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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
On My Performance as a Resident Advisor 
4th-Mar-2003 10:21 pm
tell tale heart
The path you tread is narrow
And the drop is shear and very high
The ravens all are watching
From a vantage point nearby
Apprehension creeping
Like a tube-train up your spine
Will the tightrope reach the end
Will the final couplet rhyme

And it's high time
Cymbaline
It's high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

A butterfly with broken wings
Is falling by your side
The ravens all are closing in
And there's nowhere you can hide
Your manager and agent
Are both busy on the phone
Selling coloured photographs
To magazines back home

And it's high time
Cymbaline
It's high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

The lines converging where you stand
They must have moved the picture plane
The leaves are heavy around your feet
You hear the thunder of the train
And suddenly it strikes you
That they're moving into range
Doctor Strange is always changing size

And it's high time
Cymbaline
It's high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

And it's high time
Cymbaline
It's high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

-- Pink Floyd, "Cymbeline" (Waters)
<quickies>
I went to the District 12 ΤΒΠ conference at CSU. 28 people came from BYU, but about a third of them were non-member spice. (That's the plural of "spouse" for those of you following along at home.) Despite what you might think, Mormon Engineers can actually be pretty fun. Especially when you bring Apples to Apples. Bar hopping with engineers can also be fun. Being inquisitive geeks, we spent a bunch of time pondering the science of my Snakebite.

Over the weekend I came up with an interesting idea... configurable bumper sticker. Hook up an LED display to the back of your car, and then you can insert whatever pithy political statement is appropriate this month.
The Engineering Futures session had a card which talked about the "March of Paradigms" benefit for out of work philosophers. Hehe. (Side note: I think I want to become an EF facilitator once I'm out of school and have a job and all that.)
Someone should write a story or play or something called "The Impotence of Being Ernesto." It could explore the interplay between erectile dysfunction and machismo.
</quickies>
So... yeah.

Yesterday I hung a bunch of fliers for our floor meeting, which was to be tonight at 9. A couple people talked to me or left me a white board message explaining why they wouldn't be here. But over half of the floor was here at 8:30. I know, because a resident invited us all to have some nummy King Cake, a Phat Tuesday Treat. I returned to my room to prepare for the meeting -- grab the papers with key off-campus fire safety tips, candy to toss to people who answer questions, etc. I finish that stuff and head back out to the hall to see one of my residents knocking on another's door. Apparently, everyone else on the floor left. So rather than do a whole presentation for two people that I'd have to do for everyone else individually as well, I said "Hey, let's play Fluxx." Another resident returned to the floor at about that time, so we had a nice little homework-break in the middle of the floor. Keen.

This provides a good opportunity to talk about my (lack of) performance as an RA lately. At the beginning of the semester, I said I was going to spend more time hanging out with my residents. I did a decent amount of this in the first two weeks or so. Played some games, talked with folks, etc. I then spent several hours over a couple weeks dealing with a roommate conflict. Shortly thereafter, I spent almost an entire weekend overacheiving on bulletin boards. (I talked about that a few posts ago.)

However, for the last couple weeks, and in a sense for the whole of February, I haven't really been present on my floor. I've been very available -- here, with my door open, in case anyone wants to talk with me. But I haven't actively been hanging out with folks. My schedule tends to be akimbo with my residents'. There aren't many people around when I go to meals, for instance. But I could have been hanging out with folks if I'd made an effort. But, through a combination of my usual uncomfortableness with asking people to do things with me and the powerful sucking force that is Internet news and discussion sites, I've kept mostly to myself.

And the not-very-excusable thing is, I have schoolwork I ought to be doing that's also not getting the attention it needs. Last year I felt bad because I didn't have much time to devote to social time with my residents because I was overworked with senior projects and grad classes. This semester it's because I'm a news junkie, a journal whore, and set on reading far too many webpages.

In the large-scale scheme of things, the past two years have taught me that, though my social skills have improved, struggles with unstructured social situations seems fundamental in me. This is useful to know, and not a bad thing in itself. I just feel like I'm letting my residents down. Especially since they got to see what an extroverted RA was like before I came on.

On Sunday we had a New Moon ceremony about releasing things. I need to release keeping up with websites obsessively. I also need to transition into a release of having other people do basic things for me. Moving from residence halls to my own place will mean I'll need to cook for myself, clean my area, pay bills individually, etc. So I'll be responsible for fewer people, but I'll be more responsible for those I am responsible for.
Comments 
5th-Mar-2003 07:37 am (UTC)
BTW: I came up with that LED-display-on-the-back-of-your-car bit a lonnnnng time ago. Don't even bother trying to steal it, or else, bub.

Think of the emoticons you could give some ass who just cut you off.

It's going to happen someday, Trevor. We'll be able to chat and drive at the same time, and it will be entirely unsafe, thank god.

"Extreme Chatting"
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