Friday, February 20, 2009

More "Oh, those students..." Moments

Quick Job Search Update: I have attempted to write a cover letter. I probably should have someone look at it before I send it out. Have I mentioned that I hate writing cover letters? They just sound so fake. Everyone uses the same format - explain what position you're interested in, say why you're interested in the position/dept/school, highlight your experience, explain what qualifies you as a candidate. It feels like it's stupid form you're filling out.
I am a writer (even though I haven't written anything in a while). I like to tell a story. I want people to be "in the moment" with me, to see what I'm seeing, to feel what I'm feeling. I like to start off stories by setting the scene. I can't do that in a cover letter. If I started off with a fun, creative intro, potential employers may not even read past that to find out what position I'm interested in.
I just don't feel like I can express myself within the structure of a cover letter. Argh!
And here's my other question...How serious do employers really take those cover letters? I mean, isn't the resume the most important part? Shouldn't you be judged on your experience rather than a one-page letter?

Okay, enough about job searching.

I had another one of those "Oh, those students..." moments last week.
One of my residents, an international student, came to me and asked if he could switch rooms. He said he wasn't really getting along with his roommate but didn't want to go into detail. I explained that we don't just move people, that he'd have to set up a meeting with his RA and his roommate first to discuss what some of the concerns were, that I could get involved in the mediation if he needed me to and that only if we weren't able to solve the issues, we would start looking into a room change. Well, the student decided to also apply for a single through our Housing Office - since singles are a lot more expensive, residents will usually get one if it's available - after all, Housing needs to make money.
A few days later, I get an e-mail from the Housing Office informing me that the students has been granted a single and will be moving. I contacted the student to remind him to check out with me. Then I told the students' RA.
I didn't even think about contacting the roommate. I mean, if you're moving out of your room, you'll tell your roommate. It's not like they won't notice when you're suddenly gone, right?
Well, not so much this student. He just left - his roommate came back to find the empty half of the room and a goodbye letter.

Oh, those students...

I know communication isn't easy. I know it can be challenging to confront someone. But seriously? Moving out without saying a word?

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