Sunday, September 9, 2007

On, Wisconsin

This past week me and about 550 of my new closest friends took some buses up to a scenic lakefront resort in Wisconsin.

I never knew Wisconsin had any kind of tourist destinations, but they do, so we went.

The purpose, to particpate in a bunch of exercises designed to foster unity and relationships among our new cohorts. For those outside MBA programs, cohorts are groupings of seemingly random people from the incoming class. In many MBA programs, that random group is who you'll share a majority of your early classes with. At the GSB, it doesn't work that way (which seems like a good thing to me) with the whole flexible-schedule thing. Still, we will be working together for at least one class, so bonding clearly seemed in order.

We had a couple different activities, which allowed us to work in teams, learn how to function as a group, and generally get to know each other. Good times.

On the last day, our bonding included a trip to the local ropes course/bible camp. We did a couple group exercises in small units, which were pretty interesting, but the real adventure came when we got access to the high ropes course.

The high ropes course at this bible camp consisted of a number of elements in this main area, mostly different types of rickety/small/wobbly/string bridges located significantly above the ground.

It would've been nice to do, but with only a small number of harnesses, helmets, spotters available, there wasn't really enough time. And I wasn't about to go up there without a harness or a helmet.

But there was one thing I wanted to do. The Leap of Faith (at bible camp)

What is the Leap of Faith?

Picture a telephone pole...

Got it?

Now picture a wooden platform attached to the top.

Still with me?

Now, across from this platform, suspended in mid-air, is a trapeeze (is trapeeze singular or plural? either way, I assume you get it).

The idea is that you climb the pole, walk to the end of the 3.5-4 foot platform, and leap for the bar, roughly 30-40 feet off the ground. You either grab and hold it, or you plummet into a pit of alligators.

Ok, so there weren't any alligators, and if you miss you only slowly descend to the ground, but still not a joke.

And I really wanted to do it.

So I did, I waited forever in line for my turn, harnesses up, and ascended the phone pole.

Oh, the pole wobbled, a lot. Climbing it was really easy, but once you got up to the top, the whole thing swayed with every tiny movement. So I took small steps, trying to keep the whole thing steady.

I finally got to the end, and looked down. Not my best idea. But below there were only about 100 of my classmates, definitely no time to chicken out. It helped that it wasn't really scary.

I steadied myself, bent the knees a little bit, and made a mighty leap.

But I didn't make it, I plummeted as the whole class laughed, then I cried, and now I'm transferring to Northwestern.

Of course, I'm kidding, I made the jump, grabbed the bar and everything.

It was fun.

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