Yesterday was my last day of work in the Registrar's Office. It's been four years and three months since I started working there. I started work on February 13th as a "Registration and Admissions Advisor." I worked 60% for Richard on the Registrar side of the office, and 40% for Dory on the Admissions side of the office. On my last day, I can't even tell you what my full title is - Academic Advisor, Off Campus Program and Transfer Credit Officer? Through my time in the position, I spent several weeks travelling around Eastern Ontario, and I went to Kentucky, Baltimore, California, and Texas for the first time. I attended some very lame conferences (NACAAP, for Admissions) and Linda and I discovered NACADA - The National Academic Advising Association, which was not lame at all and really fueled a lot of the change of focus in the Registrar's office when it came to advising. They have excellent sessions in their conferences.
I've never really blogged about work, because, well, it's work, and let's be honest, all of my "good" stories to blog were personal for the students whom the stories were about. Blogging is not really worth losing a job for. But in the process of not blogging about work, I've never shared anything about any of the wonderful people I work with - the kind and generous friends that I now have!
My (now former) boss, the man of the office (seriously, we have no other men in the office), is, all things considered, a great boss and a good friend. Yes, he's a little busy these days as he sits on a million and one committees and does the job of at least two senior administrators and is almost half way through his PhD (er, or is it only 1/4 of the way?), but what dedication he has to each of those activities! He also makes the absolute best carrot cake in the world (alright, perhaps he's tied with Irene Martin, who made the best ever carrot cake wedding cake for us!) - though he still hasn't held up his end of a baking exchange deal that we had a few months ago.... ;) While he gave me more work and responsibility than I knew what to do with, he also pushed me quite far and I now know that I am an extremely capable worker who can handle an awful lot.
His right-hand-woman is someone who intimidated me quite a lot when we began working together, which was 6 months after I began working in the office. She had been on mat leave, and when she came back to the office we were strangers to each other, and both felt out of place. We definitely did not love each other. The NACADA that we convinced Richard to let us go to in Baltimore was absolutely what gave us that bonding time that we needed. What a strong and beautiful and hilarious and upright woman she is! She is the encourager of the office, and strives to recognize all of the hard work and sacrifices that people in the office do and make. She was my confidant in the office, and I will dearly miss the regular chats that we had. Sure, we'll still work in the same building, but it will definitely not be the same. I take great pleasure from reading her blog, which is listed along the side here. Her stories of her young ladies often make me cry from laughter. Friend, I am so glad that we're friends!
Two years ago in August we hired a new Advisor. This was a partial mat-leave, partial new position, and I got to go through the interview process from the inside. I sat on the interview committee and, quite seriously, was probably more nervous than the interviewees! I was so glad when Richard chose the advisor that he did - she is so fabulous. I'm sad that I didn't get to know her better during my time in the office - she's going on Mat leave in just a few weeks and will have her hands full! What a sweet, kind, and generous woman - with a very subtle firm streak that we both share - "tough love" is what we've called it. :)
Our support staff ladies have just been fantastic over the past four years and change. In the receptionist position, I've seen three extremely different, extremely wonderful people come through; the first of whom I'll be working quite near to starting on Tuesday, the second of whom I still share a deep and joyous friendship with, and the third who is still there right now and is extremely passionate about ... I'm not exactly sure what, but there is passion there, and it often comes out through her work.
The last one in the office, the woman who puts in the frustrating hours creating schedules for classes, and for exams, and then recreating those schedules again and again (among doing other things), she is one tough cookie. She was also off (on medical leave) when I started in the office, and didn't join us until I was about 5 months (or more) in. She has done every position in our office except for Registrar, and she knows her stuff. What attention to detail! To every last single solitary detail! (Um, it could be frustrating at times. But so good to have someone in the office like that!) She was harder to get close to, but she has a very large, very soft heart, and has a lot of wisdom to share.
These are the people I've worked with for the past four years and three months. I'll miss them, and I'll miss my job, too. I'm excited about what lies ahead, and so thankful for everyone who's helped me gain the strength, knowledge, and confidence to get there.