Today is Wednesday.
But, this is no ordinary Wednesday. This is Reading Day Wednesday. Yay!
“Reading Days” are days where we don’t have class. Instead, we use that time for“reading/reflection/recruiting “ (per the official “First Year Academic Calendar Notes” document). What it REALLY means is that since you don’t have class the next day, you can hang out the night before. Woo hoo!
And that is what we did.
Last night, some of the women from my class convened at someone’s house for the ultimate chat-fest. Supported by wine (I’m talking bottles), cheese, Chex Mix, pizza, and Puerto-Rican influenced home-made Indian food (we like variety, what can I tell you?), we had an awesome time! It was great to just download about our experiences here thus far—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll leave it at that. 🙂 The bottom line: it was an excellent reminder that I’m surrounded by some really great people who are here to learn and to support it each other while doing so. The End.
I should first say that I started writing this over 4 hours ago. It’s not that it takes me a long time to compose my thoughts (quite the contrary: I rattle off things so quickly, I should worry about coherency *laugh*). It’s just that I was sitting in the Café 67 dining hall (there’s a more accurate name for that space, I should know it by now, huh?) and it’s so easy to get “distracted” there. Now, my use of quotes was purposeful…
For the first few weeks, I avoided sitting there. It’s the nerve-center of informal and formal student interactions on-grounds. So many people go through that space during the day—whether it’s to eat, to meet with friends, to go to their cars. It’s always full of vibrant chatter and you are guaranteed to run into someone you’ve been looking for. It’s awesome! For that same reason, however, it’s hard for ME to get any work done there. I can’t sit in there and try to analyze a case—it would never get done! So, I would always walk through, wave quickly to the people I know, and keep it moving on my way to the library.
The down side to that, though, is that you miss out on connecting with other people. You miss out on the informal study sessions or sharing of knowledge that’s bound to take place when you get a bunch of really smart people together in one place.
And such is what happened to me over the past two days. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to rap w/a second year student and gain some much needed perspective (and encouragement) about the Darden experience. And today? Today was fantabulous! I was sitting down working on this entry when one of the really smart dudes in my section walked in. He said “do you mind if I sit next to you?” I said “of course not…but only on one condition: that you explain to me what we learned in DA yesterday because I was totally confused!” We shared a good laugh as he sat down next to me and then I went on to say that he didn’t have to explain it right then (I didn’t want to impose on what he needed to do) but that whenever he had 20 minutes to spare. He responds and says “do you have time now?” And just like that, we launched into a 30 minute lecture on sampling, standard deviation, the null hypothesis, and confidence intervals. And, as if that wasn’t enough, another guy from our section joined us at our table to eat his lunch. Once he realized the topic du jour, he too chimed in to help explain this stuff to me. How awesome is that!?
While there, I also spoke with some folks about review sessions, deadlines, action items, etc. No wonder I was feeling so disconnected before—because I was! I was so overwhelmed and stressed that I let my “feelings” drive everything I did. I had tunnel vision, I wasn’t socializing, I wasn’t connecting. And that’s what this whole experience is supposed to be about–connecting with others. Yes, we are here to learn and yes we are here to get a job. But at the end of the day, we are here to build relationships…and to build leadership skills…and to build character.
Character building, in particular, can only be done in relationship with others….