This week on A Day with a GA we caught up with Annie Grimes, a student in the M.F.A.Creative Writing program. Annie is the Graduate Residence Hall Director in the Department of Residence Life.
Name: Annie Grimes
Hometown: Conway, Arkansas
Graduate Program/Year: MFA Fiction Writing Program—2024
Previous Education (Undergrad and/or Grad): B.A. in Creative Writing and Sociology
Office or Department you work for: Graduate Residence Hall Director (GRHD) in the Department of Residence Life
What are your assistantship responsibilities? As a GRHD, I supervise a staff of resident assistants and desk assistants at McConnell Hall and the St Philip and Wentworth Street historic houses. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the residence hall, including managing facilities and custodial concerns and ensuring residents follow the college’s policies for on-campus living. I also serve as an on-site counselor and facilitator for the students in my residential area.
What do you like most about your position? The thing I like most about my position is that it gives me a direct opportunity to positively impact the lives of undergraduate students. Transitioning to on campus living and college life, especially as a freshman, is extremely difficult. I am proud that I get to work to make McConnell Hall a safe place for residents and RAs to come home to, build connections, and grow academically, socially, personally, and professionally. I also appreciate how the position has pushed me to grow in those ways as well.
What question do you get asked most and what’s your typical answer?
It is hard to pinpoint a single question I get asked the most as a GRHD, but many of my peers in the MFA program have inquired as to how I am settling into the responsibilities that come along with the title. I mostly say I take the job one day at a time, and that I learn something new about Residence Life and my own capabilities at every turn.
What’s your favorite location on campus and why?
My favorite location on campus is my apartment in McConnell Hall. It is where all my books and earrings and various knick-knacks are. It is where I go to unwind, watch TV, and FaceTime with my family and friends who are all in Arkansas. It’s my home away from home, a small refuge that I’ve carved out for myself on a campus and city that are slowly opening themselves up to me. Plus, it’s only a two minute walk from Target!
What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
The fact that I got accepted into College of Charleston’s MFA program is still incomparable to me. I feel so lucky to be in a space full of such incredible writers, in a city brimming with artistic inspiration, and at a new job abundant with opportunities to better the campus community. Sometimes I feel like an imposter among the truly deserving, but sometimes I step back and think about the professors and professionals who decided I deserve to be in this position. When the latter happens, I allow myself a bout of self-congratulation. I feel immensely proud.
Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why.
I recently read the novel Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, and it is safe to say I adored it. Austin is the kind of author that leads a reader to the ledge but never leaves them there. Despite the title, her words march toward an relentless hope for something better. I found the reading experience to be provocative, uncomfortable, and comforting all at once. It is hard to juggle so much, but Austin does it masterfully.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Charleston?
My favorite thing to do in Charleston is take the bus to Waterfront park or the public library and read.
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston
I recently ate at Ladles, a soup and deli restaurant on Cannon St, and absolutely loved it.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is sunny but not scorching, with a nice breeze and ample time to read whatever book calls to me in the morning.