I am thankful for Penn State Students. I work at a register in one of the dining commons at University Park. It’s a the temp job I’ve mentioned earlier. The main reason I enjoy the job isn’t that I have excellent folks to work with, although that is certainly true, it is that I have excellent folks to work for–the students.
I enjoy interacting with them on many levels. Some, whose names I haven’t yet learned, I recognize and consistently say hi to. Others I can call by name. Still others I have gotten to know a bit better and have been honored with some excellent conversations during slower times of the day.
Some are international students, and I have tried greeting them in their native languages: Chinese, Korean, Arabic, German…all of them were surprised that I could do that, all of them are appreciative, and many have complimented me on pronunciation and such. Several are still surprised when I ask if they want a bag–even though I have asked them that before. (“Americans can speak Mandarin?”) It’s a lot of fun.
But this weekend I was particularly impressed that the vast majority of them are truly focused on their education, spending their time this weekend studying for midterms rather than attending “State Patty’s Day” (an artificial “holiday” invented by students several years ago for the sole purpose of having an excuse to abuse alcohol. Not that folks at a “party school” have ever really needed an excuse to do stupid…). I had a lot of fun teasing “all the silly students who were wasting their time studying for midterms rather than focusing on REALLY important things, like which movie would take the Oscar for Best Picture” this evening. Maybe a total of 6 (out of the 450 some) that came through the line had a definitive response. Most weren’t aware that the Academy Awards show was tonight or what films were nominated.
Truly satisfying to know that most of these “kids” have their heads on fairly straight.
Side note: today was the Annual “Pink” Game for the Cure with the Women’s Basketball Team. Proceeds are donated to fight breast cancer–over 600 survivors with a grand total of over 3000 years of victory over the disease. Lots of support from the student body and community.
Oh, the ladies also won the National Championship.
A fun, uplifting day, all in all.