It has been a very busy start the semester! We're almost two weeks in and it feels like we've been here for a month! I am so glad to be back as a University Ambassador blogger. I took a semester off in the fall because I had a very demanding course load, but this semester I just couldn't stay away (despite taking an overload at 19 credit hours).
Not only do I get to give tours and write about my life here at The Woods with University Ambassadors, I am back in a riding class doing what I enjoy. Over the summer I got into a horse related accident as a veterinary assistant, so unfortunately I had to take last semester off from riding. I did, however, get to take Horse Management Practicum I, fondly referred to as keeper here on campus.
As a keeper, you're responsible for the daily care of a number of horses. Being a keeper 1 with a large crew of other people, I had two mares in the Dressage barn. I was certainly able to get my horse fix even though I wasn't riding! I knew I would learn a lot from the hands on nature of the class, but I wasn't expecting to make such a bond with my horses. I spend time with them every single day making sure they were happy and healthy, including turning them out to run around together. I was glad to get to come back and say hi to them after our long winter break, and I still catch myself trying to head out to the barn to put a blanket on, even though I'm not in charge of that anymore!
Getting back to riding has been an interesting process. I find that my ankle (which was injured) is quite stiff so it is not as easy to move the way I used to. The dressage instructor, Karen Pautz, has been wonderful in helping me figure out what types of exercises I need to do in the saddle and at the gym to get back into riding shape and work with my new limitations. It has been good to get back on the horse!
I hope you're enjoying the first month of the new year!
We are officially over halfway through the second week of the spring semester! The students are gradually "getting back into the groove" as they adjust to their new schedules and new classes. The spring semester provides great opportunities to socialize, to renew involvement in organizations you joined last semester, or to join new organizations all together! In light of the new semester, I want to take this post to talk about a few of the things I have been involved with since I started this semester.
First, University Ambassadors! Every semester, WWU Admissions hires a few new students to work as University Ambassadors (UAs), filling the spots of the students who just graduated. UAs are the students you meet when you come to visit campus as a prospective student; we give you tours and host you and your families/friends for lunch in Tucker! It is also a paid position on campus, so I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys meeting new people and is looking for a chance to make a little extra money while on campus. I have been a UA ever since the spring semester of my sophomore year, and I have loved every second of it! Since I love William Woods almost as much as I love meeting new people, being a UA has been a perfect fit for me. I missed giving tours and hosting lunches while I was away at my internships last semester, so I'm definitely glad to be back!
Second, ODK! Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society that students qualify for by showing themselves to be leaders on campus. ODK recognizes leaders in every field, from academics to arts to athletics. Every year in February, ODK hosts a leadership conference, featuring a keynote speaker followed by various breakout sessions. This year, the conference will be held on Saturday, February 22 and the theme is "Leadership After The Woods." We have finished with the general planning and are now moving into the more specific aspects; tomorrow I'm meeting with the coordinator of the LEAD program, Debbie Schick, to talk about her presentation topic. The conference usually goes over really well, so I'm excited to see how this year's pans out!
Third, Tucker! "But wait!" you say. "Tucker isn't an organization I can join." Well, no, not technically. But no conversation about socializing or getting involved on campus is complete without taking a couple of minutes to discuss the dining hall. Some students who are used to bigger schools express surprise when they find out that we only have one main dining hall here on campus and that they are only open for specific hours during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think I prefer it that way, though, because you can't help but run into your friends every time you go eat! Students tend to unconsciously gravitate towards the same general tables, too, so it's easy to find you group. There have been countless occasions where I have gone to Tucker expecting to grab a quick bite, only to end up spending an hour there because I got caught up in conversation with my friends. I guess my main comment is this: when you're thinking about ways to spend time with your friends on campus, don't understimate the power of Tucker!
I recognize that, at first glance, this post seems to combine several unrelated topics, but the three things I mentioned are all things that have been occupying a lot of my time as I "get into the groove" of my last semester. Obviously, there are many more opportunities for involvement than the ones I just mentioned here - the Student Activities Council hosted a free bowling night last week, the theatre department has already auditioned and begun rehearsals for their first show, and the sororities and fraternities are already planning their philanthropy weeks for this semester! I love how many different opportunities WWU provides. Whether your are looking for a chance to get involved in every possible organization or simply to hang out with your friends during lunch, William Woods could be the perfect fit for you!