Empire State of Mind

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you..."

It's  funny when things actually work out exactly as they should.  Somehow things get a little complicated, because you're just not used to that happening.  You get used to things being good, but maybe not quite like you planned.  You tell yourself (and everyone else) that it's all good, that God has a plan, etc., etc.  It will all work out in the end.  But it wasn't exactly, totally what you really wanted.  You know the drill...

And then you get what you want. 

And somehow, it's ridiculously, panic-inducing scary. 

But it's also the most excited you've ever been.

Well, ladies and gentleman (the one man who reads this blog...you know who you are), the rumors are true.  Big changes are in store for {the ivy project}.  As of August 1, 2011, I will be a resident of the City of New York.  [insert minor panic attack here]  For the last six years, my secret hobby has been pretending like I live in New York.  I read real estate postings on Craigs List.  I watch "Selling New York" with The Chief every Thursday night.  I job hunt at Manhattan colleges when I get bored or frustrated.  I subscribe to "New York Magazine" and have stacks of back issues piled in my bedroom.  I have been to New York 10 times in the past six years.  I have pretty much been completely obsessed. 

So how to I begin to adjust/deal/prepare/comprehend the epic-ness of it actually happening?

If I started to tell every single detail of how this unfolded and all the tiny, epic little moments of confirmation along the way, this post would quickly become a novel (which may happen, but not all at once).  I'll tell the whole story in a series of posts, but here are the basics.

Remember how I came back from Spring Break and quit my job?  The truth is, I sort of had a plan, but not really.  I had faith that things would work out.  Well, about a week before that, I applied for a job, just on a whim.  I knew I wanted it, but I am also pretty used to applying for random jobs in New York and nothing happening.  Three days later, I received an email that they wanted to do a phone interview the very next day.  Higher ed friends, you may remember that this was mid-ridiculousness of NASPA fun.  I talked with them for about an hour, then did a follow up phone call a week later.  A couple of weeks later, The Chief, Baby Sister and I jetted up to New York for a little weekend shopping and my four-hour on-campus interview (sorry for leaving that part out of the original post).  Three weeks after that, I received an email that they wanted to do another follow-up call.  I could not possibly imagine what else they wanted to ask me, since we had already talked so much.  Turns out, they were calling to offer the job...

The actual offer and following week is a bit of a blur.  I was home sick with a variety of illnesses and enjoying the kind of medicine you need prescriptions to take.  I partly blame this for the stress and panic of, "oh my gosh, this is really happening, I don't know what to do" drama my family and very close friends endured for a few days.  But they offered the job...

And I accepted the job...

I will be a hall director at Barnard College, an affiliate of Columbia University.  Barnard is a really unique institution that has a small college feel in the middle of a large university in the middle of a huge city.  It is technically a women's university with about 2,400 students (the size of OBU, Oklahoma friends).  However, Barnard students have complete access to general Columbia courses and resources, and Columbia students (men and women) have complete access to Barnard courses and resources.  Barnard is directly across the street from Columbia's main campus at 116th and Broadway.  If you just walked across campus, you might not notice that it's a women's college, but it definitely has a legacy of amazing women who do amazing things.

As hall director, I will supervise a team of resident assistants for one of the residence halls on campus (not sure which one yet).  My job will be 90% mentoring, coaching and helping the RAs do the same for women who live on their floors.  The students I met on my interview were amazing, and I'm really excited about working in this area of student affairs.  Oh yeah, did I mention the FREE apartment in New York?  I'm pretty darn excited about that too.  No rent or utilities to pay for, no broker's fee to find the apartment, no figuring out how to get furniture from the Brooklyn Ikea to the Upper West Side.  Move-in ready, furnished, all-expenses-paid Manhattan apartment.  Plus, I also get a meal plan, so I will still be able to eat when I get really desperate and broke.  I have access to the apartment August 1 and start my job August 4. 


Believe it or not, that really is the short version.  Through a series of crystal clear moments, God has made it obvious that this is the right path at the right time.  Thanks so much to everyone who encouraged/prayed/talked me down off the ledge along the way.  More to come, I promise.  In the mean time, here are a few more pictures of Barnard's beautiful campus.  Please come visit for yourself.  Free place to stay for all who buy me dinner and keep me from getting homesick!

 "Now you're in New York..."


  1. Katie...SHUT. UP.!!!!! This is fantastic. So so thrilled for you!

  2. Ok, no lie...my Google confirmation word thingie on that first comment was "brave." Appropriate, no? :)

  3. Thanks Les! I am thrilled, but Google was definitely right...I like the brave ruling. You guys should visit!