Sunday, December 25, 2011

That's All Folks!

Well, I'm a little late in posting this but the time has finally come. I am no longer employed as a Resident Advisor!  My last day at work was a little over a week ago and it already feels like I've been gone a month. I honestly cannot believe how quickly this year flew by.  I remember the first night I moved back into the dorm.  I already felt out of place because I was a 22 year old graduate student and most of my coworkers were undergrads and either 19 or 20 years old. For the first time that I can remember I felt old. As I turned off the lights and crawled into bed thinking "what did I get myself into?" I looked up and noticed the previous resident had left glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. And then I felt ancient.

The year was full of surprises, both good and bad.  Good surprise: My boss was a rock star and my graduate assistant was a teammate from the rowing team my freshman year. Bad surprise: Tripped out drunk girls can run up stairs much more quickly than I can. Undetermined surprise: A candy cane left on my door handle by one of the girls on my floor. I could only think of about 1 out of the 90 who might want to poison me but I don't like candy canes enough to be comfortable with those odds.

I'll be the first one to admit that I went into this job with a lot of apprehension and not much enthusiasm. There were days when I wanted to set the building on fire and laugh maniacally while it burned. There were days when I wanted to run away and live under a bridge with a hippie named Rainbow Destiny and bathe at the gas station. But surprisingly there were a lot of days where I loved my job.

Okay, maybe love is a strong word. Enjoyed is more like it. However, I'll be the first to admit that being a RA taught me a lot about myself, others, and has already opened doors for me in other endeavors.

So, if you are a college student who is looking for a job that provides housing I recommend the RA position. Be warned that you will have to comfort a drunk, sobbing girl whose boyfriend just dumped her. You might have to chase a girl up 8 flights of stairs. There's a good possibility that when you go to brush your teeth in the morning the sink will be filled with oatmeal and vomit. Its pretty much guaranteed that you will be on call the night before a big paper or exam and everyone in the building will be locked out of their room.

There's also a chance that you'll succsuccessfully resolve a roommate conflict and watch two declared enemies become friends. Perhaps get the opportunity to help someone choose their career path. Maybe even impart a little wisdom only to find that you received much more knowledge than you gave.

It was a year of stress and frustration but it was also a year of growth, learning, and a lot of fun.  I met so many wonderful people working in Housing that I never would have had the opportunity to know otherwise. That's the best thing I'm taking away from this crazy year. New friends who I am going to miss quite terribly. Thanks for making it a year to remember! I love you all and wish you good luck next semester because we all know you're going to need it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Semester in Tweets

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a problem. This semester has been much more eventful and full of blog worthy events than last semester. That's not the problem. The problem is I'm taking 15 hours of graduate school, working two jobs and haven't found the time to share them with you. Sorry if that sounded whiny. Not complaining, I did it to myself. Just explaining. This is why I have fallen in love with Twitter. 140 character blurbs is about all I've had time for sharing lately. So I've just decided to go back over the past few months and revisit tweets from some of our more interesting nights. If you follow me on Twitter I apologize for the duplication. If you don't follow me on Twitter what's wrong with you? I jest, enjoy!

Sep 23 "My job satisfaction level could easily be improved with a pellet gun. Of course I'm sure a lot of people could say that."  I'm going to guess this was during one of my 2am-5am shifts...

Sept 27 "At class. Went to the restroom and found a girl on the bathroom floor needing medical attention. RA spidey senses kicked in. #alwaysoncall"

Sep 29 "Watching this week's extra creepy Criminal Minds while working the desk. I wonder what the girls are thinking as they walk by..." Turnabout is fair play. Sometimes they scare me. Sometimes I scare them.

Sep 30 " Drunk girl who can't walk or much less stand upright is involuntarily doing the Bernie as her friend leads her by the hand." In case you're unfamiliar with the Bernie. She looked most like the guy in the purple

Sep 30 "So I thought the girl hanging out at the desk was smelling extra funky but turns out there were old jalapeños in the trash can. Yuck!" You can't blame me for jumping to that conclusion.

Oct 1 "Watching the game with 2 girls I've never met. Both from out of state. Thus starts their real education." I was on call so I had to watch the game in Tut. Let's just say they found my game watching superstitions slightly ridiculous.

Oct 2 "On Criminal Minds psychopaths kill you. In grad school psychopathology reports kill you." This doesn't have anything to do with Tutwiler. Just further evidence of my obsession with Criminal Minds and stress level this semester.

Oct 2 "Awkward moment where I almost made someone's mom check in bc she looked like a man..." And yes, she did realize what I was assuming and then later thanked me for being diligent about my job of keeping her daughter safe. Sorry, but if you're rocking a Peter Pan haircut, men's cut polo, jorts, and I can't see your face I've got to go with my gut.

 Oct 9 "Pulled a girl's key card to do a lock out. Her emergency contact is listed as her "unkle". Hooray for high standards UA." Yeah, I hate to say anything negative about my lovely school but c'mon. I guess its true what they say, text talk and spell check are ruining this generation.

 Oct 9 "One little burnt cup of mac n cheese evacuates the entire building. Microwave safe containers only por favor!" This woke me up from an amazing Sunday afternoon nap. That wasn't cool.

Oct 10 "Emailing my boss abt the pee situation from Sat. Subject: "Situation in Rm ###: Is it okay to pee in the bed? Just Depends" Couldn't resist" If you missed the post about this lovely situation you can find it here:

Oct 12 "Just when I lose hope for these girls the right resident comes along and brightens my day. I love it when they prove me wrong!" GLIMMER OF HOPE!

Oct 13 "To make room for a futon, 2 of my girls have pushed their beds side by side. Anyone want to make a bet on how long this lasts?" And yes, this is actually still the way their room is situated. I never thought it would last.

Oct 17 "The bigs have been decorating their littles' doors. My hall looks like the girls drank too much and threw up glitter, streamers & balloons." Every time this happens it looks like Ke$ha exploded on my hall.

Oct 20 "Thinking about doing my late shift tonight in my gorilla costume. Thoughts?" Okay, disclaimer: I didn't actually work in the costume but I did come downstairs in it and I did get to scare a few of the more inebriated girls. Worth it.

Oct 24 " Had a wallet turned into the lost and found with 5 different licenses in it. Surprise, she's only under 21 on 1 of them."

Oct 24 "Children will be trick or treating on sorority row tonight. I don't think they realize what kind of tricks or treats they're in for."

Oct 25 "You know the girls are starting to recognize you as an RA when you get on the elevator and all conversations stop :)"

Oct 28 "Walked through Tut barefoot.Should I try and clean my feet or just go ahead and chop them off to prevent any further contamination?" Update: my feet are fine. I had legitimate reason to worry though.

Oct 28 "Pretty sure the girl that just walked in wasn't wearing any pants..."

Oct 29 "Tutwiler Desk game for this weekend: Everyday outfit or Halloween costume?" This was actually a lot of fun and just as difficult as it sounds.

Nov 1 " "Is that girl even wearing clothes?" Yep. It's Halloween at Tut!"

Nov 4 "If the state of Tutwiler tonight is any indication of how this weekend is going to go, God bless us everyone." LSU weekend. Enough said.

Nov 5 "Just the laugh I needed after that game--A girl just asked me to help sneak in her boyfriend. Sorry, I work here. But Roll Tide & good luck."

Nov 10 "Ha! Tweets I hate to see when I'm on call >>"@SlutwilerProbz: Just puked up a whole lot of taco casa with a little bit of dignity" If only I realized what that night had in store...

