Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Five Best Ice Breaker Games


Orientations are designed to help students build relationships with others. For many students coming onto campus, a major concern is, “Who is going to be my friend? How will I get to know them?”

Ice Breakers is one of the best ways to ease that process. There are those who find the  juvenile, but I for one believe that no matter what your age, an appropriate ice breaker can be the key to a successful event.

I have listed my five favourite ice breaker games that you can use at your next school or work function. 🙂 I believe the best ice breakers are easy to understand and have minimal set up or clean up. Hope you enjoy!

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The New Boss


Awaiting the incoming of a new boss can be a time of excitement, anxiety, and fitful preparation.

It’s like desperately trying to clean up your home, and when the guest arrives, asking them to take it over.

(And if Pinterest has taught me anything – its that I am not half the hostess I  thought I was.)

Right now the new boss I’m anticiapting will be the Dean of Student Services at my college.  As I prepare my new ‘house guest’ I can’t shake the feeling of nervousness.  Having strong leadership, and a fresh pair of eyes to look at our work is extremely important, but also difficult to navigate.

Fears of mine:

  • What if they try to change or dismiss a project I have been passionately working on?
  • What if their view of student interaction looks different than mine?
  • What if they have strange maniacal laughter that haunts me in my dreams!?

No matter my fears, I am extremely excited to have a strong sense of vision in the office. I have decided to put my fears to rest, pray that if they do have maniacal laughter, that I”ll be able to cherish it, rather than have it haunt my nightmares.

Afterall, without proper leadership, it can be easy for a department to feel like this:

No, I don’t mean that its easy to feel like an adorable running puppy. I mean that without strong leadership – it is easy to lose focus of where you are headed and what goals you are reaching for.

The new boss, the anticipated house guest, will provide exactly that. Leadership, focus, goals.
And in the meantime I will work on making sure the transition for the new guy/gal will go as smoothly as possible.

Do you have any tips on how to get over the ‘new boss’ anxiety?

Surviving the Summer Slump


You don’t have to work in Student Services to understand what I mean when I am talking about the “Summer Slump”.

It’s not that you don’t have enough to do. It’s not even that you lack the motivation to do it. The problem lies in the fact that mysteriously through the months of June and August, everyone in the office disappears.

It’s a strange Left Behind feeling that I am sure Kirk Cameron can sympathize with. It starts when Suzy from the Business Office announces she will be camping for two weeks at the end of July.  “Good for Suzy,” you think. Then it’s Sherry from recruitment who is taking that much deserved R&R after the busy season. Excellent work Sherry. Then its the Food Services guy, the HR gal, the kind receptionist, and pretty soon you find yourself walking into the Admin office hearing crickets and watching tumbleweeds slowly roll past.

For those of us who work in higher education the problem is magnified by the lack of students roaming the hallways.
I’m busy enough. The work of planning ahead, reassessing, networking, brainstorming, researching and refuelling has certainly kept me up to my ears in workload. Yet, all that just doesn’t compare to the rough and tumble that comes with a busy academic year.

Though the rental groups do add some noise and commotion, it just isn’t the same without classroom antics, evening events, spontateous drum circles, artistic productions, or students sending me distracting viral videos off of youtube. Come to think of it, have I even watched “Man Riding on a Buffalo” lately?

My attempt to cure the summer slump is to remind myself that taking a moment to inhale and exhale is the best way to refuel for another academic year. I keep working on new projects, spend some time researching, and catch up and reaquaint myself with the staff members who aren’t sunning themselves in tropical Bermuda. 🙂 Its the best way to keep myself from running frantically around a half filled campus screaming, “Where has everyone gone?!”

So here’s the question: How do you survive the summer slump?