well, two things are happening.
1. i am eating a wildberry poptart and it's pretty much the best poptart i've ever had in my life and i am very excited about it.
2. I HAVE A WHOLE HOUR OF FREE TIME AND I DON'T NEED TO BE DOING ANYTHING VITAL.
i'm at RA training. that's why this hour of free time is so absolutely joyous.
i don't think i've blogged about RA training. i've blogged about aspects of RA training, but i don't think i've actually sat down and been like, "wow i want to blog about all the shenanigans that we get into at RA training that no one knows about".
so now i'm going to. WOOT.
I MOVED IN AND LOCKED MYSELF OUT
if you were unaware, i am a senior and a third year RA. i'm also a female. that means that i get to be in wright hall, which is the apartment style dorms. i live with my fabulous SRA katie and two other girls who aren't here yet, which is just as well because katie and i have shit everywhere.
THE WHOLE APARTMENT IS COVERED IN STUFF.
so on saturday we moved all my stuff into my room which is on the west end of the apartment. and i'm moving from a large and spacious double into a single. so i'm trying to cut down on all of my crap. i haven't found room for my TV yet. while my mom is putting my clothes away in my closet which is now about three times as small as what i'm used to, my dad and my brother and i are running things from the storage closet in my old hall on the second floor, across the parking lot, into my dorm, up the stairs, and into my apartment.
so in the other dorms that aren't apartment style, to lock your door you have to actually lock your door. so if you're late to class and realise that you can't physically lock your door, that means that you left your keys inside and then you say some words that aren't really approriate and you grab your keys and move with your day.
my apartment door (and my bedroom door inside my apartment) locks itself behind me. so halfway through moving in and i locked myself out of my apartment.
when you lock yourself out, you whine to the RA. i am the RA.
i found another RA and got the master key. the master key didn't work. (also, when we put in a work order to get a new one, all they did was oil it. that oil consequently got all over my hands when i had to key into the laundry room at midnight. FOR A LEGIT REASON.)
so then i had to track down katie and my hall director, willard, made fun of me mercilessly.
then i had to run to walmart. and i'm like, morally against walmart. which sucked.
BUT LOOK I GOT ALL MOVED IN AND STUFF.
(the england is strong in this room.)
THEN THERE WERE LOTS OF PRESENTATIONS
RA training has a lot of presentations. like, you don't think that RA training is that hard, but it's two weeks of like, eight in the morning to midnight stuff. every day.
and then you'd think that we'd get sundays off, but NOPE, sunday is one of our longest days because sunday has the most boring presentations. i should be more generous because my fellow RAs give some of those presentations and they work hard on them. and they make them interesting. and they're fantastic.
but there is just no getting around that hearing about what facilities and management does for the third time is boring as hell.
but even though we sat through like... seven hours of presentations on sunday and it was really boring and we knew that lots more were coming, we managed to make it a fun time for south staff.
so we went to coldstone, made inappropriate jokes about the sweet cream ice cream (we are not mature.) and then we had a super smash brothers tournament at willard's.
me. cas. john. on a team. against willard.
he kicked our asses.
so i gave up and went to play bullshit with the rest of my female staff members, and i won both times and i thought that katie was going to rage quit on me. legitimately.
CAMP HENRY IS ALWAYS THE BEST (AND GOOD FOR FOOT SLICING)
on monday we always go to camp henry, which is like a cool leadership summer camp on lake kimball. and we have five stations that we rotate through as a staff. and since willard is the hall director with the most experience, he makes the schedule so we don't have to kayak in the morning when it's cold.
way to go, willard.
our group leader was this awesome guy named david who was from london, and i was like, i totally spent three weeks there and he was like, well that's nice i totally grew up there and i was like, i love london and he was like, i like bandana tag and that was pretty much the end of that conversation.
we did play bandana tag. which was fun. and willard got really into it and i'm pretty sure i'll be playing it again sometime before training is over because willard misses it.
after we played that and this weird dodgeball game in a hunger games arena called gaga, we went to the low ropes course. i swung on a rope swing, which was kind of a big deal because rope swings freak me out. all eleven of us balanced on a seesaw and nobody got hurt (unlike last year) and then we did that thing where you have to fit everyone through a spider web. so you're like, lifting people up and funnelling them through between pieces of rope and stuff like that.
well we kind of took cas and flipped him over backwards over the entire thing and caught him on the other side and i may have screamed the whole time.
after that we did this huge jacob's ladder. which was fifty feet tall. and it looked like this.
if you can't tell, those huge beams are about five feet apart.
