Day 261 - Day One
Monday, August 17, 2015
Today was my first "official" day as an employee of the Yuba Community College District! I spent the day at the Colusa County Outreach Facility (the official name, sounds awful in my humble opinion) in Williams, California, helping my Operations Specialist Paula handle the influx of new students for the first day of the fall semester.
I was really nervous driving over to Williams, imagining this crazy, chaotic scene. It was surprisingly calm. A few students needed help with registering for a particular class, or had questions about why a class had been cancelled or changed to a different course. But everyone was friendly, and the students were so eager to learn! It was heartening and thrilling to see all the conflicting emotions (anticipation, excitement, terror) and it all felt so positive.
I was amazed at all the different functions Paula performed: financial aid assistance, admissions, transcripts, class registration, and even therapy if she thought a student was troubled about something. There was a counselor present to help students with their education plan, but once she was finished talking with the student, Paula took care of them from that point on. I was really impressed.
At our local campus, I have one and a half financial aid technicians, an admissions & records specialist, and multiple counselors for the various state programs. Paula is trying to handle all of that on her own.
I wish there were room in the budget to give Paula some additional help. She does have a temporary employee that comes in from 4pm to 9pm to cover the information desk for the evening classes, and she will have two students on work-study programs to help out during the day, but she isn't able to call in sick or take a vacation without a lot of advance planning.
On the way home I stopped at our favorite farm market and picked up some gorgeous tomatoes ($0.50/pound for red or yellow, $1/pound for burgundy heirloom - YUM), bell peppers ($0.25 each), and wonderful cantaloupe, peaches, Brussels sprouts, and dried beans (Peruanas). I had one of the heirloom tomatoes for dinner with some mixed vegetables and lentils, and a peach for dessert. Oh, I do love summer produce!
It was a great first day. I can't wait to go back to work tomorrow!
Keep sparking, friends!