Yes, I haven't "updated" since I got back to town. But that's because I've hardly had any spare time. Why, you ask?
Pagan camping was lots of fun. They ask that folks don't talk about it in public forums, however. Ask me in person and I'll tell you some good stuff.
I got back to Boulder on Sunday, 8/12 at about 1:30pm. Resident Advisor training started at 3pm. I dragged my stuff to my room (Bracket 216 / Boulder, CO 80310 if you care) and joined the rest of my staff. This was on about four hours of sleep, since I got up at 5:30 am and made the decision not to bike 40 miles starting around 8000 feet. 5400 feet wouldn't have been a problem, but when you're short of breath 1/40th of the way along your journey and you have about 7 hours to complete it, and have a friend who can drive you there in time, sound decisions lie in prudence. After saying a few things we went outside to do some icebreakers. We started by having people introduce themselves to their buddy nonverbally. Since I had 4 hours of sleep and was getting lots of newly-met-student-leader energy, I introduced myself by throwing my hat around, handing out a business card, and jumping around a lot. My buddy said "This is Trevor. He is very exciting. He likes hats, and works with computers." That's me, pretty succinctly. I introduced new staff members to my odd eating practices by having a cookieburger. I highly recommend to one and all the following sandwich: bun, hamburger patty, lettuce, peanut butter cookie, tomato, onion, relish, bun. That's my preferred order, anyway. PB&Molasses cookie sandwiches are nummy too, but I digress.
Comment from the aforementioned meal: "Trevor, you're not a person, you're an experience."
For the following four days, my schedule was roughly as follows:
Snarf a quick bite and head over to Williams Village by 8am. Participate in several training sessions, some of which were infunmative, some of which *coughparkingservicescough* sucked a large, wet, hairy, heavy potato. Have dinner with my staff at 5. Return to The Quad for a few hours of staff development. Work on stuff for my floor/get my room in some semblance of order until 1am. Notice the lack of 8 hours of sleep? That Friday we went to Six Flags Elich Gardens
. Not being a roller coaster fan, and even less of a corporatized landmark fan, I had a lot more fun than I expected. I went on a few rides with my staff at the beginning of the day. I bruised my arm on the boomerang, dug the one that drops you several stories, and was pleased to see that they had Mister Twister II. I then discovered their water park, which was a lot of fun. And the sun burn wasn't too large. That night was my first bit of free time for a whole week. Several of us went to see Shrek
, a very well crafted movie which is fun for kids of all ages (including, say, 57). Lots of fun.
Opinion of training, examined at its completion, Saturday night: exciting, spirited, informative, inspirational, sleep deprived.
Sunday I spent getting stuff not ready enough for my floor. Monday I participated in Community Assistant (desk clerk) training. My, what a waste of time. And what's up with all of these CAs who are too shy to roleplay a two minute scenario? Why did you take a job that's all about interacting with people? But I digress.
I was up until 4am (a) finalizing some important stuff for my floor and (b) making my room livable for me and a roommate. This involved moving a couch longer than I am tall (call it 6'6") and probably as heavy as I am (140lbs) from the hallway into an acceptable place in my room. One of my finest accomplishments of spontaneous geometrics and geeky buffness. Awake at 7 to set up for Engineering freshmen (and some other folks) to check in at 8am. (All told, over half of the Quad checked in by the end of Tuseday.)
Number of 8 hour nights in August leading up to this event: 3.
I spent much of the day running around doing various errands for most of the day while others got to sit down and check people in. I felt bad that I wasn't available to help my residents move in, answer questions, etc. But that's what the orientation meeting was for. Brackett didn't seem to have a lot of enthusiastic folks in it. Then I had the honor of being on duty. Morgan (who's very energetic, lots of fun, and from Milwaukee) and I did a round that took an hour and a half, since we stopped and chatted at every
open door in the Quad.
Typical quick round time: 25 minutes.
What I'd seen of my floor at that point was that they were very into video games, were being kind of rowdy, and generally didn't fit into my personal Form of a Residence Hall Floor. I decided to get an hour of sleep between rounds, and felt really bad about training, my floor, being an RA, and so forth. I managed to realize that that emotional set stemmed from dairy (good: feeding RAs during check-in. bad: feeding them donuts and dairful muffins and nothing else), entirely too much sleep deprivation, and stimulation overload. Some sleep and I'd be better. Which I was.