Nov 10 "Didn't believe what they said about full moons until I was on call during one. It definitely does something" If I ever have a job again with an on call schedule I'm going to compare it to the lunar schedule and make changes accordingly. Definitely one of my least favorite nights thus far.

A string of updates from Nov 11th. Obviously an 2am shift on Friday. Which would be the end of a Thirsty Thursday...

"The lovely ladies of Tut are looking an extra hot mess tonight. And the guys are trying extra hard to get upstairs. Sorry man, cant help you"
"And one of the frat boys just started singing "There she goes"."

"So tempting to tell the drunk girls carrying Hungry Howies that there's a pizza tax to get upstairs."

"Girl with a gaping head wound was just escorted in by the police. Thirsty Thursday is getting ugly."

"Guys underwear over her leggings? Add a belt on her head and we've got Quail Man living in the building. #90sCartoons"
Nov 15  "Tonight was a waste of an outfit." No sweetie, that outfit was a waste of material. Also, its Monday night. What did you expect?"

 Nov 15 "Please don't use this elevator. One of your peers peed in it. Classic." 

Nov 15 "Making a girl pour out half a bottle of Grey Goose. That's what we call a valuable lesson."

Nov 17  "Girl just walked in wearing a shirt and panty hose. Not leggings. Panty hose. This is so far beyond okay." I know we're all familiar with the horrible trend of substituting leggings for pants but now they're taking it too far. I've actually seen multiple girls wearing panty hose as pants. I could comment further on this topic but I hope we can all just agree this is a disturbing development.

Nov 17 "The bathroom on my hall smells like the house of an animal hoarder. Only 1 more month. Only 1 more month."

Nov 17 "There is a girl with a speech bubble taped to her backside that says "BOOM!" Oh how I wish I made this stuff up. Oh how I wish."

Nov 18  "That awkward moment when a girl in the lobby is wearing nothing but an American flag."

 Nov 18 "Its only 6:14 pm and we just saw a girl come into Tut barefoot, wearing a cut off white tee & gold panties. That's it."

I believe that's a good ending note. Sorry I haven't had the time to share any of these events in more detail but I hope you've at least gotten a good laugh. You can follow my on Twitter @MollyKlovesUA for more fun Tut Tales for the remainder of the semester but that's only 3 more weeks! YES! ONLY 3 MORE WEEKS! And that my friends is what I'm thankful for this year. Roll Tide! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh? Is this not the bathroom? My bad.

This is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from the Office Manager today. I would say its contents pretty well sum up my job here at the Tut. For those of you who may think "Oh sure, but that's just one time" you'd be wrong. This is actually the third time this has happened. This semester. Girl are gross. Intoxicated girls are really gross. Welcome to my job.

According to my records, you will be on call on Sunday, October 9, 2011 at some point throughout the day. We had an incident this evening involving a J____ F____ (###) where her bed was urinated on by a resident who mistakenly confused J____’s room for her own. J____ will not be in Tutwiler this evening (Saturday, 10/8) and will contact the RA on call (one of you) when she has arrived in Tutwiler. 

 Needless to say, I can't wait to go on call tomorrow. Oh well, I guess its the price I pay for having such an awesome weekend.  Roll Tide!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Track Star has Left the Building

Once again Thursday night rolled around and once again Tutwiler got a little crazy. This Thursday was probably the most interesting night I've had as a RA to date. This Thursday will forever be remembered as Operation Track Star.

I was not on call that night but I was around because I work the desk from 2am-5am on Friday mornings. Hmm I guess the best way to break this down is by time. All times are approximations, my memory may fail me on the specifics.

12:15 am--I headed downstairs to do some laundry before my shift. As I was walking toward the elevators I heard someone crying. I tried and tried to locate the source of the tears but the sound faded as I went down each hallway. That's when I realized the crying was coming from the vending machine room. Homegirl was in the floor crying and talking on the phone. It was apparent she had been drinking but she wasn't too bad off. I asked if she was okay and she informed through sobs that she was talking to her ex-boyfriend. We had a coherent conversation so I decided to let her have a nice little inebriated chat with her ex and come back and check on her later. So I went downstairs to put on my laundry. Fast forward 45 min.

1:00 am--I decided to walk back up to my room to grab a few items before my desk shift started. I was in the hallway and right as I was about to reach my floor I see a another RA dart into the stairs. She spotted me and said "Hey, help me catch this girl!" The girl was running up the stairs and let me tell you she was fast as lightning! 

Ok, back up 5 minutes. When I was leaving downstairs to go to my room another RA stopped me and asked me to heat up her pretzel in my room before I came back down.

Now back to the chase scene. I join my fellow RA in pursuit of whoever she is chasing while holding a pretzel. My out of shape self is huffing and puffing and hoping that this crazy chick will at least sprain an ankle and slow down. But no, she flew up 7 flights of stairs before she decided to stop. She was so far ahead of me that the whole way up I would stop at each floor, panting and wielding a pretzel, asking people if they had seen a crazed drunk run by. I finally spotted her on the 12th floor and lo and behold its the crying girl from the vending machine room. (Time of capture appx 1:15am)

At this point our conversation was anything but coherent and she didn't even remember talking to me earlier. Now she was refusing to talk to me. She couldn't walk straight, was slurring her words, obviously intoxicated, and was bleeding from her ear. Our conversation went a little something like this...

Me: Hey sweetie, are you ok?
Track Star: I'm fine. Leave me alone.
M: Are you sure? Why were you running from the other RA? Do you know you're bleeding?
TS: I'm fine. I don't want to talk to you.
*she then tried to get away from me but I put my body between her and the stairwell because I had barely caught my breath from our first sprint*
M: Quit trying to leave, we need to talk.
TS: I am not going to talk to you. My roommate can come get me.
M: Well you either have to talk to me or someone above me so how about you and I discuss this so no one else has to get involved. 
*Meanwhile the other RA is calling UAPD bc Track Star is becoming quite belligerent.*
TS: I will not talk to you or anyone above you. Only your equal.
M: Well you ran away from my equal so why don't you and I talk

1:30 am--This is when our Community Oriented Police (COP) officer showed up on the scene. He talked to her, noticed her ear and decided she was going to have to go downstairs to be looked at by the paramedics. After she was seen by the medical team, signed a refusal to be transported and appeared to sober up a little bit she was returned safely to her room. She tried to give our COP a hug when he left but he grabbed her arms and said "No, we don't do that."

2:00 am--I report for work at the desk and realize my laundry is still there. I inform the other desk assistant that I'm going to drop my laundry off upstairs and will be right back. When I reached my floor guess who was coming down the hall? Track star herself and her roommate. When I asked what was going on she said they were just going to talk in the common area. I skeptically nodded and went to drop off my laundry. I grabbed a diet coke to keep me awake for my long shift and headed by to the common area. Now Track Star is walking down the hallway leading to the stairs. When she saw me she gave me crazy eyes and once again took off down the stairs.

Okay, so normally I wouldn't be too worried but this girl was not alright and I could not in good conscious let her run off in that condition and not know what was happening. So I take off down the stairs, this time with a coke in my hand, and homegirl took off out the security door. She was barefoot, drunk, and had crazy eyes so I informed the RA on call that Track Star was once again on the run. She was out of the parking lot before I even was out the door. The proper authorities were alerted and soon there was a full blown search looking for this girl.

