Thursday, July 25, 2013

Toxic Peanut Butter

Today I woke up bright and early and headed out to the van that was taking us to the Ropes Course!

When we got there, we did some group activities with the Social Change class. Then the W&L class got split into two, and we did some group activities with our small groups. Our facilitators were Heidi, one of the W&L TA's, and Kisa, the W&L teacher from last year.

First we went around in a circle and said ours names, and a fun fact about ourselves. Then we played a game called "Pterodactyl,"in which you have to say pterodactyl to the person next to you without showing your teeth, or you can make a funny voice imitating a pterodactyl and make the person who passed it to you pass it to someone else.

We played a game in which we had to hold pipes up to each other, carry a little ball along and eventually dump the ball into a bucket. At first we couldn't do it because everyone was shouting directions at the same time and not listening to each other. After some trial and error, we figured that if we paired up with someone to pass the pipe, it would be much more efficient. This time, we got the ball in the bucket!
The forest
After this activity, we went on a walk into the forest to begin the obstacles. Walking through the forest was really pretty, and I enjoyed looking around at all the scenery. We walked right along the ocean for a little bit, and as beautiful as it was, it was also freezing! It had just started to rain, and it was colder than the usual Bay Area summers. After growing accustomed to such hot Rhode Island summers, it felt so strange and out of place for it to be raining! As we walked past the water, I could feel the salty ocean spray and the cold wind and rain sting my cheeks. I was relieved to get under some trees for protection from the cold.

When we got to our first challenge, there was a rope tied to a tree, and a small platform. Our facilitator told us that the ground beneath us was "toxic peanut butter," and that we had to swing from the rope onto the platform without touching the ground. It was easier than I thought; the hardest part was just fitting everyone onto the platform. Then we had to do the same thing while holding our lunch bags. We all worked together to effectively get everyone onto the platform.

The ocean
After this challenge, we ate lunch by the water (it had stopped raining by now). I sat by Michelle, Sonya, and Allie, a girl from our W&L class. Sitting by the water, we noticed that scattered around the shore were really beautiful shells. I had to take some pictures!

(Left to right) Allie, Sonya and Michelle on the beach.
After lunch, we moved onto our next challenge, which also involved toxic peanut butter. There were blocks on which we had to stand, and two long boards that we had to place either parallel or perpendicular to the blocks. The goal was to get everyone "safely" across the boards and onto the other side of the "island." We managed to complete the task with two minutes to spare!

As we walked to our next challenge, I noticed a big board propped up on something. We were then told that we had to get everyone onto the board, get it to become flat with both sides up in the air, and once it was up, to sing "Call Me Maybe," by Carley Ray Jepson. This was so much harder than it looked! At one point in the activity, we were all talking at once, and not listening to a single thing that anyone else said. We all had a bunch of ideas and it was hard to test them all out in one exercise. I also felt like during the activity, certain people were being rude, and instead of giving constructive criticism, would make really negative, and sometimes mean, comments. I was really insulted by this, even though the comments weren't directed at me. I feel like as a leadership team, it is important that we treat each other with respect and encourage each other instead of telling each other how we botched the activity.

View from the beach.
This was our last activity, which made me really sad. I was a little disappointed, because I had expected that we'd do a ropes course with harnesses and helmets. The day was still fun even though it wasn't what I had expected.

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