Final blog post?

So the last day of NACA was pretty awesome!

My first ed session of the day was entitled “I booked a bus, now what?”  For me it was a very informative and helpful session pertaining to Off Campus Adventures.  I had always been interested in this type of programming, but this session peaked my interest even more, and I think I will try to attend more of OCA’s subcommittee meetings from now on.  Basically the session started with a Powerpoint.  This went over the basics of planning an event.  I learned that every trip should have both an itinerary and a budget.  When it comes to the itinerary, extra time should be left to accommodate mishaps, meeting times and locations should be agreed upon ahead of time, and perhaps participants in the trip should be given a copy of the itinerary.  As for the budget, I learned to that things such as parking should be factored into the cost, and the cost to students should be kept to a minimum.  From the Powerpoint I learned that if going to a big city or a place where there will be lots of free time, the leader of the trip should pass out maps or list of things to do or places to eat.  In addition, the presenters suggested that if the trip is two hours or longer, a coach bus should be reserved instead of a regular bus.  Other things I learned included that the group leader should have everyone’s contact and emergency contact information and everyone should have the group leader’s and that holidays or major events on campus should be factored into scheduling a trip.  After the Powerpoint, we split up into groups and each group planned a preassigned event.  Each group was given props (like candy for Salem or a blow up rubber duck for a Duck Tour) to help inspire them and get them in the right frame of mind.  I helped to plan a trip to Salem which was a lot of fun and fairly easy, since I attended the one that OCA and Nicole planned earlier this semester.  Finally, the groups shared their respective planned trips, which allowed me to gain some ideas and insight into how other schools planned their trips.  For example, some schools give a stipend for food or provide snacks on the bus.  Other schools also do an assessment or survey after every trip.  Overall this ed session was a success, I’m super happy that I attended it.

My second ed session was entitled “Just Imagine:  Creative Ways to Avoid Road Blocks in Diversity Programming.”  This session I did not love as much as the first, but nonetheless, I still was able to take something away from it.  It started with a Powerpoint, and from this I learned that with diversity programming, collaboration with other groups on campus is key.  So for a program on Asian culture, PC would co-sponsor the event with the Asian club (or whatever it happens to be named).  This was another example to me of how far BSU is a pretty awesome school because I believe that we already do this an awful lot.  I know a lot of times for bingo we co-sponsor with another group, like the GLBTA bingo.  We also already have a culture committee that helps to foster these sort of events.  Also, I learned that some schools have a “summer camp” which I believe is like a new student orientation where students talk about diversity and learn about other cultures for two days.  Again, BSU is amazing and consequently, I remember from orientation this summer that we did a lot on diversity and discussing how we would adjust to interacting with people of different races, ethnicities, and orientations.  Towards the end of the ed session we split up into groups and brainstormed how our different schools supported diversity programs.  We ran out of time, so I was unable to hear too many different ideas, but I did find out about silent programming.  This is when, as the name suggests, awareness is raised about different issues of diversity without making a loud and crazy event.  An example of this would be The Day of Silence or the wear purple day that we had a little while back.

Eating lunch together was great!  Coach’s was a good restaurant and lots of TVS, and of course, an abundance of chowder.  I also enjoyed getting out of the conference center and seeing the city of Hartford, Connecticut. 

As for the different Showcases, I am reviewing Showcase 5, so stayed tuned for that in a I separate post. 

Showcase 6, the final one, I really enjoyed.  I loved the host, Shannelle Gabriel.  She was very upbeat and kept the audience entertained.  I found her struggle with Lupus to be inspiring, but yet she didn’t let it bring down the performances.  I also think that she is a phenomenal poet and performer.  I really liked the act “A Pair of Nuts.”  While their jokes were a bit lewd, I think they were hilarious.   My favorite act of the evening was Jared Mahone.  His beatboxing skills were fantastic and unexpected.  I loved his song selections from the remixes to the Beatles.  I thought it was really cool how he did the Full House theme song!  🙂  He definitely was entertaining, and I’d love to bring him to Bridgewater!  Arvin Mitchell was also hilariously funny.  His jokes were different, and I loved the argyle sweater vest.  Safety Suit was also highly enjoyable and entertaining.  It was great that we were able to see a big name band.

As for the rest of the evening, everyone looked so nice and spiffy at dinner.  We really clean up well.  Of course, the chocolate cake was delicious.  Congratulations to Jenn and Kelly, you both deserve it!  🙂  I also loved playing laser tag and going to karaoke with the rest of the group at midnight!  It was awesome just to chill and listen to some good music and funny performances. 

I just want to thank you all for a phenomenal weekend!  I had a ton of fun with everyone, and I am so happy I went.  NACA was so much more than “free stuff,” and I feel as though we are all now armed with some great ideas to bring back to BSU!

~Loryn 🙂

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