All pictures by Chris Bacchus. Except picture 3, by Carla Rojas.
I’m not gonna lie. Last week was kind of an emotional roller coaster: meeting new people from around the world, the professors (hi there!), knowing that we all eventually will become colleagues can be a little bit overwhelming if you think about it (so don’t!… ok, ok, think about it but be cool 😉 ).
In my particular case this program was something that I had wanted so badly since I found it a couple of years ago and I was a bit nervous but I’m glad to say everything has been just as I imagined.
First we did a couple of icebreakers and different dynamics to meet the classmates. I mean, we are going to be together for a while, right?!
There was one activity in particular that was interesting to me: The Marshmallow Challenge.
One of the teams working on their challenge. Photo by Chris Bacchus.
Professors divided the class into groups, gave us a bag filled with 20 spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string and one marshmallow (imagine our faces when we saw that!) and one simple instruction:
- To build the tallest free-standing structure with that materiall… oh, and the marshmallow had to be on top.
The tricky part is spaghetti is very fragile and you need to work as a team to think how you are going to put the marshmallow on top without making your masterpiece collapse. Trust me, the marshmallow is not your friend here. It may look innocent and sweet but it weights like a ton compared to a thin spaghetti.
Anyway, our team managed to have the tallest and most stable structure!
Now I don’t want to sound like a grinch but I am hardly impressed with team dynamics. I mean, usually you do an excercise and most of them finish with a cheesy message of how good it is to be together but this time it was all about creative thinking, and of course teamwork, but I really liked the part focused on being creative when solving a problem. Here is a TED talk about this, and the official website of The Marshmallow Challenge if you want to check more about it.
During our first week at Seneca we were also invited to visit the head office of Luminato Festival and (hold your breath) the Pan Am Games. In case you are not familiar with this, Pan American (and Para Panamerican) Games are very important to the athletes of the whole American Continent and the Caribbean because competing here means you are one step closer to being in the Olympics. So… it is a big deal and Toronto is hosting these games next year!
We had the opportunity to see from the inside the dynamics of these events and to ask all we were curious about which was truly interesting due to how relevant (and massive) they are. Plus: at the Pan Am office we held the torch that was used in the Olympics of Vancouver 2010!
Me holding the torch used in Vancouver 2010. Photo by Chris Bacchus.
And well… keep posted cause this is going to be an interesting year!