Hopefully our car won't look like this on moving day, but there is a chance... Although we moved into the apartment we're in just eight short months ago, I am so ready to move into our house.
For those of you who don't know, DW (Dear Wife) and I have been working as Dorm Parents together since August of last year. Before that, I had already been a dorm director for two years. What that means is that we've lived in an apartment in a dorm for 3 out the 4 years we've been married. What that means is that we both have to stay up until midnight each night to make sure our RA's (resident assistants) go around and check all of the freshmen on their floors each night to make sure they are in by curfew. We do get occasional weekends off and one night each week where we can go to bed at a decent hour, but other than those nights and summers, we haven't really gotten to go to bed at a normal time on a regular basis since the summer of 2002. Add that to the fact that we're always getting pointless emails from the people who live in our dorms (and that's just when they're not calling us or knocking on our door at 2:00 a.m. asking if we have any scotch tape or zip lock baggies they can use) and you've got a sure fire recipe for burnout.
People often refer to the job we currently have as being a blow-off job. Although I would tend to agree with people that what I have been doing for the last three years is not rocket science, it is anything but a blow-off job. In the last three years I have:
1. Been mistaken for a drunk student's girlfriend. He then went on to tell me how much he loved me and that he would not be able to go on living if I ever broke up with him. This was right before he puked in my office trash can.While this post didn't exactly end up anywhere near where I started to go with it, at least it was cathartic and I feel better. Don't get me wrong, the last three years have had some fun times. I have met a lot of people and have a lot of friends that I never would have had the opportunity to know if I had not been a dorm director, but I'm definitely ready to move on to a new chapter in my life. 10:30 bedtime... HERE I COME!
2. Had to take a student who was complaining of chest pains to the emergency room at 1:00 a.m. and stay there with him until 4:00 a.m. This was the night before I was supposed to take a final in one of my classes. It was what the Dr. called "Severe BRONCHITIS." Not a heart attack, not an asthma attack, not a seizure, but SEVERE BRONCHITIS. I stayed up with a student until 4 in the morning because he had SEVERE BRONCHITIS!
3. Been woken up in the middle of the night because a dumpster in the parking lot had been set on fire and was now blazing big and bright enough to be seen by a NASA satellite. Did anyone think to call the fire department? No. But they did think to wake me up. Thank you Mr's Dolan, Hill, and Copeland.
4. Been woken up in the middle of the night when the student's living above our apartment decided to have a wrestling match. This happened frequently.
5. Been called out of class on my "duty phone" to come back to campus because a tornado warning had been issued by the weather man... FOR A COUNTY 25 MILES FROM CAMPUS! It didn't even rain here that night.
6. Had to make contrived conversation with a student who had been deemed by the school counselor as "at risk to himself" at 2:00 a.m. After a 45 minute touchy-feely conversation where I said things no man should ever have to say to another man, I found out that his roommate had reported him to the counselor as a practical joke.
7. Not last or least (but this post is getting too long) I have seen enough naked college guys to last me a lifetime. Let me also assure any insecure men reading this right now, there are a lot of weird bodily imperfections out there.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with a great job that is waiting for me as soon as I finish my last day as a dorm director at the end of this month. Despite some of my earlier fears, I will not be the guy that stays in the dorm job for seven years after graduating. No folks... I only did it for three (and I was still a student for one of those).
Anyway... the next time you think about criticizing someone who is in charge of a dorm full of 19 and 20 year olds, just remember that unless you've done it, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.