Steady as She Goes…
I am hopefully going to keep things relatively brief tonight, as I really should do that thing with the closed eyes and the lying down for long periods of time; otherwise known as sleep.
Anyway, the brief description of today goes like this…I woke up from a relatively sound sleep at approximately 7:30am and made my way across the Lakehead campus to the cafeteria for breakfast. I ate a good solid breakfast (yes mom and grandmas, they are feeding me J) and then headed over to one of Lakehead’s lecture halls for our ‘Project Briefing’. The briefing clarified a few things for me, like approximate camp budgets, timelines, expectations, etc. This made me feel a lot more secure than I did before I left for Thunder Bay. After a decently long briefing session, everyone made their way outside to participate in some different physical literacy games that, as the name suggests, combined literacy skills with physical activity. Following this we grabbed lunch and then headed back to the lecture hall to watch a documentary called Back to Pikangikum. It was a particularly moving documentary, and I would suggest that you get your hands on it and watch it if you can. It paints a somewhat dire picture of Pikangikum in particular, but takes great care to underscore the ability of the local community to manage its own problems. Despite its heavy subject matter, the documentary managed to leave me in a hopeful and motivated state of mind. After the film we received greetings from the Grand Chief’s office on behalf of the Anishnawbe First Nation and the broke off into our community teams to get to know a little bit about our communities. This was interesting for me as it finally officially exposed me to the final two members of our Fort Hope team. Myself and the other two Northern councillors will be joined by two local ‘community’ councillors from Fort Hope. Just to have these people as resources is going to make my job infinitely easier. Lastly, to end of the day we headed back to the cafeteria and ate dinner. Essentially we were just shuffling from meal to meal!
Following dinner we are given free time to digest the day’s information and get to know our fellow councillors. It is great to have this time every night because it allows you to take a little bit of time for yourself to mellow out on your own or with others. Tonight I spent a good chunk of time having a couple of great conversations with returning councillors, watched the movie Smoke Signals (definitely worth seeing, especially if you are an Adam Beach fan) and went for a solid (according to Nike+ which I have deemed to be relatively accurate for me) 10.94km run.
So just before I finish up this post for today I thought that I would share a couple of quick things that are abundantly clear to me right now:
1/ The hardest part about this summer (for me) is not likely going to have anything to do with my physical surroundings exclusively. The hardest part is going to be managing what goes on in the relatively blank space between my ears. Digesting, compartmentalizing, storing and processing the successes, failures, challenges and emotions of this job are going to very likely wear on me in good and bad ways. How I handle this is going to determine whether or not I lose my mind or not…I don’t anticipate a mind loss at this point, but you never know.
2/ Even if I spend every waking moment of the next few days preparing for life in Fort Hope, I still will have no idea what it is going to be like until I get there.
Alright, I think that that is about it for me tonight. I should hit the hay so that I can maintain the relatively rosy outlook I currently have on life. It is abundantly clear to me that sleep is going to be a key in me maintaining my sanity, motivation and emotional strength this summer. If I slack off on my sleeping habits I will pay a significant price.