it’s been almost a year…

since I last posted an entry on this blog. Somehow I knew that I would get out of the habit as I always have when keeping a journal about my life and experiences. I always start out so excited, talking about anything and everything… and before I know it, I just lose interest…

But now I’m back! At least for the next three months :). It is my last quarter at Portfolio Center and I finally have the opportunity to take the infamous “Cross Cultural Innovations” class with Melissa, otherwise known as “mmm.” LOL! I need a quick and funky name like that! Maybe “LLCoolG” or just plain “Lynn” will work for now 😉

So anyway, for this class, we are given challenges every week that work to take us out of our comfort zone and help us to develop our observation, communication and presentation skills. We also have to blog about these experiences every week. So challenge #1 for me… actually allowing myself to get out of my comfort zone #2, finding time during grad quarter to let myself loose, and #3, actually taking the time to blog about it!!! Yes the challenge is ON! Now let’s see if I’m actually up for it.

 

Assignment #1 (actually #2 since I missed the first class): “Material Expression”

Challenge: Pair up with another student in the class, spend time with them to “observe” them in an everyday setting, and then create a material expression of who they are from an object picked out of a box of “fun.” The other part is to create a piece of jewelry that is a material expression of myself.

So I’m not going to lie… I think I already failed at the first part of this challenge. Ok, not completely, but it’s close. Anyway, I was paired up with a very nice 2nd qtr guy named Grant who is really cool and down to Earth. We met after class to talk about a time to meet and already I started running down my mental schedule book. I already knew this was going to be tough with it being my grad qtr and not having too much extra time, but I also was in the middle of a pretty intense project that was due in two days and that was going to take out more time for sure. But we decided to go ahead and try for Friday morning… breakfast at R. Thomas, and we would just wing the rest of the day. Perfect! By then I would be finished with my project work for sure and ready to chill with my partner!

Well Thursday afternoon pulled around and the project was going slow as ever which meant that Friday morning would be no good. So I texted Grant my dilemma and after a few texts back and forth, we settled on 4PM at R. Thomas. Well, as is usually the case with me, plans changed one more time. The project ended up keeping me up all night, so I needed a minute to breathe after the presentation. Let’s see… how about 6PM at R. Thomas, graduation and then we could hang at the 1st Qtr. party? Deal.

Friday night. 5:45PM. Why was I already feeling weird like this was some type of blind date? I mean Grant is cute, but that wasn’t the deal here, this was for class and we just needed to get to know each other better… simple! But for some reason I was slightly nervous. I didn’t want our time together to be filled with forced, awkward conversation… I don’t do well with that, in fact I usually avoid those situations. But there was no time to worry about that, it was 6PM and I was already late.

So I trotted into R. Thomas, 5 minutes fashionably late as usual and he was already there. The first thing I noticed was the Pabst beer on the table. Hmm… was he drinking to calm his nerves or was this his regular routine? I wasn’t going to ask, but I made a mental note of it anyway. So we finally greeted each other and I sat down to order to coffee and calm MY own nerves. I had also, for some reason, found it necessary to bring my notebook and pen in with me to write notes while we talked, but I immediately put them away because that would be way too awkward. Plus since he was just chillin in the cut, I didn’t want to look anal by trying to write down every little thing he said! Maybe if I had read the handout mmm had given us before this meeting I would have known to just write notes later, oh well 🙂

So I won’t go into our whole conversation because that would take all day, plus I don’t remember everything 🙂 But I have to say that I was pretty enlightened about him during our talk. Honestly, my first impression of him was that he was this California, free spirit, surfer type… maybe it’s the hair. But he’s from Georgia and seems to have a less adventurous life than I expected. Granted his family has a lake house and his dad is a Radiologist, so I’m assuming he has been chilling a bit most of his life, but it wasn’t what I expected in his story. The other thing I found interesting about our time together was how we mostly just treaded the surface in our conversation. While I didn’t expect us to go all the way deep into each other’s psyche, I could tell that there were some questions I asked him that made his body language change a bit… almost as if he had to figure out how to answer. It was nothing drastic, but I noticed it a few times. I also noticed that he never asked me any personal questions, not even anything about my family. Not sure if he was trying not to probe too deep or if it never even crossed his mind, but I think I expected a bit more especially with the questions I asked him regarding his life and family. What he did seem to focus on was school… my experiences and even advice for him going forward. Interesting…

So after our time together, we went off to graduation together which I have to say he was a trooper for. I knew he had to help with the planning of the 1st Qtr. party, but he hung with me anyway. And it was fun… all of the 30 minutes of it. I had informed Grant earlier that graduation was NOT a long event and that he would surely be out of there on time and of course I was right :). So after graduation, he went off to print directions for both of us for the party and the plan was for me to meet him there around 10PM when I was done hanging with my people celebrating graduation. Well long story short, I never made it to the party. I had every intention of going and I kept telling my crew that I had to be out by 10PM to go “observe” my partner. Well I made it out at 10, but decided to take a short detour to another friend’s house just to say hi. Needless to say, it was the wrong time to go since it turned out that she was in real need of a friend to vent to. So she vented, we talked, and the hours went by. Before I knew it, it was 1AM and I was WHIPPED!!! that’s what being over 30 does to you these days I guess 🙂 So I went home and planned on texting Grant the next morning to see how we could hook up before Tuesday.

So Saturday came and we texted back and forth in the afternoon. I told him over dinner Friday that I was a bowler, nearly professional, so he wanted to get me out on the lanes and “observe” what I could do. And while that sounded like a great proposition, there was only one problem, I had no equipment. It was stolen a couple of months ago and while I told him that maybe we could do that on Monday, I knew it wouldn’t happen. The truth is that I am WAY too particular about my bowling and I don’t bowl without my equipment. So in the meantime, I tried to psyche myself into thinking it would be ok, but I just never was settled with the idea. But I didn’t even need to tell him that because this morning came and I found myself still behind with my work. great. So I texted him again this morning… “no go for this afternoon.” He just wrote back, “maybe later, just tell me when.” I feel so bad!!

So now I am writing this blog and still need to do my representation of him tonight with 50 bamboo sticks… hmm. I have an idea in my head of what I want to do, actually it’s more of an activity to do with the sticks to talk about him, but we’ll see how that flies. I just hate that I didn’t have more time. This weekend was bad for me, but I really feel bad about the missed opportunity if the 1st Qtr. party. That would have been a perfect time for me to catch him in his element, with his friends and close classmates. And I wonder if the venting situation with my friend was really necessary to stay around for. I mean it was, but I also wonder if I used it as a cover so I could remain in my comfort zone for the night. I don’t know… 

But I will do my best to represent Mr. Grant tomorrow (still don’t know his last name) and then I still need to make jewelry that represents me. Man, I don’t even know what that’s going to look like. Sometimes, I think I’m still trying to figure me out. 

Anyway, that is all for this session. Looking forward to some more therapeutic writing in the future 🙂

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