4:30 am--YES, 2 HOURS LATER. Track star is finally located and returned home. Safe and sound, still drunk and quite apologetic after being given a talking to by her very upset father. I had no clue where she went or how far she had to run to get there but at that point I was just glad she was okay. I dragged myself upstairs to finally fall asleep about 5:30 am.

Seriously y'all. Everyone needs to spend at least one 2am-5am shift with me just to witness what all goes down. Its quite ridiculous.

I have to add that the next day she very maturely came to find me and apologize for her actions the previous night. That helped her earn a little bit of my respect back. We ended up having a good talk about knowing our limits and not running from your RA. But she has definitely earned a nickname that will stick for the rest of the semester. And I'll always wear tennis shoes when I'm on call.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

They're Baaaackkk

Well the Fall semester has started and I find myself back at Tutwiler working as a resident advisor. I debated whether or not I wanted to continue with the blog this year. As I've mentioned before its a nice way for me to vent about the crazy shenanigans that go on when you pack 1,000 18 yr old college freshmen into one building. So I've been going back and forth and at first decided to stop blogging. I have an extremely tough semester ahead of me and will not have much free time. Then Thursday happened. Oh Thursday. Always an exciting night here. This Thursday wasn't particularly bad or anything I was just a little fed up. Why? I'm not sure. I guess the disconnect with the Freshman is even more defined this semester. So Thursday I almost quit. Literally was one drunken idiot away from packing up and looking for a nice, accommodating bridge to spend the rest of the semester under. That's when I realized I had to keep blogging. I need this outlet and writing it down helps me laugh instead of cry. So for now I will continue to chronicle this adventure. Let's see what's happened so far...

Conversation I had with a resident while giving a campus tour
Me "So, which class are you most looking forward to?"
Resident "Well I'm not sure but I'm least looking forward to Spanish!"
Me "Porque? Spanish isn't so bad."
Resident "Because I had it in high school and they put me in 103 instead of 101"
Me "Surely it won't be too bad. You probably remember more than you realize. It'll be alright. Que sera sera"
Resident "Huh?"
Me "Maybe you should talk to your advisor"

While working at the desk during my 2am-5am shift 
I overheard two residents pondering the question "Why are we eating at 1 am?!" Welcome to college sweeties! Better hang those skinny jeans up next time you wash them. One cycle through the dryer and the Freshman fifteen will be rendering them un-wearable.

Then two more residents came to the desk and asked if the Student Health Center was open. We informed them that no, it is not open at 1:30 am and asked what was wrong. Apparently one of them burned her hand while warming up soup in the microwave. I asked to see the burn and honestly couldn't find it until she pointed it out. She was quite distraught however and insisted on going to the emergency room. I saw them come back 4 hours later when I was about to get off of work. They were irate that the ER had the audacity to be packed on Thirsty Thursday to the point where they couldn't be seen for the life threatening soup injury. I handed them a band aid and neosporin and clocked out.

Around 3:00 am a resident stopped by to ask me how to change her class schedule. She apparently realized that she would be going out regularly on Thursday nights and decided she could not face any early morning Friday classes. I explained the process and then she thanked me saying "I'm not trying to get up early on Fridays. There's no way I can handle a 10:00 am class". Okay, I understand. There are many days in my life when I think that 10:00 am is entirely too early. But c'mon girl. You're a Freshman. You are going to have mid morning classes. Bueno suerte!

And last but certainly not least I was propositioned by one of the residents. As I was walking to the store connected to the back of the building one of our girls started walking toward me. Well more like stumbled in my direction. I tried to give her a wide berth but she ended up coming to a stop right in front of my face and while looking straight through me with her glossed over eyes declared "I wanna cuddle." I'm not sure if she meant with me or someone she thought she saw but I laughed, informed her that is not part of my job and kept walking.

Oh yeah. Its going to be a great semester. Please pray for my sanity. Or prepare your guest room.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Blogging Bone's Connected to the Productive Bone but the Summer Bone's Connected to the Lazy Bone.

Hello blogosphere! It has been quite a while since I posted anything new. A couple of contributing factors: A) My current living arrangement is much more isolated and separate from the residents and campers in my community. So I'm not getting as many funny stories out of them. Although, the other night we did have a resident accidentally lock himself INSIDE his room. Genius. B) My computer has been on the fritz and I haven't had the time to get it fixed. And C) I've been in lazy summer mode outside of work.

So why am I writing now you ask? At 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Well as it turns out there were a few desk shifts open at the dorm on campus where I was an RA in the Spring. When my friend asked if I'd like to take them I said "absolutely I would!" and then realized they're all late night/early morning. Oh well, staying up and finding reasons to blog are totally worth the extra Benjamins. Well more like Lincolns but its all good.

Speaking of Lincolns, I read the Lincoln Lawyer recently upon the recommendation of my fellow crime fiction/legal thriller loving mom. I loved the book and Michael Connelly has now become my current author obsession. Mom also introduced me to John Grisham at the tender age of 11. I didn't understand all the legal jargon at that point but I knew two things for sure. Darby Shaw was one bad chick and the I was ready to enroll in law school at Tulane. I always imagined I'd be a highly touted, young prosecutor bringing justice to the people and puttin' away the bad guys. Those dreams held strong until high school when I decided I'd much rather become a spy and eventually run the CIA. And who's to say I'm not already a spy and well on my way to that goal? Are you thinking "hmm, that does explain some of her odd behavior..." I hope so because I truly have no reason for the odd behavior. Other than just being odd sometimes.

Let's see, what else have I been up to lately... Well last week I got a little break from the everyday grind and got to spend 5 days working at a summer camp for adopted children. It was a blast! The kids were adorable and kept me laughing all week. Big thanks to the APAC team at Children's Aid Society for letting me be a part of that awesome week! Check them out, they're doing great things for adopted families in Alabama.

Alright, last but not least there is the possibility for some good news on the horizon. I've got the chance to interview for an Assistant Community Director position for the Fall semester! There's still a good chance I won't get the position but it would be a great opportunity and an exciting new challenge. If I got it, I'd be working and living in an all male dorm. Quite the opposite of my Spring experience. It would present its own challenges but would be interesting to say the least. Trying not to get my hopes up but send those prayers, positive vibes, and crossed fingers my way because I should be interviewing sometime this week.

I'm sure this post is fraught with misspellings and egregious grammatical errors but its 5:30 a.m. I've been up for 20 hours and I don't care to go back and check it at this point. Maybe I'll come back and fix them later. Maybe I won't. If you're an English teacher feel free to print it out and use it as a "find the errors" teaching tool. That's all for now folks. Have a fun Fourth of July and stay safe over the holiday weekend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Losing and Regaining Cool Points.

So we've still got a little catching up left to do. I am officially finished with my first semester of working as a resident advisor and am ready to enjoy the sweet summertime. I'm not taking any courses this summer, just working. While I'm not a resident advisor this summer I'm still working for the university's Housing and Residential Communities. My summer position is Assistant Community Director (ACD). Basically I'm assisting the community director in whatever way she needs and supervising RAs in a certain community. I'll go back to being a RA in the Fall but I'm grateful for the opportunity to work in a supervisory position if only for a little while. It'll be a great learning experience for future endeavors.

This past spring I worked in a community that was all Freshman females, 90% of which are members of the Greek community (as in sororities, not the really cool county I'd like to visit) . This summer I'm working in a community that houses co-ed upperclassmen and athletes. Quite a different demographic huh? It'll be interesting to compare the two and see if they share any similarities. 

