Campus Celebrity: Amanda Walker

Name: Amanda Walker
Grad Year: 2012
Major: French Education
What do you do outside of school for fun?
Whenever I have time to myself, I relax! Some of my favorite nights this year have been talking and watching TV with my roommate :)

Have any hobbies?
I LOVE to paint and draw and cook. Painting and drawing are very calming to me. I can zone out for hours and just paint! I also found that I love to cook…another calming  moment during the day. I lived alone last year so I sort of had to teach myself how to cook. Turns out that I love it! I get so excited during class sometimes thinking about what I want to cook for dinner that night. It’s the little things in life!

Do you have a job?
Yes! I work at Case Dining Hall with the nicest, funniest, and best coworkers in the world. I’m a nanny, a tutor, and a dance teacher as well. I also coach baseball for children with special needs on Saturday mornings. (the MOST FUN volunteer work I’ve ever done. The organization is called Miracle League of the Triangle – check it out!)

Why so many?
Because I love everything I do. Despite feeling so overwhelmed at times, every job I have is worth every minute. I’m a nanny because I love kids; I’m a tutor because I love toteach and I love the French language; I’m a dance teacher because tap dancing is such an avid passion in my life and I’ll do anything to be able to put my tap shoes on! I work at Case for a lot of reasons, but it’s nice to have a job with people my own age!

So you must have a lot of money, right?
Nope! I try my hardest to put the money in savings, but when I get paid, the first thing I want to do is go out to eat or get a really nice steak. Or buy a bunch of obscure ingredients for a recipe I’ll only use once. It drives my parents crazy!

No? Then you must have a lot of extra time on your hands?
No way! Whenever I’m free, I’m too antsy to sit at home since I’m so used to always being on the move. So when I get a rare day to myself, I get home from class, put my dog’s leash on my beautiful husky and I either go for a run or take her to the dog park. If I go to the dog park, I bring schoolwork because there’s always schoolwork I could be doing. On nights I have free, I’m doing laundry, cooking, and catching up on all of my recorded TV shows. On the even rarer occasion, I spend time with my roommate. She keeps me sane and she keeps me laughing. Don’t know what I’d do without her! :)

No? Then you must do it for the tax cuts?
Haha nope, it’s not really for the money, either!

No? Then why do you do everything you do?
I love the feeling of appreciation. I love when I know what I’m doing is making someone else’s life a little easier. Working with kids has always come easy to me. Instead of letting the kids I babysit play with their toys, I find myself playing with them. I’m covered in chalk just as much as they are after we draw on the sidewalk. I do everything I do because working with these kids, whether I’m babysitting or teaching, is just as much fun to me as it is to them.

What is your biggest stressor?
I’m always terrified that I’ll mess up. That I’ll drop something heavy on my foot and say a bad word in front of the kids. Or that I’ll teach the kid I tutor a wrong verb conjugation and he’ll fail a quiz. I’m trying my hardest to be a good role model, but it’s tougher than it seems sometimes!

What is the biggest reward for doing everything you do?
Knowing that I’m loved! There is one thing that my family, my dog, and the kids that I nanny have in common: unconditional love. My favorite part of the day is when I pick the kids up from school and they run across the room screaming “Miss Amanda!” before jumping in my arms. That excitement is contagious…and I try to live like that every day. The biggest reward is how much these kids have taught me. They have taught me to love unconditionally, and I love that these kindergarteners have taught me that lesson