I know I’ve already talked a bunch about what Colby is like over the summer, but I thought I’d give you guys sort of idea of the things we do here! I think I’ll start having my next couple blog posts each being a part of this: I’ll start off by talking about our jobs here, then go on to what we do for fun in our spare time over the next couple weeks!
Although for the most part people have different types of jobs around campus, the majority of us work for professors either as a research assistant or something like that. Students who aren’t research assistants generally either work for some sort of campus facility – the athletic center, bookstore, or PPD. No matter the type of job, for the most part the hours and restrictions are very lax – most of us see our professor once every week or two and really just kind of do our own thing. Not that it gives us an incentive not to work hard, it’s just kind of nice to have a position that is very independently driven and something you kind of just show up and do. If we’re out late the night before and aren’t looking forward to a rough morning, it’s usually not too much of a problem just to show up to work a couple hours late the next day and make up the time at some other point. I usually don’t do that too often but it’s nice for sure to know that we have that option. If we do need to take planned time off, generally professors have no problem giving us a couple days here or there as long as we end up working around the amount we’re supposed to.
For just a quick overview of what else people do on campus, I’ll sort of skim over some of the other jobs I know of besides my position with the CS department. The biggest group of students by far works for one of the science departments – either for geology where they go out in the field and study rocks, chemistry where they basically mix chemicals in the lab all day (I think, not really sure what they do!), or for the environmental science department. The ES department is currently working on the Belgrade Lakes Project, and while I don’t know much about it, it seems like every other student I talk to is working on it. From what I do know, Colby got a grant to help out a bunch of lakes around the area – so what many students do is drive out to the lakes, wade in the water, take water samples, conduct surveys, and drive around in boats. Not a real job, I know. Whenever I ask other students who work on the project how their day was, they talk about driving around Maine, going in the water, and kayaking around. I get a little jealous.
Besides the science department, a lot of students just do pretty typical RA things – reading books and taking notes for professors, looking through websites, and other things. While everyone works pretty hard, (we’re Colby students after all!) generally most people I talk to finish the work they have pretty fast, so a lot of days are just spent kind of maybe going on Facebook once in a while and the like. My position is a little different, and because there’s always ways to improve our robots, we usually always have some new task to look forward to. But I guess I like that feeling – always having something to do and feeling productive, while at the same time having a very relaxing and not pressured job.
See you next week,