Tales of a New Staff Member

Author: Joshua Durando

All of us who work at Penn recognize that the university fosters a culture of excellence driven both by talented faculty and staff dedicated to making Penn even better than it was the day before. To be working here is an honor, and as a fairly new staff member, I confess that I suffered from the typical anxiety all new jobs cause.  Specifically, I pondered questions like: How will I fit in? Will people like me? Will I like them? Will I be good at my job? Before my first day at work, I did what any other consumer-minded American would do: I bought a “first day of work” outfit. I also spent some time thinking about good questions I could ask on my first day. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I realized that I needed to find a name for the Betta fish I bought as a desktop accoutrement.

Well, suffice it to say, my new outfit was a hit, all of my questions were answered, and the fish has been named. He is called Pippen Speedwell Eventchild, and my picture of him is my most “liked” picture on Instagram. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. He is amazing.

pippen

I did not tell him that he’s popular on Instagram. If he knew I had his picture on something as mainstream as Instagram, he’d be so mad. He’s a total hipster – or, I should say, a “pipster.”

As you can tell by my fish-buying level of preparedness, I hit the ground running when I arrived at Penn. After all, I had some catching up to do – history had been made here. I quickly learned about the many great things Penn has accomplished over the last five years, and even more thrilling, what it plans to achieve moving into the future. “You’ve come at such an exciting time!” was the general motif of my first few weeks. No one passed on the opportunity to congratulate me not only on my new position, but also on becoming part of such an amazing institution on the heels of unprecedented success.

Their congratulatory messages were almost always followed by a “So, do you know what you are working on yet?” As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to be assigned to assist with the “April 19th event,” a happening which instantly garnered reactions that ranged from “I’m so excited for that event! It sounds great!” to “Oh wow, you must be really busy already.” Both were true. The “April 19th event” is actually called “Making History at Penn Park” and it truly is shaping up to be an exciting day. In addition to a variety of events occurring throughout the day, MHPP (as it’s become affectionately known) is an evening event full of great entertainment, food and drink. In addition, it’s open to all of the Penn family.

The event begins at 5:00 p.m. and is campus-wide party with food, fun, and musical performances by 17 student performance groups, with headline acts Grammy Award-winning Train and Grammy Award-winning and Penn alumnus, John Legend.

To register and to learn more, go here. (registration is required for all guests). The event, in addition to being totally awesome, will also be interactive – this is where you come in! Whether you are at the event or not, you can still participate via Instagram. For the entirety of the evening we will be pulling pictures from Instagram that are tagged with the hashtag #penntimetoshine. Whether you snap a picture of you and family or friends in the audience having a great time, or send us a picture from wherever you are with a sign that reads “Wish I was there!” we’d love to hear from you.

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