Cajun Chicken and the Joy of Being Known
By Carter Berry
As fellows, we have taken several personality and ability/strength finder tests in an effort to better understand the inner workings of ourselves. The results have been both very revealing and, at times, awkward to engage with. In that uneasiness, has come several funny moments of true self-awareness that paint a great picture of the Season 13 Capital Fellows Experience.
One of the tests we took was the EQi, an emotional intelligence test that gauges different aspects of our feelings and how they affect us. I met with Assistant Director Lauren Stephens to go over my results and we talked about my 2nd percentile score in emotional self-awareness (not high at all). I wanted to grow in that area and as homework I look at a "feelings wheel" and pick a couple of things I feel each night.
The laughter that followed cheered all of us up and confirmed something: I like these fellows a lot, win or lose.
This past weekend we all packed our sleeping bags and headed south of the border, of Virginia that is, to Camp Oak Hill Retreat Center in Oxford, NC for The Fellows Initiative fall conference with about 150 fellows and directors in attendance from over 10 different programs. The festivities included an Ultimate Frisbee tournament between the different programs. After a crushing and contentious loss that is still under investigation by the TFI competition committee, our team somberly shook hands and sauntered over to a picnic table like a group of toddlers who all just learned Santa isn’t real. As we sulked and ate Welch’s fruit snacks together in misery, I realized something and looked at my friends and said hesitantly, “I think I feel…sad?” The laughter that followed cheered all of us up and confirmed something: I like these fellows a lot, win or lose.
Now that I’m a total expert on feelings, thanks to the EQi, I want to move to talking about the personality examination we took under the guidance of director John Kyle. The MCORE, as it is called, explores 27 different core motivations we have in order to identify our top 3. It nailed me. It’s been exciting to look critically at actions and beliefs I have through the lens of my 3 core motivations which are to Be Central, Serve, and Bring to Completion.
In total, we drove four cars home from the retreat, two of which stopped at Cook-Out for dinner. Cook-Out is the pinnacle of late-night food runs for many college students in the south, and it felt wrong to be in the eatery while it was still light out. It was chosen for dinner in order to do some cultural exchange with Amy Huynh and Brian McClain, who had never been before. When Amy couldn’t decide between a Cajun Chicken Wrap and a Burger, I chose to Be Central and intervene by Serving her and Completing her decision-making process by giving her the Burger. She also had a core motivation of Serving but low tendency to make decisions. She wanted to serve me by taking what she didn’t want but couldn’t decide and so chaos ensued. This debacle became known as the Cajun Chicken Controversy of 2019. If you see a fellow, don’t bring it up.
All that being said, it has been a truly special gift to engage with these ability batteries with such a loving and accepting community and I would not trade that aspect of this team of fellows for anything, except maybe an Ultimate Frisbee trophy ;).
Pictures from the Week
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