Acronyms and First Day Awkwardness

This summer I received the honor of being selected to be a part of the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship program. Originally, I was not selected to move beyond the application phase, but in late April, I received an email asking if I was interested in interviewing with the Godman Guild Association. They needed another candidate for their Fellowship position and I accepted the interview. I am happy to say that I am the youngest Fellow in this year’s program, especially because I was, at first, turned away because of my inexperience.

After I dipped my toes into a mountain called paperwork, Linda, my supervisor and the director of Development and Operations, began to give me a tour of the Guild. I was very thankful for the break because, come on,  there’s only so many times you can sign your name without going crazy. As Linda began to walk down the long hall, she showed me the computer labs and the classrooms that are used in the Adult Education programs, where adults are assisted with working on their GED, preparing to enter the workforce, or furthering their studies.

Walking up to Linda was Robert Meeker, also a member of the D&O team. Linda and Robert then began to speak gibberish. All I am able to pinpoint out of their conversation as I am awkwardly standing off to the side, were acronyms. GG, CMO, UW, GED, CDECO, BOD. There had to be at least 10 acronyms thrown around in only a five minute conversation. I was overwhelmed, but I knew I would eventually understand all the acronyms and possibly even use them myself.

Along with the tour, I was introduced to every person we came across. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is overwhelming when you are being faced with remembering names AND faces. I’ve been working at the Guild for five days and I’m still running into people I’ve been introduced to; will remember the face, but not the name. Talk about awkward. Thankfully, everyone has been very understanding and helpful in reminding me of who they are. The people at the Guild are good. They care.

Finally, at the end of our tour and my round of introductions, I was faced with another “acronym.” As I was introduced to two new faces, I was given a description of what they do. They work on a program called KEYS. KEYS is used to help teens and young adults gain employment. However, KEYS is not an acronym. It doesn’t stand for anything, they told me. However, they explained that the program is used to give participants the keys to their future and give them the tools and skills they need to find employment.

“So, it’s a metaphor then?” I asked. They looked around the room, laughed, and agreed.

Here I am, day five. This is a 10 week journey, this Fellowship. For the most part, I am comfortable throwing around a couple of acronyms. Thankfully, they document all acronyms that could be used on a day-to-day basis or in emails.

Yes, I had it copied. It is now taped beside my computer monitor in my cubical.

About Stephanie L. Parker

I am passionate about many things, the most important being graphic design, photography, and journalism. These three things are where my greatest strengths lie and I hope to, someday, impact the world positively with my growing skills.
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