Journals by Interns at Vancouver English Centre, in Vancouver, Canada.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
It's just been a crazy week here. It all started out with intake day, where some of the madness began. Since then, it's just been work, work, work! I've been kept occupied over the past few days with helping in the distribution of Student ID cards and various notices to classrooms, and the teacher's tray. I also learned how to use the VEC Student database, which has helped me immensely in doing my job, by providing me with quick, up-to- date information that I so desperately need.
The week also involved with helping several students with their homestay issues, and trying to work them out, so as to provide a solution both parties appreciated. It has certainly been quite an experience in interacting with students and helping with their questions. I discovered that an enormous amount of information could be carried out through sign language if a student was having difficulty with what I was saying. On the whole, the interaction has been a lot of fun, and it was nice to talk with some of the students once in while, and help them out while I was at it.
Next week is sure to bring up more work for me, as students start settling down and deciding whether or not they like their homestays. Unfortunately, it seems almost sure that some students will be unhappy with their homestay status, and would like to change their homestay and move. Hopefully, everyone will find the family they've been looking for and enjoy themselves. This week has been fun, but also a lot of hard work. I look forward to next week with anticipation!
The Entire Ice-Cream Store!
All I asked for was chocolate, but I ended up with the enitre ice-cream store! <--Refer to last blog to understand. Today was a GREAT day!
I started out entering data today. I did it all morning without any problems. It really is wierd how some days I'll be so sick of data entry that I want to crawl under my desk and cry, and other days I can do it for even longer and not even be bothered. I've found that the trick is not thinking...at all, because once you start thinking, you can't stop, and before you know it, you're hating your data-filled life.
Not long after, Akshay gave Tam and I some more of his work to do. I'm always happy when he brings us some of the cards to deliver since it's just a nice break to get out of my desk and walk around a little. Later I did some faxing and then Shirley came into the office and asked Tam and I if we would lead the conversation club again. We happily accepted; however, no students bothered to show up. This was probably a good thing though, since I was already preoccupied with a few students at the activities desk.
OK, so you're probably wondering what was so great about today considering all that I have mentioned thus far is basically a typical days work. *Drum roll* I GET TO GO TO WHISTLER ON SATURDAY!!! Mr. Gardner asked me if I would be interested in going on the day trip to Whistler tomorrow with a group of students, and the new activity coordinator who hasn't yet been out on an activity. I think her name's Megan? I should probably find out hehe. It will be a lot of fun though, because Whistler is my favourite place in all of British Columbia, and I always enjoy speaking with the students! With the exception of very few, they are all very nice, outgoing people in which contribute a great deal as to why I enjoy my job so much!
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Vanilla Ice Cream
Today was alright...not good, not bad, just alright. Hence the title of this entry. :D (I'm already out of ideas for blog titles, if you can't already tell.)
I started the day by searching for the names and numbers of criminal lawyers in about 7 different cities, and then I started faxing some of them. The ones that I started off faxing had already received the adverttisement from me before. Tina, the teacher who told me to do all of this, decided we should fax them all over again which is really annoying, because it feels like I'm working backwards. On top of that, the fax machine is really slow and Tam an I only have one between us and it's at her desk.
However, once Mr. Gardner sent me new e-mails of listings I began entering data until the end of the day. I hope that tomorrow some odd job pops up so that I may do something different for a little while. By the end of the Summer, I'm never going to want to see the numbers 1 or 2 on a keyboard or anywhere else for that matter, as they're the two keys I push for hours at a time for data entry.
I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to Friday or not. Since Tam and Akshay don't work on Fridays, last Friday, I had to help out in homestay, because the homestay coordinator, Jean, was desperate and Akshay usually helps her. Since I've never liked talking on the phone, I can't stand working in homestay! Not only am I calling people all day, but I'm saying the same things and getting exactly the same responses! Ugh - poor Jean!
I hope that tomorrow will be a little more chocolate, or at the very least, neopolitan...vanilla's only good in small doses.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
TGIF has nothing on TGFTPT. By the way, TGFTPT = Thank God For The Pool Table...you'll understand why in a few minutes. Unless you are considering or should consider signing up for some classes here, then it may take you a bit longer. (I kid! :P)
OK, so I'm getting too much grief from everybody at work for liking my job too much, so i'll make this entry especially negative...just to balance everything out. It shouldn't be too hard considering the day I had today... <---Notice the negativity, and stop harassing me! ;)
The day started out lively. In the morning I helped the new students find their classes and solve any problems that arose, such as not having their name on the class list. Unfortunately, this didn't last too long. By 9:30 I was in my office, where I remained, entering data for the rest of the day.
My relationship with data entry is so love-hate. I enjoy it in waves. I'll do it for about two hours, then get sick of it and a while later I'll start enjoying it again. For this reason, days full of strictly data entry, are horrible! When I'm hating it, it's just the worst thing on Earth, because all I'm really doing all day is pushing the same 2 keys (3 if I'm lucky...four is just dreaming). Usually it's no problem, because the information is set up in such a way that I don't really need to pay close attention to what I'm doing; however, every so often, I will get a chain of e-mails full of listings that are almost completely random, causing me to go through each individual listing and change certain parts myself.
Most of the time, however, everyone is really good about giving Akshay, Tam, and I many different projects to work on so we don't hate our lives full of data entry; rather, we will enter data for a while, move on to something else, and later come back to data entry and not be stuck in one of those waves of not liking it.
Whoever had the idea of buying a pool table is a genius! I'm completely ecstatic that VEC has one. Playing pool with Tam during our breaks on days like these feels like I'm going to Disneyland. It keeps me sane...what would I do without it?
This should be long and negative enough. I'll stop being harassed now, right?
Monday, July 12, 2004
A New Session
OK, so it was intake today...150 new students. I was asked by Kathy to come in a bit earlier today to help sign all the students in, which was fun. Everybody looked so scared, especially the ones awkwardly pretending that it was just another day. I thought it was funny, because having worked here for just over 2 weeks, I know they have nothing to be nervous about.
After the long line up disappeared and all the new students were where they should be, I went into the office and did some data entry until Jean had me on the phone again asking people if they would be host families. I generally just got the answering machine, and those that did pick up were either angry that we've called them about 3 times in the last few days, or booked full. I'd have to say, out of everything I've done here, calling people is by far the worst, but Tam will tell you otherwise. What more can you expect from a girl? :P
After lunch, I went back to data entry, filled my quota for the day, and Mr. Gardner came into our office and asked me to go buy some bus passes for the new vacation students. I got to go to the bank to get his cheque certified, and afterwards, all the way to Metrotown station to the Translink headquarters. It was such a great suprise that he asked me to do this... I was beginning to think- err, dread, that today was going to be my first not-so-fun day.
Anyways, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, because I think I am helping the new students out again by showing them where their classrooms are. By the way, I'm trying to be as minimalistic with these blogs as I can...still too excessive?
Wow! Today was just crazy. The sheer number of new students coming in left me in awe. I was really impressed by how efficiently and relatively quickly they were dealt with, and the effort put into minimizing confusion. This morning I helped out with the intake, and it was interesting to see all the different students from around the world who come to our school to study. Unfortunately, I arrived towards the end of the intake, and missed most of the students.
Otherwise, my work is diversifying, as I get to do more and more during my time here. I helped several students with their homestay inquiries today, and the experience is really aiding my skills in conversing with international students and trying to get across a language barrier, if one exists. It's really cool to meet all the different students and talk with them. It really is a culturally enriching experience.
Anyway, I cant talk on this thing forever! I have to get back to work. Look forward to blogging tomorrow!