By Jodi Craiglow, on StayPCUSA
I Am… Worn Slam Out.
Seriously. I cannot believe how exhausted I’ve become after a scant two and a half days. At first I couldn’t understand it — I mean, I pulled this sort of schedule at General Assembly last year, but the fatigue I felt in Pittsburgh was NOTHING compared to this. But then the realization dawned on me that at GA I didn’t have to walk 20 minutes each way (per trip) in 99-degree direct sunlight, we didn’t do “energizers” before our vote on Mid-Council Commissions or the Confession of Belhar (although the mental image of certain fellow commissioners doing the “Hammer Time” affords me nearly boundless mirth), and I wasn’t responsible for leading five hours’ worth of small group time in one day. But since I’ve received supportive feedback from folks — for which I am alternatively blessing and cursing my Facebook connections right now — I shall spatula up what energy I can from this empty bowl of a body and attempt to summarize my day at Purdue.
After breakfast at the dining hall across the street (!) from my dorm, I headed over to Memorial Mall to meet my charges for the week. My roster lists 19 youth and 3 adults, literally hailing from sea to shining sea. As I held my ridiculously large “23″ sign and checked off names, I began to hear my youth begin the process of getting to know each other. After about 20 minutes, some of the completed groups began making their way to their respective areas, and one of my guys had the bright idea to move the group over under a tree as we waited for stragglers. Good to know that in some respects, the students outshine their teacher. 🙂 We began our trek down to the Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine, our “home away from home” for the week — it’s literally the southernmost building on Purdue’s campus. But it’s air-conditioned, and I have a feeling I was able to walk off my lunchtime ice cream.
The main objective for this morning’s session was to get to know one another and set the trajectory for our future interactions. Through our introductory games, I discovered that I get to work with some remarkable young people this week — from a future entomologist who boasts 30 cats on her farm to an NFL aspiree who had a childhood fear of gorillas, my guys are going to be a blast to get to know. I also came to find that they’re remarkably creative — the results of their “craft project for the artistically challenged” were a rousing success. Unfortunately, the time ran out before our list of activities did (which, if you’ve ever spent time as a teacher, you know is the right kind of problem to have), so we had to adjourn before I was able to watch them act out skits of Moses at the burning bush and Peter confessing Christ as Lord.