Currently in good ole Chicago waiting to catch my next flight to get back to the Rice and Duck Capitol of the World. I am feeling pretty thankful for the past 5 days in Ohio. I have never been to Ohio so it is kind of cool to add that to my list of travels. Miami of Ohio University was where I was staying and it is a cool campus, however I must say that TCU is still my place. The week was a lot more challenging than I thought it was going to be. The Wooden Institute’s job was to challenge all those attending and man did it do just that. I am exhausted.
I went in thinking it was going to be like a conference, but I was wrong. The thing about an institute is that the schedule is planned for you and by the end you will have all been through the same experience. We were up early, going all day, and then getting in bed late. Needless to say, I will be thankful for my own bed tonight.
This week had me constantly thinking and challenging myself and my views on how my chapter of Beta Theta Pi was operating. I went in thinking that we were this great chapter. Don’t get my wrong, we are and I am proud of all we have done in a short amount of time, but we, as a chapter, don’t want to lose this good place we are in. The thought of that happening scares me. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to go to Wooden. They gave us opportunity after opportunity to see areas of improvement. We did this by meeting in small groups, talking one on one, and using our facilitators to guide us.
The coolest thing about this experience, besides seeing the heart and history of Beta Theta Pi, was meeting other Beta’s from all over the world. Because every one of our chapters are different. We were able to learn from each other and I loved that. I have tons of great ideas and things to take back to my chapter, thanks to all my brothers from all over.
I have to give a small shout to my small group. (Seal Team 6) I could not have asked for a better group of young men to make this week all that it was. We immediately clicked and that made this week extra special. I know I was the quiet one in the group, but that is just my style of leadership. Trust me, I heard everything you said and I am thankful for all we were able to teach each other in such a short amount of time. Long live seal team 6!
Between diving into the ritual, making friendships, giving back, emerging in beta history, seeing where it all began, and having great leaders to help make this week so purposeful, I am so thankful for the Wooden Institute. It is almost hard to put into words all that went through my head this week, but all you need to know is I now have the skills I need to do great things as a leader, as a Beta, and as a dreamer. I have a new found fire lit within me to go back this fall with courage to make a difference in my chapter. It was a productive, tiring, much needed experience.
Speaking of brothers and Chicago .. I want to give some birthday love to my first guy friend at TCU and one of the best guys I know. Michael Drake, thanks for being a constant light in my life and thanks for always looking out for me. Your actions show me everyday that you are a one of a kind friend.I hope you are having the best time across the pond. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day! I love you my dude and I look forward to reuniting soon! I hope you know how thankful I am for you!
I am proud and thankful to be a beta! Now I just need a little sleep! This past week is one that will keep me thankful for as long as I live… That is the biggest blessing!
Southern and Thankful