It still hasn’t hit me that I’m about to graduate, mainly because I am thoroughly convinced that some mishap will occur and I’ll have to stay an extra semester. It’s such a cliché to say, but I can’t believe how fast these four years went by!
My project was kind of a question mark in my head for the longest time, but I think it finally came together. As someone who desperately needs a job, I’m always extremely curious about the jobs other people have. Why this job? Why this field? Why this community? Are you happy? Do you wish you chose a different path? In addition, as someone who hasn’t always been happy at U of M, I can’t help but wonder—why do the people around me stay?
This year, I took a student job in the Markley Dining Hall, and the same questions began running through my head of the Markley professional staff. I was particularly curious about their stories because many have them have worked in Markley for over twenty years. Why Markley? Why stay? What do you know about the University that the rest of us forget, because we’re only here for four years?
I ended up creating three parts to my project: first, I wrote a profile on one of the cooks, Maria, based on four different interviews I conducted. Second, I created a Fun Fact page with a Buzz-Feed-esque format, where I talked about some differences between Markley today and Markley ten to twenty years ago. Finally, I created a page of recipes for food Maria and her co-workers prepared while I conducted interviews.
The overall purpose of my project (and by extension, my portfolio) was to show U of M students that there are people all around them with life experiences and wisdom that they might find useful in times of feeling lost or unsure of themselves. Hopefully, students will leave with a greater sense of hope and a greater appreciation for the people who work tirelessly all around them to make their college experience positive.
Enjoy! And happy almost-graduation!