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1. “I’m not that creative.”

False. Did you know that none of the PAs are studying anything art related? Not theater, not art, not art history, not even English. We are all science, government, or economics. But we learn to be creative by tinkering. If you come in and have no inspiration and for some reason a PA can’t spark an idea, walk around the PRC and mess with stuff to get program ideas. Or, visit the PRC Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/prcwilliammary/

2. *Crash* “Oops….”

AHH! If you have a question, PLEASE ASK before you try to do it yourself and something gets broken! I can’t tell you how many resources have been wasted just because someone did not want to ask a PA for help. Then the machine/resource is ruined for everyone until we can fix it. Never hesitate to ask! Which brings me to….

3. “Sorry, can you help me with…?”

Sorry? Sorry you’re asking us to do our job? NEVER apologize for asking us for help! We love to help you out – it’s our job. We would rather you ask than have something get messed up. Don’t feel like you are bothering us or like we are too wrapped up in something else. We are here for YOU.

4. “Do you have an antique rocking horse painted neon green with glitter tassels and a dragon-skin seat?”

Or some other extremely specific, random, and non-PRC related item that there is NO WAY we would have. The PRC is a wonderland and we always have things that you would never expect us to carry, like a baby pool and pots and pans. But there is a limit! We don’t have a chainsaw (yes, I’ve gotten that question!) We will work with you to try to find an alternative solution, but don’ t look so dejected when we don’t have a dog leash.

5. “This needs more glitter.”

NOOOOOOO it does not need any more glitter! There are no circumstances when this statement is true. None. Zilch. Nada. Nope. PAs usually come home looking like Edward Cullen in sunshine.


The Ted Talk..

Ted Talks…what’s not to love? One of my favorite Ted Talks was from a woman named Brené Brown, who dedicated her studies to human connection, our ability to empathize, belong and love. In many ways, her research expanded my perception in how I live my life and those who play a part in it.

Brown got her Ph.D. in social work, so she had always been around people. Her mantra encompassed leaning into the discomfort of her work. As a social worker for 10 years, she came to realize the importance of connection and wanted to study this phenomenon in depth. We’re biologically wired to feel connected with others, it gives us purpose and meaning. Brené found that when she asked people about love, they talked about heartbreak. When she asked people about belonging, they told her their most excruciating experiences of being excluded. In many respects when asking people about connection, the stories they would tell were of disconnection.

Interestingly enough, Brown decided to pull herself out of the research entirely and what she found was shame. “And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection: is there something about me that, if other people know or see, that I won’t be worthy of connection?” No one wants to talk about it, and the less you talk about it the more you have it, right? What underpins shame is the unfortunate sensation of “I’m not good enough.” Now if we take it a step further the thing that underpinned this was excruciating vulnerability. Vulnerability is this idea that if we really want to be seen we have to show ourselves, our raw self.

When Brown took the people she interviewed and divided them into people who really have a sense of worthiness, who have a strong sense of love and belonging, and folks who struggle for it, and wonder if they’re good enough she found one distinct variable that separated them. The people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy. Could it be that the one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we’re not worthy of connection? What was suppose to be 1 year of research turned into 6 years for Brené. She felt stuck for she found that vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging, of love. We live in a vulnerable world. And one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability. We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history; moreover we cannot selectively numb emotion.

Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. So when we numb those we also numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. “And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable.” It’s a dangerous cycle. Brown further explains how this numbness doesn’t just stem from addiction. The other thing we do is we make everything that’s uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty. I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up. That’s it. Just certain. There’s no discussion anymore. There’s no conversation. There’s just blame, a way to discharge pain and discomfort. We also try to perfect. Brené further contends how we most dangerously perfect our children, even when they are hardwired for struggle when they get here. “Our job is not to say, look at her, she’s perfect. My job is just to keep her perfect make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh grade. That’s not our job.” She believes we need to acknowledge how they are imperfect, and they are wired for struggle, but that they understand they are worthy of love and belonging. A generation of kids raised like that, and we’ll end the problems that many of us witness today. We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an effect on people.

What resonated with me in this Tedtalk is how we have to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even if there’s no guarantee. That ability to feel such vulnerability is truly living and can leave one with a self-actualized sensation of “I’m alive.” If we start working from a place where we believe “I’m enough” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we are kinder and gentler to ourselves.

This has been a year of change for Res Life and the PRC specifically. And with only one month until closing (ahhh) it seems now is a perfect time to reflect on all of the fun new things that have come to the PRC this year, and of course inspire you to use these resources in the remaining weeks or maybe next year.


1. A new boss! Jess joined us in October and has been awesome. Seek out Jess for amusing anecdotes, fashion tips, and possibly even programs. Jess raises therapy dogs and, if you ask nicely, she might bring one of her pups to your res hall for your residents to pet and play with (just remember the dogs have to stay outside the building!)