I CLIMBED THE WHOLE THING.
i didn't realise how high it was until i was sitting on the top like, aww yeah i'm a bamf and i'm really out of breath and then i looked down and it was like
HOLY MOTHER OF PEARLS THIS IS REALLY HIGH GET ME DOWN RIGHT NOW.
after we climbed the ladder, we went to archery. last year i missed all the targets and shot them off into the woods. this year they had barricades so you couldn't do that.
guess who shot all of her arrows over the barricade and back into the woods?
archery is not my friend.
after that we went kayaking, which is totally my thing. i love kayaking. it makes me feel closer to god. we all went out onto kimball lake and through a tunnel onto a different lake and we rammed into each other and tried to tip each other over and it was a good time. on the way in, our instructor told us that we could "accidentally" tip ourselves and swim the kayaks in.
i tipped myself. stepped on something and it hurt. then my foot sank ankle deep in silt.
i pushed my kayak in. foot still hurt. walked across the beach. left a trail of blood. found some other RA staff members. they noticed the blood. cue panic.
it turns out that camp henry doesn't have a first aid kit and i was like, "well that's strange" so i sat on a picnic table while taylor poured water all over my foot and dug into my cut with a q-tip. and it hurt through my whole entire foot so i could only walk on my tip toes. and it bled the whole way home and barbara was like, wow that's probably infected so she took me to her room and went into lifeguard mode. she cleaned it off and then scrubbed it out with disinfectant wipes and then attempted to cut the extra skin off with scissors.
obviously, while this was happening i was hugging a pillow with my eyes squeezed shut and when i wasn't making terrible noises of pain, i was yelling words that would have made my mother hit me with a frying pan.
i still have gauze all over the bottom of my foot and it's all taped up. and it's still bleeding through the gauze. and it's thursday. (my foot is also still swollen.)
YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW, AND NEITHER DO I
tuesday was another long day of presentations. like, a RULLL LONG DAY. we were in the CSO, the centre for student opportunity, and we sat through three hours of presentations from them.
which was helpful and not boring because i hadn't heard it twice already. the CSO is pretty new.
here's what i got from it:
1. they have a lot of sub offices.
2. a lot of the sub offices don't apply to me because i'm too old for internships and i have my major and stuff.
3. IPHS and the IPHS institute are different?
4. FREE SWAG.
then i sat on a bag full of thumb tacks, but that's a different story.
the thing i most took away from the presentation was the last presenter, laurie. she was there for the new students, like the freshman. her basic message was, "if you have no idea what you want to do with your life, come talk to me!"
my name is emily, i am a twenty-two year old senior, and i need to make an appointment with laurie.
it was that night that i decided that i was going to make my bulletin board about big kid life. and of course, game of thrones. all of my residents but like... two are seniors. so i made a bulletin board called "real life is coming". (see what i did there?)
this is my favourite part of my bulletin board.
well, that's the whole thing.
ignore the fact that this is sideways. my phone is stupid. but it's the best slide. just tilt your head or something.
ALSO, YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THE TROUBLE I JUST WENT THROUGH TO TAKE THESE PICTURES OF YOU. I LITERALLY STOOD UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS POST TO TAKE THE PICTURE AND MY APARTMENT DOOR SHUT BEHIND ME AND I WAS LOCKED OUT AGAIN. SO I TEXTED KATIE AND RAN TO THE STUDENT LIFE OFFICE, GRABBED HER KEYS, RAN BACK, UNLOCKED MY APARTMENT, GRABBED MY KEYS, RAN HERS BACK TO HER AT THE STUDENT LIFE OFFICE, AND NOW I'M HERE ALL SWEATY AND OUT OF BREATH FOR YOU, READER. FOR YOU.
i did meet the new chaplain while i was run/walking. so that was neat.
I PRESENTED ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
about halfway through the summer barbara and i decided that it would be a good idea to present on mental illness, so we brought it up with the hall directors and they graciously said yes.
to know about my struggle with my mental illness called trich, click here.
to know about my struggle with generalised anxiety disorder, click here.
to represent the statistical 350 students at alma that struggle with mental illness, we made 350 yellow ribbons. 20 of them were purple to denote the statistical 20 people attending the presentation that were struggling.
we got up early and spent an hour taping them to the chalkboard in SAC 113 and covering them up so no one would see them. then after our first session, roommate mediation, the hall directors informed us that we were moving venues.
i legitimately cried. i was already nervous as hell and now we had to move all the stuff.
so willard, bless his heart, brought us lunch and we spent another hour moving all 350 ribbons and putting them in dow L1 while everyone was at lunch. then we somehow managed to eat jimmy johns without puking.
