We've all heard Dorothy's famous line from The Wizard of Oz, "there's no place like home." For me, that single line could easily be identified as the single biggest reason I was so nervous about going to college - I was afraid that I be incredibly homesick because, no matter how much I thought I liked the school I picked, it would never feel the same as home. Now, four years later, I realize that I was wrong.
My favorite thing about William Woods is the family feel of the school, hands down. Thanks to the smaller size of the school, the faculty, staff, and students all have a chance to get to know each other on a much closer basis than we would have at a large school. Here, the teachers know if you miss class... and they will ask the students who do make it if they know why you're not there! True, part of the reason they ask is so they can know whether or not the absense should be excused, but they also genuinely want to be sure that the absent student is okay.
Everyone always comments on how close they are to their teachers here at William Woods, but I think the rest of the faculty and staff deserve special mention, too. Literally everyone who works on this campus recognizes you. There are two ladies that work in Tucker dining hall who always come see the plays on campus, so every time I come into Tucker they ask me for an update on rehearsals. I'm on a friendly, first-name basis with many of the people who work in the Office of Student Life, too. I actually went to lunch this last week with Debbie Schick, the lady in charge of coordinating and overseeing the LEAD program. There are professors I have not had a class with since my freshman year, but who still remember my name and stop to say hi when we pass each other on the sidewalk. I don't think I could ever fully express how much I love the environment here at The Woods!
While it is true that no university will ever feel the same as the home you grew up in, I strongly believe that the college you choose can feel like home, too. My teachers, my classmates, my bosses on campus, the theatre department, and my sorority sisters, and all my other friends on campus have all banded together to create a home away from home that I know I will miss terribly after I graduate. Dorothy may have been right, but she forgot to include another important element. There is no place like home (away from home)!
Hey again! This is the time of year when applications go out for all the campus jobs, so I thought I'd take this time to talk about some of the many student employement opportunities we have here at The Woods! I know the "poor college student" stereotype is overwhelmingly prevelant, but there ARE ways to combat it so you have ways to fund your various activities during college! While some students do have jobs off campus, there are many jobs available to students right here on campus. These campus jobs will be the focus of my blog today.
"Work Study" is probably the most common job for students on campus. Work study is needs-based and takes a variety of forms. Every year, students fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form synthesizes all the info about your family's income and assets and determines how much "federal student aid" your family qualifies for, which in turn regulates how many hours per week you can work and how much money you can earn during every semester. These work study jobs come in many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes, students choose to work as assistants in the department of their majors (such as the ASL/Interpreting dept or the Theatre dept, for example). Other times, students choose to work in independent departments, such as the campus library or in the Fulton community daycare that is housed on campus. The position of Community Advisor (CA) is also a work study position. There is a CA on every floor of every residence hall on campus. CAs basically act as the go-to person for everyone on their floor. For example, if their residents need a lightbulb replaced, the CAs will contact maintenance for them, or if two roommates are having difficulties, the CAs will help them find a solution. CAs also host a social event for their hall every couple weeks. It can seem like a lot of work sometimes, but I know many students who have been CAs for several years and have absolutely loved it!
There are several other jobs on campus that aren't part of work study. These jobs are available to all students, including students who come from higher-income families that may not qualify for government aid. The first one of these jobs I want to talk about is University Ambassador (UA). I touched on this in my post two weeks ago. UAs are the students that host you, the prospective student, and your families when you come to visit William Woods! We give you tours, we host you for lunch in Tucker, and sometimes we host you when you stay overnight on campus! Lindsey Cornelius, Joanie Ryan, and I are also blogging this year as part of our UA job. I have been a UA for two years now, and I have loved every minute of it. I love meeting new students and talking about my favorite university. If you like meeting new people, this could be a great job for you!
Phonathon and Telecounseling are the next two jobs I want to discuss. If you don't mind talking on the phone, these jobs would be right up your ally! Phonathon involves current students calling William Woods University alumni to see if they would be interested in/are able to donate money to William Woods. We're proud to say that William Woods is one of the few universities that is entirely debt-free, and part of the way we maintain that is through the donations of people who have had first-hand experience with how great WWU is! Telecounseling, on the other hand, involves calling students who are still in high school that have expressed some interest in William Woods. Students who work this job call high school students to invite them to campus visit days, remind them of application deadlines, etc. New students are the life-blood of every university, so the importance of encouraging interest in WWU cannot be underestimated!
