Still Lots to Learn

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So, the COI Flashlab…

This year the topic for COI was Creative Impact, and what made this day special for me was that it marked the first time I helped facilitate a design thinking challenge! It was quite (Kat has been trying really hard to make me remember the difference between “quite” and “quiet”, so I hope I did the right one this time.) different from participating in the challenge.

This was a total role reversal from what I’ve always been use to, (you know, the typical “I’m the student, you’re the teacher” thing), and I’m especially curious what other people thought about a high schooler helping to facilitate. I know Kat was a little jealous of me, and a senior told me later that day, before seeing Mort, that she thought I did a great job, but since it happened Friday and I had to run off to drama to rehearse Hamlet, that was really the extent of feedback so far.

As more of a personal reflection of how I think I did, I was definitely nervous a lot. At first I thought I didn’t know why, but I do; I was nervous because I was going to be leading my peers and business professionals in design thinking after working with some of my teachers to plan it. That doesn’t usually happen, and I was nervous that I would mess it up. (And since I haven’t really gotten a ton of feedback yet, I don’t really know how to judge that yet.)

I think I did a decent job, but it’s so hard to tell sometimes. I had 3 things that I was specifically in charge of talking about, and luckily I was working with 3 awesome mentors that are much more experienced with facilitating design thinking activities so they were able to help me. They didn’t seem to give me any evil stare downs during the day, so hopefully I did it justice. (I assume I’ll hear something about it tomorrow.) Practice makes perfect, but before you can practice you have to have a first time, so I guess this was as good a time as any to “close my eyes and leap” (Defying Gravity all the way!).

I often joke that I’m a universal guinea pig because I often get asked (or I put myself in the position) to be the (or a) person to test something for the first time. I love this role, but at the same time it can be a lot of pressure knowing that how you do something will reflect how something is done in the future for a bunch of other people. I’m still a little shocked from the experience. There is a lot that goes into planning these events, and I wish more of my peers realized how much our teachers put into their job.

I’ll admit, there were times where I wanted to just be apart of the challenge. Usually my biggest take away from these events is getting to know the experts at a DEEPer (haha) level after interviewing and talking with them, but while facilitating you don’t quite get that same experience. Then when they start prototyping, it is really hard to sit back and not experiment with the items in our junk cart.  However, Learning the process of creating a conference like this, watching people have click moments, seeing them smile when they find a connection, listening to laughter in the room, that is something great I was able to be apart of by being a facilitator, and it just makes me happy. 🙂

It would have been a lot easier to just have to show up and be ready to think and share, but I’m glad I helped more than that. Mr. Adams and Ms. Cureton have told the ID cohort that their hope is for it to eventually get to the point where we are entirely the ones facilitating, and I think we will be there some day. Not quite yet though; there is still a lot for us to learn, and I’m ready to learn it, so I hope they are too.


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