December 25, 2010:
My roommate Morgan takes me to the airport to start my trip.
December 26, 2010:
My flights both go smoothly. In fact, I managed to sleep for most of them. I arrived into Atlanta just after 3pm local time. I was able to claim my bags no issues. The M.A.R.T.A. wasn't bad. The workers were super helpful in figuring out how to get a card. I didn't have to wait at all in the station and the ride to the hotel was easy. On my last flight, I sat with this nice lady who has family in Atlanta, but now lives in Seattle. I saw her again waiting for baggage, and then again getting our M.A.R.T.A. tickets and for the last time on train.
Jesse met me at the hotel and I got checked in. The check-in kiosks are pretty awesome and they even have desk attendants to assist with going through all the screens. I took my bags upstairs and then went back down to the hotel restaurant for a chicken quesadilla. Jesse and I met up with brothers from other chapters as we saw them.
I got registered for the convention and got my gear for the week. I spent some time wandering around the area near the hotel with Lisa and Cynthia from Gamma Alpha. We didn't do much because it was about 9:30 pm on a Sunday night. I know I was up for a few more hours, but I can't remember with who I was with or what I did lol.
December 27, 2010:
I woke up early so I could get some breakfast - at the cafe across the street from the hotel - and go register for APO LEADS. It turns out that APO LEADS was a first come first serve deal this convention. So, I hung around for an hour and went to the Achieve course. Despite not having all of the materials needed, we had a wonderful time and I learned a lot about team work.
I'm pretty sure I had lunch before the voting delegates meeting at 1pm, but I can't remember what I had.
The voting delegates meeting was a little helpful because it provided more insight on what was going to happen during legislation. After that meeting, the reference committee members had a meeting. This one was kind of pointless because at this point I felt that I knew pretty much everything I needed to. But that's okay. After that meeting, I met with Stella, my lead advisor and Tony, one of the "lesser" (though equally as awesome) advisors. We talked about what I should expect and gave me some help deciding what needed to happen during each of the meetings.
At this point, I was pretty hungry so I headed over to the food court and found Dairy Queen. I ordered food for myself and Staci, because I knew she was due to get to the hotel any minute. She called me in somewhat of a frantic state and I knew that I needed to go "rescue" her. I asked Hollis to pick up our food and she graciously accepted. Staci had accidentally gotten off at the wrong station, but after 20 minutes of searching, I found her! We made it back to the hotel and got our food.
At this point, we were ready to go to the Opening Ceremony. It was fun to meet more brothers and get some insight for the week. It was amazing how many people were in the ballroom at this point.
After the ceremony, reference committees were dismissed and set to their quarters.
I met 10 of the most amazing people in my committee. Rachel, Tyler, Niki, Michelle, Jude, JD, Lawyrn, Janae, Kelly, Becky and I are now a pretty close group! We decided on questions to ask candidates, set up an interview schedule and talked to some of the then current board of directors to learn more about the positions we were seeking to fill. This is the only night that we managed to get out close to on time... At 12:30am. I must have stayed up finalizing things because I only slept for 4 hours.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010:
There was breakfast available in the region suite, so after a quick shower, I grabbed some food. Then I had to find Jeremy Bingham to figure out what was going on with a request that I had had. Our committee regrouped at 8 am. I gave a quick schpeal about wanting to be there and understanding how important the job we were doing is to the fraternity. Then we answered some questions. Then the interviews started. *note to self: ALWAYS HAVE MORE TIME THAN NECESSARY WHEN INTERVIEWING!!!!* We got behind with the first interview. And only continued to fall behind with each one. But, we were able to get everyone in in the morning that we needed to. We had a quick discussion before we had to go to region meetings, this was just a quick talk to our respective regions to talk about what was going on in reference committees. After the meeting it was back to the grind for awhile. We had more interviews, this time, mostly with references. This time we fell so far behind, we had to reschedule some to the night hours. Some people told us things we really didn't want to hear. I'm so not used to that. We had an hour break before the fellowship banquet, but I used that to write subpoenas and other random tasks. This left me with maybe 20 minutes to prepare for the banquet.
The banquet was fun, there were lots of people and yummy food and fun entertainment. But after every party, one has to get back to the grind.
We got back into committee and started interviews again. These seemed to go on for forever! We finally finished, just to realize that we needed to interview a few more people. We sent subpoenas at 1 am. Got donuts at 2 am. And evacuated at 3 am!! That was hectic. But once we got back into the grind, we were good to go. Maggie brought us more food and coffee and we sent more subpoenas at 5 am. I think it was here that we had to establish that it was in fact Wednesday, December 29th. We established our slate just before 7am and dismissed to get ready for legislation. But of course being the chair, I didn't get done til 7:45. I managed to get showered and to legislation on time at 8am. Some of the legislation was really controversial, but we got through enough to be dismissed early. I'm thankful for the floor services folks to be able to send/receive messages from the floor and others.
We were dismissed for lunch in the middle of the legislation and I had lunch with the section 8 chair, Linda and a couple of my section/region brothers.
I stayed awake for just a little longer and then went to sleep for 4 hours. I woke up for maybe 2 hours to attend some of the Make-a-Wish fundraising carnival. I didn't actually participate in anything, but was happy to attend something fun! I went back to sleep after writing my nominations speech for the presidential position. It was between 2 and 3am when I fell asleep.
Thursday, December 30, 2010:
I got up just before 7 so that my committee and I could practice our speeches and get some feedback. We went to legislation, and I was somewhat surprised that the NomComm had to present to the legislation first! Ahhh! INSERT MINOR PANIC ATTACK! haha. I'd say we presented extremely well and a few surprises were tossed in to make for a good morning. Our ENTIRE slate passed! Apparently this hasn't happened in an extremely long time, so, we were thrilled that the legislation accepted and trusted our decision. There were a handful of other pieces of legislation, but we got out early :).
Thursday afternoon, we had another region meeting to elect our region director. That went smoothly. We also selected the location for our next "local" conference. That also went smoothly. We had a little fun and then dismissed. Staci, Jesse, Brittany, Louie and I went to the mall for just over an hour so we could escape the hotel. We bought some shoes and things and then went back to the final banquet, the awards banquet. I got to meet even more amazing people that have led the fraternity in the past. That was awesome! After the awards banquet, I went to the pajama party twice. In between the first and second times, I had some champagne with my committee! haha. I hung out with Tyler and the Delta chapter for a few more hours and then went to sleep.