Sunday, January 23, 2005

This could be a long year

Picture almost 20 women ranging in age from 18 to 21 sitting in a lopsided circle in a large living room. The new chapter president, the woman leading the meeting, starts an interesting icebreaker to open the meeting. I was encouraged about her intentions until she added the caveat that once you received the ball (permission to speak), you had to make up a nickname for the woman who threw the ball to you. Her giggles that accompanied this suggestion began to concern me, but I wasn't truly alarmed until she said that these names would be their "super secret leader names" which couldn't be shared with anyone outside the room and that these names would be used when roll was called for the rest of the year. This appears not to have been an idle threat--she wrote down all the names, went over them with the group, and solicited names for members who weren't present. Oh, and she referred to the secrecy of these names as they brainstormed ideas for their values/behavior contracts.

Maybe since December I became too old to work with college-age women, but I'm beginning to think this may be a long year.



At 5:07 AM, Blogger bill said...

I'd bet a poll would indicate many, perhaps most, dislike the idea. That kind of thing is childish, the sort of thing that everyone goes along with because they don't want to be the one holdout.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really curious about what name they gave you. You can tell us--we won't tell a soul. I think the truly horrible part of this is that someone unimaginative may get to choose a name for someone they don't know that well and you could end up with the nickname from hell. It takes a lot of thinking, imagination, and inside information to come up with a really good nickname, and even then, after awhile it may begin to wear thin. Bad idea. Kit

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It can't be worse than a pledge name of "Miss Daisy." And no, I'm not too bitter about it.


At 12:28 PM, Blogger Angie said...

It was a bad idea and I think (hope?) a lot of the women were internally rolling their eyes as I was.

My nickname: Madame.

To understand my nickname, you need to understand the ice breaker. The ball was covered in questions, so when you caught it, you had to answer the question under your thumb. The question I got was, "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?" I went with the completely unoriginal answer of Paris. I thought I was about to escape without a nickname as I was the last one to get the ball, but no, the assembled parties determined I did need a nickname, and based on my answer, thus chose "Madame".


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