Due to some poor communication, we were open for check-in at 8am on Wednesday as well. RAs from another hall asked us what we were doing, since check-in didn't start until 10. Mumblegrumble.
My floor meeting Wednesday Night gave a few impressions of my floor.
- Lots of engineers. No surprise.
- Lots of outdoors-minded folks. Sports. Hiking. Biking. Skiing. Snowboarding.
- Lots of computer game folks. Maily networked first-person shooters, it seems.
- Few people anxious to try new things. After spending a week with 14 or 150 student leaders, I forgot that lots of students are hard to convince to do weird things at the drop of a hat.
Wednesday night, the Residence Hall Association put on a casino and dance hall. Organizers told me they expected a few hundred. However, a huge chunk of folks in the Residence Halls showed up. Easily over a thousand (out of 5000 or so possible). It was more fun than most people expected. I was slowly loosing my chips playing roulette, so decided to lose them faster playing roulette. I now know not to play roulette with real money. But it's lots of fun just to watch the wheel spin and watch people place bets. No wonder so many movies include a roulette wheel. (Yes, I avoided the temptation to put it all on 22.)
On Friday night, several residents and I went to see Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
. It's a funny movie if you're familiar with the others in the series and pop culture from the 80s and 90s. Otherwise, you'll wonder what the point is. Make sure to watch all
the way through the credits. Also in the theater that opening night were most of my latest roleplaying group and a triad of my coworkers. Glad to know that I can disappear for two and a half weeks and run into 10 people I know as soon as I poke my head out.
On Sunday, I "led" a hike to the top of the 2nd Flatiron with two other RAs. After reaching the base and talking with some other hikers, we decided that the way up was to scramble around along the side of the flatiron with a few bits of bouldering. I was keeping up the rear and quickly lost the group, so was scrambling around on my own. By the time I got a chance to take a good look around I was in the dead middle of the flatiron. With a less-than-convenient-to-carry bag. Freeclimbing with several hundred feet of potential drop. Whee. Just before I got to the top, the RA who managed to stick with the group announced that they would head back down. I managed to convince a few folks to stay there while I caught my breath and gave them a cliff-side tour of Boulder. For future reference, go up the 2nd Flatiron descent trail. It's k-easier.
Monday night's Community Living Agreement Workshop reaffirmed the observation of polite apathy. My residents were pretty sharp regarding common courtesies, and we came up with some good ground rules for the floor. (Make it a place where ladies feel welcome, for instance.) It looks like my residents are going to be fairly well behaved, though constantly on the border of noise violations. Inspiring involvement may be a challenge, however.
Once school started, I had some free time. I did forget, however, that teachers started giving homework on the first day of class, so I haven't had too much free time. Stats
looks like it'll be fairly easy. Existentialism
is lots of fun; The teacher
is entertaining and loves the material, the writing is entertaining and engaging, I have several philosopher phriends in the class, and it's complete with a fun, friendly, cute girl who shares my interests. What more could one want? Networks
should be very informative, which is good, since I'll be programming a network and AI player addition to a TITAN-like computer game for Senior Projects
. Unfortunately, I think I need to drop Honors Folklore. It'll be a very fun class (the credits from which I don't need in the slightest), but I'd spend all of my available free time not devoted to other school work reading for the class. And that's assuming a low level of work for Projects. (Right.) So maybe I'll just do a research project on Pie Night and turn it in, but not attend class or get a grade. The best of one world and a good from another! The alternative would be to have no free time. Whis is not a good trait for an RA.
I was on duty on Wednesday night (not a problem), Friday night, Saturday day, and Saturday night. Great, I think as I schedule them, I'll get a nice chunk of my duties out of the way. However, one of an RAs duties is to cover the office if there isn't a CA. Appearantly, all of the CAs besides Mfon (the other RA on duty last night) and I had other plans for Friday night. And all day Saturday. So Mfon and I had to cover the office Friday night, and I had to cover it for 5 hours today. (Not the whole day, thanks to some phone calls made by Allison, the Hall Directory Assistant.) And then Jeremy (tonight's duty partner) got to cover the office tonight. I definitely didn't get as much done today as I'd have liked, but I did get a chance to finally arrange my room after my temporary roommate moved down the hall. One kind of needs to see it to appreciate the spiffality, but I could be convinced to describe it at some future juncture.Well
. With all of that said, I can now update as events happen, rather than my posting binges that have characterized my LJ use to this point. One week of school over. Three weeks of back to school complete. Whew.