Jess is working that duck face

2. Bubble wrap in  continuous supply. Never again will you be stressed when we don’t have the resource you need for your stress relief program– we order bubble wrap now instead of waiting for bits of it to show up in packages. Bubble wrap can also be used to add texture and a 3D effect to boards

df65de940b1c8fc67a9b73f7ec17cd7cBubble wrap calendar 1340eaeb0c7da912a28732150758cf16Bubble wrap hopscotch

3. New stencils: crown, graduation cap, and “happy birthday.” These stencils were chosen based on what we see PRC users making a lot of themselves. Happy birthday card for your resident? Use a stencil. Mr. W&M pageant? Use the stencil. Pre-graduation bucketlist? Decorate it with a stencil.

4. The world’s most intense button maker. You can load two buttons at once. And it spins. 033531_Bkids_Spin_Around_Kids-00Plus we’re just generally really happy we have a button maker again…Consider using buttons for passive programming, not just advertisements.

5. Animal print bordette. Though I’m personally not wild about animal print (hehe, get it? wild?) I think this could be awesome bordette for a lot of boards. For instance, I just discovered the twampiest vacation ever: there’s an organization called Earthwatch, and instead of paying to stay in a fancy hotel and take the same tourist pictures of the Eiffel Tower and Grand Canyon you can be a hands-on research assistant on projects around the world. I would totally use the zebra print bordette to talk about their animal rehab project in the Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi.


(more info about the program can be found here: http://earthwatch.org/)


6. A scrapbook papercutter. This new addition is great for detailed cuts and people who are afraid of the giant paper cutters. Use them with the gel pens to make a gorgeous thank you card for your housekeeping staff or another special staff member.


7. Sponge paper is back! You can use them for sponge boat races in the Crim Dell, or try this sponge-y twist on a water balloon fight: http://www.canadianfamily.ca/activities/crafts/the-ultimate-pool-party-toy-diy-sponge-



8. The amnesty box! Okay, so really this is only for April, and it’s not really a good program, but please use it! I’ve been in some of y’all’s rooms. I know you have bordette, markers, and other PRC supplies lying around. Bring them back and we will love you forever.


There is probably so much I’m forgetting. But that’s the wonderful thing about Res Life at W&M. Even when transitions are rough, the most wonderful things can result from it. We, like the school as a whole, are always changing and growing to meet the new needs of our campus. And that, my friends, is beautiful.

HOLI 2014

Hey y’all!!!

Now I know that Holi 2014 was March 17th, AKA St. Patty’s Day too!! (HOLIdayception) ((…get it? you get it right…?))

HOWEVER, W&M will be hosting a Holi of our own tomorrow, SUNDAY the 23rd!

Also referred to as the Festival of Colors, Holi is an important festival to Hindus. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. According to 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorating good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, known as Holika Dahan or Little Holi. People gather near fires, dance and sing. The next day, Holi is celebrated. Children spray colored powders at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry colored powder on each other’s face. After playing with colors, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural colored powders in fact actually has a medicinal significance. The colors are traditionally made of medicinal herbs such as Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and more. Many colors are obtained by mixing primary colors. Artisans produce and sell many of the colors from natural sources in dry powder form during the weeks and even months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colors are red, orange, green, yellow, magenta, purple, brown, and black.

So now that you know more about to tradition, you’ll definitely have even more fun!!! It may be a campus-wide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your hall along for the ride! :D

Have a fantastic Holi errbody!



David Kilpatrick



Maya Angelou Vogue

Dr. Maya Angelou

She is an author, a playwright, actress, civil rights activist, director and also producer. Her works have inspired many. Her words exert power. She has written about a wide variety of topics including racism, identity, mothering, overcoming, and forgiveness. She has shared her life story and life lessons through her writing in courageous ways. She has been revered for her wisdom on the human condition. She has had close friendships with movers and shakers of the status quo. She has served on presidential committees and won Grammy awards and has received more than 50 honorary degrees. At age 85 she remains actively engaged in conversations about culture, current events, and her personal experience among many other topics. Here are links to a few insightful videos and websites on Maya Angelou.

Mini Biography Video


And Still I Rise Video


Rainbow in the Cloud

Love Liberates

Just Do Right

Maya Angelou Website



“I work the PRC, it’s basically where RAs go to make bulletin boards, door tags, and plan programs. Aka Kindergarten!”

-Most Often Said Thing in My Life, second only to “Jank.”


