Archive for April 18th, 2009

Easy Money

April 18th, 2009

Sometimes life works against you and sometimes everything just comes without effort. This week was one of the latter cases.

I went to watch one of the current ambassadors, Gitika, give a presentation on Thursday at a church. The ladies from the church that she was presenting at, decided to reward both Gitika and me with more than ten dollars in cash. I thought that was a pretty good salary for listening to Gitika for 45 minutes. Later, I got an email from a psychology professor at the college. She told me that she wanted to give me an award of 25 dollars for participating in her study last year. Today, I was at the Etnic Fair. After an hour of representing the Netherlands, a man walked up to our booth and told us that we had won the Best Booth 2009 award. He gave us a trophy, and, guess what, 50 dollars in cash. That was money for nothing three times in a row.

Besides the prize, the ethnic fair was a great succes. I hosted a booth together with Marijke, the other Dutch student here, and a couple that was half Dutch (meaning that the man was Dutch and the woman American). We had all kinds of goodies from the Netherlands to feed to the people. A minor disappointment was that the people seemed more interested in our snacks and getting a stamp for their free t-shirt, than in learning about our country. After the fair, the couple took Marijke and me out for a nice meal. It was a long and exhausting day, but a very fun experience.

In order to keep promises I made earlier, I will provide some unique points about Wooster and a point of criticism. The man that co-hosted the Dutch booth with me is a retired microbiology professor. He has advised many Ph.D. seeking students. He told me that professors like him look at schools like The College of Wooster first to recruit new Ph.D. students. He also told me that Wooster ranks in the very top for placing students into science master programs. He said that the professors at the College of Wooster are truly dedicated to their students, because if it were for the money, they would be working at larger schools. From my personal experience, I believe this is true.

Now my point of criticism. At the College of Wooster, part of students’ meal plan consists of Flex Dollars. These dollars can be spent at two locations on campus. The problem is that because we have no alternative to these two places, so no service is required to keep us coming back. The result is long lines, high prices on particular items, and sometimes, just sometimes, rude treatment of students. Most of the time, the campus workers are very nice, but this night I witnessed a very disappointing encounter. A student was not happy with her meal and went back to ask for what she had actually ordered. The response was that she shouldn’t think she was in a restaurant and that she should be satisfied. This message was definitely not delivered in a friendly tone. Although Flex Dollars may seem free, they are not. Students pay in the beginning for their meal plan, so Flex Dollars are real money. The very least students should receive is respectful treatment, the minimum standard should be satisfactory service.

For the rest, all happy thoughts.