The first day started off with me being a bit confused on where to go, but thankfully I found our way to the room quickly. I was greeted with a room full of wheelie chairs and a huge projector. After voting for Shaka (I hope I’m spelling that right) and picking dibs on chairs Hernand, James, Adriana, and I started a little circle that kept growing as more people came. In about 30 minutes we had a group of about 15 people conversing. We didn’t know it, but talking in a group before anything started actually made things a bit easier and a lot more fun!
The beginning exercises I felt pretty okay with the meet ‘n’ greet exercises and I found a few people that I had a lot in common with. I found 2 musicians. One played the violin and viola, I play the cello. And another played the bass guitar, something that I want to learn how to play. After a few of those we had breakfast and I came back to my chair and conversed more with the people that I had more in common with. We started sharing our opinions on music and some of our “darkest” moment. I felt really comfortable sharing my experiences with the people around me.
When it came time to step in and of the circle and move towards the walls of whether we supported and idea or not I felt okay with most of the statements. I only felt odd inside the circle when it came to whether we were first gen. students planning on going to college. When it came to the wall exercise I stood strongly throughout most of the time. I felt like I wanted to share my own opinion on most of the statements, but obviously I didn’t want to steal an opportunity from someone else. But the times that I was chosen, I thought I had weaker opinions. It was really awesome being able to listen to peoples opinions in a very constructive manner. I’m used to doing something like this at school, but my classmates aren’t very specific or constructive with their opinions. If we could do that exercise one more time in these next 5 meetings, that would be splendid.
After lunch where I got stuffed with the amazing food provided by us I conversed even more with some people. I noticed that the groups got smaller and there were more centralized around certain likenesses. But a lot of people from each group still walked around to talk to people in the other groups. So I really liked that. People were getting to know people that they were most related to them, but they didn’t neglect the other people that they had met.
Once we started the stick lifting game and the community building game is where I got frustrated and later disinterested. The stick game had a nice concept, but we couldn’t really make it work. It didn’t really make any sense to me. We didn’t give up, but we didn’t get very far. Once we started the community building game I found myself not being very useful. Since the only way to get materials was to answer hip hop trivia I doubted that I was going to get anything right. I didn’t but I still tried. After a while when everybody was “beefing” I though that this game was disorganized and pointless. I ended up just sitting on the side.lines and just watching. I think that having more people monitoring the activities would’ve been nice. After all of the chaos at the end a team did end up winning because they weren’t distracted with everybody else’s beefing. When Shaka explained that this is the same environment that hip hop was made I nodded and agreed. But I guess I just don’t know enough about hip hop.
Overall it was an amazing first day. I’ve found that I can communicate well with just about everyone in this group and I can’t wait to create high quality content with these guys!