The Programming Resource Center, always the RAs’ favorite place to go, not just because of its variety of supplies and resources, yet also thanks to its fantabulous staff!! *teehee*

There’s only five of us, so there’s a lot of duties our positions entail. Today, yours truly has decided to pull back the curtain of our Wizard of Oz lives, and show you the everyday occurrences of of a Program Advocate. We’ll start with a basic rundown of a shift in the PRC. First when we open up, we have to swipe up, get the lights on, turn on computers and printers, all that jazz. But the fun doesn’t really start, in my case at least, until I get the Spotify going and the peeps start strutin’ in!

In a typical 2.5 hr shift, you’ll get approximately 3 paper jams, 5 questions about publisher/printing, 4 requests to change out the adhesive/laminate, 20 “I’m sorry to bother you!” ‘s, and tons of wonderful faces walking in. In my opinion, one of the oddest/goofiest things is the common tendency for RA’s or others to apologize for asking for help. It’s very nice, but please it is our job to help you! NEVER feel afraid to ask us questions or for help! We’re students just like you, and are always on the ready to make your projects the best they can be.

And there’s than just the PRC to a PA’s life. Walking around campus, I am almost constantly seeing RA friends, with is so warming and nice to actually see the bond of community. Other PAs have told me that they have actually often had people say hi to them, when the PA didn’t even know them! They were likely RAs, but getting that “HI DAVID” (for example) from a random half-stranger is such a fantastic and appreciated thing.

Even today as I was writing this post, majority of the above things happened, and it serves as a consistent joy in my/our craycray and busy lives! I hope y’all have a wonderful Day-After-Single-Awareness Day, and I hope this brought some further insight to the people you know, work with, and love!


David Kilpatrick


So Valentine’s Day is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. It’s this Friday in case you needed a reminder; as if the commercials and Valentine’s Day sections of just about any store haven’t been enough notice. For some, this day is a dreadful reminder of singledom or of the hyper-consumerism that exists surrounding this “fauxliday.” Like that? Like faux + holiday= fauxliday? I doubt I’m the first to think of that one. Others look forward to this day, eager to express their love and support of their significant others, friends and family. Personally, I think this day is a great excuse to express love and support for whoever is important in your life.


As a Res Life Student Staffer, I ask you to consider ways your can express support for your hall and residents, tailored to their community needs!

Some initial ideas that come to my mind are:

  • Putting cards on residents’ doors (lets flashback to elementary school days when everyone swapped those AWESOME themed cards and remember how it was required to give every single person one to avoid hurt feelings?)
  • Creating cards that residents can swap among themselves (Already I’m thinking of a program title here… “Cupid Card Swap”)
  • Sharing candy with your hall (because doesn’t candy mean “I care about you” in a fun and tasty way?)
  • Residents love food. the tasty treat recipes with a Valentine’s Day theme abound online, especially pinterest. (Brownies, cookies, cupcakes, a heart shaped pizza, donut etc…I urge you to get creative with it!)
  • Program on Valentine’s Day! Why not do something fun and festive with your residents that promotes respect and care for one another? Why not consider a board game night, or a floor outing to New Town or dessert at the Trellis? You could even do a crafting program and bring your residents into the PRC to craft cards. You could plan on watching the Olympics together and serve food. Consider what your community would like.

These are just a few ideas to get those creative thoughts flowing! My point is, there are ways to celebrate and acknowledge support for your hall and residents WITHOUT making this “Fauxliday” all about dating someone and romance. I urge you to use this day to promote equality, respect and support for your residents in a fun and possibly tasty way! Also, remember that not all people want to even acknowledge this day. But I’m sure all people appreciate acts and tokens of support and respect from their peers and from you.

Happy Programming and we hope to see you here in the PRC!




I know  many of you have been longing for the chance to get the latest in PRC coolness, so wait no longer- The PRC Blog is no longer on break!

While we already into the new year, all of the fun is just getting started! You all are a little bit older and a little bit wiser, so as RA’s take a moment to reflect upon all the great accomplishments and learning moments that you had in the first semester. Even if you are already an experienced RA, you probably have still   grown more than you have even  realized.

Every year Residence Halls change, with a wave of hall (I’m too funny) new residents, building changes, new staff, and equipment- when you”re working with other people, nothing ever remains the same for too long. However, as exciting as these new things can be, those aren’t the changes that you are experiencing now.  Right now it’s only spring semester and you, the RA, are in your zone. You already know your residents, your staff, and your building that you call home. So what’s new?

