The Best Part of the Job

Every now and then, my friends ask me what I “do” at work at the ExCollege. As usual, it’s much easier to tell a short half-truth than to explain the whole story. So, I usually say something like, “I enter course proposal information into a database.” That sounds pretty dull, but of course, that’s not the whole story. Proposal processing is definitely the biggest part of being an ExCollege office assistant, but it’s far less dull than I have the ability to make it seem. Sure, it’s tedious typing up countless names and addresses and phone numbers, but all of that stuff gets me to the good part: the proposal itself. Every proposal is full of ideas from some extremely smart and creative thinkers. Summarizing all of those ideas into our database can be fascinating. It’s like learning a little bit about every ExCollege class offered each semester, and then more because for every great ExCollege class offered each semester, many more great ideas must unfortunately be turned down. A tall stack of proposals in the back office doesn’t just look to me like a bunch of data to enter, but instead like a bunch of great new perspectives to consider and new ideas to mull over. And then after going through the tall stack of applications all day, I go home.  My housemates might ask me how work was today.  I’ll probably say something like, “Pretty good, just entered some proposals into the database.”

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