With one week already under my belt, the second of week of training felt like a breeze.
It was mostly practicing the work we’d be doing so we spent a lot of time fact checking documents and proofreading when we weren’t in sessions with various academic people, whose job it was to teach us something valuable about the trade we’d be partaking in.
Honestly, we did a lot of cool stuff this week. Allison Bigelow, a professor in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian at UVA, came in to do a workshop on translation with us. As the only person who majored in a foreign language in college and also as a UVA Alumna it was really exciting to be able to work with her. Plus, her visit reassured me that even though I sometimes suck at fact checking, inevitably I will need use my foreign language skill, of which I have plenty to share. It’s good to know I’m decent at something valuable.
We also went back to Colonial Williamsburg to go to the bindery, where we made tiny booklets meant for children, which meant I, of course, was more excited than everyone.
As the week drew to a close, we were pampered with another Friday morning coffee which included many sweets and a visit from a precious dog named Lolli. In the afternoon, we met with former apprentices, who shared trade secrets with us, and got our assignments for the first semester. I’m going to be working on the William and Mary Quarterly this semester, which is amazing. It makes me feel like I’m truly a Black Lois Lane, sitting at my computer with my documents pulled up side by side. I can’t wait to get my a copy of the January edition where my name will be listed proudly underneath “Editorial Apprentices.” I will have earned that spot by then.
During the week, I noticed that many of my colleagues were running to different departments all over campus to get things straight, whereas I had yet to really look at any of the forms I had to fill out. Call it laziness, call it obliviousness, but finally today, I worked on the mountain of necessary paper work required to get my stipend and I will have to spent my spare time tomorrow running around to different administrative buildings, trying to get my life straightened. Even though it feels like you shouldn’t have to do anything else after you tuition has been checked off in your account, there are still loads of very essential forms to fill out.
Honestly, though, it wasn’t that bad. It takes maybe an hour to sort out if you have all of the proper documentation. I waited until I was at home with my parents in case they had any of the additional information that I needed, which was smart, because two minutes in, I realized I needed a birth certificate to take back with me.
Fortunately, you only do a lot of this start up stuff once, because once it’s on file, it’s there for good, especially if nothing changes during your time at school.
All that said, my week was good. I went back to my undergrad staple of box braids for convenience but also I needed a solid confidence booster. PROTIP: do what you can to make yourself feel good, whenever you can. I got some fab shoes and my eyebrows waxed, and I feel ready to take on the world now– or, at least, Orientation tomorrow.
But tomorrow’s not just Orientation, it’s actually my first class day. Charlie, my professor, holds a pre-class session to go over certain seminal texts to American Studies so that we can dive right into the semester during our actual first class on the 29th. I still have a few more texts to wade through tonight, but I’ve taken good notes and I feel well prepared.
I’m doing the best I can, and to be honest, I’m so lucky that I’m so close to home because when the best I can isn’t good enough, I always have somebody to lean on here.
Until next time, when I’ll review Orientation and my first grad class (EEP!)