Closing out the work week

Our work week, at least for our assigned sites, runs Mon-Thurs. Friday we have morning meetings at the main office, and in the afternoon we do things like planning and stuff. So today is my last weekday at my sites. Feels good, even if it was a short week, to have a week under my belt. A milestone of sorts. Nice, in a sit-back-and-chill kinda way.

Anyway, today I had the meeting with the volunteer organizer from a local organization whose employees are regular volunteers. Got a partial list of confirmed volunteers (a few more maybes yet to come), took her picture and gave her a questionnaire to fill out because my site supervisor is making her our first “volunteer of the month.” Mon and Tues I get to create a volunteer of the month bulletin board starring our first pick, so that’s cool. Also set up an appt to powwow with a contact who has some Spanish-speaking volunteers on her end, so that will be really great to set up – we can really use some Spanish-speaking tutors.

Today I did a lot of work for the second part of my morning assignment, which is a program called FACES (no, I’m not sure if it stands for something or not) that helps increase parent-student interaction through monthly dinner/activity events and other such stuff. Basically working on the infrastructure paperwork for the program this year (a spreadsheet budget/receipt tracker, homework passes, sign in sheets, etc). I was continually thwarted by my ancient foe, the guillotine paper-cutter. Guillotine cutters are cool, yes, but finicky. Too many sheets and you get slanting, unpredictable cuts. Too few and you’re there all damn afternoon, feeling as if others are wondering if you’re getting just a little too much enjoyment out of your task, like you’re some sort of closet serial killer or something.

This afternoon I finally cleaned and organized my way through my own personal fiefdom-to-be, the office desk and filing cabinets. As anyone who knows me can attest, I have a distinct fetish for office supplies – like Imelda and shoes or Bono and global causes – so this was serious fun, organizing my binder clips, rubber bands, staplers and paperclips and fondling the pencils, pens and Sharpies. Then there was the long and fairly tedious job of sorting, thinning and reorganizing mounds of randomly-relevant paperwork. I got the files in some sort of rational, functional order, but some of it I just don’t know if I can pitch or not, so it’s hanging out in the back of the cabinet in a sort of paperwork purgatory until I can ask.

It’s a bit of an archeological process, trying to reconstruct what went on in the homework club last year and how we’re supposed to make it work based on a combination of our training and the ruins and detritus that were left strewn around at year’s end. I keep running across things that I simply don’t know how it fits in with what we’re supposed to do. Some of it is probably service project oriented, from last years GED classes and other things that have no bearing on our service-to-come. But some of it is just plain puzzling out of context. I need an Americorps Rosetta Stone.

Ah, well. We’ll figure it out. We did spend some of the afternoon brainstorming basics like schedule, activities, rules, a few days worth of meals and so forth. So we feel reasonably set to go when we start getting kids in next week. *big breath*

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