We were busy all afternoon Friday so never got you a Daily Deac, but wanted to bring you a recap of the Thrive event. It was hot, but so much fun.
The lower quad (Manchester, aka Mag Quad) was transformed with a public art piece – it looked like the leaf on the Thrive logo, with different colored sections. There were tables with color coordinated tablecloths to represent each type of wellbeing, with big flags denoting that particular wellbeing area, and activities and food at each station. You can see pictures from our great photographer, Ken Bennett, at this Flickr site. There’s also a news story on our main web page.
Two of my colleagues who work in the ZSR Library and I were charged with manning the Intellectual Wellbeing table. We had two different activities people could do: one was to fill out a card that reflected on something intellectual (a favorite professor or class, the last big idea that really excited you, favorite book/movie/artwork/piece of music, etc.) and then pin the card onto what looked like a big clothesline. It was so interesting to see people’s responses. Lots of great and inspiring books, and skills people wanted to learn (evidently we have a lot of budding musicians among our students). Maybe the most gratifying thing was that some students wrote the name of a professor or class that meant the world to them – and some of the professors actually came by later and got to see these anonymous tributes. One of them told us “this made my day!”
The other activity at our table was posters people could sign to pledge to do something this semester for their intellectual wellbeing. They were things like ‘attend an on-campus cultural, artistic, or academic event,’ or ‘pledge to engage in more diverse conversations with people who are different from you,’ or ‘read a book/watch a documentary that has nothing to do with class,’ that sort of thing.
It was really gratifying to see how many students, faculty, and staff came to our Intellectual Wellbeing table. I’d worried our traffic would be slow because some of the other tables had much sexier activities – there was Play Doh, bubbles, and puppies at Emotional Wellbeing, there were chair massages at Physical Wellbeing, there was a wonderful drum circle and meditation at Spiritual Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing had a tree outline where you could dip a leaf shaped sponge in paint and add a leaf to the tree you wanted to save money for (retirement, vacation, etc.). Lots of the other dimensions had similarly cool activities. And at each table there were different buttons you could collect to remind you of that dimension of wellbeing – all with cool slogans and neat graphics.
So it was a well turned out event for sure and lots of traffic. It was beastly hot, though. Around 4:30-5 pm, there started to be some ominous looking clouds, and around 5ish it started raining for real, and thundering, so the party had to break up early. For those of us working the tables, it turned into an after-hours close-down party in the rain, trying to lug tables and pick up leaves and generally getting a good soak. Even that was OK – it was a great example of Wake Foresters from all offices and levels pitching in to do a job that needed doing. And that is one of the things I love best about Wake – there are always people there to help you when you need it.