Well, to put it simply, the answer is you. You’re what’s different. Unlike the beginning of last semester, you know the atmosphere of your hall, the interests of your residents, you’ve shared stories with your staff, and you know you’re building inside and out. Even if you didn’t have any idea how your programs would be received or if  attendance at these programs wasn’t  quite what were hoping for, now you how to advertise, entice, and inform your residents about the great things you have to offer. So right now you should be saying to yourself:

I completely agree with you, everything you did WAS pretty darn awesome. However, now you can act on a whole new level of awesomeness  by trying programs and ideas that you weren’t sure how to do before. Invite a Counselor from the William & Mary Counseling Center to speak about healthy relationships. make a board on consensual relationships, pass out sleeping masks to remind students to sleep before midterms and finals. Remember: You. Are. Awesome. So keep pushing the envelope wit you creativity and the messages you want to get across to your residents. I know, right now you and you residents must be pretty overcome with sheer joy for this semester.

I’ms sorry, but someone had to say it. By the way, you guys should channel some of your enthusiasm into the PRC’s WIMBLE-CONE CHALLENGE! Use the tennis balls, pine cones, or both tennis cones and pine cones to create the most amazing board ever! Boards are due February 22nd, so get started soon if you want to ace them! I’ll stop now… but before I dew, PRIZES ARE GOING TO EPIC.

Kay, bye.


While everyone is eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving Break, the days leading up to it can be beyond chaotic for RA’s and Residents alike with exams, term papers, and other projects obscuring the light at the tunnel. Dreams of home cooked family meals and lazy days with friends can get shoved to the back of your mind as new half-crazed thoughts of: When is the next time I can eat without a to-go box?, I’ve forgotten what my roommate looks like!, What is a laundry machine again and when is the last time I’ve used it?, Espresso, you’re my only friend.., start to dominate your waking thoughts. Take a moment to slow down you routine with your residents and find some time to reflect on the year you’ve shared together as it frantically, yet ever-so-slowly draws itself to an end. During this time, it may be harder than ever for your residents to get together and plan a program, but you can still give them nice thought-provoking activities to complete at their own leisure:

Keeping in mind how this is the season of peace and thanks, have your residents make their own pumpkin covered with strips of thing they’re thankful for.

What you need: 8 strips of orange paper, 1 strip of green paper, 2 green leaves, and 2 pieces of tape. As residents make their own pumpkins of gratitude, they can take a moment to unwind and think about all of the things that really matter to them most in life.

For this next activity, you may be able to gather your hall together for a nice kid’s night in with some cookies, thanksgiving movies, and coloring books. But if you can’t, tack some coloring pages on your next board and let your residents enjoy some old-school fun.
Color Pages

What you need: Some blank coloring pages (you can print some out at the PRC) and a pack of crayons. Residents can take a moment to fill these in anytime they pass the board.

If you RA’s feel really motivated, you can make a nice Thanksgiving themed box, leave aside a couple slips of paper, ask your residents to sign their names and write down what makes them the most happy or thankful. When they get stressed out during finals, you can pass these back out to them with a piece of candy for a nice reminder that better things are still yet to come.
Turkey What you need: construction paper, googly eyes, markers, and scissors. It’s an easy passive program that will be sure to cause a smile when they get these back. If you can’t pass them back out, then maybe make a board out of them!

This is the last blog post of the season! Good luck everyone!

Passive Programming

As the year starts to come to an end, you may see a bit of a change in your residents. I know I am starting to spend more time on my own either in my room, the study lounge or the library. Everyone is different but some students may be keeping to themselves more as their workload increases, the holidays start to get closer and their schedules start to become more hectic. So, you might see less and less residents participate in your active programs. This is when passive programming can be really effective.

A nice benefit of passive programming is that it livens up the environment. Lots of boring posters and signs cluttering up your hallway? Throw up some funny quotes to liven the mood. Is that hike to the top of the stairs long and boring? Use that stairway to illustrate successful steps to studying. Passive programming gets information across while keeping things interesting.


Passive programming is also a great way to get information across that would otherwise go unnoticed and underappreciated. Residents sometimes need to hear this information but they don’t want to listen. Passive programming is almost like tricking your residents into learning.

Here are some passive programming ideas:
•Great Graffiti: In the bathroom, hang up a large piece of butcher paper and post silly questions to your residents like “What was your favorite 90’s cartoon?” or “Who is your role model?”
•Exam Eggs: To give your residents information about good study habits, puts little tips inside Easter eggs with some candy and hide them around the hall for them to find.
•STD’s in the Shower: Go to the PRC and stencil out one of the door hangers stencils. Write some information about STD’s on it and then laminate it. Hang it on the shower head and trust me, their eyes will start to read over it.
•Singing in the Shower: Again, cut out one of the door hanging stencils but this time, write out a favorite song on it. (Disney songs are the most effective, I think) This will help residents de-stress as they sing in the shower!
My favorite form of passive programming is door posting. I love it when my RA posts little bags of candy or coloring pages on my door. I feel like it is their way of saying, I am here and I want you to know that you can do this, without explicitly saying it.

Here are some great door posting ideas:
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picture 1

Happy programming!

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