Eighty of us SHADs at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) woke up to a cool morning which later turned into a heated, sweltering day. After breakfast at the McConnell Hall, our eager group strolled down the campus to a grassy area in front of the Sir Edmunds Head Hall. There, Ian Fogarty, the Program Director, started the day with an individual activity. We were instructed to ponder about specific goals and personal objectives we had for our SHAD experience. It was particularly peaceful; the sky was clear with faint streaks of clouds and a soft breeze rustled the leaves in the trees above. Following the activity, we headed to the Dineen Auditorium within the Head Hall for a lecture.
Meeting Tim Jackson:
Quickly into the presentation, we were extremely fortunate to have the privilege of meeting the CEO of SHAD, Tim Jackson. Earlier, he joined everyone for breakfast and told us several of his past experiences to inspire the SHADs. This included his areas of study, interests growing up, and his journey of obtaining the position of CEO in the program. During his speech within the lecture hall, he described a number of SHAD's future goals to expand the program in the next couple of years. He touched on improving the application process to expose more youth to SHAD and increase interest around the country, and encouraged us to promote SHAD to individuals not traditionally exposed to it. In all, Tim was the catalyst of day four at SHAD UNB as he truly inspired all eighty of us .
Finally, the SHAD Entrepreneurial Project theme was introduced to all of us. Keeping true to SHAD’s unconventional thinking, American-Canadian astronaut Drew Feustel introduced it all the way from the International Space Station. As we marvelled at the sheer amazingness of Drew’s announcement, he presented the theme: how can we help Canadian communities be more resilient in a natural disaster? After that, UNB senior teaching associate Dan Doiron delved into the thought process of entrepreneurship, in addition to an example of a UNB startup company, Smart Skin. Unique to our campus, us SHADs had to research and create a 60-second pitch addressing a specific issue within the SHAD EP theme. Equipped with Dan’s knowledge, we were ready to tackle the project for the first time.
To all SHADs from every other campus, we would like to ask you some questions. Is it 30+ degrees outside? Do you feel like you could drown in your own sweat? Is the sun beating down on you so hard that you feel like a baked potato? If you are in any campus (with the exception of Memorial), this situation should apply to you. While we were completely sweating throughout the entire day, we are extremely fortunate for our Program Directors to be so thoughtful of us, and to allow us to cool down during a fun time at the pool. From capturing underwater dabbing photos, daring each other to belly flop off the high diving board, participating in floating mat races, to actually belly flopping off the high dive and hearing a painful “splash”, it was definitely enjoyable for everyone. This activity was a moment of respite in this interminable heat wave, and even though a few people ended up with gigantic red criss cross lines on their stomach, everyone agreed it was an extremely enjoyable, entertaining and lively experience.
Meanwhile, the SHAD’s at the gym had an equally enjoyable time. Many came together for a soccer match as others paired up for a one on one game of basketball. Also, a few dedicated SHADs ran dozens of laps around the gym until they burned out. The maximum distance reached was 12.2 kilometers.
EP Project Pitches:
After a hearty supper, the SHADs headed down to Dineen lecture hall to pitch diverse problems related to the natural disasters theme of the entrepreneurship project to everyone. Even during the commencement of the project, it was extremely eye-opening to see the sheer variety of topics covered by the SHADs. Ranging from important issues such as faulty infrastructure to often overlooked problems such as mental illness after disasters, each SHAD exhibited spectacular knowledge and creativity with their pitches. As well, we were honoured to have Tim Jackson sitting in during the pitches.
To conclude the fourth day with our family, the Program Assistants (PA) organized an entertaining game night that would allow us to bond over board games. Amongst the multitude of games provided, some groups played the well-known game of Apples to Apples, while others exercised their creativity and imagination with intense games of Scribblish. Apples to Apples was classic family fun, but our wild interpretations of our SHADs’ pictures and words in Scribblish made for some hilarious results. The PAs prepared nutritious and refreshing fruits for snacks, such as juicy slices of watermelon. In their dedication to keep us functioning during the heat, the PAs also passed around Gatorade bottles packed with electrolytes and deliciously unpronounceable ingredients. Since this day was considered a “late night”, these activities continued on until 10:30 P.M., where we then went on to do various things, such as preparing for bed, learning how to draw from our very own Professor VanDerLoo (a SHAD with an artistic talent), or complaining about the persisting heat.
In short, today turned out to be a really impactful day for all of us. Despite the scorching heat, it was a day we will all remember as the one during which we learned about the entrepreneurial project, and during which we saw each person’s individual genius shine through.
Written by Allen, Brian, Isra, Michelle, and Natasha
Photos by Sage and Isra