(we had just come from a two hours presentation about campus violence and sexual assault. which is always hard. and we were nervous. puking was totally in the realm of possibility.)
the first part of our presentation was just to have the RAs look at all the ribbons. and then we shared our own stories.
obviously because of the links i just gave you, i've talked about my struggles before. i've talked to lots of small groups about trich, but not a large group of people that i'm close to and that i work with.
i've never given a public presentation on my anxiety.
i was terrified.
but i managed to get through the whole thing. everyone was very receptive. they were very interactive with the group activity that we did, and we had a great discussion about hot button words and not using mental health terms as adjectives. (that weather is so bipolar! they didn't have a dress in my size and i almost had a panic attack!)
we had a greater discussion about why it's important to talk about mental health because nobody does. and we talked about creating a safe environment in our halls for students struggling with mental health issues.
the support that barbara and i received for sharing our own personal stories with the group were overwhelming. i spent most of the afternoon crying. it was terrifying, it was wonderful.
I GOT A NEW LIBRARY CARD
this morning i had the morning free to finish my bulletin board and my door decs. so i allowed myself to sleep in before i set to work making my games of thrones magnicifence.
it's not magnificent. my board is ugly. you can say it. UGLY BOARD.
hannah came over. we spent all summer on the internet fighting the patriarchy. i was excited that she was here. and i was like, "let's go to the SAC lab and print off my stuff!"
we go to SAC. awkwardly run into dr. aspinall who i haven't seen since i left england. and he's like, "you made my whole summer because you loved york so much" and inside i was like "i don't have you for a future class so i didn't really spend much time thinking about you" and i actually said "aw that's so sweet i really did love york" and then we found out that printing lab was locked.
the hall directors' office was closed. so was the library.
so hannah and i got in my ghetto van and drove to the public library, a place where i had never been in alma.
we applied for library cards to use the printer. we had to give the lady our driver's licenses and she was like, "oh you're not from michigan, i need your social security number" and i was like, "say what" and she was like, "do you want the card or not" and i was like, "fiiiine" and i felt skeevy.
the alma public library cards are really pretty. i actually took the time to put four of the ten letters of my last name in the signature instead of just the h and the scribble, it was that pretty.
we get on a computer. download my bulletin board info. click print.
it's one dollar per page.
i pay the lady seven bucks in cash. watch as my bulletin board comes out of the printer. and hannah says, "you'll get reibursed for this, right?"
ha. haha. hahahaha. HAHAHA. AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
we drove back merrily and taped the bulletin board up. we hung out for a while. we talked about my cactus who sits in the window sill of my room and you can see him all the way from the chapel.
we fought the patriarchy.
(GOAT SCREAM GOAT SCREAM) TROUBLEEE TROUBLEEEE
this afternoon we had some fun RA sessions before some serious stuff this evening, like the game of life (which i've blogged about before) and the privilege exercise that makes me feel like an asshole for being a middle class white female. we started off with an inclusion/exclusion activity and the past two years i've always been in the excluded group.
this year was no different. i have that luck.
after that we talked about balance and boundaries and that's always fun. because i have no balance and no boundaries and i laugh.
then the new RAs went to their own session and we went to a returners session called staying motivated.
we were in the lab room in dow where my brother's spider research from the past two years is being carried on by a senior named adam. so there was a bunch of spider sex on the board.
i am not kidding. my brother spent two years studying spider mating behaviour.
so we all settled down and katie and barbara are presenting but barbara was doing something important, so we started watching videos on youtube.
and we watched the goats screaming like humans video.
(along with the trouble goat scream.)
so THAT was awesome.
once we were done laughing our asses off, barbara came in and we started their powerpoint.
and the ironic thing was, we were in a presentation about being motivated, and i think every single one of us was about three hundred percent DONE and no one was paying attention and barbara got sassy with us.
which we totally deserved.
then we flew paper airplanes for a while as a really cool metaphor about being a motivated RA.
oh, and we watched kid president. and marie and i were sitting next to each other and tweeting all the good quotes from it to each other like "NOT COOL ROBERT FROST" which i wrote on a piece of paper to hang in my room but marie wrote "pshhh" on it and ruined it.
and we spent a lot of time hitting each other with paper airplanes.
i wanted to write this post because throwing paper airplanes at marie while watching goats scream at people made me laugh and i wanted to do more than tweet about it and put it on facebook.
it's a pretty popular status.
but in conclusion, RA training isn't just us sitting through boring presentations and watching videos of screaming goats and stuff.
we have hours of staff time where we bond and share our stories and cry and laugh together. we team build. we learn how to take care of each other and take care of our residents. we laugh and sing and scream and cry and learn about a lot of really tough shit, like how to deal with suicide and depression and what to do when we are too overwhelmed.
we talk about privilege and diversity. we get uncomfortable.
but we also build each other up and play games and have skipping contests and eat lots of ice cream.
i wouldn't trade being an RA for anything, i wouldn't trade my staff for anything, and i wouldn't skip RA training for the world.
(even though i get no sleep and i get hangry a lot.)
I LOVE RA TRAINING, OKAY?
here's a cute picture of me and barbara while i was getting the cut in my foot scraped out at camp henry.
... THE END.