I feel like I say this all too often. But. I am back. I have actually been putting this off because I know that I have a lot to catch you up on. Less then a week after I posted my last post my grandfather, who had been battling ill health for the past several months went to be with Jesus. I know that he is so happy and he had such a healthy and full life, but I still find myself thinking about him or looking at pictures of him only to remember that this Thanksgiving and this Christmas he won't be with us. That is the hard part. Never again will I be able to hear him tell us stories of growing up in the city I grew up in, or funny stories about my mom as a little girl, but something I am blessed about - I knew my Papa Doc for 24 years and in those 24 years I saw how he fathered his kids, how he loved children, and how he led his family with the Lord in the center. I pray that my husband is a Papa Doc one day. That he has all of the characteristics that my papa had. I love him very much and miss him still.
The reunion of my family was a great way to celebrate my papa's passing, but the 12 hour drive was looming in front of me the next day. Thankfully, I have the BEST mom ever and she drove with me. We stopped at my uncle's favorite stop in Birmingham, Milo's. I don't see the point of the gross onion burger - but my mom wanted to try it. When we finally got to Columbia I had the Monday off to get things settled in my apartment. It was so much fun to have my mom there with me for two days. I started work on that Tuesday and before I went to work I had to take mom to the airport at 5 am. She is such a great mom because I know she was exhausted at this point. (What is even better is Laura Leigh, my little sister, started school that Monday and she started her junior year without her mommy there.. best little sister ever)
I remember dropping my mom off and for the next 3 hours until I got to work, I balled like a little baby. I mean balled. I couldn't even put my make up on because tears were streaming down my face. It was so hard to leave my mom, know that I was moving thousands of miles away, and that I might not see her again for months. WOW. I was so lonely in that moment.
Thankfully, God gave me an awesome place to work so that lonely feeling was filled with Gamecocks and sports and lots of work. Not to mention I have the cutest puppy ever who was not happy about his new outfit (see below).
After being here a month - I absolutely love my job! Holy Cow... How have I not been here doing this forever my entire life. It's great. I work 12+ hour days and I can not imagine NOT doing this. Right now I am trying to juggle work, Baylor, and maintaining all of my friendships from Arkansas and Texas. Being intentional in texting, calling, contacting, and loving those friends is important and I need to do better especially since those relationships have helped get me to this point.
Most people have asked me what my job consists of, so I want to try and answer that question with a few pictures.
My day starts around 5 am when I get up and work out (usually running with Baylor can't wait for the CrossFit gym to open down the road from me!). After that I get to work around 8:30 and usually have staff meetings at 9. Every other Wednesday/Thursday we do our Grassroots marketing efforts and go out to Greene Street (the main street that runs through campus). On Greene Street we give out everything from posters to sunglasses to koozies and of course flyers with the upcoming events on them.
Back at the office I am in charge of what we call Student Reward Points. Students get points for going to every athletic event and it is my job to put it all into a spreadsheet and send it to Ticketmaster to update the student's accounts. The more points they have the better their seats will be at Football games, in fact only the top third of students (with points) get tickets to football games and you have about 24 hours to request tickets or you can't get them either. Athletics has introduced another reward aspect this year. Instead of just getting football seats - you can also rack up reward points for Under Armour Gear. We are giving out Water Bottles, fleece pants, duffle bags, jackets, and polos... all donated by Under Armour!
Most of the time in the office, when I am not working on a sport or something for a game, I am working on Student Rewards. I make sure all of our social media stays informative and up to date. In fact, you should follow "us" (me) @GamecockRewards on Twitter and Instagram and our Page is Gamecock Student Rewards. This is so much fun and I love being able to attach my name to something.
At first on Greene Street all we had was a table, but then we decided to add a huge stand behind frame! You can see in the picture this is what he designed. Students flood our table for the 4 hours we are out there - we don't even have a chance to sit down, go to the bathroom, or grab lunch or something to drink.
At our games, the marketing staff does everything. We basically run the games. You could almost refer to us as the directors of the game. We run the video board, on field presentations, national anthem, half-time, contests, and all pa announcements (we write the script).
It is so much fun. I have really bonded with the two girls that I work with as Marketing Assistants, Amber and Heather. Heather actually played Volleyball at Arkansas and is from the Dallas area and small world, she knows several of my friends from Arkansas. Then Amber is from Maryland and is so funny - we get each other into trouble a lot because we laugh at everything and we both get so tickled. Amber is also my kind of girl, we go to the nail salon alot! (she likes to get her nails done quite regularly) I have found that I can pay $10 for a hot water soak and a 10 minute foot/leg rub. While she does her nails I get my legs rubbed... haha it's the MOST relaxing thing ever!
This is a picture of us at the first football game of the season. We were so happy/pumped/excited/stoked to be working a Gamecock Football game. The scripts, on-field presentations, etc.. were just so much fun and so high-energy!
We had an off week the weekend after our UNC game, so Heather and I went over to Athens on the staff bus, yes! that's right the staff bus. We just walked up to these people's tent and started tailgating when we got there. It was a blast! Even though we didn't win it was a great memory and a wonderful bonding opportunity for my new friend Heather and I.