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Friday, August 08, 2008

Oh...to be in college again....

In reading my daily dose of Big Mama, she re-posted an old post while she's taking a bloggy break. To read it click here.

I swear to you that I am a long lost sister to Big Mama. I laughed out loud at her post because it was exactly the same as my college days. Swap out Texas for North Dakota and you've got my college career. Though I never got a 13 on a quiz, I have had my share of failures.

We won't go into how I failed psychology twice.

Or that I was dismissed from college--twice.

For those of you who don't know, I work in higher education (if you look up the word irony in the dictionary, you will find my photo). I came to realize that this was my passion back in 1995 when I was entering my sixth year of college.

I loved college and that is why I was there for so long.

OK, not really. But at least I wasn't there as long as my friends Patrick and Rich. They were both there for 8 years. And all they got was a Bachelors.

Anyway, I did love college and it was then that I decided that I wanted to work at a university for ever and ever, amen. I did graduate from my undergrad with a pretty decent GPA. I went onto grad school and missed a 4.0 by one class (I got a C in conflict resolution. I got docked points for missing 2 classes not because I didn't understand the content!). I currently work for a university where all of their classes are online.

Yes. They are legit.

No. They aren't a diploma mill.

Yes. The students get a good education.

Yes. They pay for classes if I want to earn my next degree.

No. I will not be earning my PhD.

So I thought it would be fun to run down my favorite memories of working in higher education. After all, school is about to start for some universities. I've picked my two favorite moments at each school to date:

Murray State University, Murray KY
  • Largest marijuana bust on campus (back in 1997) was in my building. Not only did the guy pop out the bottom to his closet drawer for a hiding place, when we busted him, he was so high that he offered the arresting officer a snack.
  • A bunch of hall directors were in the same grad program and we car-pooled to classes off campus once a semester. One particular evening, we stopped for gas. Meghan was sitting in the car, door open, and saw a dime on the ground. She reached over to pick it up and fell out of the car. Imagine a glam, New York City girl, laying on the ground of a local gas station, laughing hysterically.

Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH

  • I was blessed with the fact that my RA's at Xavier really bonded together during staff training. The night before the halls opened, the hall directors were walking through each residence hall to see the RA's bulletin boards and door signs. My building was last and we came upon my RA's in the quad playing "Over the Mountain". This is where you say, "Over the mountain if you've ever been to England". If you have been to England, you leave your "safe spot" and run to another safe spot. Person left without a safe spot decides the next over the mountain clue. After we were done looking at everything, I came out to my staff and they asked if I wanted to play. I said, "yes!". Soon, I look over and I see one of my RA's peeking around the corner to see if the upper administrators were gone. He ran back to the group and said, "OK, all clear!" I said, "What do you mean...all clear?" He said, "We're playing dirty over the mountain." My eyes were as big as saucers and I said, "You can't play that! This is a Catholic school!" They looked at me and said, "Oh, Kelley. That's why we go to mass on Sunday."
  • The time that I had to discipline a suite of boys for alcohol. Four guys lived in a suite. Discipline at Xavier is consecutive--so if you get caught freshman year and are at level 1 discipline, and you get caught 3 years later, you are at level 2. It doesn't start over year to year. This suite of boys was trouble from day 1. Boy #1 was on level 5, so he was kicked out of the building. Boy #2 and Boy #3 were at level 3, so they had to pay a $200 fine, have community service and I had to call their parents (FERPA, anyone?). Boy #4 had never been caught. I had to have a talk with him to say, "If you were smart, you would have taken the fall for your buddies." Oh, and that fine of $200 each? Yes, they paid it. In pennies. Needless to say I didn't find it funny (at the time) and put that $200 charge on their bursar bill. And part of their community service was to roll the pennies and get them out of my office.

Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

  • The Hand Towel Dilemma. I had a group of guys on a wing who one night were so intoxicated that they ripped the hand towel dispenser off the wall. We put it back. They did it again. So, we decided, no hand towels. They tried to tell me is was "unsanitary". I told them to help me find a way to stop the towel dispenser from being ripped off the wall. When they couldn't I said, "You find a way, you'll get your towels back." They went without towels for a long time.
  • The girl who had an illegal toaster oven in her room and decided to heat up a sandwich. However, she forgot to take the sandwich out of the cardboard take-home box. Cardboard + toaster oven = small fire. In a panic, she threw it in the hall. Which scorched the carpet, set off the fire alarm and had the fire department come out.

As much as I loved being a hall director, I soon learned that it wasn't for me. I met some great people and am so proud of the staff I had at each school. I have RA's who are now teachers, doctors, and everything in between. I wouldn't be who I am today if I had not worked at each of these schools.

And for the record, I did complete my masters in the 2 year time frame.

1 comment:

hulagirlatheart said...

Surprise! I graduated from Murray State...in 1986..a little before your time there. It was back before they widened Highway 641 and when Woods Hall was the only coed dorm on campus.