It’s been a busy weekend! Saturday was an awesome day for On Iowa! Ok, it was still a little too warm and humid but it was great besides that. We had some great discussions about what it meant to excel at Iowa and what activities we wanted to engage in. We also discussed bystander intervention in tough situations. This discussion was what I was most nervous for, but I had no reason to be. My small group students were extremely mature and took this discussion very seriously without making it kind of dark and depressing. I am extremely proud of how all my first year students responded when I asked them for one way they, as individuals, would feel comfortable reacting to a situation in which someone may need help. They did so well with that discussion that I also talked with them about the benefits of delaying drinking. They had some questions for me and they responded really well to it. They did such a great job discussing these tough topics and were such responsible adults about the situations that I didn’t get to play all the icebreaker games I had planned. I’m totally Ok with that though. Our discussions were much more valuable and I think (hope) it made them feel more prepared for the responsibility they have now that they’re in college. They will truly uphold our Hawks Helping Hawks commitments. I’m really happy I had such an amazing group. I couldn’t have asked for a better group. I hope they all have an awesome year and that they remember me enough to wave when I excitedly wave at them in passing on campus. I hope I was able to impact them in some way and make their first year in this amazing journey just a little bit easier. At the President’s Block Party following convocation, I saw two of my students hanging out and it made me so happy to see that at least they both felt like they had a friend to sit with and eat dinner with for that day. I hope they stay friends and that the rest of the group will also say hi to each other when they walk by on the way to class. All these hopes and experiences are the reasons why I put so much time and energy into being an On Iowa! leader. It really is incredibly rewarding and I love having the chance to help a few new students have a better year because they(hopefully) felt comfortable asking all their questions.
Sunday was the day Code Red said goodbye. It was really “see you later,” but it seemed like it was goodbye since we wouldn’t be spending hours and hours together anymore.
We did an activity that I did last year with Teal Squad, where we have a yarn ball that gets thrown around the circle and we make a web. Whenever a person caught the yarn ball they had to say why they joined On Iowa! and how they think it helped them. We had some very personal stories in Code Red in which people said that Code Red had helped them overcome some very big issues. A lot of us(me included) were tearing up listening to our friends share their achievements.
After this extremely touching activity. We decided we needed to quit crying (after the huge group hug) and play some of our favorite icebreakers (yay!). After 5 minutes of icebreakers we were laughing so hard some of us were crying again. I loved my whole squad so much. They had such fantastic, unique personalities! They really taught me what it means to be yourself and find your own style of leadership. One of the things I showed my students was a video from Kid President, his pep talk to students and teachers. In the video, Kid President talked about how we’re teaching the world something everyday and that we need to realize what we’re teaching the world around us. We need to be teaching the world who we are and what we believe. I think it’s true for everyone and it made me think about what goals I want to achieve this semester. I’m working on writing them all down and making sure I’m sticking to them.
The first day was pretty uneventful. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t get rained on and my first class of the day was even cancelled. I also had mentor training for the Women in Science and Engineering mentoring program. I’m so excited that I live so close to my mentee again this year and that she seems to like me as well! I also love the fact that my mentee from last year still hangs out with me. I absolutely love everything I’m involved with this year. I’m so excited for everything I’ll get to be a part of!
I’ll try and update again at the end of the first week to let you know how the whole first week went!
By the way, holding to tradition: I’m cautiously optimistic for Polymer Chemistry