The really great part about my summer job? My summer housing! Since I'm living in the community I'm working in, I'm in upperclassmen housing. I'm living in an on campus apartment with a kitchen, washer & dryer, and MY OWN BATHROOM! Seriously y'all, I'm really pumped about this.

Okay, I would like to point out that I am not a spoiled brat and do not consider myself to be above any type of living arrangement. However, that being said, sharing a bathroom with 20 or so 18 year old girls who do not clean up after themselves can take its toll on a person's mental sanity. Here's the other thing, I take a while to wake up. I'm mentally fuzzy for quite some time after the alarm goes off. I can usually only see out of one eye for the first five minutes and stumble a lot. Ask my former roommates, they used to love watching me emerge from my room after a long nap :)  Anyway, getting to the point, its not fun stumbling around trying to find shorts and shoes in the morning just to walk down the hall to the restroom. Also, its nice to know that if there is hair in the shower its mine. If there's puke on the floor, its mine. Not that I frequently puke on the floor but you get my point.

Ok, moving on. This is my first time to be in a position where I'm supervising people I consider to be my peers. Sure I've held leadership positions in athletics and other school organizations but its never been my job. Trying to figure out the balance of friend and boss is a going to be a challenge but I think it'll be fun. I didn't know many people in this community before this summer and wanted to make a good impression but I already had one embarrassing moment.

To set up this embarrassing moment I'll tell you that I started a new workout routine with my friend for the summer. We are attempting to do Shaun T's Insanity workout videos. After the first 3 days I thought I was going to die or at the very least my legs would fall off. But, I've made it to day 12 and while the workouts are still killing me I'm beginning to enjoy the routine. The workouts are intense. There are many times that you have to jump down to the floor, do different kinds of push ups, and jump back up again. This tends to make your t-shirt fly up and down and in general be annoying. To avoid said annoyance I usually end up tucking my t-shirt into my gym shorts. A crime against fashion I know, but its only during the workout and I promptly un-tuck as soon as its over. Except Friday I forgot to un-tuck and on my way home realized I needed to stop by the office to pick something up. 

I walked in feeling great after my endorphin releasing hour of pain and stopped at the front desk to speak to a few of the staff members. Chatted them up about their weekend plans, confident, smiling, like I wasn't rocking the nerdiest form of gym attire ever known to man. Then I said goodbye and walked outside. As soon as I got out of the door I looked down and realized my shirt was tucked into my shorts. Oh great, they are probably getting a great laugh out of this and thinking they have the lamest boss in the world. Two choices, get in my car and leave and hope they didn't notice or turn around, go back in, and explain the faux pas. I decided I would turn around and set the record straight. I walked back in and explained that no, I do not usually walk around sweaty, gross, and with my t-shirt tucked into my shorts. They laughed and said they noticed but weren't going to say anything. One of them assured me I regained the cool points I had lost after setting the record straight. Good to know. Guess it wouldn't have been the end of the world (which coincidentally did not take place Mr. Camping) but I'm glad to not be starting out in the negative column :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

So...Its Been A While....

Okay readers, and by readers I mean Mom because she may be the only one bothering to read this anymore, its been quite some time since I invaded your cyberspace. How come? Well three weeks ago my university, town, and entire state was rocked by a natural disaster. We experienced and EF-4 tornado that destroyed half our town, killed many, destroyed homes and businesses and left us all in a state of shock. I've never openly stated where I go to school but I'm sure from the few Roll Tides and mentions of sporting events and cities you've figured out I attend the University of Alabama. I was trying not to mention the name of the University for a couple of reasons but I'm over that. Besides very few people who don't already know me are reading my posts. Anyway, I had planned on writing about the end of my first semester as a RA and my overall impression of the job but April 27th changed everything, including my experience as a resident advisor.

I'm not going to write much about the storm. Its been well covered and my story is far less important than those who have suffered personal injury or loss. I will say that it was and will remain one of the defining events of my life. I've never experienced anything like it. There have been a few dangerous moments in my life but this was one of the few were I actually thought I was going to die. I'm not trying to be morbid, just better understand the gravity of the situation. I was huddled in a closet with four friends watching the storm cut a path straight toward our building via video coverage on someone's phone. I called my family, prayed, and braced myself for the worst. At the last minute the storm changed directions and hit an area about a half mile from where we were. I don't know why it happened like it did but I thank God that I'm alive and able to help those who were not as lucky as I was.

Shortly after the storm our dorm lost power. We came together as a staff under the direction of our amazing Community Director, Graduate Assistant and Office Manager. We maintained our 24 hour desk, offered assistance to residents in anyway that we could and began the longest week of our lives. So many things happened in those few days and to be honest I'm not even sure I can remember them all, much less record them in chronological order.

I remember waking up every 7 hours to makes rounds of the building with an RA partner. Climbing 13 floors of stairs with a flashlight. Sweating in the heat and tripping over discarded items from residents who chose to go home early and be with their families.

I remember collecting clothes and toiletry items to send to our on campus shelter for storm victims.

I remember the University closing operations and realizing my semester was over.

I remember helping residents coordinate a way to get home.

I remember not crying. I couldn't let myself cry. If I just went to bed exhausted then I could rest and not have to cry.

We began an express check out process so we could get as many residents out of the dorm (and as many people out of Tuscaloosa) as soon as possible. At the end of every school year the dorm operates a give n' go donation center so girls can donate the items they can't or do not wish to take home. This process took on a whole other meaning this year. We unofficially became a donation and drop off center. It started out with residents donating clothes, toiletries and furniture. The next thing I knew I saw a guy walking in with two armfuls of groceries asking if we were accepting food donations. When I asked where he was from he told me Mississippi State. He finished his exams, went to the store, loaded up with supplies and drove all the way to Tuscaloosa to drop them off. I don't know why he chose to stop at our dorm. At that point we had not publicized the fact that we were taking donations. All I know is it warmed my heart.

The first time I left Tuscaloosa after the storm on Wednesday was Sunday morning. I decided to drive up to Birmingham to see my family and attend church services at my church back home. I had held it together since the storm. I'm not a crier. I don't cry often and I rarely cry in front of other people. So when I got to church Sunday I was not expecting to cry. If I had known what was to follow I would have packed four packs of tissue and sat on the back pew so no one would have had to see me ugly cry. And ugly cry I did. I went up to my usual spot and sat with my friend Meredith. Her neighborhood (about 60 miles from Tuscaloosa) was also hit by the same storm. We hugged and I held it together. I thought I'd be okay. Then church began and it was time to sing. The song leader announced the first song, Count Your Many Blessings. I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to start the service. Except, all of a sudden my throat is tight, and my lip is starting to shake, and now I'm making the ugly "I can't cry now" face. And now my face is all wet because I am crying. Ugly crying. And now Meredith is crying and she only has two tissues left. Well so much for holding it together.  Turned out to be just the emotional release I needed, I just wish I had been a little more prepared for it. Thanks for sharing your kleenex Mer! It worked much better than my sweater. I met my family for lunch after church and then drove back down to school.

On Monday, May 2nd the University resumed normal operations and our dorm became an official drop off and donation center. I spent the next week alternating between working in the dorm and working in the community.  I saw the best and worst images over that week. Its an event that will always be a part of me.

Well I said I wasn't going to write much about the storm. I guess I lied. It was unintentional I assure you. Please continue to pray for my community and state. The healing process has just begun but as has been said "We are Alabama, and we will rise again."

