Tuesday, October 20, 2009

September 23, 2009
Day 38

ECOEE leaves summer camp: Last night had a weird sense of a mid-terms party. The greater majority of the group staying up to the wee hours of the night pounding lesson plans and group journals and newsletters out while uploading slide shows of Canada. This scholastic sense of urgency carried through into today. While we spent time at breakfast talking with Program Director of the Storer YMCA Nancy Burger about our professional hopes, I personally thought about what I need to get done on the long seven hour ride back to Macomb.
Having a back seat view of Jeff’s van I could feel a serious stiffness in the air. Nearly all socializing was unspoken reserved for traveling stops. People were left alone with their thoughts in slumber or alone with their laptops and, there was our rock: Jeff keeping us between the white and yellow line.
Upon returning to nearby Monmouth, Illinois Jeff made an executive decision to buy pizza for the group to help get us started on working on the massive chore list of cleaning gear. Even though communication errors brought up at debrief negated the potential time saved, I believe, it was a boost of morale to start cleaning. The boost was to get us started and it also came from the potential for getting time to ourselves, but no Jeff it will not be “time off”…
Sean gave a brief delegation of jobs to best be done tonight and the team “DID WORK” as some may say. At 7:30 Sean brought us together for a re-brief on our progress and a break for people to finalize lesson plans. At this time, Sean indirectly tackled a very important aspect of a strange deal with our expedition having time away from the group; he just did it in a highly ineffective way. I feel the strangest sense of finalization, as if we’re cleaning gear with Thanksgiving dinner digesting in our bellies already. Tonight and this weekend has the potential to highly volatile or rejuvenating.
I have to hope that every one will take advantage of this opportunity of separation to still make wise decisions and personal progress. And as the master of distractions: I have to consciously stay focused and ask myself, “What is best for me? What is best for the group?” And at this time, it is best for me to turn in for the night because we have a long way to go still tomorrow and the rest of the best days of my life.

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