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Learning Disabled, Poor Working Memory, and Applying for Program Director
squeakymonster
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Posted on March 25 2012 12:52 AM
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As the regulars know, I work at a camp during the summer. In the past, I have been Unit Staff, either a Unit Leader (supervising other staff), or as a Unit Counselor. This year, I'm breaking out of my comfort zone. I applied to be Program Director at my camp. It is an administrative position. I would single-handedly be responsible for: all the art programs at my camp, all the science programs at my camp, coming up with supply lists for activities needed for these on time for them to be ordered, and organizing all of the All-Camp activities. Not only am I dyscalculic (which should make supplies fun to deal with), I also have poor working memory and will have a ton of deadlines and events to keep strait. HELLO Planner!!

I have an interview this upcoming week for the job with my boss from my first year at the camp. The director we had last year is not coming back, so I'm not too worried about having a nightmare boss again. I'm still a little nervous about it because even though I've been told by the lady doing the interviewing/hiring that I'd be a good fit for that position in the past, she's going to be tough on me to prove that she's not playing favorites. She knows I have to write down everything, and while I've told her in the past that I'm LD, I've never held a job at camp where my LD might have a very real impact on how I do my job. I don't know how she would view some of that. I guess I'll have to see how the interview goes and where it takes me. It's stressful, but I think this is what is in my best interest.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
eoffg
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Posted on March 25 2012 07:22 AM
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Hi Squeaky,
It does present a good opportunity to break out of your comfort zone.
Most importantly, it provides an opportunity to develop your own strategies, to cope with your difficulties.
Where you have potential problem areas, with supply lists for activities, organizing activities and meeting deadlines and keeping the events straight.
So at the interview, rather than just saying these will be difficulties, you need to explain the strategies that you will use.
Though I wonder if you are familiar with Mind-Mapping, as that would be very helpful with planning.
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on March 25 2012 01:34 PM
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eoffg, I've never heard of mind-mapping. What is that?

As far as the LD and issues it presents, the lady doing the hiring knows me already and knows that this job will play havoc with some of my weaknesses if I'm not careful. I have a planner, I color code things in the planner, and for programing plans, I saw a file organizer there last year. I'm using that if I can find it again or else I'm going to have piles for each day of each session for what needs to be done and when. My biggest fear right now is that I will have major issues doing the supplies list. I know I'll have to have that double checked by someone else before supplies are ordered.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
justfoundout
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Posted on March 25 2012 05:14 PM
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<claps hands together in delight> I wish that I could be there to carry out your 'art programs'. All the best to you in getting that job. - jus'
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on March 25 2012 06:26 PM
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Jus', if you're looking for a summer job in Michigan, you can apply to be a Unit Leader. The lady who is hiring is asking me if I know anyone else looking for a place to work this summer. Wink