If you're interested in helping there are many ways to volunteer. One of the best tools for me so far has been Twitter. Way to go social networking! There is an account called HelpTTown. They post daily about where volunteers and supplies are needed.

Also, I have a lot of new things to tell you about regarding my RA adventure and where it has taken me this summer but this post is already too long. I will tell you that I'm still on campus, working with a new community, and already having a blast in my summer position. More details to come shortly!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Residents. Babies. They're all the same.

Our community director is having another baby. Exciting times! We threw her a surprise baby shower last night at our staff meeting. Its too early to know the baby's sex but we wanted to have a shower before the end of the semester. For our gift Tacoma and I decorated onesies.

Two other RAs helped us with a couple of them. The one with little Green monsters was made by an RA much more talented than myself. Our CD's last name is Green if you're wondering why there are so many green themed onesies. Her husband is working on his doctorate? in math? Something science-y like that so Tacoma made the Q(t)π one. Too cute. Here's the card I made to go with the gift...



Surprisingly we were able to keep the shower a secret and she was truly surprised! That's pretty hard to pull off with a staff of 24 females. I'm impressed. Ok, time to quit blogging about babies and get back to work. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Everybody Loves Harry Potter

I love Harry Potter and I'm not afraid to say it. Yep, I'm a huge nerd who loves to read and Harry Potter is one of my favorite series.  While conducting health and safety inspections my RA partner noticed that many of our residents had the Harry books as well.  Each month a group of floors is in charge of putting on a large program.  RA partner suggested we do one with a Harry Potter theme and what a great idea it was!  

We had butterbeer pong, quidditch toss, a horcrux hunt, and watched the newly released DVD.  The butterbeer and horcrux hunt seemed to be big hits. At lunch today I told my friends that I needed to get back to the dorm to finish making horcruxes. I laughed at how horrible that sounded and then they started calling me Moldemort. Anyway, I printed out pictures of the 7 horcruxes and enlisted the help of my fellow RAs in hiding them throughout the building. I wrote clues and posted them on a table at the party. I tried to make them cute and rhyme-y. They weren't all great but a few of my favorites included...

"One can be found in the place where you wash your hands if you live on floor tres." 
"Your community director works here. You've probably been to see her if you were caught with beer."
"Polyjuice potion takes a few hairs. If you live on the 14th floor you probably don't take the..."

What I loved about that last one is that the residents took the stairs all the way to the 14th floor. In my head I envisioned them taking the elevator to the 14th floor and then walking over to the stairwell. I guess they thought they'd miss it if they didn't walk all the way up? It all evened out though because the prize for each horcrux was a GiGi's cupcake. They had the pleasure of eating their cupcake guilt free. 

I however ate my pizza and cupcakes full of guilt. Speaking of pizza, when ordering 25 pizzas its important to call more than an hour ahead of time. Tacoma (My friend and the dorm GA) and I were busy shopping for the program and forgot about ordering early. About an hour and 15 min before we needed the pizza I remembered and we called them right away. This is how the conversation went:

Dominoes phone person: "Dominoes, this is so-and-so, how may I help you?"
Me: "Yes, I need to order 25 pizzas for the university"
Dominoes phone person in a really excited voice: "That'd be great ma'am! How can we prepare those for you?"
Me (after describing what I wanted): " there anyway we can get those by 6:15?" It was 5:10 at the time.
Dominoes phone person in a not so excited voice: "Let me get a manager..."

Sorry Dominoes! But kudos because they got them to us on time and the pizzas tasted amazing. Ugh, pizza. I'm already mad at myself. I'm gaining my Freshman Fifteen all over again. Must do better tomorrow. 

Alright, time to get some sleep so I can be productive tomorrow. I have two huge papers due and only 12 more school days. I cannot believe how quickly this semester has flown by! Thanks for enduring my stories thus far.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More quotables

They're at it again. More quotables from the residents...

Resident A:"Do you know what she wore to dress check?"
Resident B:"Yeah, she wore my dress. I don't know how she fit in it though. I had to squeeze into it and was practically suffocating the whole time I wore it. I mean, it still fit, but I don't know how she wore it."

Resident while looking at one of those $1 mugshot magazines you see in gas stations: "What does aliases mean? What is an alias?"
Me: "You know, like Tater Salad."
Resident: Blank look
Me: "Ron Tater Salad White?"
Resident: Blank look
Me: "It means another name you go by. Names you use so the police won't know your true identity"
Resident: "Ohh like I could be Nicole."
Me: "Sure, as long as that's not your real name"
Resident: Blank look.

I think she finally got it by the end of our conversation but come on! I can forgive you not knowing the word "alias". Maybe you missed that day of 7th grade. But you've never seen Blue Collar Comedy? These girls are worse off than I realized.

During a recent Tornado Warning
Resident: "Is this serious? Like is it going to hit us?"
Me: "Well its a warning so that's more serious that a watch. I think it means tornadoes have actually been spotted. James Spann is probably down to his suspenders."
Resident: "Ok, is that serious?"
Me: "If you think getting hit by a tornado is serious, then yeah. But there's a very small chance it will actually hit the building."
Resident: "Why are there so many tornadoes here?! They should tell you this when you apply!"

For the record the tornado did not hit the building and yes there are a lot of tornadoes that come through our city. Its interesting to see how the students who aren't from areas that experience tornadoes react to their first bad storm.  I tried to reassure the worriers that it was highly unlikely that we were in any danger but when the sky goes from black to green to blue and back to black again within 10 minutes that's hard to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Heart Divided. Or is it Multiplied?

There is a stretch of Interstate 59 that connects the great cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa as well as the two giant pieces of my heart that lie in each.  I often travel this bit of road and ponder what I'm leaving behind and what awaits me at the end.  Between jam sessions and dancing as only a rhythmically challenged white girl can I am overcome with the bittersweet feeling of a divided heart. No matter which direction Clementine (my car) is headed I'm hesitant to leave but also ecstatic to arrive.  I started to rip off the great Charles Dickens and entitle this post "A Tale of Two Cities" but then I realized it has nothing to do with the cities themselves. Its all about the amazing friends in each location.

No matter where I've been in life God has seen fit to bless me with some pretty fantastic friends.  As I was driving today I got to thinking of how spoiled I am to know so many awesome people. Whenever I have started a new adventure in life, be it school, work, or a new church I always get nervous.  "Mom, what if the other kids don't like me?" Yes, I still call my mom and ask that at the age of 23. I'm loud, a tad bit overbearing and sometimes forget to use the filter between my brain and my mouth. But somehow there have always been people in my life willing to overlook those flaws and the many others I possess. I love people. Seriously love them and it doesn't take much to win me over. If a stranger smiles at me I smile back and in my head I'm thinking "What a nice person. Wonder what their name is?" I also have a bad habit of talking to strangers who would probably prefer to just be left alone. I'm sure there are many people I now consider friends who wished they'd ignored me and remained strangers. To those people I offer a huge thank you. You not only put up with me but do so while I'm getting on your last nerve.

I've been driving back and forth between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa now for the past 5 years, calling each home at different times.  I've been through a lot of changes and transitions during that time and there have always been great friends, new and old, to make it easier. I hate how my heart feels torn in two every time I make that drive but I guess as far as problems go its a good problem to have. Thank you so much to all the people who make it hard to leave either place.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jane Austen vs. The "Ladies" of the 8th Floor.

