It’s nearly 11PM here in sunny Pomona, California, and all the JASC 67 American Delegates (affectionately known as Amedeles) have combined forces to create an ultra mega force of superhuman abilities and strengths.
Or rather — those of us who flew in and experienced LA traffic for the first time are either passed out in bed, or trekking to In-N-Out (on foot — two miles away), getting to know each other better, or lurking on the internet (the last of which I’m doing right now).
Let’s see. That makes it about four hours since the bus of airport-weary Amedeles arrived, and about six since I had. I live nearby, so it was a nice and clear drive over — and that also meant I got to procrastinate on packing even more than usual! At any rate, the first thing we did as a group was sit in a lobby and socialize — then sit in the conference room and socialize — and then eat dinner and socialize — and finally play some icebreakers.
To my relief, the icebreakers weren’t high-pressure, put-you-on-the-spot type icebreakers. But then again, this group of 35 eager students was more than game to introduce themselves, share a little more about their background, and earnestly begin breaking down the barriers of strangerdom.
It certainly helped to know a few familiar faces (your RT groups) beforehand, and even more gratifying to meet everyone in person! Some of my RT members were taller than anticipated or shorter than anticipated, so surprises were definitely present — but adjustment was quick and all the friendliness took over immediately. It’s nice to put a human being to a shoddy internet thumbnail, and to be able to seamlessly interact without the failures of technology and wireless internet.
We briefly went over rules and guidelines to set the tone of our behavior, and after dinner, the American Culture Presentation group gathered briefly to discuss how we’d structure a two-hour-long freeform presentation on a particularly difficult topic (more on that later!), and I’m excited to work with a group of bright, earnest people who all contribute to encouraging conversation.
All in all, it’s just been fabulous meeting everyone in the flesh. Whatever fears I had or impressions I’d made before meeting them today have been erased and instead I now have every confidence in this group of people and the things we’ll accomplish together.
With that being said, there’s a weird spot on my LED screen that somewhat concerns me — so I’ll just end this here. All you need to know is that the excitement I had before has increased exponentially! It’ll be a wild three weeks ahead of us. Our itinerary suggests a fast-paced, back-to-back schedule, which is exactly what I like doing but often don’t have the time to properly schedule out and itemize. We’ll be busy, but I’ve got a strong feeling that the learning and friendships will all be worth it,
Up tomorrow to be in business formal by 7AM! It begins!