Thanks for the well-wishes.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
justfoundout
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Posted on March 25 2012 09:24 PM
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You're amazing, Squeaky. And it almost makes me laugh to think of doing such a hare-brained thing, especially since I have no summer camp experience. Art, yes; summer camp, no. Also, I just got through filling out a Scholarship application where they asked me, if I work this summer, how much I will make,... and I told them "0". So, whatever it pays, the Unit Leader job would be a big step 'up' for me! <smiles> I can swim. Does that help me qualify? That sounds like a fun idea. Still, I'd better stick with the scholarship applications for now. Thanks. - jus'
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on March 28 2012 02:00 AM
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Jus', it was worth a try. lol I had my application faxed over today. Hopefully, soon, I'll have the job interview, though she's still asking me for contact info for some people that worked at the camp in the past that she might be able to hire in again. At this point, I just want to know what's going on.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
justfoundout
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Posted on March 28 2012 10:08 PM
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Do you feel like she might be trying to use contacts you give her to fill the postion you've applied for? If so, that would be really mean. - jus'
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on March 29 2012 12:24 AM
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Jus', no. Neither of these people want the job I applied for. They both want to be unit staff. I know this lady would never do that. One of the people she's trying to get in touch with is returning staff, the other is a person that I recommended the lady talk to for a unit position.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
justfoundout
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Posted on March 29 2012 06:03 PM
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That's good, squeaky. I'm glad to hear that. - jus'
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on April 01 2012 05:26 PM
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One of the staff from last year was hired in. Now just waiting on my turn. It sounds like it's an issue with Council not getting the info over to the camp, though the girl who was just hired back said that she's been having issues with the application. Should hear this week, I hope. The girl that got hired back said that it was pretty much a given that I'd be given Program Director, from what she heard.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on April 03 2012 07:03 PM
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Well, didn't get the Program Director, but I am in charge of the Counselor In Training program for the summer, and will have the chance to work with the Program Director to learn the ropes.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
justfoundout
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Posted on April 04 2012 10:50 PM
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That's great, Squeaky! Counselor in Training sounds good to me. There may be more to the program Director job than meets the eye, and you may be glad you didn't get it by the end of this Summer. ;) Will the 'counselor in training' job let you do at least as much as you've done before? - jus'
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on April 05 2012 03:28 AM
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Jus', the Counselor In Training position will actually give me more responsibility than a standard Unit Leader (which I've done before), give me some experience working with multiple schedules, and give me time to work with the Program Director on the side. I'm sure that there is a lot more to the Program Director job than I realize. That's pretty much common knowledge. My boss explained to me (after stammering and stuttering around getting to the part where she asked me to accept CIT director this year) that this will be a good stepping stone for me and allow me to learn some new skills before becoming Program Director. Personally, I find it a bit of a relief to be the Program Assistant this year so that I can learn the ropes and not have to be hung by them yet.

The job I've been given is 2 fold: 1) train girls who want to be camp counselors on the ins and outs of our job. My role is to mold them into great camp staff that want to work at our camp. This means that I have to work with other Unit Leaders to get girls from my unit into their unit to help out and lead out on activities. 2) I have to evaluate how my girls do their jobs and make formal recommendations regarding their futures as camp counselors. It's stressful. I will be molding future camp staff. That's a lot of responsibility and I am aware of that. The Unit Leader who gets this group is usually highly experienced, has a passion for camp, and is trusted the most.

When I'm not doing that, I'll be in training myself to learn how to be a Program Director the way that my boss wants it done by someone who has done it before. I think it sounds like the best scenario. My boss knows the team she is assembling and I don't know everyone, but I know my boss from working for her before. I trust her judgment and if this is where I can be the most effective, then this is where I will serve. This summer is going to be a transition summer for me in a lot of ways. My boss is right when she says this is going to be new to me and I will have to grow in a few ways. It should be exciting.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
Kestrel6
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Posted on April 05 2012 12:28 PM
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Don't let her go overboard on the "being tough" scenario; insist on fairness no matter who she knows!
Blessed are the PURR in heart!
 
http://twicetoldtails.googlepages.com
justfoundout
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Posted on April 06 2012 10:11 PM
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Squeaky,
I'm such a slow learner that I always prefer to grow 'in a few ways' than for someone to expect a complete miracle transformation overnight. I'm glad that you're happy with the cards that have been dealt you, and I hope that you have lots of fun and satisfaction in your job this summer. - jus'
 
justfoundout
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Posted on August 01 2012 10:35 PM
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I found this site with some really good examples of uses for mind-mapping and found it useful. Hope the rest of you will like it, too. - jus'
http://www.det.wa...=Main#toc3
 
squeakymonster
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Posted on August 14 2012 09:29 PM
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Well, I did have the CITs this year, and like my boss hoped, I did have to grow from them. I also was head archery instructor this year, despite having visual-spatial impairment (my boss just figured out this year that I have it when she was watching me instruct and saw how I paint lines for the range if I have to free hand them). She said that if I was able to hide it this long, then she had no worries about my ability to teach the program.

My dad died while I was at camp this year. Ride, Buddy (the actual director), and our assistant director Cali helped get me thru it. Overall, it was a good year. I had several girls get bull's eyes at the archery range, so that helped. I didn't get to learn the program director position because the girl quit too soon. However, I seem to be learning one specialty area each year, so soon, I should have enough experience one way or another to actually be able to be program director. That said, I do want to remain CIT director another year, so that I can get at least one class of them all the way thru the program.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
 
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