Today was interesting and super fun. One thing I love about my staff is that we are always taking things to the next level and truly enjoying ourselves and our jobs. Even though there are days when everything sucks, and sometimes we get upset with each other, at the end of the day, I know that everyone has my back and I’ll have theirs.
So, in the morning we went to a safety training about what to do in emergency situations such as an active shooter or extreme weather. Although some of it was common sense such as if there is a tornado watch or warning, move away from the windows, I made sure to pay close attention. This is because when things go crazy and adrenaline is pumping, the most logical thing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, so making sure that I know what I need to do allows me to be more likely to keep my head straight should anything occur. (crosses fingers that I’m not on call if it should happen, you know?) Plus if I’m prepared then I’m more likely to be safe and keep my residents safe also.
The officer who presented tried his best to make it fun and interactive. I know that waking up in the morning to go through a power point in-front of a bunch of bleary eyed college students may not be the funnest thing, but he really made me listen and I applaud him for that. Unfortunately, not everyone shared my enthusiasm because there were a couple of RAs who were on their phones even when being directly addressed by the officer. If anyone on my staff had been that disrespectful, we’d have Kendra to deal with, and no one wants that.
After that session, we had a short break that was filled with trying to get our lives together. Shout-out to my floor partner who let me change the theme and create more work for us than we needed. Lunch was a party as usual, but I didn’t eat as much as I would’ve liked because I’m a super picky eater and trying new things isn’t something I’m good at.
Next thing on the schedule was more conference sessions and I chose to go to If You Really Knew Me, presented by an SRA in my area named David. I’ve heard about If You Really Knew Me before and I thought it was going to fun to do. I was right and wrong that the same time. It was an experience that I didn’t think I’d have with people who were more or less strangers. Basically, what was done is that we broke into small groups of four and went around saying, “If you really knew me, you’d know that….” It started off pretty chill, and we say things like “you’d know I play violin” or “I have two younger siblings”. But the intensity kept going up and soon I was saying things that I’ve never said out loud to anyone, especially to anyone on my staff. Dustin, my SRA, was in my group which was comforting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I don’t like talking about my weaknesses and when I do, I only touch the tips of the iceberg. Never ever to I go below the surface and get into the nitty gritty stuff, I try to keep the dark parts of me in the dark. However, I couldn’t really do that when everyone else in my group was going all in and showing their own inner demons.
Surprisingly I didn’t cry at all, and considering that I cried watching puppy commercials and Star Trek this was an accomplishment for me. I am extremely empathetic and so hearing other people recount their struggles and pain did wear at me a little, but I was lad that I was able to hold it together.
The next session I went to I was very skeptical about it, the title was All Lives Matter and with everything that has been going on with the Black Lives Matter and the backlash that it has been receiving, I wanted to see for myself what was going to be presented. I’m not one to gun-ho in public and voice my opinions that much, but this was a topic that I knew would cause a lot of people to be impassioned and I wanted to witness it.
Luckily the presentation wasn’t about the Black Lives Matter movement, rather it was about social justice and how we as RAs have to do with making sure that we are treating everyone equally and acknowledging our privileges. The conversation kept going back to racism and black versus white, and while it was very insightful and a conversation that needed to be happen, it wasn’t the only conversation that needed to be heard at the time.Fun fact, I actually contributed to the conversation. I talked about how growing up in the suburbs, I had mostly white friends and it wasn’t until they started telling me that I didn’t “act black” that I became aware that I was different. Afterwards I tried so hard to not “act black” in order to fit in. However, when I hung out with people of my race I was told that I was “too white”. I think the SRAs who presented that session did a great job and I’m super glad that I went.