With state convention right around the corner, I finished up my freshman year at Purdue University with a study abroad in Jamaica while my teammates concluded their high school careers with graduation. Shortly after being elected, we loaded up with Mr. Martin and headed south to Lexington, Kentucky, for National Leadership Conference for State Officers. We dove right into training about how to work as a team and what is it like to actually do something worthwhile with our time of service.
Little did I know that learning names would be so hard right off the bat, because we were at NLCSO with five other state associations. There were state officers there from Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arkansas. A total of fifty three state officers were in attendance, but I only barely knew six of them.
As we started training that week I tried to keep myself in that “slip on the boat” moment. I felt like my breath was taken and my body was full of adrenaline every time I met someone new, because that was the way I had decided to remember names. I would associate some crazy moment with each person I met. For example I met this kid Daniel from Michigan, so I immediately thought of the Daniel and the lions’ den story from the Bible. I had no problem remembering Daniel’s name because I just kept that thought of excitement in my mind.
I think that this name learning technique is something small on a larger scale. What if I kept this thought of having adrenaline-filled and breath taking experiences throughout my year of service? Well, I did a small scale test and tried to face each day of BLAST OFF training with this mindset, and guess what happened. I took that week of knowledge and broke it down by relating it to something much more than just training. As a team we learned about our own personal strengths and I kept thinking about my top five talents as pieces of an Iron Man suit.
At that moment I know that I had struck gold! I was able to take something so simple, as names or even personal strengths, and turn them into moments that made my heart skip a beat. I think that could mean something to Indiana FFA. If my teammates and I can complete our year of service always having this mindset, I know we will truly leave an impact. I also know that the initial thought of slipping on the side of a boat will be nothing compared to what could be done with the same mindset.
Be the Change, Joshua Calhoun2015-2016 Indiana FFAState Sentinel