April 7-9, 2017
Stamps Scholars National Convention
For the second time in my college existence,
I jumped in Christina Wiley’s car and drove up to Atlanta for the Stamps Conference. This time we rode the little light blue bug with Julia and Ziqi. We left on Thursday afternoon. After hydro and deep post hydro talks with Josh, I ran home, cleaned my room, and packed. Christina picked us all up and we were on the road. We sang along to Moana and loved it. We drove extra long to reach Chicken Salad Chick deep in Georgia because the CSC in Gainesville closed😭. They changed the menu, got rid of nutty nana (my fave flavor) and the different cookies. I talked with the lady and she said it was the way corporate was going. I should be a guest panel withvery important opinions. Christina posted a pic of all of us on insta and the stamps foundation reposted it. But they reposted a square and cut me out. Lol
We arrived in Atlanta after 8 and went to our hotel. They paired me and christina with two random scholars. We jammed out to homework for quite a bit and spread out because after 1 we assumed they weren’t coming. Two girls arrived from Barry at 2 in the morning. Apparently a bunch of flights were delayed and canceled because of storms in Atlanta the previous day. We were staying at a different hotel than the day before.
In the morning, we dressed business causal in fun pixie pants. The check in / breakfast was in the basketball stadium. I noted all of the ways they organized their conference so we could take note for when we plan conference for concrete canoe next year. After meeting a few people at breakfast, they had the opening ceremony. Each school brought a flag. It felt like the Olympics.
After the flag ceremony, we split up into our threads. I was in “The Energy Crisis Thread”. We had two lectures speak before splitting up into our problem solving groups. One lecture was a energy government person but the lecture was long. It related the energy crisis to national security. The second speaker was a mechanical engineer professor at Georgia Tech. He spoke about solar energy but the mirror solar energy.
They then split us up into groups of 20 where we discussed the enegry crisis. Our challenge was to come up with an alternative energy business plan. The people in our group just loved to talk and they kept jumping around. We discussed burning waste, recycling, carbon sequestration, poverty, and solar panels. Everywhere but the topic. They decided on a non profit where we bring solar panels to sub Saharan Africa. The kid who took charge was looking at the minor details that didn’t matter and I was v confused why he decided that he was the expert. This one economics major from ol miss questioned why we were planning a non profit when the challenge was business model. He got no where and the feeling of giving up on getting through with the other half of the group was mutual. Afterwards this girl from Miami and I questioned them and laughed about it.
We then walked outside and went to a large green area by the stadium. There were food trucks everywhere. It was Friday so limited options but it was nice laying on the grass in the sun. After breaking out into our threads and lunch, we broke out into our community service portion. It actually is a cool idea. There were 7 or so local organizations that presented us problems that we tried to solve. I was in the High Mueseum group. 60 in a group but then we broke off into smaller groups. We were trying to solve the isssue of increasing young adult memebership with the Mueseum. Our smaller group was looking into community partnerships. We made a presentation discussing partnerships with the Atlanta metro and colleges. The Mueseum didn’t have internship for credit positions during the school year. I was like shoot they are missing out. I wish I was in the special event group. Imagine the Scavenger hunts!
After presenting, we went to dinner in their o dome. I got cool ideas for conference. The vegetarian option was tofu so I tried it for the first time. There was one kid at the table which kind of took me aback. A little freshman who didn’t seem to understand how a fancy dinner worked. He was just in awe the whole time of a banquet dinner. I guess I have been to enough conferences. The person to my other side was classic stamps driven kid. Half of our table didn’t show up because their flights were canceled.
Dinner was followed by a talent show. The mcee was weak but it is hard to work a crowd that big. They had a Irish dancer, brass quartet, Indian drummer, comedian, singer and magician. The magician was hands down the best. Walking home Christina and I agreed we should have planned ahead and done the Schuyler sisters song. We sang it the way home and then fell asleep. Somewhere during this day we also listened to a speak by the lady in charge of teach for America. All of those scholars will drink the koolaid according to mom.
The second day we meet up with our threads in the morning and they discussed the energy / nationa security solution in now the Middle East. Then we played a game and watched a red talk on energy. Lunch was on the pretty rooftop terrace. The filmed the internship or some movie on the Georgia tech campus that we were at.
There was an open student expo after that. You could see scholar talks, scholar posters or panels. I went to the scholar talk on autonomous vehicles and disagreed that they are just a trend. We sat through another session and then Julia and Emily (from Oberlin and a friend from the last conference as well) escaped and explored the city. We walked over to the main park downtown. There was the dogwood festival going on! Lots of people, art, food, rides and a dog frisbee catching competition. On our way back we picked up boba tea because Emily didn’t have any in oberlin.
We got all dressed up and went downtown to the old train station that was restored to a long banquet hall. I sat next to some pretty interesting characters. There was a kid who played the French horn, a sorority girl who was homeschooled (but I couldn’t tell!), a really catholic girl from Norte dame, an electrical engineer who was into Japanese videos and the Barry University Advisor. During dinner, the old Georgia Tech president, civil engineer, and secretary of the smithonian spoke with us. His life sounded so cool! I was like go civils!!
After dinner, the whole UF gang went to the scholar after party. They had yummy mocktails and cards. You could win stamps bucks. It was all very cute. Chiristina and I are best buds forever and had a good time before going home and spending the night gabbing.