When I was in college, the period between spring and summer semesters was known as the interim term. There were a few classes, mostly special interest, but most of us left for summer break or at least for a few weeks before summer semester began. We never really thought about what the people who had twelve-month jobs at the university did during that period. I guess we thought if we weren’t there, they didn’t exist.
Well, now I know that people do continue to work after the students leave. Right now, on our campus, the following things are happening:
- In the library, we are processing overdues, shelving and withdrawing books, and working on materials for summer and fall.
- Outside my office, bulldozers are breaking concrete so some pipes can be laid, and on the other side of campus, the new building is a little taller each day.
- Admissions and records are registering new students and sending out transcripts for those who are going to four-year colleges.
- New folks are being hired.
- And we’re all working on reports, grants, and accreditations.
But those are the official things. During slower times, other things happen as well, such as:
- Finding something that has apparently been in the staff refrigerator since the Nixon administration.
- Bringing cookies to work to help us feel better about working when other people are on vacation.
- Feeling fat and swearing to go on a diet after eating those cookies.
- Bringing more cookies the next day.
- Walking to Target during lunch and deciding that a beautiful pink tank top is just what a librarian needs for the office.
- Walking to Target the next day to return the pink tank top.
- Cleaning out a file cabinet and wondering what that 1995 certificate of appreciation was for.
- Hoping students return before you have to start cleaning out the office closet because there are some suspicious sounds coming from in there.
I suppose, in general, life is just better when students are around.