Life has a way of surprising you. It will make you take turns down paths that you would have never expected to be walking on. When I began working at the Dayton Quest Center (DQC) during my second co-op in January of 2017, I had no idea that my post-Antioch career plans were going to center around the Hombu dojo. Yet, here I am, writing my final co-op blog post about my experience at the DQC.
The Dayton Quest Center’s objective is “Unleash Your Potential!” Through our martial art, To-Shin Do, we aim to help our students achieve mastery over their lives. We seek to empower, encourage, and promote wellness through the physical and mental aspects of our martial art. To-Shin Do is a self-defense based martial art that focuses on the alignment of the body and skeletal structure and the power of gravity to gather strength. I used to lack confidence in myself. I used to believe that, if something happened to me, I would be unable to defend myself. After discovering To-Shin Do, that all changed. I know that I can defend myself. I know that I am worth defending. I deserve to go home at the end of the day happy, healthy, and safe, and To-Shin Do has shown me that I can achieve that.
At the DQC, my title is Administrative Assistant. That’s job-title-speak for, “I do basically everything.” I begin my day with a checklist of tasks that must be completed before classes start at 4:15 p.m. I check missed calls and messages, sift through our email, restock the uniforms and snacks, take inventory, clean and organize the desk and lobby, and do a quick dusting. This work usually takes just an hour. Then I will fill any online orders that we receive. After that, I have a variety of tasks that I could do. Something new needs to be done each day, so I always experience something different. Once classes start, I typically help teach the Mighty Ninja classes. After, I will sit behind the desk, answering the phone, running the Pro-Shop, and answering questions from our students. Once the night comes to an end, I will clean the bathrooms, take out the trash, and do a quick organizing of the desk before I head out for the night.
During my one year and eight months at the DQC, I have learned so much and developed many skills. I help prospective students make financial and time-commitment decisions to help them fit our program into their schedule. I see at least eighty people every day, so I have developed better people and communication skills. I am currently fostering my salesperson skills and am working on selling our products in an ethical manner that feels good to me. While my time at the DQC has been relatively short, I have learned so much and expect to continue expanding my abilities as an employee, person, and community member.