Having arrived yesterday to Halifax excited, nervous, and tired from up to a day of travel, today was the first day of full programming for the SHADs at Dalhousie University. As we prepared ourselves for a “heatwave” that was forecasted for Halifax, we quickly learned how much the weather can change on the East Coast- instead of intense heat, we experienced a chilly fog that swept the campus.
We started the day with something called “Camera Ready”. Questions filled our minds: Were we going to learn about photography? About film development? About this history and progression of technology in the film industry? Why did they tell us to wear clothes conducive for exercise? As it turns out, “Camera Ready” was a photo scavenger hunt and we worked in teams to find locations on campus, take photos with various instructions, and return to our meeting spot ready to present these photos to our fellow SHADs and SHAD Staff. The points allocated for each photo turned out to be meaningless, but the memories captured in these photos from our first day at SHAD Dalhousie will live on forever.
In the afternoon, we had a longer hands-on experience designed to prepare us for team success through understanding the group process. Part of this included establishing trust to help us explore our growth zones. To help us build trust, we used pipe cleaners to build shapes or objects that represent something important to us, and had the opportunity to share them with the group. The creativity was astounding as each SHAD found ways to represent abstract concepts in pipe cleaner object form. Common themes emerged from what was important for our SHADs- family, friends, sports, music, culture, etc. It was comforting to find ways in which many of us are similar, and inspiring to find ways in which we are unique during this activity.
Finally, our evening activities led us to being “drafted” into our house groups by our Program Assistants. We will be working with these house groups for the duration of SHAD to plan, design, and build a project, and create a business plan.
It is hard to believe that we’ve only been here for a day and a half, we’ve already learned a lot, met so many incredible new friends, and there are still 25 days to go!