Oh my my. I'm definitely asking for it this month. Each month we have to change out the bulletin boards by the elevators on our floor. Most months we have assigned themes. April was a freebie. I'll admit, I took the easy way this time around. I've put thought and effort into my last two and they were promptly defaced and torn down. This time I decided to let the residents take part in creating the board.  I'm under no illusion that this one will last any longer than the others but frankly I wasn't feeling all that creative this time around. Here's my board for the month of April...

"What one word best describes your Freshman experience?"

I tied a sharpie to a string, stapled it on, and let the social experiment begin. If you asked me to describe my residents in one word "classy", "refined" and "ladylike" would not make the list. They didn't make it on the bulletin board either. I expected to get some pretty interesting answers but once again the exceeded my expectations. Was I expecting to get words such as "enlightening"? No. Basically I wanted to see how far they would take it. Is that wrong? Maybe, but it worked. After less than 24 hours I'd gotten the following:
  • Drunk
  • Slutty
  • Black
  • Amazing
  • New
  • Dirty
  • Hot
  • Naughty
  • Ridiculous
  • ...and a few two word combos that I won't be posting here. 
I realize I'm just as much a part of the guilty party by providing them with the opportunity to put it out there. I'm trying to think of a way to turn it into a positive experience by the end of the month so if you have any suggestions let me know. I do find it ironic that the other RA on our floor did a bulletin board about Jane Austen and her quotes on being a lady. The two boards face each other and only stand a few feet apart but oh what a chasm that divides them. Maybe halfway through the month I'll change it out and just write out Proverbs 31. I would do good to read that passage everyday myself. We'll just have to see where April takes us...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Over Exposure, Less Disclosure, When is This Semester Over?

I have not blogged in quite a while.
Whats wrong with me? That's not my style.
Is it too much time stuck in this dorm?
Have the girls' crazy antics become my norm?
I'm no longer shocked at the things they do.
Maybe that's why I quit recounting them for you.

Oh no. I'm rhyming again. Rhyming is my brain's response to stress.  I don't know why but when I'm overwhelmed or stressed out I start writing things that rhyme.  That's a very odd response to stress but its what I do and school has me stressed right now.  Anyway after a GLORIOUS Spring Break week with no residents they have returned with a vengeance.

Spring Break was great! I spent a few days here in the dorm trying to catch up on school work (which didn't happen) and a few days back home with the fam.  The dorm is extremely creepy when the residents are not here.  Imagine a thirteen floor building meant to house roughly 1,000 residents and you're only one of five people in the entire thing. With no one else on your floor. Spooky!  I didn't make it any easier on myself by watching Criminal Minds every night before going to sleep.  I can't stop myself.  I love that show even if it does give me nightmares and make me constantly look over my shoulder.  Luckily no unsubs were lurking in the hall and I survived.  However, if I am ever murdered I hope its interesting enough to inspire an episode of Criminal Minds, Law & Order or at the very least The First 48.

Creepy or not, a week with no residents was so nice.  Some came back on Sunday, others on Monday but they all celebrated being back last night.  It was uncharacteristically loud for a Tuesday night.  I guess everyone wanted to prolong their vacation a little longer by going out.  Guess things are back to normal.  Awesome.  At least there are only 6 more weeks of school!  I can definitely make it 6 more weeks.  And then sweet summertime with no residents or classes.  Let the countdown begin!

P.S. I won bulletin board of the month again so take that residents who tore it down!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You're an Old Bear

Saturday was my 23rd birthday!  Twenty three isn't that old.  So why is it I feel so old?  Oh, maybe its because I live with 1,000 18 year olds.  I have never felt older in my entire life.  I'm not complaining, its just a new feeling for me.  Most of my life my friends have always been older than me.  I've always been the youngest in my groups of friends so being the oldest is very different.  However, two of my favorite girls in the building are the youngest residents of all;  My community directors two little girls.  Ages 2 and 4.  They're adorable and as if I wasn't feeling old enough already the 4 year old had a lot to say about my age this week.

A few days before my birthday I decided to ask her how old she thought I was.
"How old do you think I'm going to be Saturday?"
"No, higher"
"No, I'm going to be 23"
"23!! How old are you now?!"

I love that 98 seemed like a perfectly normal guess but 23 was such a shock.  Then a few days later I went to hang out with a friend in the building and she was babysitting the two cuties.  They were watching the Care Bears.  First off, I don't know if any of you have watched the Care Bears lately but what happened? They've gotten so creepy.  Gone are the sweet old school cartoon bears.  They've been replaced by a more digital version of which I am not a fan.  Anyway the bears all have names such as Share Bear, Grumpy Bear, Messy Bear and so on.  When Messy Bear came on I asked one of the girls, "Are you a messy bear?" to which she responded "No, I'm a cute bear." I then asked her what kind of bear I was and she said "You're and Old Bear."  Oh the honesty of a child.  Got to love it.  

Since I was on call on my actual birthday I decided to go home on my birthday eve and see my family for a little bit.  Had birthday lunch at Joel's, my favorite mom n' pop place from back home, got a couple of Birthday surprises, and then had dinner with a friend.  Her brother-in-law is the head chef at a restaurant so we got yummy freebies and an awesome discount.  One of my birthday surprises was that my mom and dad are going to pay for my tickets to see the Atlanta Braves with mi amigos during their first two home games this season!  So excited!  I love all of my Bravo Boys but my favorites are definitely Martín Prado and Jason Heyward.  We have tickets for two games and we're sitting behind one of them at each game.  Alright, my desk time is almost up and I need to go do some school work.  If you love the Braves too you should check out Braves Love.  Its a fun Braves fan site from a female perspective.  Good night all, have a great week!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Don't Get Vomit on my Handcuffs

I do not drink alcohol.  There are many reasons why.  The following is only one of those reasons.

I had another Saturday night on call shift last night.  Around 1:30 a.m. I got a call from another RA on the 14th floor.  She was calling to inform me that there was a girl on her floor passed out in the bathroom lying in her own vomit and that paramedics were on their way.  Sweet.  So I grabbed some shoes and headed upstairs.  When I got there all I could see where the girl's feet sticking out of the stall.  She had conveniently locked the stall door so we couldn't easily check on her.  Two options.  A) crawl under the door and get vomit all over me or B) climb up the stall door, straddle it, and unlock it with my toes risking falling and a head injury of my own.  I chose B because I don't like vomit.  Luckily I used to climb everything I possibly could as a child and have long toes so it wasn't that difficult.

After I got the door open and was about to see if she was conscious the university police officer showed up.  When he walked into the stall and started talking to her she came to.  Then she realized he was a cop and attempted an crawling into the other stall.  Which only served to further smear the vomit all over herself and the rest of the bathroom.  The cop was nice to her at first making sure she was okay but when he realized she was in no immediate danger and she became more difficult he stopped being nice.  There were a few residents in the hallway who had originally found her but no one knew who she was.  When she finally told us her name I asked the other RA to check our roster and I noticed that one of the residents disappeared for a few minutes.  Her name did not show up on the dorm roster so the cop kept asking her where she was from and where she lived.

Cop "Do you know where you are?  What building are you in?"
Girl "I think I'm in Alabama on the 5th floor"

He wasn't having much success when the resident who had disappeared showed back up.  By this time the paramedics and firemen were both there and the bathroom was getting crowded.  The resident looked at him and said, "She goes to Georgia.  It says so on Facebook".  This got a laugh from all the men.  The cop chuckled and said "Facebook is the best investigative tool."

