Here we are at the end of July.
Just yesterday I was saying goodbye to the students after the commencement ceremony. After I finished wiping the tears from my eyes, I looked up and summer break was over.
With school starting again this week, parents of the new students are mailing boxes of supplies to campus, and students are messaging me on Facebook about roommate assignments and countdowns to opening day. Teachers are meeting and planning and praying. Res Life staff are cleaning and shopping. The copy machines and laminators are gasping and smoking from exhaustion. So much is going on to prepare for the return of our students!
After witnessing the preparations, talking to the staff, and watching all the commotion, I’ve decided the theme for the 2013/14 academic year must be “New”:
· New furniture
· New workout area
· New students – 25 of them!
· New internship sites
· New program – Ai Academy
· New 1st year class – On and 4 Purpose (O4P)
· New 3rd year class – Christian Principles
· New Instructors
· New Residential Life staff
· New Paras
Isn’t that exciting?! I want to tell you about them all, but today I’m going to focus on the new classroom assistants – the Paras.
Last week, Miss Houk held a Para meeting and training for the new team:
· Kim A – 1st Year Orange Team Para
· Kathi – 1st Year Blue Team Para
· Lily – 2nd Year Green Team Para
· Kim H – 2nd Year Yellow Team Para
· Ashley – 3rd Year Para
· Julie – One-on-one Para
· Elizabeth – Culinary Arts Para
Some of these women you’ll recognize from past blogs, but three of them are brand, spanking NEW. To get all the Paras comfortable with each other, Miss Houk planned an ice breaker during the training. They were to interview each other, and then share what they learned with the whole team.
The interview questions were as follows:
1. What is your favorite food?
2. If money is no issue, where would you like to travel?
3. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
4. Why do you want to work at Shepherds College?
5. What are two of your strengths?
6. Share an interesting fact about yourself.
Kathi is a woman after my own heart. Chocolate is her favorite food. She would travel to South Africa to see her friends who are missionaries. When Kathi has a bit of free time, she enjoys visiting her friends in America too. Kathi was exposed to Shepherds in various ways over the last ten years – a couple at her church worked here, our Handbell Choir played at her church, she visited campus on a high school tour, she found our website – and eventually, in God’s timing, she became part of the Shepherds College team. Her kindness and even temper will be a blessing to her students, and her “executioner” style of getting things done will be a blessing to the rest of the staff. Something interesting about Kathi? She learned to waterski in her dating years and quickly became an avid water-skier.
Ashley loves a good Chicken Alfredo and would fly to London if her budget allowed. When Ashley isn’t working, she enjoys hanging out with her furry friends – dogs and horses. Ashley wanted to work at Shepherds College because she loves working with people, and who better to work with than our Shepherds College students! She’s bringing two important strengths to our college team – organization and communication, both so valuable in her role as classroom assistant. Her interesting fact? Ashley is a professional horse trainer!
Julie can’t decide if she wants Mongolian Beef or Chicken Enchiladas for dinner tonight. It’s tough to choose when your favorite food is either Chinese or Mexican. At some point in life, Julie would like to visit China for some real Dim Sum, but she’d also be happy if her travels took her to the Scandinavian countries, Finland or Russia. Like Ashley, Julie loves to work with animals when she has time off, but you can also find her exercising or reading. Julie knew when she toured Shepherds that God wanted her to be here. She knows that the college is a place where her strengths of organization and being a cheerleader for the underdog will be put to good use. You’ll be interested to know that Julie spent a year living in Mexico City during a mission trip.
The interviews not only served as an ice-breaker for the meeting, they also helped all the women get to know each other, and now, hopefully, helped you get to know a little about them as well.
Watch this blog in the coming days for more information on all the new and exciting things happening at Shepherds College!
Students, only four more days to go!
Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at www.shepherdscollege.edu.