Week 51: Orientation Approaches

It was a week where the Orientation planning really started to build up. I was working for a fair chunk of the week to get the activity allocation algorithm working properly, and by the week’s end, everything was flowing relatively quickly and smoothly. The hiccups arose on Monday, when the hinge of my laptop screen broke, meaning that my screen would not turn on. After a frantic afternoon trying to fix it, I resolved that I would need to take it in to the repair shop on Tuesday.

Monday afternoon was our final formal Orientation Committee meeting before the event: next Monday would be the returning scholars briefing, and we would probably meet impromptu in the days before and of. We made sure that everything was either in place, or ready to be put in place, for the event ahead.

On Tuesday afternoon, Miriam had arranged for the Orientation Committee to attend a teamwork workshop with a facilitator from the graduate development office. We all met at a small office on Trumpington Street and went through an abridged version of the theory and techniques that make teams function efficiently, from team roles to communication to leadership structures. I personally found it a valuable experience to identify and iron out some issues and conflicts that had arisen through my personal approach to the committee. I felt that it helped the committee gel a little better, and we certainly began to work more efficiently as the week went on.

The planning continued right through to the end of the week. On Wednesday, Miriam came by to go through some of the finer pre-planning details with Emma and I. On Thursday, I sat down with Callie to work out who the activity leaders would be for the day time activities. Come Saturday, Emma and I met Cansu and Karly to go over the details of the LfP workshops on the first night.

Even the break times were consumed with Orientation. On Sunday morning, most of the Orientation committee met for brunch at the Petersfield pub, near Mill Road. It was a good opportunity to catch up and talk about things mostly non-orientation related, having worked so hard together to get things prepared. After that, most of us went straight on to the Trinity BA room, where Jake and Callie were hosting a belated birthday celebration. There were lots of people from various walks of life there, and it was a good opportunity to catch up with many of them. This was cut shorter than we would have liked by a late Sunday Council meeting; again the last before Orientation itself. Here, we briefed Council on what had been put in place, and what we still needed Council members to do in preparation for the new scholar’s arrival.

Otherwise, it was a pretty consistent week; mostly spent in the GSCR working on answering Orientation related emails, writing and testing code, and putting a few other bits and pieces together.


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