(Dees ees APADO, meh leetle blog serees wheere I poast efery dey een Ooctoobar.)
(All these photos are courtesy of Victoria, the awesome photographer who made an awesome video recap that I spent thirty minutes pausing and screenshotting. WHY DOES YOUTUBE DO THAT THING WHERE IF YOU DOUBLE CLICK ON A VIDEO IT FULL SCREENS. That was my nemesis.)
Back in May, I went to a homeschool convention. Also known as the best thing to ever convene in the history of conventions. I was part of the Teen Staff program, a unique mixture of volunteer work, group games and activities, and lectures.
(If I remember someone’s name, I put it in, but assume that any unlabeled person was someone I didn’t know or couldn’t remember their name.)
We were divided into two groups, and those two groups were divided into five teams each.
We were an awesome team. We were efficient…and friendly…and horrible at all the group games.
My nametag had been messed up – for some reason it said íTessí. I’m still not sure why. For awhile it was my nickname (“itsa me, íTessí!”) but it confused the exhibitors so much I had to scratch it out and write plain ol’ Tess above it.
The main part of our program was helping out around the convention. It’s not called Teen Staff for nothing. We did “hospitality”, which was pretty much passing around cups of water to all the exhibitors. Oh, and I went and got a guy a Monster energy drink from a hidden vending machine.
We did book check, too, which was pretty much babysitting people’s curriculum purchases so that they didn’t have to haul them around the convention center.
And whenever we were just hanging out, we were expected to be helpful and friendly and good representations of our generation. I think we did a good job.
I could say a lot about these lectures, how informative and awesome they were, but let me just say four words:
I MET KEN HAM.
In between service times and lectures, we got to play group games. This was easily the most fun part of the service (although it was definitely the loudest).
For one game, we were split into three groups. Two of the groups sat in rows of chairs facing eachother. One was able to see the rest of the room, and one had their backs turned.
The rest of us were blindfolded and led into the room. We weren’t told what we were supposed to do.
The rules: The people who could see what we were supposed to do had to nonverbally communicate the instructions to the group with their back turned. Then that group had to interpret the instructions and call them out to us.
Never has collecting some balls and putting them in a bag been so hard.
We did an engineering challenge with spaghetti and marshmallows – tallest tower won. We all ended sticky, chewing on raw spaghet, and laughing our heads off at our miserable excuse for a tower.
And then we did skits. Our group was charged with making a commercial to sell a book about office organization.
And it got weird.
I had absolutely no experience with large groups and interacting with people my age when I went into this.
I came out chomping at the bit, ready to go again, wishing it would last about a year longer. Or that May would come again in anything less than a year.
They let us sign our shirts at the end of it all. I hung mine up on my wall.
Every time I look at it, I have to go check the calendar.
Only 187 days until next May.
Sayonara for now,