Halloween. What a great holiday to remind one of the joys of a college campus. This morning, as I was walking to work, I saw a superhero, the devil, and a witch. Best part? I think all three were faculty or staff at OSU. This just goes to remind me that I’m in the right profession. Not that I’m a particularly huge fan of Halloween, but I am a huge fan of staying young and being excited to go to work every day. It’s mornings like this that make me forget all the time juggling and stress and just enjoy being a student in a great program and in a great office!
I just love to study in the library in the morning.
I usually go to the library at 7:30 and go to the 4th or 5th floor to study for a couple hours.
It is really quiet in the morning and it is really pretty outside.
After I study a couple hours, I get coffee in the library and go to work. Then I go to class in the afternoon.
I am still learning how to manage my time. I need to read and write papers but I do not want to stay in the library all the time. So tomorrow, I will help with the pumpkin carving event for both international students and host students!
Today, I did a pumpkin carving with my friends! It was my first time to do it in my life!
It is always exciting to do new things.
I’ve been in the state of Colorado for just about four months now. I guess that’s long enough not to be able to call myself “new”. There are a lot of things that I didn’t think about in regards to making the job transition. Mainly, I didn’t think about the civilian things like getting a new driver’s license, getting Colorado license plates, registering to vote, and of course, getting out of jury duty back in the Northwest. It’s also very strange to be able to see a movie whenever I want—or for that matter, purchase groceries at will. Luke (my husband) and I are extraordinarily thankful that we are now earning non-student salaries.
Although I’ve just mentioned that I don’t feel I can still say I’m “new”, I want to share something: People will tell you just about anything when you’re new. I spent the first few months here just getting to meet other folks in student affairs. Since I’m still within the learning curve for my new position, I haven’t been able to branch out and join committees or task forces just yet. Therefore, I made it a personal goal to meet and greet. I have to say, it is one of the most valuable things I have done. Erin, one of my cohort members, shared an article with our cohort’s lists-serve on integrating oneself into a new institutional culture. After reading (with a highlighter in hand!), the primary analogy was that of traveling abroad. The most powerful analogy: Get to know the natives, and don’t immediately drink the water. I took this to heart and met the “natives”. Many of the folks here have seen a lot of change in this institution in a very short period of time, so they were able to offer a lot of insight into the functions of my new home.
One of the biggest things I was afraid of was working the 40 hour week without becoming completely exhausted. While in the CSSA program, I held a .49 (20 hours/week) assistantship and balanced a full course load. At times, that could feel overwhelming, and I feared that I would not be able to make it through a professional work week without a decent amount of struggle. I can’t tell you the sense of relief I have when I arrive home and do not have any other professional obligations—no reading to highlight through, no obligatory papers to compose. So for me, that fear is definitely gone.
I suppose my first few blogs will be smaller sections of hodge-podge thoughts on my current transition. I didn’t initially intend it that way, but as I write this entry, that’s how it’s reading.
Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall.
Welcome October 26th, 2007
Welcome to the CSSA blog. We should first of all give a sincere
thanks to Paul Dorres for organizing this blog and creating an environment in which
we might share thoughts, ideas and new concepts.
As current professionals, current graduate students, or as
one of those considering this field, I think it is important to understand
why we are here. Occasionally we get caught up in processes, be it applying, graduating
or maturing as a professional, and we lose sight of our true purpose – to help students
become the person they are seeking to be. This is where the joy and passion of
our profession blooms. Students seek our knowledge, our wisdom and our sincerity.
I encourage you to keep this in mind as you influence and mentor from your vantage
While we are clearly here for students, we should also remember
to challenge ourselves, find our own mentors and constantly seek the magic that
feeds our spirit.
I have a quote on my office door by Shunryu Susuki which may
sound strange at first, but when given consideration, always brings me back to
“What we are doing here is far too important to be taken
I look forward to hearing what is on your mind and how you
positively influence your world.
