Monday, October 29, 2007

musings of times past

Mix generally ain't one for doing this, but for some reason there is a deep urge to share this one. Those fellow soldiers who were part of this Dream may likely feel the same deep feeling currently engulfing this soul...

So it has taken me a while to get back to you on this. This is not fully due to laziness (only partially).. I've actually been pondering it quite a bit. You see, the first semester I joined there were like 4 major social events. I went to Michigan, Buffalo, and Colorado... then had summer conference and a few more events the next semester. Anyway, at these events, there was a core group of people that always showed up (craziest parties of my life). I happen to catch the tail end of their careers and when they left... I wondered the same things you just asked me.

And so I went through a process of comparing my reality at that point versus the reality at my point of joining (i hope that makes sense). From what my feeble mind could decipher, I decided on one thing. Was this core group of partiers more hard core than others? No. "Periphery People" always showed up who could party close to as hard (usually not fully as hard, but close). Did they have cars? No, they usually convinced others with cars to come along (Nice!).

The fact of the matter was, they all liked each other. They were true friends. @ brought them together and was how they saw each other.. events, conferences, etc. And so, in a way, that HAS in fact changed a bit. I see far less inter-LC friendships that are able to transcend distance. And, there are far fewer truly crazy people.. the kind that will spend hours and weeks organizing a big fucking party so that their equally crazy friends will drive 8+ hours (12 to buffalo for us) one way to hang out for like 36 hours. This is when you know you have serious friendships, and a mix of compatible people.

Now, I know that, like myself, you lack certain brain tissue that most other humans have. You probably would drive 8 - 12 hours for 1.5 days with some rad people. But are there other people in @ willing as well? This was the agreement. You come to mine, and I'll go to yours (I'll show you mine, you show me...).

So that, I think is how you reignite those flames. You gotta find people you really like, and they gotta be crazy. It's easier said than done, but man, it's really, really rad when it happens...

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Blogger Katie from the Ice said...

I would still drive 15 hours to play mud volleyball in Buffalo for a couple hours. I'm glad I haven't gotten any more rational when it comes to these sorts of things.

3:58 PM  
Blogger T-rent said...

I agree with the current direciton of @, to some extent: It should be about exchange, foremost, which when I joined at least, was not really the case. But it was fun...

I think thats where some sort of other network should emerge that does what @ use to do socially: Bring together great people, who enjoy their company and have a fucking great time.

Maybe Nomadlife can do this, maybe some other organization that starts with H and ends with S.

5:00 PM  
Blogger dturk said...

trent thats a crock of ... @ did a lot more exchange in the past. they partied longer also. leadership determines value created.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Hero of the Light said...

What has changed--the people or the organization itself?

6:57 PM  
Blogger Bowman said...

Driving 13 hours to go sit around a hole in a frozen lake, or 12 for mud volleyball and Niagara, or just a measly four hours to watch crazy people on Halloween in Madison. Maybe we were just spoiled by that point in the life of @US. I definitely don't see that kind of attitude in the East Coast LCs since I started at GW.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Nob said...

I think the social atmosphere definitely had a direct impact on the environment of @ at the time. Maybe it's because our bonds were stronger or the fact that we wanted to see each other (not to say that people don't want to now). At that time, there were also interesting collaborations between LCs (e.g. Madison and Michigan) and making the six hour trip back and forth just seemed natural. Like Bowman said, I don't see that kind of love anymore here in Cornell or with any of the other LCs. Different organization, different atmosphere.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Mix said...

I'm not totally sure if the change in org direction necessitates the changes I've seen in personal relations. But, I'm not really looking to argue that right now, either, since I don't have any liquor. I am also not sure which Road would have been best; perhaps I'll open that forum another time.

I'm just making some observations and comparing to memory of times past, ignoring questions of clarity.

What I will say: I'm not totally sure what inspired the changes; it could be a number of things and depending on your leadership and organizational philosophies you could 'blame' it on one thing or another. I still think it can be revived.

Maybe the key DOES lie with that other org, and perhaps a supreme hookah has something to do with it. That would be an acceptable conclusion for me.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Preston said...

This post means a lot to Georgia Tech at this time, because our culture has foundered this year and we're looking for a revival. We see the same thing happening across the US, and some of us have begun the phone conversations - Madtown included - to forge a new culture, one in which partying together all the time will be as natural as eating and sleeping. As long as @US manages to hold on, I think we can expect to see some more fun times ahead.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff from Austin said...

I think I understand everyone's point of view at least somewhat, and everyone does have some good remarks. @-Austin went through some pretty big changes of LC culture in that time. Some of it was a spillover from what was happening nationally, some of it occured naturally because people come and go though the organization. I think it might be interesting though, to ask people from @ in other countries what their inter-LC experiences are.

P.S, I calcualted it, and I put at least 13500 miles on my car for AIESEC related events. Emir should remember about 3089 of those.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Dan Cunningham said...

Hello, I'm from another country. I've experienced AIESEC in the USA (in the time "before", in the UK and in Venezuela (and more widely in Latin America).

Yes, of course it is quite a different organisation in each country, but one thing is universal: there are always at least some crazy people who will drive all the way across their country (or fly across the world) just to stay up for an entire weekend to party with other fellow devotees. These are always the best people and always the best parties.

But where this comes from is slightly more mysterious. My point of view is that it comes from people being utterly dedicated to whatever the mission of AIESEC is for them. This dedication brings a bunch of people together for one thing and that results in the great culture and togetherness.

When that organisational direction is slightly altered (which is natural for a continually evolving organisation), of course the feeling or culture will also waver. But it's all cycles. It will come back, just with a bunch of people who believe in a slightly different thing as strongly as the first lot did about their thing.

It was certainly my thing when I was sliding about on frozen lakes in January 2005 :-)

6:56 PM  

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