What a week! A week of intense baseball, a week with a holiday and a windy walk to the beach--and of course, my new job. Soon I will write about other things, I promise--soon the new job won't present as much to write about, as we settle into getting the accreditation documents finished.
So let me make one last blog post about the first week at the new job. Tomorrow I'll move to a more spiritual topic, as it is the Sunday where many of us will remember the saints who have gone before us.
--I've already written a blog post about starting a new job on Halloween--the stopping for children in costumes by the elementary school, the animals in costume at my work. It was even stranger as the week went on, realizing that I had met people, but I first met them in costume.
--I've seen a variety of animals on campus, since we have a vet tech program. Most of them were of the cuddly variety. Our resident veterinarian brings his huge dog to campus; I think we're free to stop by and pet him. On Thursday I was on my way down the hall, and I stopped. That lovely scarf wrapped around a student's neck--wait, no it moved! It was a snake. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I do pause when I see one. I don't have the impulse to run, the way I do with rodents--but I do proceed cautiously.
--I spent a lot of the week looking through faculty files to determine what's there and what will need to be provided. It's an interesting way to meet faculty members.
--Yesterday, we had an All-Hands Meeting--I think we have one once a week. I'd name them something different, since All-Hands has an apocalyptic sound to me, but that's not the kind of meeting we have in most weeks. It's a weekly meeting to update people. I was introduced, and they gave the floor to me. I knew that was likely to happen, and I wasn't quite sure of what I was to have prepared. So, I went with basic introduction kind of stuff, and since we had been talking about accreditation stuff, I talked about my ability to follow models and create accreditation documents, although I was often tempted to write them in iambic pentameter so that I was using my English major training--I got laughs as I assured everyone that I follow the model.
--Here's the secret that many people might not know about me: it takes me lots of effort to write in iambic pentameter--or any type of meter. I could write 10 accreditation documents in the time it would take me to write 10 lines of iambic pentameter.
--I know that some of the conversations I might need to have with students will be different than at my old school. For example, since most of our students are training to work in health professions, we have a strict drug policy, and students will be drug tested more often than they would be in most schools. Some students may enter our school not realizing that they will need to change their approach to casual drug use right away. Likewise, we have some strict dress code expectations.
--I also know that most of the conversations will be similar: student complaints that will baffle me (you're offended? by that?) but will need to be sorted out, discussions with faculty members about how to help students, discussions with department chairs who will need to track down materials from faculty members, discussions with the registrar about any variety of issues.
--So far, my interactions with people have been friendly and welcoming. There may be some confusion about what happened to my predecessor--which I can't help sort out. But most people seem accepting of me and willing to move forward. I had worried about that--most of the jobs I've taken in the past have been jobs where a new position was formed or someone retired--I wasn't sure what to expect.
--This will seem minor to some people; some of you will understand my relief in discovering that my clothes will be just fine for my new job. I had worried that I was moving to a more corporate culture, which would mean I would need to wear suits and more formal clothes--which would mean I would need to do a lot of clothes shopping. Corporate clothing does not seem made for women like me, so I'm happy that my style seems to work with the new job.
--I am also relieved that the building is comfortable--in terms of temperature, furniture, and bathrooms. I'll be spending a lot of time there, so these issues do not seem inconsequential to me.
Overall, it's been a good week. I've been getting home at a normal hour, which won't always be the case--for example, on Monday I'll stay late for new student orientation for the midquarter start. But my general impression from week 1: I've landed at a good place.