Sunday, August 19, 2007

Assessing a succesful 'moving in' Saturday

In working with students and their parents, one-on-one contacts are the most important, However we are always seeking numbers (the technical term is ‘metrics’) that can be used, albeit imperfectly, to assess our effectiveness and communicate it to others. Yesterday, I participated in the best “moving in” saturday I have experienced in my five years as a faculty resident. Here are some metrics that could be used to assess my participation:

64 donuts, plain, frosted and cinnamon
2 pounds of mild cheddar cheese
2 pounds of swiss cheese
about 4 pounds of assorted candy (normally distributed during fire alarm evacuations)
7 liters of lemonade
16 quarts of orange juice
60 klondike bars
7 pounds of strawberries
3 pineapples
12 cans of Mountain Dew
12 Cans of Diet coke

This was the amount of food and drink I handed out to new students, returning students parents and staff between 8 AM and 2 PM on Saturday moving in day. By 2 PM, my larder was bare.

I say it was “the best” because everyone seemed in such good humor, during what can be a very stressful time. I saw no one lose their temper. Everyone conducted themselves with civility and good humor. Sadly my ability to dialogue with new students and parents was somewhat hampered by the fact that, due to allergies or something, I could only speak in whispers I wore a name tag with large red letters that said DON’T MIND MY WHISPERS - TEMPORARY LOSS OF VOICE. Nobody seemed to mind.

Hopefully this successful moving in Saturday will be a harbinger of a great year ahead for the South Side residence halls and American University.


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