August Update

The Fun Sized Asian is back with an update! Sorry, I’ve been MIA for almost a month. Things got really hectic with my on-campus workstudy job, Second Year Entrance exams, orientation week, etc. But I will break it down for you all.

August was my third month of working at the GSTILE Front Desk. GSTILE is short for the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education at MIIS. In short, I’m the assistant to the Dean’s Assistant and I work right outside of the Dean’s office. My responsibilities are pretty typical of an office assistant. One of my favorites part about doing this job is getting to know the majority of the faculty and staff in my graduate school and around campus. It makes me feel very more connected to the MIIS community and it’s always nice to say hi to friendly faces around campus. For a reason unknown to me, my supervisor picked up a lot more responsibility this semester, which means I have a lot more responsibilities. We have two groups of scholars from China who were attending a semester long program here. In order for them to have a more cultural-fulfilling time, we wanted to orient them with the rest of the incoming class. But I was responsible for greeting them, helping them get sorted into their host families and showing them around town. For a lack of a better term, I was a glorified babysitter. In addition to that, I also had to give four info sessions during orientation week to the regular incoming class. So, I was basically running around like a chicken with its head cut off all last week.

During the summer, I had a second job working at the Admissions Office as a campus tour guide for prospective students. People who are interested in MIIS come for a 3 hour info visit and the first part is a 30 min campus tour given by yours truly. I try to present a more personal and student version of what life is like on campus. It was a fun gig for three months. Occasionally, I was also called up to give tours for special events, such as helping at the Alumni Weekend and giving a campus tour to seven new faculty members. I especially enjoyed working at Alumni Weekend because the tours weren’t just one-sided with me spewing out information and statistics. Alumni who graduated as early as the 70’s chimed in with their memories and observations on how the campus has changed.

One of the reasons I stayed in Monterey all summer, instead of returning to Taipei, was because I wanted to practice interpretation and work on my Chinese. If I had gone home, I would’ve been immediately sucked into “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order: SVU” reruns. Not to mention the endless dinner dates and awesome stuff to do in Taipei. After three months of practice, I signed up for my Second Year Entrance Exam, took it, and passed! It was such a relief to pass because that meant I could pursue any degree track I wanted. It didn’t really matter to me which degree I declared because I was still set on taking all classes anyways. A lot of people focus solely on interpretation in the 2nd year, but I still wanted to hone my translation skills, especially when working in Chinese.

That was basically a three paragraph summary of what went down in August. It was a crazy month for me. I celebrated my 23rd birthday with a group of friends. It was a bumpy ride, but I made it. Here’s to a new semester and last four months of 2013. I still have time to complete my new year’s resolutions!!

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2 thoughts on “August Update

    • Joan Wang says:

      Second Year Entrance Exams (SYEs) are only for those who didn’t pass the finals at the end of first year! If you passed, you’re safe! The exam is similar to the final. The professors just want to see if you have improved over the summer and if you have what it takes to take on second year!

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