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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Captain's Log - April 22, 2009

Two to three times a month I hold publicized office hours in the Coates Center lobby. This is a way to be visible - a must for a Dean of Students. I have other ways too. Thought I would log today's session.

9:15 a.m. - Set-up: I am assigned the southern of the three tables. Good start

9:16 a.m. - I am here at this time to catch the traffic from students walking up from the dorms on the way to 9:3o classes. They look tired.

9:18 a.m. - Accost first year students Sheila Castle (fellow runner) and Reagan Pennycuff (Springsteen fan) for photo op. Poor lighting. Will try later.

9:19 a.m. - Start counting student reactions to my being in Coates lobby. Begin by categorizing "eye-contact," and "no eye-contact" responses.

9:22 a.m. - Notice TV monitor over the info desk across from me. Advertises campus events. Graffiti Wipe-out slide for Saturday program. Supposed to show paint. Looks like blood. Not good.

9:28 - First-year student Nathan Friedman stops to introduce himself. He likes me, he really likes me! I have a new BFF.

9:30 a.m. - "No eye-contacts" have a commanding lead. They are just tired. Or suspicious.

9:31 a.m. - Four Security Officers outside of Coates chatting. I am safest Dean in the country at this moment.

9:32 a.m. - All is quiet. Too quiet. Go on a decaf coffee run at Commons. Son Nguyen, info desk worker, watches my gear.

9:34 a.m. - Think of grabbing USA Today courtesy of the student government readership program. Decide not to take a paper. Need to be sharp for student visitors. Ask Son to take picture. Why is my face red?

9:36 a.m. - Still feeling very safe here.

9:38 a.m. - New category to tally my passers-by: "Sympathy looks."

9:40 a.m. - Oh lord, I forgot to wear a belt today. That explains a lot.

9:42 a.m. - Posted banner at main windows advertises "Chain-mail Night" make-your-own program. Immediate suspicions confirmed: sponsored by Gaelic Cultural Society.

9:44 a.m. - Still safe.

9:45 a.m. - 1970's Christopher Cross song "Sailing" is playing on the tinny Commons radio in the distance. Some songs should be retired. This is one of them.

9:52 a.m. - Security departs. Still feel safe though as it seems my "Office Hours" sign could read "Pretend I do not exist. Really, just IGNORE ME. Have a nice day."

9:55 a.m. - Just waiting for Nathan Friedman to get out of class.

9:58 a.m. - What would Susan Boyle do?

9:59 a.m. - Prospective student from Greece or Arlington stops at info desk with mom. I interrupt their questions to Son so I can feel loved. They think I am too forward I fear.

10:00 a.m. - Son goes to class.

10:03 - Two women from Club Tennis staff northern table recruiting people for weekend event for charity. Now THEY are forward, but I relish the competition.

10:05 a.m. - Staff member stops to check with me on two students in recent accident. We have a very caring community. That's no joke.

10:10 a.m. - Tennis girls attracting young male students.
10:11 a.m. - He seems hot.

10:15 a.m. - Sasha Nouri, first year student, introduces her friend Rachel Johnson to me. Things are looking up.

10:20 a.m. - Taylor Woodard, senior stops by. She has a sweet job lined up in NYC!

10:22 a.m. - Class just let out. Here comes action.

10:24 - Robby Glass and Lindsay Landgraff stop by. Lindsay tells me of the PIKE/SIGMA event at noon. For 48 hours they will see-saw on the esplanade to raise funds for the Children's Shelter.

10:28 a.m. - Forget name of one of the RA's we hired for next year. Oops. It is morning after all. And it was decaf too.

10:30 a.m. - Domale Dube reports for duty at info desk. Fifteen minutes to go. Only five hours until the weekly Nacho Hour in this same location. Can't wait!

10:31 a.m. - Mike Guerra, junior/RM, stops by. He has been by every time I have had office hours. Stalker...

10:32 a.m. - Stop counting "no eye-contact" people. It is getting sad. Many are even looking at the screen with the blood/paint across from me to AVOID eye-contact.

10:33 a.m. - Adam Cason, ASR president (also an office hour stalker like Mike Guerra) stops by. Wants a pen refill (long story). Heads north to the table with the... Wait a minute - I KNOW he doesn't play tennis.

10:34 Elliott Wilkes, senior, comes by. May get a job in Obama administration. OMG, a line is forming behind him - well, one guy anyways. "Great Elliott, say hi to Barack for me... Next!"

10:35 A.M. - Student asks legitimate question... I have to get back to him.

10:40 a.m. - Class must have started again. Shhhhh.

10:41 a.m. - Student complaining to tennis girls about end-of-semester assignments. I totally could have handled that one.

10:42 a.m. - Trinitonian editor picks up a guitar-shaped package from Mail Center across the lobby. Maybe will write song about Sophomore College.

10:45 a.m. - Final count (does not include anyone I know - some of whom also ignored me):
No eye-contact - 63
Eye-contact - 12
Sympathy looks - 2
Disdain - 1
Greetings from strangers (some verbal action required) - 4

Well, at least I got something out of this.


Andi Narvaez said...

If I was still at Trinity I would have TOTALLY stopped by to say hello!

Naw, who am I kidding? If I was still at Trinity your log might have listed me and Pam under the "awkward reactions to me sitting there" category - passing by your table several hundred times avoiding eye contact so much we start bumping into movable and immovable objects alike.

Good luck next time! By the way... maybe if you joined Twitter your "officer hours" wouldn't be so boring :)

PS: Adam Cason is SUCH a stalker.

Anonymous said...

It's possible your "touring bag" made them uncomfortable.

Ryan Darley said...

I'll remember to stop by next time your out there rather than the awkward glance :-)

Nita Lou Bryant said...

I enjoyed reading your log blog, though I have to differ with you about that Christopher Cross song. Just a couple of weeks ago I actually played that LP--on a record player--by choice! Ah, the enduring appeal of the music of one's youth...

I wonder if all the frat boys who shared walls with my college boyfriend are still listening to "Summer Breeze" over and over. I bet they are.

Nita Lou (Ellis) Bryant
class of--gasp!--1975

Brian Hirsch said...

if the Boss sang sailing would you still feel it should be retired?

David Tuttle said...

Ethical quandry, but really, Bruce trumps song quality, so I would un-retire it. You win the toaster.