profile panorama photo
Computer Engineering
Dummerston VT

A Different Type of RA

Josh Kramer on Saturday, 11 July 2009. Posted in Student Life

My summer has finally started!! I am now an RA at the Center for Talented Youth summer camps at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. I got here feeling really unprepared for taking care of 14 teenage boys for 3 weeks, but after two weeks I think I'm doing a good job.

I think this RA job will be different from being a college RA because in this job I "babysit" the kids. In college, I am there as a resource. When I am at RIT I will not be telling students to not swing their lanyards. The RA job at RIT will be much less stressful than this one (but I just need to deal with school then...).

When you interact with middle schoolers and young high schoolers, you don't realize how much goes into keeping them from doing things they are not supposed to.This past week I have put in about 115 hours of work. That is essentially the amount of time I have been awake. From when I get up to when I go to sleep there are kids to watch, activities to plan, and supply rooms to clean. Although this is one of the most fast paced and intense jobs I probably could have, I love it. I have found that even if I get less sleep than I need, as long as I keep moving constantly I don't get tired. It is only when I have free time that I feel the exhaustion set it. RIght now I am almost naseus from being tired. I definitely need to take a nap today when the kids are in class.


Last week I ran a 5 day activity to learn how to juggle. I had about 18 students, only one of whom knew how to juggle. After the week, there were 3 or 4 kids who were pretty much solid juggler, and 10 or so more who were just on the verge of getting it. It is such an awesome feeling to be helping these students acquire this skill that they can impress people with for years. I even made a website for them with juggling resources. You can feel free to check it out at  


Tonight is Casino Night. I have spent literally 6 hours sitting at a paper cutter, cutting out pretend money for 370 kids. It was not fun. It will be a big relief to have it over with.  One of the more fun things I did for Casino Night was design a Javascript application that acts like the BINGO wheel to generate random numbers. You can find it at It's cheaper than buying a wheel, and it was really fun to make.


I need to go now to Scheduled Presence, where we are scheduled to sit around and watch the kids. I hope I don't fall asleep. I'll be glad when the whole casino thing is over.