Halftime in an MPA Student’s First Year

Where did the first five weeks go? It’s really seemed as though each year that I’m in school flies by quicker than the previous one. Even the sixth week is just about over. Luckily I’ve been playing catch up this past week because I had been feeling the pressure in recent weeks to reclaim the quarter from time. I remember at the beginning of the winter I had enough time to comfortably watch the sadly defunct TV series, Arrested Development. Last night my friend who had lent me the three seasons on DVD asked me if I had finished watching the show so she could have it back. I hadn’t realized until she asked me for it that I quit watching the show cold turkey about a month ago. It’s taken me a month to get through the last three episodes.

I finally decided this week which state agency I will be applying my public budgeting material to for my end of the quarter paper/presentation. It’ll be interesting to delve into the Ohio Arts Council’s budgeting plan. As a drummer and dancer for performance arts nonprofit, Azaguno, I think it will be enlightening to see how the agency spends money and contributes to the arts in the state of Ohio. In addition to that, I’ve made progress in organizing notes that I’ve taken and articles that I’ve read for my nonprofit management class and also organized notes that I’ve taken for my Employee and Labor Relations internship with Ohio University’s Human Resources department. It’s important to stay focused when there’s so much going on.  Keeping track of what you’ve already done establishes a foundation of confidence and mental clarity moving forward. It’ll be nice to have a mostly clear head going into Azaguno’s performance at the OU World Music and Dance Concert this Friday, February 10th at 7:30pm. We’ll be performing one nine-minute piece called Fire. It’ll be the first time we perform it on US soil and I absolutely can’t wait.

I also presented my initial communications/marketing research to the Raccoon Creek Partnership nonprofit on Tuesday for a good 40 minutes and was happy with how it went, considering it was the first time I ever did anything like that. The Raccoon Creek Partnership was formed in 2007 to improve and protect water quality in the Raccoon Creek Watershed, which has experienced degradation from industrial discharge and untreated sewage over the years. The nonprofit is in the process of expanding its outreach in the region and asked that I take a look at ways in which that can be accomplished. It was fun to recollect my previous experiences with the International Week Committee, work experiences at The Athens News and at the Office of International Student and Faculty Services, and notes from my persuasion and nonprofit management classes to craft an incomplete but enthusiastic report. I look forward to cleaning it up a bit, supplementing it with more research and statistics and submitting it to the nonprofit by the end of the quarter. Here’s to moving forward!

—Roman Suer

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