residents in our 500-person residence hall.
The top two things we most definitely needed were dedication and bodies, aka people to help out.
Our goal for the week? Unite our hall’s residents by sorting them into Hogwarts houses and have them compete for the House Cup, which would be awarded at the end of the week.
First, my AG appointed “house captains” (residents from our hall) for each Hogwarts house, and they were in charge of putting up decorations in their designated halls. The most spirited/best decorated house would get an award at the end of the week, and that award would factor into total points for the House Cup.
Then, we had one big “work day,” where everyone in our AG – 20+ people – helped decorate for HP Week.
Fortunately, the Homecoming Parade fell the week before HP Week. Therefore, we were able to double-dip and make our homecoming float Harry Potter themed, giving us the chance to publicize HP Week and utilize some of our decorations (I was Dobby in the parade).
If you want a quick overview of what HP entailed, it was: start-of-the-term feast, potions class (mocktails), live Wizard’s Chess, the Tri-Wizard tournament, Quidditch and closing banquet. Overall, this cost us close to $2,000 for all food, materials, costumes, publicity, etc.
If you’re interested in a detailed review of each event, check back tomorrow! Tumblr limits 10 photos per post. Womp womp womp…
It turned about to be a much more daunting thing. Blogging while moving 500 miles away and acclimating to a whole new place. Throw being a grad student in there and working way more than 20 hours in a 20-hour assistantship and you find yourself with no time for yourself.
Until this very moment…as I sit here watching the Patriots play the New York Jets.
I’m pretty proud of where I’ve ended up. A good place with good people. And I’m doing fairly well. I have those moments where I can’t understand why I chose to do what I do, but then some little thing happens…I student smiles because of something I said or I get a thank you from a cohort member…and all of a sudden I realize I made the right decision.
I followed my love, no necessarily just my talent. I took a leap of faith and went on a completely different career path than I had ever expected to go. And I went into a program several steps behind my peers, at least academically speaking. But almost 4 months later, I think I finally caught up. I’m finally up to par.
But what does the future hold? Who knows. We’re all just going to have to wait and see what comes up and become blog worth as I continue on this journey.
I love the parallels I’m finding between being a journalist and being an SA paraprofessional.
As a present-day journalist, you’re everything: the writer, photographer, designer. I’m finding the same pattern in student affairs. Whether it’s creating a presentation, flyer or recruitment theme, you’re making something; you’re designing.
If your job involves, or you think it will involve, designing, save this chart! Although I only have a semester of being an SA grad under my belt, having an eye for good design sets you apart!