In my nearly 10 years working at Western Washington University, I’ve had my share of experiences where my brain was stretched to its limit, multitasking my butt off, managing a high volume of work, and racing towards deadlines.
For instance, for 6.5 years I worked in the Admissions office, and there aren’t many things that will max a person out more than the cycle that runs from December through March, when thousands upon thousands of applications for the following Fall Quarter have to be reviewed, many of them multiple times, resulting in stacks of files on one’s desk, literally, several feet high at times.
Just under three years ago, my colleagues and I began work on putting together a bid to host an international (U.S. & Canada) Higher Education IT conference in June of 2010. The conference — The ResNet Symposium — is held at a different college or university every year, and past hosts include Stanford, Wellesley, and Princeton.
The bid consists mainly of creating a website that provides information about every conceivable detail that the bid review committee needs in order to choose one school over others. Finalist institutions are then selected, and two representatives from the ResNet organization visit these schools before awarding the bid to the winner.
Well, we won, June 2010 is here, and folks will start arriving next week for the symposium, which starts on Saturday the 26th. The number of details involved in hosting this event is staggering, and if it weren’t for a very hard working planning committee and a well-used wiki, I’d be toast right now. Instead, thanks also in part to a well-timed, therapeutic visit to Olympic National Park, I’m feeling pretty good.
One thing that’s been particularly rewarding about this massive project is that it has provided me with the opportunity to have fun at work doing what I do here at Fish & Bicycles. I wrote the majority of the content on both the original bid website and the actual symposium site, and I’ve been the de facto Communications Director for the event; blogging on the website, updating the event’s Facebook Page, tweeting on Twitter, and emailing to the ResNet listserv.
Still, it would nice to be able to pop a few extra sticks of RAM in my old cerebral noodle just for these next two weeks. The wiki’s filling up, along with a number of notepads, and it is a little anxiety-inducing to think of all the things that could possibly get missed in all the to-do lists.
Hmmmmmm. On Monday we’ll be hiring 9 student temps to carry out all manner of tasks, from setting up and breaking down at specific events, to driving a shuttle van, to shopping for snacks for the hospitality room. That’s 9 student brains who are done with Spring Quarter and rested since finals ended on the 11th. That’s a lot of RAM!