Is life just a big charm bracelet?
Are the expectations for a travel journey just to get that next gold charm on the bracelet and to say you have been there and done that?
These are questions asked by Executive Dean, Dan Garvy at orientation for the Spring 2011 Semester At Sea Voyage leaving Nassau, Bahamas today. His candor and dedication to “experiential” education is reflective of the magnitude in time and coordination that has gone into creating the 2011 Spring voyage around the world with Semester at sea. Dean Garvy told the students and life long learners that they “were needed to make this all happen.” Without the participants, the vision never becomes a reality which can make a difference in the world. To me the keynote speech said that “WE” the individuals on the trip are what it takes to “connect the dots around the world” to create a memorable and harmonious experience. The connection described today made me feel like an integral part of the community and that my contribution will help others as we create the music of life together in harmony all over the world.
It might seem funny to you, the reader, to be describing the event in musical terms. Dean Garvy had piano music as part of the presentation showing how individual expectations alone do not create a melody. One note alone, even two notes alone mean nothing and if you have many notes not in sync it just sounds like noise. It takes combining several notes with harmony to come up with a balance and a meaningful presentation.
One of the goals of the Semester At Sea Organization we heard about earlier this morning is to “Educate Individuals… have infused shared learning coming together with faculty and students.” “We believe strongly in the program’s mission and that the experience truly deepens one’s understanding of issues and culture…” Today we heard about how the experience in the confines of the ship with seniors in their late 80’s to college students in our community would impact who we are and where we are going with the rest of our lives. Dean Garvy explained how we would all be engaging in groups about our personal journey as we experience different cultural exposures around the world. The Theme of this voyage is Thinking Globally Acting Locally. The opening remarks set the bar of expectations to be one of growth, harmony and change within the 104 days at sea.
It seemed like my husband Tom and I have been planning, packing and waiting for ever! We finally left the port in Nassau! As the ship pulled out of dock it was like embarking on a journey with 700 individuals we didn’t really know but deep down we know after the 104 days we will all have something very special in common as we learn and process world change together!
Hang on the ride is just beginning.….. actually the wind came up and it is rocking and rolling a bit! We did a practice evacuation drill so we are set to sail! We are cruising at a higher rate of speed to make up the three hour delay! The journey of a lifetime began today!
Be sure to sign up to play “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” Lot’s of fun just posting and following the journey around the world!