Monday, October 5, 2009

Life in Madison

Hello! I am so excited to be writing from Madison, Wisconsin. The past several weeks have been exciting, overwhelming, affirming, and a lot of other things all mixed together. It’s great to finally be here after many months of anticipation. I’m also excited to show you my new newsletter design. I figured it was about time, especially since I’m now officially a graphic designer! (It still feels weird to say that!)

Some of you probably are wondering what exactly I do now since I’m not directly on campus. Here’s a glimpse of life here at the National Service Center (also known as the NSC):

At 9:00am I arrive at the office which holds about 100-120 staff. My department, twentyonehundred, falls into the larger category of Advancement (which includes other departments such as Alumni, Fund Development, and Major Donor work). Within 2100 there are two groups, graphics and production. Including myself there are four of us on the graphics team. Jill is our project manager; Gary and Grete are fellow graphic designers.

On Mondays, our graphics team meets first thing in the morning to discuss our projects for the week. Although our work is collaborative, each of us has separate projects we work on. These meetings are good times to touch base and get a feel for what we have ahead of us in the week. Later on, the communications team (2100 department plus the writers) spends time in manuscript Bible study. Since we are preparing for Urbana 09 this year, we’ve been studying through the Gospel of John, which will be the Scripture focus at Urbana.

I work in a room I share with Grete and Gary. One project I’m currently working on is an International Student Ministry brochure. This has been more complicated than I realized since using pictures of international students in a Christian publication is difficult due to the countries and backgrounds many of them are from. I have to correspond with the owners of the pictures I’m using to make sure we have permission from every face that is shown in the pictures.

Around 12:15 I eat lunch with many of the other staff. Up until last week we’ve eaten outside where there are picnic tables. But now we sit in the lunch room, which is actually quite large. It’s a good time to take a break from sitting at our desks and to get to know other staff.

I’ve learned that the graphics room is a popular place for other staff to stop by when they need a break, so there is always chatter and activity going on. This is an adjustment for me since as regional administrator I often worked alone!

At around 5:00 I shut my computer down and go home for the day! To have free evenings and weekends has been a refreshing change from the work lifestyle of late nights on campus, checking email at all times of the day, and many weekends booked with meetings. I’m so thankful for this gift. I still have much to learn and get used to, but so far I am really loving life here!

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