“What do you do with your summers off?”
I must admit that I get this from my friends and family that aren’t in higher education, but has anyone else been frustrated by this question? I work at a large, urban, research university in the capital of Indiana. We have over 30K students. I am an advisor that works mostly with freshmen and sophomores. So, my summers are the busiest time of the calendar year. I’m one person in the small army who helps incoming freshmen get oriented and registered for the fall semester. In the summer of 2012, we had something like 41 orientation days with the majority of those in June and July. I’m on the academic side of things; I can’t imagine the energy for the student services side who keep everything organized and seem to handle the logistics fairly flawlessly. And then there are the current students who are taking summer courses and have questions, need to drop the summer course, or now need to change their Fall schedules a bit because of having passed (or failed) their summer course. It’s not unusual to also have a few students who decided to wait till the end of the summer to register for fall courses even though Priority Registration was mid-March who now can’t get into certain classes because they are full. And then there is the email box which, more times than not, seems very unfriendly by showing me exactly how many unread emails I have received since I’ve been away at lunch for an hour and how I’m about to reach the mailbox’s limit in terms of data/megabytes…again! There are still staff meetings and committee meetings or projects, but fewer of them.
I’m not sure about the rest of you that see summer as a shiny blur, but I’ll be taking a 30-minute nap when I get home from work, too! 😉 Maybe you can help me figure out a kind response to the 14th person who asks me what I do with my summers off!