Tuesday, August 10, 2010
White. Styrofoam. Cup.
One thing that I hate about my sometimes-job is that I am required to attend 60 hours worth of interpreter workshops every 3 years to maintain my certification. Most workshops are held at least an hour away and cost a fair amount of cash. However, one of my favorite things about my sometimes-job is when the local university right here in my hometown holds its annual interpreter conference.
The difference between this local conference and the ones held farther away is, in my opinion, significant. For one, I am a sometimes-employee of said university so after I shell out my minimal up front fee to register I am paid to attend for three days.
Another thing I love is that these workshops always end up being much more entertaining, interactive and just overall enjoyable than any others that I attend. Take today for example.
All of the conference attendees had previously taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in order to discuss the various ways that our personalities can affect our work. My personal results were surprising and interesting. In order to help us see the differences in personality styles, the presenter pulled out a white styrofoam cup and asked us to write a paragraph to describe it.
Most people's answers were something along the lines of: A white styrofoam cup. Used to keep things hot or cold. Holds beverages. Breaks easily. Things along those lines. I chose not to share my paragraph, because it was completely different from anyone else's...
At first glance it appears to be a simple, white styrofoam drinking cup. It is only when you really look at it that you can realize its full potential. Is it really just a cup? Look deeper. It could become a planter for a seed. A disposable pencil holder. Perhaps even a future spider trap or roly-poly collector. If you have ever been camping you have likely heard that this cup lets off some sort of toxins when burned. If that's true then it even has a slightly sinister side. This cup, like each of us, can be so much more than we imagine at first glance. This cup actually has some amazing potential, just waiting to be unleashed.
Funny thing is, for the rest of today's conference I started to look at all sorts of things in this way. Popcorn. Pencils. Paper. People.
All filled with potential beyond what we see.
I can't wait to learn what is in store at tomorrow's workshop sessions.