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[ essay ]

10 NDSUmagazine

Task one: climb through a pile of construction remnants, squint hard and imagine, in place of the debris, the walls that will become my office. Task two: wait in limbo, do busy work and anticipate the end of construction and the official start of my first real job. Task three: wait one more week for construction to finish before digging into my new job. Task four: wait one more week. Task five: start my job amid a flurry of activity while the university president, governor, congressmen and other dignitaries visit for a dedication ceremony. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Welcome to the real world, honey.

It’s not what I imagined, this real world busi- ness. I’m not sure what I imagined. Perhaps something with a bit less ambiguity. Perhaps something with a bit more direction. Certainly not something that would be more educational in four months than my four years of college.

I always thought I would spend the first couple years of my career in a mundane entry-level position, proofread- ing for eight hours a day and getting all the tasks no one else wanted. Instead, I got a job as public relations coordinator in the most amazing environment imaginable: NDSU Downtown. “Each day I see it in the lobby, welcoming visitors to NDSU Downtown: a battered, weathered brick wall partially covered with layer upon layer of old wallpaper. ... How many years did it take to create this unique collage? It has a beauty only time can create.”

What a beautiful example of transition and growth. After spending nearly 100 years as a warehouse and sitting vacant for seven more, NDSU Downtown has sprung to life once again. Everywhere you look, old and new collide as students and faculty fill each room with energy and creativity. I find myself smack-dab in the middle of a state of the art facility, surrounded

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