This week was crazy with a capital C.R.A.Z. I’m leaving the y lowercase because it’s not like the apocalypse happened or anything. The week was just filled to the brim with activities. Here’s the whirlwind tour:
Sunday – Family party at my parent’s house
After scaring my parents to death (more on that in a later post), I went to their place for the weekend. As the unveiling of this week’s events is rolled out, it will become obvious that it wasn’t the best weekend for me to be out of town. However, we’ve had a family party on the books since early spring. And, it was a blessing to be at home. My mom used to be the queen of parties; she loved to fill up the house with people, cook more food than they would ever eat, and plan all the little details to make people feel welcome. But for the past couple of years, her heart hasn’t been in parties. Work keeps her super busy and often drained of energy. When I got to her house on Saturday though, she had all kinds of recipes planned out and had reclaimed the role of party queen. I think I had more fun teaming up with her to cook the food and being outside with her and dad the morning of the party to clean the lawn furniture and set up horseshoes and badminton than I did at the actual party. The event was as close to the good old days as I’ve gotten in a very long time.
Monday – Last day of teaching
On Monday, I finished up my last day of a summer session. Whew. I revamped all of the assignments for that class. So, the past three weeks have been a blur of assignment and rubric writing. Fortunately, I only had two students, so the grading wasn’t too bad. Following Monday though is Tuesday. Normally that’s not a problem except for the fact that this past Tuesday was the first day of faculty orientation, and I wasn’t ready for it. I had to come home and plan a 45 minute writing center orientation as well as finish the details for a faculty scavenger hunt that I had been tasked to design. At 2 am, I finally got to go to sleep.
Tuesday – First day of faculty orientation
Maybe it’s age, but whenever I get 5 hours of sleep or less, I feel like a rabid squirrel. I feel like I’m hyped up but can’t control what’s going on. That was pretty much Tuesday.
Wednesday – Second day of faculty orientation
I got a good night of sleep. Then, I ran the writing center orientation four more times for small faculty groups (for a 2 day total of 7 times). I was pleased with the way that the orientation turned out. Faculty asked good questions about writing and the writing center. I crown our dean of academic affairs the genius of all things faculty orientation for giving me the chance to get that time with our faculty. I know many writing center directors would have given up a first born child to get that kind of opportunity with faculty. I also got to look at the pictures from the faculty photo scavenger hunt. I literally found myself laughing out loud several times as I flipped through the photos. I was relieved to see that people had fun, which made the design time worth it. The fun spirit reminded me that I’d have to search long and hard to find a better group of people on the planet to work with.
Thursday – New student move-in
New student move-in is one of my favorite days of the year. I donned my free orientation t-shirt and joined the team of staff, faculty, and resident assistants waiting to move new students in. I think LBC has carried out the new student move-in process at a stellar level for several years, but this year topped them all. Fresh cookies were being baked in the dorms, so the dorms all smelled like cookies. And, I kid you not, I don’t think it takes more than 20 minutes for any student to get his or her stuff from minivan to dorm room. As soon as the minivan is put into park, a whole team of RAs, faculty and staff and even our college president descend upon the vehicle and start pulling stuff out of every open door. Mini-fridges and everything else are whisked inside, and the family can start to settle the student in from there instead of having to traipse back and forth to car umpteen. And, the moving team always has a blast. I think move-in day is one of the days when I’m proudest to work at LBC.
Friday – Faculty home visits
Part of our orientation weekend is faculty home visits. I signed up to have a group of new freshmen come to the house. So I swung by the grocery store, rushed home from there to vacuum and finish cleaning, and got together the food for the evening. I was pulling the buffalo chicken dip out of the oven just minutes before the students got here. I signed up for 10 students max, but when I looked out the front door, the students kept spilling out of the two cars that had pulled up to the curb. Seriously, it was like the clown show at the circus. One guy had a station wagon that seats people facing backwards, so for a minute, I thought students were climbing out of the trunk. A brother/sister dorm section was assigned to my house. They apologized profusely for bringing two extra people, explaining that they didn’t want to have to cut anyone off from the dorm section. Fortunately, I was trained by my mom, the party queen, to always have double the food I need on hand, so no problem! We just squished four to a couch and pulled some more chairs in from the dining room. Our students are always so polite during these visits that I’m sure the neighbors had no idea there were 12 students in my living room. We move the dining room table to make room for charades. One of the students taught our group a game that I wish I would have known about in high school because I would have been saved from playing Mafia all the time. And, even with the extra students, they still didn’t eat nearly enough before they left! It looks like I already have lunch made for next week.
Saturday – nothing
Ok, I probably should do something productive. I see sleeping in and a nap on the agenda though.