Week four of grad school and I have two graduate level papers due on back to back days. I really don’t remember the last time I wrote a paper that I had to turn in as an assignment and receive a grade. Ah, yes it was 7 years ago, so needless to say, I felt a little bit rusty. I had been enjoying attending the classes, had kept up on the reading, but the thing that freaked me out the most was writing papers again. Frankly, I couldn’t even remember if I was good at it. The other kicker, writing in the APA style! That is a skill that I would have to learn, since that is a style that was completely foreign to me. When I found out that there was a guide that was 400 pages long that described and gave rules for the form, to say I was overwhelmed, would be an understatement. Well, with help from a veteran CSSAer and strategic searching through the APA guide, I think it turned out ok. Although, I do think it may have taken longer to figure out the style then actually writing one of the papers. Well, it was time well spent and I feel more confident for the future.
Working full time and going to school part time will be a challenge. Just like I believe working part time and going to school full time must be a challenge as well. I keep reminding myself that I can do anything for three years. Heck, it is not even three years at this point, I have made it through half a term. I already feel better! I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I also know it will be worth it. I already see ways I can use what I learn in the program in my day to day job duties, which I find exciting.
So, the transition has been going well. I would say the hardest part of the transition to this point has been learning how to be a student again. A few bumps in the road, but those bumps have helped me grow as a student. I also have been reminded and have been mindful of the transition that my first students are going through in my Freshman Year Experience Seminar that I co-instruct. Being a student myself has helped me be a better instructor for them.
Until next time….
I arrived in Corvallis in September, last
month. It was my second time to study abroad in the U.S. I was nervous, but my roommate
came to the airport to pick me up. It was really nice of her and I felt
welcomed. I also met other people when I was in Corvallis for an interview
during Campus Days, which helped me a lot to adjust to living here.
It has been one month since I came here. I
feel comfortable living here. Corvallis is like the city where I am originally
from in Japan.
This is my first term to take 12 credits and
work 20 hours/week as a GTA in the International Program Office. I am still trying to
figure out how to manage my time. This week, I have been working on writing a paper.
Since I studied computer science during my undergrad, I really did not gain experience writing long papers. But there is a great service: the writing
center, to help me with writing. I go there at least three times a week. There
are many people and resources that can see for help, so I know that I can do
Leaves are falling, the wind is blowing and it has been almost a month since classes started for my second year in the CSSA program. I am only sharing one class with my cohort this term which is quite the departure from the identical schedules we all held at this time last year. So much has happened over this last year that on one hand it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year and on the other I can’t believe it’s been a year already. This time last year I was adjusting to a new program with all new people and a brand new assistantship. Now, a year later, I am going through the IRB process to have my Thesis research approved, I’m taking French (for fun – you can take classes for fun in this program ), and I am turning my mind towards my next big event – planning the Intercultural Career Development Conference that will be held in February (a week after the Campus Days Interviews for next years entering cohort).
In typical CSSA style, I’m already involved up to my nose in a variety of events and committees that take up my time and provide me with the thrilling variety of interactions that make every day a new and exciting one. This morning I met with the Student Life committee that links my office (New Student Programs & Family Outreach) with Student Conduct, Career Services and Disability Access Services. This afternoon I’ll be helping Career Services with their Career Conference they are holding and interspersing that with some time for web development for a new website I’m developing for New Student Programs. Somewhere between now and then I’ll be reviewing some documents for the Infectious Diseases Response Team and posting some information for Hillel, the Jewish Student group. All of this just goes to show that you can get involved in anything you want to at OSU, the hardest part is saying “no” to new experiences (it has to happen sometimes though).
But my life isn’t all work. This weekend I’ll be hanging out with three generations of CSSA cohort members to rock out to some quality Karaoke. I’ll spend some time with my new kitten, Tav. My partner and I will probably visit my parents who live close by for a home cooked meal and some time away from the books. Balance is an important part of this program and is one of the hardest and quickest lessons I learned a year ago. And with that, I must return to checking my inbox, paying bills, making friends, drinking coffee….