Finally, I want to talk about my two favorite jobs ever: Freshman Advantage Mentor and Peer Mentor! Freshman Advantage (FA) is a three-week summer program in June that is open to any and all students who have just graduated high school and are planning on attending WWU that August. During these three weeks, the freshmen have the opportunity to take a couple common studies courses to get those out of the way, familiarize themselves with campus, and meet several other freshmen as well as some upperclassmen, which is where the job opportunity comes in. Every year, WWU hires
several upperclassmen to work as mentors during this program. In addition to being available to tutor the freshmen in any given subject, the mentors are in charge of organizing and conducting a different social event every single night as well as the weekends. I absolutely LOVED working as an FA mentor last summer. I also really enjoyed working as a Peer Mentor the year before. Peer Mentors serve basically the same purpose as FA Mentors, but on a slightly smaller scale. Every incoming freshmen is required to take a class called "connections," which essentially serves as an "intro to college" course. If you attend FA, you take connections then. If you don't, you'll take connections during your very first fall semester on campus. Peer Mentors are upperclassmen who sit in on connections during the fall semester and are there to offer a student perspective on anything the teachers discuss in class. I love getting to act as a role model for others, so working as a mentor was one of the best experiences of my life!
I guess the moral of the story is simple: you don't have to be a poor college student! Obviously, there are many different opportunities to work on campus. The types of jobs available are as varied as the students that attend this university. No matter what your interests are, you will be able to find something that is right for you!
Look out! Here comes the next theatre update!Every semester, Jesters Club puts on a play that is separate from the ones directed by the university faculty (commonly called "mainstage shows"). This year, they are tackling something unlike any show Jesters has ever done before: "The Woman in Black." You may be familiar with the movie of the same title, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, and Liz White. I think the play actually came first, originally published in 1987. The first movie came out two years later, and the newest movie was released in 2012.
"A widowed lawyer travels to a secluded village on an important assignment, and encounters a vengeful ghost with mysterious motives. After losing his beloved wife in childbirth, young barrister Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) was nearly consumed by grief. A haunted widower father, he raises his young son with the help of his devoted nanny. Arthur is on the verge of losing his job when an important client of the firm dies, and his boss offers him one last opportunity to prove his worth by settling the woman's affairs. Determined to succeed, Arthur travels to the remote village and receives a chilly welcome. Something horrible once happened here, and it seems that the locals are determined to ensure Arthur never finds out what it was. Now, the more time Arthur spends in his client's crumbling estate, the more aware he becomes of a presence that isn't quite human. In this house dwells a woman's ghost. In life she lost something precious, and now in death she'll do whatever it takes to get it back. Until she does, her spectral presence will serve as a harbinger of doom, always to be followed by the death of an innocent."
Okay. I'll be honest and admit that I am terrified of watching scary movies and, consequently, will have to keep my involvment in this particular play to a minimum. There are many people who are very excited for this show, though, and I can understand why! William Woods has never hosted a play that could be classified as any sort of "scary," so this will give the students a chance to try new techniques that will be entirely different than anything we have ever done before. The other cool thing about this production is that, because it is a Jesters production, it is entirely student-produced. That is, students will not only get to act in the show, but they will direct it, design it, and work all the various technical positions during the performance. Due to its supernatural characteristics, this show will rely more heavily on technical aspects than most shows, so it will give many of the students a chance to gain valuable experience backstage.
The director (senior Maggie Hunter) and assistant director/stage manager (junior T.J. Green) held auditions on January 27th and jumped immediately into rehearsals the very next day. They will devote a few hours each day Monday-Thursday for the next several weeks as they prepare for their performances. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! The performance dates are March 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 pm in Dulany Auditorium here on campus. I haven't heard the official ticket price yet, but generally the tickets for Jesters shows are only $3 apiece and can be purchased at the door.
I've heard lots of positive things about auditions and the few rehearsals they have had so far, so I am definitely excited to see how this particular production shapes up! I think it's going to provide some wonderful opportunities and new experiences for everyone - the actors, the crew, and the audience alike!