So now we know that she isn't a student but we don't know how she got there.   We finally got the names of her friends and turns out their room is right down the hall.  I went to their room to check it out.  The door was wide open but there was no one to be found.  The paramedics cleared her and turned her over to the police.  Since no one was there to claim her he went ahead and arrested her.  She was not happy about being arrested and kept saying "Please don't this is, its so embarrassing."  To which the cop responded "I wouldn't be too worried about it.  Passed out in the bathroom floor in your own vomit was worse than this.  You better not get vomit on my handcuffs."  As we were taking th elevator ride downstairs with the cops I called the CD (Community Director) on call and reported the incident.  The girl thought I was talking to her friends and kept asking who it was and could she please talk to them. I had to tell her four times that no, I wasn't talking to anyone she knew.  After a little more investigative work (i.e. facebook stalking) we discovered that she is indeed a student at UGA and was from a town about 10 min away from Athens.  I'm sure her parents enjoyed the phone call informing them their daughter was arrested.  In Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  It all came full circle when we woke up this morning and saw her mugshot on the Tuscaloosa Jail website.  Wonder how long it took her friends to notice she wasn't there?  Wonder how her night in the drunk tank went with no shoes?  Hope that party was worth it.  Oh, and she's only 18.  As in she just turned 18 three weeks ago.  Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Procrastination Post

Writing this blog helps me in many ways.  Its a safe place to tell stories about the residents.  Its a way for me to process and vent without my friends having to listen to me all the time.  And today its a great way to help me procrastinate.  I decided to go straight into graduate school after undgrad because I knew there was a good chance I'd never go back later.  I'm still happy with this decision but I think my brain is in revolt.  Its screaming "Enough with the learning already!!"  I'm slightly overwhelmed with how much I have to get done in the next three weeks so I'm taking a short breather to write this before jumping back into it.  I figured I'd catch up on what's been happening lately.

This past Saturday I had my first on-call day shift.  Day shifts are on Saturday and Sunday and last from 7 am-5pm.  That doesn't sound so bad right?  Well it just so happened that last Saturday was one of the prettiest days I've seen in months and I spent the entire day inside answering calls.  Letting walk of shamers back into their rooms, taking care of leaking showers, and orchestrating a rescue mission to retrieve someone's iphone from underneath a vending machine.  It wasn't my favorite day but it ended well!  Saturday was my mom's birthday as well and she and my dad and sister came down to go to the basketball game that night.  The game was super exciting and Trevor Releford set Tony Mitchell up for this amazing dunk!  We won the game and secured the win for the SEC West. ROLL TIDE.

My brother was in town for the weekend so I drove back up to my parents place Saturday night so we could all eat together Sunday for mom's birthday.  Anytime all five of us are together it gets pretty entertaining.  We all agree that we would make great reality television but disagree on what kind of show it would be.  I would love for my family to compete in a season of The Great American Road Trip if they bring it back.  I think we'd be good at challenges but we wouldn't be the "Good Answer! Good Answer!" family feud type of family.  If one of us screwed up the rest would let them know it.  And I'm not sure we'd all make it alive to the final destination if we had to live together in an RV.  So maybe no Road Trip for us.  Anyway, speaking of family ours just got a little bigger!

My baby cousin Juliana was born Monday!  I only have one first cousin so the fact that he and his wife had a baby is super exciting.  We haven't had any babies in the family for a long time and I'm super excited to have one to love and play with...and then return at the end of the day.  I only got to see her for a minute up close and then had to come back down to school to finish all that work I mentioned earlier...ok so I better wrap this up and quit procrastinating.  Here's the only picture I have of her right now.  Its a little blurry and taken through the nursery window but cute nonetheless!

Oh! One last thing before I get back to work.  I've mentioned that the bathrooms here are community style.  Today I grabbed my shower caddy, went in search of a clean shower, and picked the one with the least hair in it. After showering I reached for my towel and realized I didn't bring it. No Bueno.  Luckily I had a robe with me but its not meant for drying off.  I had to pull it on soaking wet and drip all the way down the hall to my room.  Could have been worse though. Could have forgotten the towel and the robe.  I was prepared to grab some paper towels and cover up Adam and Eve style but luckily for my residents that wasn't the case.  That's it, time to work.  Have a happy weekend everyone!

P.S. I apologize for the over use of the word "super" in this blog. Its super annoying :)  I will not be so lazy in my use of adjectives next time, promise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peace ho! The Ugg Boot Army Speaks!

For my non Shakespeare lovers that title is a take off of a line from Julius Caesar. The line is "Peace ho! Caesar speaks!" Okay, I know Casca wasn't telling a girl to shut up in slang because Caesar was about to talk but I still giggle when I read it.  Julius Caesar is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays and that's saying a lot considering the first time I read it was in 9th grade English when our teacher made us go around the room reading it aloud. Attention all English teachers:  If you are teaching Shakespeare in Alabama please do not have your students read it aloud. I love Alabama and I love my southern drawl but southern drawl + old English + students who don't care = a butchering of a masterpiece.  Anywho here are some more conversations I've overheard.  Most take place in the elevator.

Girl on the elevator talking on the phone:
"Yeah, I posted something about wanting to go to Bonaroo in my fb status so my mom would see it and buy me tickets. She said she wanted to go but I told her its not really a mother/daughter sort of event. She asked me how much tickets were and when I told her she said '$400! For a concert? I'd rather get some plastic surgery' "

2 girls on the elevator:
"I can't believe you kissed the bartender last night!"
"Yeah, its kind of my thing"

2 girls on the elevator:
"Who's your date tonight"
(She said something but I don't remember the name. Some generic 5th generation frat boy name.)
"Oh, I don't know him. I'm going to facebook stalk him to see if he's cute!"
"Don't bother. He's not."
"Oh, its one of THOSE dates"

Sidenote:  My February bulletin board won bulletin board of the month!  And even more importantly we're halfway through the month and it hasn't been torn down yet!   I think its because the picture of Hank Aaron is super cute!

My Bulletin Board

The cute pic of Hank I used

Speaking of Hank Aaron, SPRING TRAINING HAS STARTED!!!!!!  I wish I was in Orlando with my Braves instead of here with the residents. Le sigh. Oh well, I'll see them in April when the season starts!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Home is where the heart is.

Alright, this post is about to get super sappy so if you're only here for the stories of my colorful residents go ahead and stop reading now.  I drove home today for the weekend and as I sit in my bedroom after a night of hanging out with my family I've been thinking about how nice it is to come home.  To have a place to go to no matter what else is happening.  Aside from moving to college (both times) I have lived in the same house my entire life.  And while I associate my physical surroundings with my idea of home I'm really starting to understand that as cliché as it may sound "home is where the heart is."

Home is hugging your mom so tightly you think you both might pop.
Home is a kiss on the forehead from your dad as he asks if your car is holding up alright.
Home is hanging out with your brother and sister and not wishing you were with your friends instead.
Home is the familiar thumping of your dogs' tails as they greet you like you never left.
Home is dropping your bags, kicking off your shoes, and letting your hair down the minute you enter the door.
Home is a bundle of love, wrapped in a bear hug, sealed with a kiss, and bound by intertwining hearts.
Home is where the heart is.

