Thursday, March 10, 2011


"So much to do, so much to see, so much for taking the back street.....Hey now, you're an all star, get your game on, go play"

I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep, and I started to think about my highs and lows of the week. At our staff meetings, we tell the rest of the staff about our week, the good and bad stuff. It brings us closer, helps us to learn about one another and what is really going on. I always have to prepare, so I try to think about them prior=)

Here's my list of what I have come up with thus far..but in probably much more detail than what you really want to know or what I would normally share. Unless I decide to withhold information, which may happen. Or I just get tired, which is also quite likely. Especially considering the fact that it is 3:30am and I have been getting approximately 5 hours of sleep these past few nights.


  1. Spring break! 
  2. Class got cancelled for Thursday morning
  3. Class got cancelled for Tuesday night
  4. Family time!
  5. I get to leave northern Arizona.
  6. I am going to be a Senior RA (SRA reminded me of Sarabi, hence the title).
  7. 100% of the people in Campbell who applied for a position in Residence Life at NAU were hired.
  8. I have been laughing a lot.
  9. The new girls for the hall are pretty fantastic.
  10. I got a new high score in Robot Unicorn Attack.
  11. Vegaaaaaaas!
  12. Road trip!
  13. It hasn't been as cold.
  14. I'm going to do March Madness for the first time.

  1. Things are back in full swing right after Spring starting that Sunday night. 
  2. Some of the responses from people about my new position and location for next year
  3. Preparations for summer
  4. I have been pretty overwhelmed lately. 
  5. I won't get to really know the new girls.
  6. My high score for Robot Unicorn Attack wasn't really all that high....
  7. Lots of assignments, papers, and tests.
  8. Allergies are kicking into full gear and it's been pretty miserable. 

I tried to make the list of my highs longer, so it seemed more positive, but some of the things on my "low" list carry more weight, particularly numbers 2 and 3. Those are exactly what I want to write about here, somewhat carefully, yet somewhat candidly. And if you want to know about any of the others, ask and I'll share. They just don't seem as pressing. 

2. Some of the responses from people about my new position and location for next year
First, let me explain what I do a little bit and what my new position kind of entails. I am a Resident Assistant (RA). NAU has a phenomenal residence life program, where almost half of its students live on campus. That is huuuuuge. Only a handful of universities of NAU's size have that big of a Residence Life Department. And I don't know about other other schools, but the training that NAU does for Residence Life staff members is just insanely good. I'm impressed every time and seem to always learn something new at RA training. Essentially, an RA is a resource for his/her residents, helps them get connected to the campus, to the hall, to people, etc. We put on programs, make door decs, make bulletin boards, enforce policies, build up trust, ensure safety, etc. We are told that we have many "hats" and while we definitely are not police or psychologists, we kind of play that informal role of being both of those, along with a role model, educator, encourager, etc. A Senior Resident Assistant (SRA) does all that and a little more. Basically, they also do desk operations, payroll for desk staff, and are the leader of the staff. In sorts, it's kind of like a promotion and actually a pretty big honor, in my humble opinion, to be a Senior Resident Assistant. 

Currently, I am the RA for a hall on campus that seems to be the more or less the exact opposite of the hall that I will be working in next year. One is just about as far north as you can get on campus, the other is just about as far south as you can get. One is upper division, one is freshmen. One is the smallest staff on campus with 1 RA, one is the largest staff on campus, with 22 RAs. One is a pretty simple building, one is dubbed as being the most confusing building on campus. One is this, one is that. But you know what? I am so dang excited. And I have come to see, that while the bigger things seem to be complete opposites, the more intimate details of each hall are incredibly similar. I have loved (and at times hated, but mainly loved) working in the hall that I am in for the past two years. I adore my residents, I love the staffs I have been able to work with, I have come to find the beauty in the part of campus I am in and in the building, I have learned so much from working here, and hopefully have been able to teach a lot as well. And I truly believe that I will be able to say the same thing this time next year. I believe that I will adore my new residents, that I will love the new staff I get to work with and shepherd, I will finally be able to understand all of the beauty in that area of campus and the building, I will learn so much from working in that hall and area, and hopefully will be able to teach (almost) as much as I learn. I do believe that and I am so excited to live that out. 

So here's my issue....

My assumption is that most people just look at the bigger things being opposites and don't really see the more intimate details (and you don't really either, since I didn't talk about them at all). I assume this because so often, when I tell people what hall I will be in next year these are often the responses:
  • Sarcastic "Good luck"
  • Laughter
  • Incredibly surprised question of, Really?! That hall?! Why?! That makes no sense.
  • Raised eyebrows
I am not even kidding you. But here are the responses that I want to get, that I want to hear:
  • You are going to learn so much there, that will be awesome for you!
  • You will be able to apply so much of what you have learned there.
  • I am so dang excited for you to be working in that hall!
  • Really?! That hall?! That's spectacular! You'll do great there!
Part of it is because I know some of the more intimate details, that I know how insanely similar these two halls actually are, despite their more obvious differences. If you know these two halls, I dare you to think about it and try to figure out how the seemingly most opposite of places are actually two of the most similar places. Luckily, those are only people's responses to the hall and not the actual position. As far as I can remember, most people are genuinely excited in my role as the SRA and believe I will do a superb job. Then again, almost no one really understands the SRA role or what it entails, except those in the Department of Residence Life, and even then, not everyone really knows what it is. 

Another part of it is that one of my love languages is words of affirmation. I need people to tell me those things. I need to hear from others that this hall is a good fit for me. I believe it, but I really want others to believe it too. I want people to be genuine, not sarcastic. I want people to be excited, not skeptical. It really does sadden me and kind of bother me that people are so weary, that they only focus on the main differences. Maybe, sometime, if you ask, just maybe I'll tell you the similarities. Unless you can discover them for yourself and then we can really discuss them.

Okay, this got long and I am getting tired...I shall discuss #3 later...

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