They're still letting me go to work, which is just wonderful. A lot of early mornings and a pretty exhausting commute, but overall I really like the work I'm doing. The school's small enough that I get to know everyone as more than their ID number and in addition to the graduate advising, I also get to coordinate the graduate admissions process. Yes, I know, this does not sound like fun to anyone else. But that's where life works out, because if you're good and nerdy enough you can like the jobs that others would find tedious. Not that it isn't sometimes - I mean, it is an office job. But despite a few bad incidents, things are pretty much moving along. One thing I've noticed is that at a prestigious school like Columbia U., an employee with my age and experience is allowed to do practically nothing, but at UIC, not only do I get to meet with a population of amazing diversity - ethnically, socioeconomically, and personality wise - I also have a huge amount of freedom and authority to shape my own work process and how things run. To go from data entry at a world class school to constant creation and improvisation at a school that is hungry for new organization - is a very sudden, sometimes scary, but mainly welcome change.
Anyhow, it seems that I am in the real world. Most days it's reassuring, some days I get bored. But this looks like the next step - and if I could liven it up a bit, I think I'll be set for a career here.
Happy late New Year.