I am so, so very lucky to have a home for my heart.  I believe that aside from God, my family is the sole reason for any success I have had in life be it big or small.  That's the main reason why I'm pursuing a career in social work.  I want to help as many children as possible find the home that I've been blessed to know.

 Ok, enough of this mushy stuff.  Here's some funny family pictures to lighten the mood...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ghosts of Tequila Present

The dorm I'm working in has earned quite a reputation for the shenanigans that go on here during football season.  I've heard stories of other RAs finding girls passed out in the stairwells, showers, etc.  Parties that got out of control and so on.  The spring semester is usually a little more tame but I've been waiting for something to happen.  I've only had to investigate one wee morning hours scream so far.  Once I realized it was a happy scream and not a "Help someone's trying to kill me scream" I asked the girls to watch their volume and went back to bed.  Nothing major has really happened.  Until last night and I apparently slept through the entire thing...

I'm normally a very light sleeper so how did this happen?  Well my friend Cori came down for the weekend and then last night we went to another friend's house to watch the Super Bowl (GO PACKERS!).  I've never been allergic to any other dog but his.  So by the time we got back to the dorm last night my eyes were itchy, my nose was runny, and my throat was getting smaller by the minute.  I took some Benadryl and floated off to antihistamine heaven.  This morning when I woke up I commented on how it was nice to finally sleep so hard and for so long. (I have mini bouts with insomnia).  Then Cori told me how she couldn't believe I slept through all the screaming last night.  Screaming?  What screaming?  She explained how some girl had been screaming at the top of her lungs and beating on something, maybe a door. I had no recollection of this.  You see, Benadryl is my tequila and I have a habit of talking in my sleep.  Cori swears that I woke up when the screaming started and said "I should probably check on that seeing as how I'm and RA and all" and before she could finish saying "Are you going to go out there?" I was already comatose again.  Anyway, I had no recollection of this and quickly forgot about it because I was excited about something else...We were going to eat at our favorite restaurant, City Cafe, before she had to head home!  

I got my City fix, went about my day and started gathering supplies for a program the other 8th floor RA and I were putting on tonight.  While we were setting up she asked me the same question my friend had.

"Did you hear all the screaming and banging last night?" 
"No. What happened?"

Apparently when the screaming wouldn't stop she went to investigate to make sure no one was hurt or in danger.  She had trouble figuring out where the sound was coming from and then realized it was coming from a closet in the hallway.  The kind of closest that automatically locks from the outside when shut.  She opened the door and there was our very own screaming banshee.  Turns out she didn't even live here.  She was visiting some friends, had a little too much to drink, got lost, and couldn't remember where her friends' room was.  Mistook the closet for the room, closed the door behind her, locked herself  in, and started screaming.  The RA got her out of the closet, made sure she was okay, and helped her find her friends.  

I can't believe we had our first real incident of the semester and I "slept" through the entire thing.  I later asked Cori to describe the scream and she said "It sounded like a domestic violence call on Cops.  Except instead of yelling at her husband the woman was yelling at whoever Tammy *name changed* is and threatening her if she didn't open THIS *BLEEPING* DOOR RIGHT NOW!"  Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait on the next girl to get locked a closet.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Much Needed Weekend Away!

Dorm life was really starting to get to me last week.  I had been in the hall for two weeks straight and was starting to development a little twitch.  I don't know if it was the added stress of school work starting to pile up or what but my patience was beginning to wear thin.  The floor reached a new level of disgusting last weekend.  I don't know if I've said it before but we have an AMAZING cleaning staff.  Luckily my schedule lets me sleep in until they've been by in the morning and I always have a clean shower...Monday through Friday at least.  The cleaning staff doesn't come in on the weekends.  So by the time I got up on Sunday and headed to the shower all of the ones I normally use were filled with vomit.  Delicious.  So my friend (who came to visit for the weekend) and I wandered down the hall toting our shower essentials in search of puke free showers.  There was some silver lining to this experience.  We ended up in a bathroom I never use and discovered that the water pressure in this particular bathroom is 10x better than the one I normally use!  Frustrating experience but in the end beneficial.   

The following week was full of little frustrations like trash being left everywhere, drunken screaming at 3:00 a.m., and just all around rudeness.  During this time I was trying to put together a presentation that I had to give to housing employees on why I should be rehired in the Fall.  I had major writer's/creator's block and couldn't come up with a theme.  Can't imagine why it was so difficult to come up with reasons to ask them to let me do this again... Fortunately I came up with something at the last minute because regardless of the past week's annoyances I really do like this job.  

Needless to say when my mom phoned during that stressful week to ask if I wanted to go to Snow Mountain in Atlanta I said "ABSOLUTELY I DO!" And I'm so glad I did.  Outsiders looking in may think my family is a little crazy but we always have a good time.  I have gotten to where I intentionally do not put on mascara before a long car ride because I know I'm going to laugh so hard that I'll cry it all off before we reach our destination.  That was definitely the case this time.  Pops was already in Atlanta working this week so my mom, sister and I drove over Saturday morning to meet him.  On the way over we got to telling stories on each other and here come the tears.  If you're ever considering spending time with my family check your ego at the door.  Any and everyone is fair game.  We show our love by supporting each other but also and more often so by laughing at each other.  Hey, if you can't even take criticism from the ones you love then this world is going to be a hard place to live in.  And its not so bad, sure you're going to be the butt of the joke for a few minutes but it'll only remind you of something dumb someone else did and just like that the attention shifts and you're back to cracking on someone else. But don't be fooled by all the "meanness" we're the first to defend each other as well.  That's how we work and so far its kept us a pretty tight knit group.  

So all of that leads to me telling you that Dad bore the brunt of the jokes this weekend. Which is good because he probably handles it the best of us all.  After we got to Atlanta we met dad at the hotel, consolidated to one car and started out for a fun evening of snow tubing.   As we were pulling out of the parking lot the following conversation ensued...

Mom: "I don't have any cash and I need $10 to park."
Dad: "Don't worry I got you covered."
Sister: "Yo dad, you be stackin'?"
Dad: "Yeah, and I've got more waters and graham crackers in my car if anyone wants some!"
Me laughing hysterically: "No dad, she said 'stackin' not 'snackin'" 

Oh how I love my parents.  We ended up having a great time that night and then headed back to the hotel.  Since this was the first day in two weeks that I had been awake before 11:00 a.m. I was pretty exhausted when we got back.  I crawled in the bed and was asleep by 9:30!  The only problem with this was my body has gotten used to going to bed at 2:00ish and thought we were taking a nap.  So I snapped wide awake at 11:00.  Awesome. Now I'm up.  The street lamp is shining directly into our window and after 10 minutes of trying and failing to shut the curtains I give up and stare at the ceiling.  Turns out the curtains were really simple but that was only evident the next morning.  So I'm staring at the ceiling willing myself to go to sleep when I hear a familiar sound...a drunken girl giggling and laughing obnoxiously loud.  Seriously?  I drive all the way to Atlanta and I get stuck next to someone that might as well be one of my residents?  Lovely.  And now that I'm well rested from my "nap" I won't be sleeping for a while.  *Sigh* At least I'm back at my parents' house tonight.  The only person downstairs where its quiet, dark, and I have an amazing mattress that's actually large enough for me to roll over and not plummet to my death.  Or less dramatically and more likely a knot on my forehead.  So that's the plan for the rest of the night.  Wash my clothes for free, eat something I didn't pay for, and get some good sleep.  Then tomorrow I'm going back to school with a refreshed mind and better attitude towards the dorm.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!