Monday, April 24, 2006

 

Back to the Grind

Well, Passover is over, and so is my vacation. It was a nice, busy month, but I had a lot of fun.

Now that I'm back to work, there is a ton of stuff to do. The company picked this unfortunate week to work on the transition from one computer system to another, so all of our class registrations must be taken by hand. It's been tough for the front desk to keep up with, and sometimes they forget to make me a copy, so I know my rosters are a mess. Everyone else in the community just got done with a vacation too, and many of them are signing up last minute, which is making organizing classes and instructors really challenging.

I also started my women-only lifeguard training course last night. This class is going to take a little more time and effort because the girls aren't quite as strong of swimmers as the boys were, plus there are twice as many of them. I have an assitant instructor helping me, but she just had a death in the family, so she can't help out until next week. I think it should be okay as long as I remember to take my time and make sure everyone really has it before moving on.

Well, I'd better get back to organizing my work and returning phone calls!

Monday, April 17, 2006

 

One-Day Week

One long day but one short week. I finished up my men's lifeguard training today and got as much settled as I could before heading on vacation tomorrow. It's nice to finally have paid vacation, but it's also tough to realize that taking vacation means working some long days to make sure everything is all set during vacation. I'm hoping I left enough direction for my supervisor to handle any problems that might come up.

I also got yet another addition to my women's lifeguard training, which brings the number to 12 for a class that usually only gets 6. It'll be a more work, but I think that extra income will really help out the facility.

Well, I can finally relax for a few days!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

 

Back from NIRSA and Teaching LGT

NIRSA wound up being one of the best investments I've ever made. It was pretty expensive to pay my own membership, conference, and travel fees, but I made a lot of great contacts and saw a lot of old friends. I had forgotten that Michigan Intramurals used to have an intern position, and a lot of these interns who were around when I was still in school were at the conference. I learned about a lot of job opportunities, mostly from people I knew or met through the NIRSA network. I didn't go to NIRSA this year with any intention of job searching, but I realized I should keep my options open and explore some of these opportunities. I still haven't decided if I'd be ready to leave my current position because I really like my job now, but a tuition waiver that some schools could give is a huge incentive.

This week, back at work, I started teaching my first Lifeguard Training course to a group of boys home for Passover break. I have six strong swimmers who are also attentive students in my class. I would never have believed that high school boys could be so focused for such long days of class. They have been doing a great job on the skills and are always asking great questions. The girls I've tested so far weren't quite as strong swimmers, so I think those classes will most likely take a little longer, but I really enjoy teaching young people, and I'm glad to be back into it.

The only problem with these long, full classes is that I haven't been able to pay as much attention to my staff and office work. My staff has been doing a great job, but there have been some miscommunications between my supervisor and I about who is supposed to give them breaks and what phone calls and duties I'm responsible for while I'm teaching.

Tonight is the first night of Passover, so we're closed at 1pm today and then all day Thursday and Friday, so I get to head back to Ann Arbor tomorrow to spend some time with friends and family. I'm excited to grab a bite at Zingermans and maybe take a stroll through campus! Go Blue!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

 

A Closing and a Conference

On Monday, the JCC announced that they are closing the Kaplan JCC in Skokie, which is about 5 miles from us. They decided to continue early childhood and young family programming but to discontinue memberships, including fitness and swimming. They tried to do this 2 years ago because of financial issues, but the community responded and attempted to save the center. Apparently the effort petered out and they couldn't raise enough money to stay open. It's going to be a tough hit on the community and the employees there.

Many of the employees are out of a job starting in July or August while others will be relocated with the help of the JCC. The JCC has a seniority policy, meaning that anyone who is losing his or her job can "bump" someone at another facility with the same position and less experience. I almost lost my job because the Assistant Aquatics Director at Kaplan has been working for one month longer than I have, but my supervisor looked into the policy and found that it is only for hourly employees, not exempt ones. So I get to keep my job, but a lot of people are going to lose theirs. It's going to be a tough couple months while that all gets figured out.

Also, they are keeping the pool at Kaplan open for nursery school and after school recreation, and my supervisor and I are going to be in charge of staffing that, which is going to be tough. We're going to have to find people who can come in the middle of the day for an hour at a time, and I'm going to be responsible for teaching and running a lot more classes.

On Tuesday I travelled to Louisville for the annual NIRSA (National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association) conference. It's been quite an experience. I'm staying with the staff from DePaul University, but I still know many of the staff at Michigan. I've been seeing a lot of people I didn't realize would be here too. I've run into 3 former Michigan interns, who are all at different colleges around the country. I'm trying to get more involved, which is tricky because I don't know how much of a time commitment I can make. I volunteered to serve on the State Extramural Tournament committee for Illinois, so I hope that doesn't conflict with my full-time job too much. The JCC doesn't have any involvement in NIRSA, and for this conference I had to pay for myself and take vacation time. I don't know that I can afford the costs of being involved and I'd like to use some of my vacation time to actually take vacationis! This conference has made me realize that I love my profession and that within the next year or so I should both look for grad school opportunities and maybe a full-time position in Campus Recreation.

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