November Retreat: My Path Change

Sadly, I came in late on Saturday. I missed most of the pitches, so when I get here I was pretty nervous to present. I had not seen any of the presentations so I did not know what to expect. When I started seeing more people present I saw how calm everything was, in the end I was not to nervous when I got up to present.

After presenting pitches we got our room assignments and had some free time before dinner. When we got to dinner we sat in some-what if assigned seats. Based on what categories our topic was under. My original topic was about Vermont’s Opioid Epidemic, so I was under health. At my table were people who’s topic was mental health and addiction as well. I thought it was interesting that most of the people doing addiction or the Opioid Epidemic did not really care if they changed their topic or not, like me. I can’t say it for all of them but the main reason why I wanted to change my topic was because it was a heavy issue. It was a little hard to understand because there were so many different factors that played a part in the issue. So, I was excited and nervous to make a group. I was nervous because I did not really know wear to go.

To form the groups we went back to the original building were we presented our pitches. We sat in a circle and started talking about wear we stand and what we are interested in. After the pitches, I was looking into the migrant workers and some education things. When I heard about what Clara was doing I thought that was perfect. Her topic sort of combined the two different topics I was looking into. It was also very similar to Emily’s topic which, after reading her blogs every week I found to be very interesting. I was glad that I could be apart of a team with all of my interests together. Another cool thing that happened without us realizing it until after the fact, but Emily and Greta are now in my group and those were the people I was reading the blogs about. I thought that was nice because I knew about what they were talking about before this and could follow them through the conversation. Once our group was formed the second we sat together in a group we took off on ideas. We had so many idea’s flowing and were very productive. This morning we added on the our work last night and many worked on organizing were all of our thoughts and information will go in the coming months. We all agreed that it felt nice to be all organized and ready to get more information about this topic.

Not only did I like to create these teams and start to work on what we plan to do this month, but I also loved the independence that they gave us. I remember at the WTS kickoff it really shocked me how much they trusted us. The first time Tim said “Okay, you can go work weaver you want, meet us back here at 11:30” I was shocked and so excited to start. This retreat it was the same thing but kicked up a notch because we had our own rooms, it was cool to have a little time to get situated before the next scheduled thing. After having that much independence, I have felt like I have learned about organization. Like how to organize my day, and how to be organized with me things and thoughts so that I can have what I need to be ready for the next thing. The independence also made me more inclined to work and be excited to talk about the things we needed to talk about. During this retreat I have felt like it has been pretty relaxed and not to rushed, because the amount of free time. No to much free time that we did not get anything done though, we had just enough it did not feel like we could breath

During this month I see myself working on researching more, because I just switched my topic I feel like I have to learn more about it. I understand enough of the topic to talk about it, but because this is not  a very simple topic I feel like I need more information to start interviewing and trying to create change. This week I am going to read Clara’s blog posts because I had already read Erin’s. I think this will give me a lot more information and details about her topic. During this month I will also just try to find out who is apart of this topic and who the characters are. I think I also want to look at different side of the story and understand why they have the different opinion. As a group I think we have a good start and I can’t wait to see how much we accomplish together. If we did that much in two days how much can we do in a month?

Petra Kapsalis

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