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The first part of Res Life training ended tonight. This past week-ish of training has been a flurry of activity, running the gamut of fire extinguisher practice (yes, we actually got to use them), learning how to plan effective hall events, practicing intervention and confrontation skills, and lots and lots of icebreakers. Training so far has definitely been interesting, challenging, hilarious, thought-provoking, fun, frustrating, tiring, and so much more. I’ve also gotten to know some of the most awesome people through Res Life staff. I could write more about the past week and a half, but I really don’t feel like it right now.

Anyway, I am on duty tonight in this corner of the Willamette universe. Duty (in a nutshell) means that I am available and obliged to respond to residential lock-outs, requests to access dorm storage, and any urgent situations until midnight. In addition, I need to conduct physical security checks to ensure that the residents are safe and happy, the buildings are secure, and that no flagrant policy violations are taking place. Between midnight and 8:00am, I am able to grab some sleep, but still need to respond should any incidents arise.

When I think about duty in the Res Life context, I am reminded of the famous Rembrandt painting “The Night Watch”. Now, the RA’s role is NOT that of the “dorm police”, and doing rounds/security checks are NOT equivalent to “walking the beat”. However, while on duty I feel very much like the guardian of Eastside, protecting its inhabitants from evildoers, high saturated fat content, and other sketchy types.

I’m pretty sure that if I share this (slightly overanimated) portrayal of duty with my Res Life peers, they will just shake their heads and say, “If it helps you get the job done…” It wouldn’t be the first time that someone said I have a weird sense of humor.

Anyway, the weather gizmo on my desktop says it’s finally a reasonable temperature outside. Maybe it’s time for a walk.

The collegiate life continues…


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