Sunday, May 6, 2012

Top 10 GA Moments

So, today, my position as an Ithaca College Athletics Graduate Assistant comes to an end. After nine awesome months, it’s sadly time to move on. BUT, not before a little reflecting on one of the best experiences I have had. So, here they are, my top 10 GA Moments (in no particular order).

Empire 8 Summit – Didn’t really expect to have as much fun as I did here, but my time spent as an Ithaca College advisor was great. I was able to take on a leadership role while getting to know a bunch of hard-working, fun-loving student athletes. I got to witness the cool things they’ve done, why Division III is so unique and the many ways the college athlete experience can be improved. Pretty much made the realization that I could really enjoy working in college athletics during this weekend. Here’s a favorite athlete of mine participating in Minute to Win with her fellow Bombers.

Merchandise Trailer/Crew Stakeboats – In less than a span of a month, our boss gave Sam and I two very interestingly daunting tasks. The first came when he assigned us to work crew, an event we had never even attended before. This required us to sit in separate anchored motorboats in the middle of the inlet and line up the crew boats before their race began by holding. This was much harder than it seemed considering we had to tightly hold on to the boat without falling into the freezing cold water. Not to mention we had no access to bathrooms for four straight hours. Talk about an interesting strategy. Here I am hanging on the boat in between races.

Our second task came just two days ago when we were asked to open the locked merchandise trailer. This seemed super easy and simple accept we couldn’t figure out how to unlatch the door. Embarrassing, I know. After about ten minutes, we surrendered to the boss and he so quickly demonstrated how easily the door opened.

Getting to know and becoming friends with student athletes – This is BY FAR the best part of this grad assistantship. From the first event to the last, we have worked side-by-side with our student athletes and gotten to know several of them very well. We danced during halftimes, moved balance beams, hung banners, sold tickets, hung out in the press box, dodged javelins, been pegged with volleyballs and had endless amounts of fun. I am proud to say that a handful of them have become my good friends and I look forward to hearing from them in the future.

Modeling uniforms – When the new Ithaca men’s lacrosse uniforms came in, it was decided that one of my bosses, a super-high-achieving undergrad, Sam and I should be the first to model these bad boys. Getting this ever-so-perfect photo took a couple of takes, but it was worth it.

Wrapping Jeff’s office – At Christmas time, my fellow GAs and I gave one of our bosses a gift that took him days to unwrap. We wrapped his entire office – staplers, cabinets, his chair, jackets, hole punch, papers, pens, you name it, we wrapped it. While this wasn’t necessarily part of my GA duties, it is most definitely one of my favorite Ithaca memories with three of my great friends.

 And here the four of us are looking ever so glam in our Christmas card photo...

Swimming – Throughout the winter sports season, I spent my fair share of time at swim meets and therefore have a ton of awesome memories stemming from the pool. Like the time I accidently flung an unmentionable onto the pool deck, the day that Sam was splashed with an immense amount of water, the time I stopped mid-way through PA announcing or the other time the trumpet player forgot to play the national anthem. Nothing will however, beat the endless bonding I had with the two gentlemen that loved to argue while they ran the timing system.

Cortaca – Right from the first day I arrived, I began hearing about Cortaca and all of the madness associated with it. Cortaca is the Cortland vs. Ithaca football game and for decades students have been treating it more like an outdoor party than a football game, but hey, they’re college students and life’s a party. As a GA, I didn’t have the ability to partake in that aspect of Cortaca and instead spent the day corralling students into the field and protecting yard markers as an Event Staff member. Nonetheless, it’ll be an experience that I’ll never forget and one that I’ll certainly draw back on in the future. I mean, Andy and I (pictured below with Sam looking super tough) did get an individual arrested.
Gymnastics lessons – Since we embarked on our GA journey, Sam made it clear that her excitement for gymnastics was immeasurable. When the time came for our first gymnastics competition, she showed us her stuff … or lack there of. I’m not one to knock her for trying because I can’t even do a somersault, but her cartwheel is well, special. Our gymnastics coach even tried to help her perfect this athletic move, but it just didn’t come together. I am positive that watching those videos will never get old. This is about as athletic as I got during gymnastics. Impressive, don’t you think?

Hanging with the field bros – Part of the privilege of being a GA is that I am often in a supervisory role and have down time to hang out with the field bros. To specify, the field bros are the super awesome men that take care of maintaining the athletic fields and entertain us on a regular basis. I’m hoping when I move on that I’m lucky enough to have field bros that bend over backward as often and as happily as these do. Here's Sam looking super tough pre-field bro hangout session (aka lacrosse game).

Weekly meetings with the boss – Each week we spent about an hour preparing for the upcoming days and sometimes weeks with our boss. At the beginning, we talked about work and occasionally about school but as time wore on, we discussed everything under the sun. We laughed, joked, talked business, and homework, shared stories from the weekend, asked for advice, laughed some more and before we knew it, he was our go-to guy. Meetings weren’t just work-talk, they were fun. I even remember a specific meeting in which he lovingly taunted a certain GA for her newly-clean mouth. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ll shed a tear when I say goodbye to him … and by a tear I mean 1,000.

Here the four of us are at our final event all together -- Empire 8 Men's Lacrosse semifinals.

And just for good measure, because I know Lyndsay in particular will miss this thing ... 

And there you have it, my top 10 most memorable GA moments. I now have more swag than I know what to do with.

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