Chesapeake, VA
English & Journalism


Video games, Literature, Military History, Journalism, Photography, Movies

About Me

Cash Me Inside Passport Café, How About That?

March 25, 2017

As far as humans and college students go, I’d say I’m pretty standard when it comes to certain tastes. Take money: Like most people, I’m a fan of currency and usually want for more of it. Like most college students, unfortunately, I’m greenback-deficient. Between textbooks, tuition, room and board, the occasional jones to go out to eat, and that utterly indispensable subscription to Spotify — it always helps to have a little extra dough.

Fortunately, here at the University of Richmond, there’s a ton of student employment opportunities with which we can saturate our bank accounts. I’ve got friends who get paid to work for the professors the Journalism department, usher at shows in the Modlin Center, and hang out in the library sorting through old public records. Hearing about their jobs made me green with both envy and dollarlust. So when this semester got rolling, one of the first things I did was look for a part-time job.

The most arduous part about this process was deciding precisely _which_ job I wanted to take. There was a vast array to choose from. Public Safety Auxiliary? Cool people, snazzy uniform. But they have to work the wee hours, which is when I’m most productive with my schoolwork. Catering server? I dropped one too many salads on unsuspecting six-year-olds as a food runner at this theater-restaurant in Virginia Beach last summer to be turned on to that. Phonathon caller? I can’t even manage to get a text back, let alone convince alums to donate money over the phone.

My resident assistant and fellow Diarist Ellie recommended that I apply to Passport Café — one of our restaurants here on campus, in the International Center. So I did. This turned out to be the perfect fit for me. Good money, friendly coworkers, free food. The whole shebang.

I was a bit worried about time constraints when I started. The only “real” jobs I’d ever had were as a cook at a Chick-fil-A (that gig only lasted a day —- ask me about the waffle fry incident sometime) and that aforementioned one at the dine-in movie theater. And those were both during summer break! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to juggle an extra responsibility along with my coursework. Luckily, though, it’s not nearly as stressful as I thought it would be. Hours are manageable and I can usually find someone to take my shift if I’m unavailable.

I’ve been working about six hours a week as a café assistant at Passport for about two months now. What does this entail? The other assistants and I do basically whatever needs to be done, when it needs to be done. We take orders, process payments at the cash register (which is much quicker when someone pays with a SpiderCard than with dollar bills, hence my title), scoop gelato, and heat up sandwiches. We also sweep and mop, and I’m happy to say the customers at Passport are never as messy as the little kids at a private birthday party showing of Finding Dory.

A practical skill I’ve learned at Passport is how to make different sorts of coffee. I’m the type to just order a plain black and vamoose, but now I’m privy to what goes into making a plethora of different drinks. Shoot, I could make you a chai tea au lait vanilla latte if you wanted, but I would advise against it. And if there’s one thing an English major ought to be familiar with besides the doggone Romantics and the dogged Beats, isn’t it coffee?

Working at Passport’s been great so far, and I can honestly see myself staying there for a few more semesters. Drop by and see me sometime!

Call me Hunter, or the chosen one, or Chuck Norris, or the Lone Wanderer from Vault 101, or anything else that's awesome because it would really boost my self-esteem. However you choose to style me, know that my intention is to give you a firsthand impression of life here at the University of Richmond. Late study nights, Saturday evening shindigs, extracurriculars, that sort of thing.

And yes, it has occurred to me that this is an About Me and I've neglected to tell you much about me. So I'm from Chesapeake, Virginia, a place just south of Norfolk that's large enough to be a county but isn't because reasons. There's not much to do in Chesapeake other than going for a dip in the Great Dismal Swamp (ill-advised) or head to a neigboring town to hit the beach, and I think that's part of the reason I spent most of my earlier childhood holed up in my room reading books or playing Playstation. 

I branched out in my high school years, though, and I've developed affinites for genealogy, running, film, and photography. I am not a man of many talents, though among them include the remarkable power to turn my thumb all the way backwards, the ablility to tell you almost everything you'd ever want to know about the Star Wars Expanded Universe (which unfortunately has been declared non-canon, thanks to J.J. Abrams), and the astonishing skill to cook Minute Rice in 58 seconds. My playlist includes mostly oldies, and my favorite movies all came out before I was born. So you might say I'm a bit of a hipster. I've even got my own snazzy red Polaroid camera, which is practically a license to hipster in this day and age, right?

So, yeah, that's me. In conclusion, read on! Hope you enjoy my blog posts!

Why UR?

I'm not a very decisive person. During my senior year of high school, I envied the kids who were certain straight from the get-go where they wanted to go to college. I had applied to several great schools that I thought could offer me a great education, but I had trouble picking which one was the best fit for me. I constantly held debates against myself, weighing the pros and the cons of each school in my head and occasionally and occasionally audibly voicing my concerns a la Gollum: "How about this one?" "No, no, too big. And too far away. Going back and forth to home could prove to be a real bummer." "Good point, but look at their alumni network! They could hook you up with a job fresh out of graduation!" "Ah, true, but check out these student reviews online. You really want to go to a place with this reputation?" "Do you believe everything you read in those reviews?" "Of course I do. They can't put anything on the internet that isn't true." And so on and so on. I still hadn't made a decision by mid-April, so the jury was still out on where I was going just two weeks before the deadline. Pressure from my parents and peers to choose just kept piling on heavier and heavier. Around this time I went to a Richmond Scholars visit, which afforded prospective students who'd been offered scholarships from the University the chance to get a glimpse of life as a student here. The visit was really what sealed the deal for me. The beautiful campus was a joy to explore even in the surprisingly sweltering spring heat. I had the opportunity to sit in on a class, which wasn't very big. Richmond's small class sizes allow for intimate discussions as opposed to drawling lectures and make it rather easy to develop close relationships with professors. I've found that most of them encourage you to meet with them in their spare time, something that might be more difficult to do at a larger institution. While at the Scholars visit, I talked with my host for hours. He gave me a bare bones, down-to-earth explanation of what he thought of Richmond. And I know it's a total cliche, but there's one thing he told me that I really think rings true here at Richmond and life in general: It can be a great and rewarding experience, but only if you put in the effort to make it one. Bottom line, I think Richmond gives students the resources needed to make their college years more than worthwhile, moreso than any other school I checked out. We've got top-notch academics to satisfy any hungry mind, we've got a plethora of extracurriculars to enjoy, tons of chances to broaden our horizons (literally and figuratively), and of course, we've got the chow at D-Hall. All that's really what made me want to spend the next four years of my life here.