By Hannah Veldkamp – HCC Communications Coordinator
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
9:00 AM Rosa is back! Our dear administrative and financial assistant has returned to work this week after a short maternity leave. She is looking great and now is the mother of the beautiful Claire! Staff is casually chatting in the halls, and leftover cranberry bread is lying on the counter from the cooking class yesterday. Volunteer Coordinator Kim arrives and heads to the kitchen to store her lunch. The work day is just beginning.
9:25 AM Executive Director Tim briskly power walks through the hallway, saying “sometimes I work so fast that I don’t even know what I do.”
9:41 AM I help myself to the cranberry bread from cooking class and silently feel guilty about being the only employee who eats all the leftover food.
9:48 AM Program Coordinator Amy and I argue about when the first day of winter is.
10:28 AM The News & Views class is about to start. One student arrives early and takes her seat in the HCC classroom. This class aims to improve English-speaking abilities by facilitating discussions about recent news events or articles. The class is run through our partner nonprofit, Connexions International (CXI). Today, the normal CXI teacher Liz is absent, so Amy is the substitute.
10:36 AM OASIS Program Coordinator Josh Driver takes numerous and inspiring snapshots of the HCC piano for his photography group, while Amy scrambles to get ready for her class.
11:00 AM Tim leaves the building and proclaims, “Rosa, you’re in charge!”
11:10 AM The students in the News & Views class read through an article called “How to Pretend to be a Good International Student: a Survivor’s Tips.”
11:22 AM I have another piece of the cranberry bread.
11:32 AM Mail arrives, and Rosa sorts through it.
12:02 PM A flurry of activity emerges as employees meander to the kitchen to prepare lunch. Josh now snaps photos of a brown mug.
Lunch Amy has toast and carrots, Kim has leftover pizza, Josh has pulled pork sandwiches (which he graciously shares with everyone), and I have soup. Tim and Rosa work through lunch. The lunchtime conversation consists of family similarities, pulled pork sandwiches, and marble games.
Amy eats peanut butter and jelly with a spoon.
Staff works together to unload and load the dishwasher.
12:38 PM Amy and Rosa conclude that today is the first day of winter according to the Chinese calendar.
12:40 PM Staff meeting begins, and the table is finally full with Rosa’s return. Josh opens up the meeting with prayer. All-staff meeting is every Tuesday at 12:30 and can last from 2-3 hours, depending on the chaos. Today, staff meeting focuses on joint venture, holiday hosting, administration work, and the newsletter.
1:23 PM My phone rings, interrupting staff meeting.
1:37 PM Staff throws ideas around of having a Christmas picture together with matching sweaters, and Tim vehemently shuts down the notion.
1:40 PM Our SalesForce intern Ben Jones arrives to do his work.
2:00 PM Staff meeting is over early today!
2:35 PM The HCC phone rings, and three different staff members try to answer it at once.
2:36 PM Ben Jones comes to find Amy, and Amy is startled at the sound of his voice.
2:45 PM Tim walks by and when hearing laughter, he commands me and Amy to “quit having fun.”
2:56 PM Kristen, Tim’s niece, arrives to HCC to help with administration work. Because of Rosa’s absence, there has been a backlog of admin work.
3:07 PM Josh returns to the building with a blackberry latte.
3:07 PM I have another piece of the cranberry bread.
3:10 PM Tim leaves the building and proclaims, “Ben Jones, you’re in charge.”
3:50 PM Kim walks over to Mim’s Café without a jacket in 40-degree weather.
4:30 PM Teddy, Amy’s husband, arrives to the scene and chats with Kim as Amy gets ready to get dinner.
6:00 PM Amy returns to HCC with a bag of snacks for Conversation Partners.
6:30 PM Conversation Partners begins, an opportunity for international students to practice English one on one with an American. Students and volunteers enjoy snacks and fellowship. All the generic-brand cookies that Amy purchased are devoured.
8:00 PM Conversation Partners finishes up, bringing an end to a full, common, 11-hour day at HCC.