While it won’t officially summer until June 21st, it sure has felt like summer as of late. And summer quarter at Wright State started today. I’m looking forward to this summer. I’m not signed up for any lectures or seminars. Instead, I am starting my internship at the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives. I started today.
I spent the first part of my 5 hour shift getting acquainted with the reference desk in the reading room. The last part of my shift was the exciting part. I started processing a collection! Is it weird that I like processing collections? I don’t know. I think I like to organize things, so maybe that’s why it appeals to me.
I was given some of the boxes containing the George “J.R.” Wedekind Aviation Collection, to start assessing. Wedekind was one of the organizers of the Dayton Air Show who helped to turn it into a major event. So far I have found a lot of aviation magazines, books and pamphlets, numerous VHS tapes of air shows and other aviation-related titles, some slides, and Wright Brothers materials. I think I’ve only looked through half of the collection. I’m curious to see what the other half contains.
I think this is going to be a great summer. No studying, I get to put a nice dent in my 300 hours internship ( I can only work at the archives 10 hours/week, but in this 10 week summer term, that will be 1/3rd of it completed), and I’m thinking about getting back to my art roots with some charcoal drawing and photography at Cox Arboretum. Life is good!
What is a physical plant? This is what one of my friends asked me what I told her I got a job at WSU’s Physical Plant. So let me enlighten you…
Physical Plant is the department at Wright State that performs maintenance, custodial and grounds duties on campus. I work in the customer service center (which is NOT the same as campus information, though we somehow get several calls a day asking for numbers to other campus departments). We take the work requests people have and write them up for the various shops in our department.
Our office issues university keys. Anybody who follows me on Facebook and pays attentions to my statuses knows that keys are my pet-peeve. The process is pretty straightforward – if you need a key your department fills out a key request form, sends it to my office and we get it to the lock shop. After the key is cut, my office calls to let you know your key is ready and you come to sign it out. After you’re done with the key, you turn it back in to my office and we take it off your record. Not all departments follow this procedure, especially about turning keys in. Some departments simply hold on to the keys and as one employee leaves, they give that person’s key to their successor. This makes accurate record keeping difficult. My co-worker and I have tried to put measures in place that allow these departments to keep the keys, but also get us the paperwork we need to track who has what keys.
My office is also the official campus lost & found. There are other lost & found drop-off points on campus, but most of them bring their items to us after a period of time. We hold on to items for 30 days. Unclaimed items go to Excess & Surplus Property Management (ESPM). This department sells or discards as appropriate, all manner of campus furniture, electronics and other items that campus offices no longer need. Monies made from the sale of lost & found items goes into the campus scholarship fund to benefit students.
So that’s a brief overview of the role I play in Physical Plant. If you are on campus for the legendary final May Daze, stop by our table. We will have more info on lost and found, recycling on campus and a chance to win Dayton Dragon tickets, courtesy of our custodial manager. To win you will need to correctly guess how many keys are in a container at our table.