Sunday, February 18, 2018

Go With the Flow

Going with the flow is one thing I do NOT do well. I want to know exactly what I’m doing with my day and it needs to be written down in my planner. Some of my teammates, on the other hand, are experts at being spontaneous and they try to get my stubborn self to join their shenanigans. With only 4 months left of state office, it is seemingly impossible to say no to them. Which is how I found myself on Valentine's day at a fancy restaurant with Grant, Natalie, and Wyatt.

It started off as a normal day in the office when Natalie turned and said, “hey let’s go out to a nice dinner tonight!” We had two boys and two girls, so it was perfect for getting a Valentines Day special (we like discounts.) With a little hesitation and much debate on where to go, we finally settled on a restaurant called Big Woods. Dressed to the nines, we headed out. We arrived just in time and walked in for our reservation. Upon sitting down, I quickly noticed that there was only one menu for the night. And in tiny print on the top, there was a note reading “three-course meal, $54 per person.” “Wait?! Guys we have made a mistake!” Laughter filled the room as we debated whether we should just walk out or ask for a different menu. When our waitress returned, Natalie asked for a different menu which was in a better price range and we talked the night away. I was challenged to continue going with the flow as we went to Freddy’s afterward to get ice cream. None of the events during the night were planned out, which did freak me out to begin with. However, being spontaneous allowed us to have an abundance of fun with our friends. I can confidently say that I have never had a better Valentines Day than the one shared with Wyatt, Natalie, and Grant, making memories and sharing smiles. Life is too short, and we must be willing to be spontaneous sometimes. While it may be uncomfortable at first, we must realize that these moments are the ones we will remember forever.

Be spontaneous,
Emily Kilmer
State Secretary


Thursday, February 8, 2018

My Automatic Best Friend

All my life I have been given a best friend. Almost as if I was handed my friend on a silver platter. Up until this year, it was my twin brother, and then it was my 6 teammates. I have always had that security of having that best friend by my side and at home for me when I needed him most. It will be a strange experience next year. 

I am planning to go to Purdue University next year and live in the dorms with a random roommate. I won’t have that automatic built-in best friend. I can’t help thinking of my brother. He has been there for me and I have been there for him. We did nearly everything together including the drive to and from school, eat, study, and most extracurriculars. We were together so much and then, all at once, I was gone, and he had to find his place in the world. It must be hard for him to adjust to college without his best friend there beside him every step of the way. In these hard times, he has relied on God for guidance and God gave him great friends that can be there for him when I cannot. God has blessed me with 6 people that are there for me when I need them, and I am there for when they need someone too. I am blessed in a different way.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot be there for our best friends when they need us. We cannot be everywhere at once. I couldn’t be there for my brother on his first day of college and he couldn’t be at all my conference banquets. I can build new friendships and he can build new friendships too. He can find someone that will help him learn more about himself, I can too, and you can too. Life tends to shuffle things up and we must make the best of it. One of our team’s favorite phrases is “bloom where you are planted.” At Ball State Tanner found Awaken and he is blooming. As life changes around you, how will you bloom where you are planted?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Bittersweet Ending

As the week begins to round out, our team is in full gear for a bittersweet weekend; OUR LAST CONFERENCE! It seemed like only yesterday we hosted our very first conference, where we were all running around like chickens with our head cut off trying to figure out what needed to be done! Now that we all have an actual list of priorities and to-do’s, things are much more calm here at The Center.

We started off our true conference season, and will end it with, LDW (Leadership Development Workshop). This conference allows chapter officers to expand their leadership together and grow as a team. Our theme for this year is a cooking show and “Recipe for Success.”
Then in October we hosted SOAR (Seeking Opportunities & Achieving Results), where 7th-10th graders can learn about the opportunities that FFA possesses for them. For this conference, our team chose the theme of Jurassic Park and “Uncovering Opportunities within FFA.”
In November we hosted FIRE (Foundations in Reaching Excellence). This conference is mainly for 11th-12th graders, and focuses on excellence. Members this year learned how to be a mentor, how to set goals, and how they can take their leadership to the next level. The theme created for this conference was Camping and “Sparking Excellence.”
As the end is quickly approaching, we are reminded of all the memories created with our team, advisors, and, most importantly, the members. From receiving and delivering happy grams to delivering our reflections to “gettin’ down on the dancefloor,” conference season will greatly be missed.
Thank you to everyone who has truly made this season one to remember. Late nights and early mornings aren’t ideal, but you made it all worthwhile.

With thanks,
Grant Sanchez, State Sentinel