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All the Projects are Technically Specialized: Vi Merkel ’22 at Antioch College’s IT Department in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Taking a co-op at the school I go to, in the position I already held as a student? Arguably, this move could be considered by many as the simple solution to the search for a co-op and they would be absolutely correct. If it were acceptable to wrap the nutshell of life up with a nice bow and present it to you, my blog post here would contain the four words that sound like the following: “It was rather nice.”  Long story short, my time as a Special Projects Assistant for Antioch College’s IT Department was absolutely fine.

“What does a Special Projects Assistant technically do?” you may be pondering to yourself as you think of wonderfully inventive fantasies to relate to the title of “special project.” I’d like to tell you that half of my time was spent wrestling hackers and tight-rope walking over Ethernet cables, yet it wasn’t. My three months were, in a professional sense, rather mundane and mostly involved fulfilling the duties of computer maintenance—updating, troubleshooting, and the occasional fun chance to do some internal dusting (Woe begets the burdened squire for the task they love, you dig?). In reality, the term Special Projects Assistant is mostly code for “work nobody else quite has the time for” (which is a copious amount of work when the entire staff of the IT department is three, including myself).

Yet in a poetic sense, every project completed for this institution can be considered special. Working in such a position at this institution has given me a respect for how hard those who care for it work. Even the mundane tasks of day-to-day operations at this college I can now somewhat praise as a very “special project” to the world.

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