This week can be described in one word…. meetings. Well, that and PT (physical training). I guess I should start from the beginning of the week though. On Monday we had a day of “Hands of Peace.” It’s a long workshop that is meant to have you think about communication and conflict resolution. We went through a bunch of different activities to learn different tools for dealing with team conflicts. We’ll see if any of them come in handy. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the usefulness of the workshop from various returning members.
Tuesday morning we had PT baselines. This consisted of max pushups in 2 minutes, max situps in 2 minutes, and a 1.5 mile run. My results were: 53 pushups, 37 situps, and 11 min 45 sec 1.5 mile run. Not that great, but not too bad. I felt like I tried pretty hard. The only thing I was really disappointed in was my situp numbers but I’ll have a lot of time to improve upon them. Somehow I made it into the top running group by 15 seconds. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m by no means a runner but it could be good for me to be in a group that’s faster than me so I can be pushed to do better. We also has a presentation about Community Relations where we learned about giving interviews, having public events to get the word out about the program, and press releases. In the evening people got van training. Since I still don’t have my license here I sat in the back and went for a ride.
Wednesday I had PT again because I was late on Tuesday (we’re only supposed to have PT 4 days a week, unless you’re late and then you have it 5 days a week). No biggie a little PT never hurt anyone. We spent the morning learning about the Program office and how they select and develop projects as well as what type of projects we’re going to have. The Serve America Act realigned NCCC’s project focus. It now consists of: disaster relief, environmental conservation, energy conservation, urban and rural development, and I think one more than I can’t remember off the top of my head. We also learned about service learning and the Service Learning position on all the teams. We also learned about the different college credits we can earn as well as the Congressional and Presidential Service Awards. I can earn 9 credits in Service Learning, Supervisory Skills, and Diversity in Training, as well as make a ton of progress towards completing a certificate program in Non-Profit Management.
Thursday we learned about all the meetings that go into projects. There are meetings between the Project Office and possible sponsors to set up projects, briefings to the team leaders on future projects, hand off phone calls where the team leader gets a chance to talk to the project sponsor, a meeting between the team leader and his/her team, a briefing from the team to the staff before the project, and a meeting between the team and the staff after the project. Needless to say, there are a lot of meetings that take place to ensure that everyone knows what’s going on. We also had a long presentation on safety. We went through the personal protection equipment and bio hazards. We talked about tools, snakes, spiders, poison ivy, poison oak, mold, lead, pretty much everything you can think of.
We then ended the week with our CPR/AED/1st Aid Training. I now know how to give CPR, work an AED, and administer 1st Aid. At the end of the day we finally found out what units we are on. Our campus is divided into 4 units: blue, silver, gold, and green. Each unit is headed up by a Unit Leader which is a staff member that acts as the team leaders point of contact if we have any questions while in the field. The unit leaders also work with the project staff in transitioning the projects from planning to action. I am on the BLUE UNIT with Meg as my Unit Leader. I’m totally pumped about it. Tonight my unit met and figured out what unit number we’d all be and what our specialized team position will be. I will be in charge of Blue 2 and am the Residential Life Team Member. We picked cue balls out of a hat to find out our team numbers. As the Res Life TM I’ll be on the team in charge of residential life here on campus. This includes: coordinating shopping and bank runs, helping develop evening/weekend activities, team-building, ice breakers, reflections, help plan for the floor meetings and “team reveal,” develop the governance council, and keeping moral up. It sounds like a lot but it should be a good time.
Friday was also Melanie and Jessi’s birthday so we went out for dinner in midtown and then had some drinks. All in all a great time which end at Harvey’s (a local bar right down the block from base) with a classic rock band playing. On Saturday about half of the Team Leaders went to San Francisco but I ended up staying behind. I was hoping to be able to see a good friend out in San Fran but he wasn’t available this weekend so I’ll just have to make a trip out there another time. Instead I watched some more football, played some cards, and went swimming in the pool at the hotel next to campus. This coming week we’ll have a bunch more meetings but the week after than we’ll get to go on our first Mini-Spike to Camp Mendocino in the redwood forest. I’m excited to get out there.
Until next time,
Peace, Love and Swimming Pools,
P.S. I was told at a local drinking establishment that Passports are not a valid form of identification here in Sacramento. Are you kidding me? Oh, also I got my camera. I’m still waiting on my memory card to get here so no pictures yet but it’s in the works.