Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Going to speed dating tonight

Speed Dating I'm not *really* going to speed dating tonight, but it's our last LDP (Leadership Development Program) session, and as one of the four volunteers who has organized the two-hour event, I do know that speed dating is on the agenda.

All year, we've had LDP roughly once a month or so, in the evening. It's a required class for credit among first-year students, and it's a time for us to think about leadership skills, talents, commitments, diversity and other soft introspective things we tend not to have much time to ponder in the midst of problem sets, case write-ups and internship applications. (No word on that front yet, by the way.)

Anyway, as is traditional for all the LDP groups, the last session is to be designed and executed by students, and I for whatever reason raised my hand to be one of them. We decided to focus on peer feedback. We designed a survey that allowed each of us to give personal feedback, positive and constructive, anonymously (or not anonymously, if desired). The premise is that this time at school should feel like a safe venue to experiment, learn and grow, and that it's better for someone to tell you how you come across now than to simply never know and move forward blindly. So, for example, if I think I come across as a serious intellectual, but people in fact perceive me as goofy and non-serious, it would help me to know that before I get back out into the real world wondering why no one takes me seriously.

So that was our intention, at least. Tonight we'll find out if our intention matches at all with what really happened.

The speed dating thing, incidentally, is just a fun activity about first impressions vs. current impressions. I'm looking forward to it. There'll be some trivia, too. And best of all, pizza and beer.

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