It's been whirl wind these past few days. On Wednesday afternoon it was decided that Ryan was going back to the States. One of our student's has been struggling with mental health issues all semester and reached a point on Wednesday where he could no longer continue the program. He need to go home and it was necessary for some one to accompany him. That some one ended up being Ryan and by 8am Thursday morning they were gone. I must admit I am kinda down.
Ryan and I were supposed to be on duty together this weekend but now it is just me.
I don't quite know how to describe the job of Rome Assistant. I think it is misunderstood by alot of people, especially current students. We are viewed as a sort of conciege service. Those lucky grads who get to come back to Rome and experience the Rome semester all over again but this time they don't have to study. Students frequently ask us what exactly it is we do. One girl asked me that exact question yesterday, followed by, "Do you do work?" Yes, we do work, A LOT of work. And it is especially frustrating that the people you are doing the work for rarely recognize it.
Being an RA means that you are basically working all the time. The minute you walk out of your apartment, not matter what time it is, you are fair game. The students don't care if you are on duty or not. Some examples from the last few days...
- taking the students to the Villa Borghese: busing all 105 students into Rome, distributing tickets and headsets, checking bags, fighting with the guard as she ripped headsets off our students and yelled like a crazy woman
- multiple phone calls in the middle of the night and no sleep
- taking a student to the doctors for 5 HOURS
- making sure all of the Holy Week events on campus are set up, and then cleaning up afterwards
- turning on movies, selling metro tickets, handling student reimbursements
- distributing Holy Week tickets and dealing with students who accuse us of lying to them about the number of tickets we have
- having to re-organizing linen exchanges because the students have hoarded sheets and now we don't have enough for everyone to get clean sheets
- picking up students in the middle of the night bc they got lost and the buses stopped running (the students in question actually begged not to have me pick them up. They were too scared of how mad I would be.)
- staying up until 1am making sure quiet hours and open house hours are being followed
- waking up early the next morning to set up an Easter party for the students
So, yes, we work.