Winter Quarter 2012: Week 1

That’s a wrap. Here’s a summary in bullets:

  • Project discussions for the remainder of the term and spring term continue. Details to come once I know more.
  • Legal Issues (AHE 554) met for the first time yesterday. I’m pretty excited to delve into this topic, as it’s been years since I’ve been around law. For those who don’t know, I used to work at a courthouse as a file clerk. I got to see how part of the legal system worked, and so hopefully, that makes tackling legal issues from another angle a bit less intimidating. We’ll see. I’m hoping to learn more about issues surrounding technology (e.g., what happens when hate speech circulates on Twitter/email on a school’s end) as well as liability and risk management (specifically thinking about risk management for college and university cheer teams, including club-level squads, and related topics).
  • Spirituality (AHE 599) is going to be excellent. I look forward to expanding my articulation about how I exist and what I believe, and how that can help students in their own personal journeys. I am also very pleased to share that my class will be holding a conversation with Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Astin! I had a chance to hear him and his wife speak at NASPA conference last year on the topic of spirituality, and I would say that was a key point in my student affairs career. Right now, I am working on developing a proposal with a colleague on how to use purpose and meaning (through talking spirituality, for instance) to support transition, whether that’s into/out of a two-year/four-year institution or into/out of graduate school or into the working world. There are many facets to explore.
  • New Media Communications 101 is another course I am looking forward to. Yes, I am enrolled in a 101 class, but it’s directly applicable to my interests. As a big fan of social media, NMC 101 will talk about how to effectively create and deliver messages through various media–including comic books, social media outlets, etc. and so forth. We’ll be viewing The Matrix with a critical eye, looking at how techniques communicate certain messages, for example. My communication and rhetoric undergraduate self is leaping for joy. I am also using this as a chance to observe classroom techniques. One thing I’ve noticed is that the class section is only about 40 students large. According to our instructor, that’s down from a cap of around 70 from last term. Additionally, we spent a little bit texting our responses to a question to our professor yesterday. That might not seem significant, but having a professor say, “Please take out your phones and open your text messaging function,” is really, really cool! It allowed us to contribute somewhat anonymously–and yes, he did accommodate for those who may have to pay per text. Students will be able to submit through alternative methods to contribute to this body of knowledge.
  • Salsa I! I love dancing. Apparently, so do other grad students, as a good percentage of my class is comprised of grad students from various disciplines. Happy to see others are looking for balance and also finding time to learn something outside of the “professionally practical.” I’m sure you could argue that social dance is practical, and I wouldn’t really stop you.
  • Work is also going well. We had our first staff meeting of the term today. There was discussion about how to better support students in creating posters for their thesis projects. Currently, there are optional workshops available now and then. As I listened to the discussion, I recognized that skills I picked up at my internship in Wenatchee could apply to the situation. I suggested that we perhaps craft a few online presentations that utilize visual as well as audio instructions to assist students. I figure that allows some flexibility for busy seniors, as they can log on at their own convenience. It will also free up our resources as it would allow our staff to continue offering workshops as they can while also giving us some flexibility; presentations can also be used year after year (with updates!).
  • I turned in another job application for the Portland area last night. I’m really hoping I at least get some nod of approval on this one because it would be a great fit for my personality and strengths. I have a few more positions to apply for during this long weekend. That said, if you’re so inclined, please put in a good word with the universe and any and all Supreme Beings. 🙂
  • I am also in the process of starting to schedule my defense. Time flies.
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