I am part of a program called Macalester Bonner Community Scholars, which is a leadership program that focuses on global perspective, social justice, and civic service. As a part of Bonner, I’m required to move in early and be part of the pre-orientation program.
Going on an overnight retreat is a part of Bonner Pre-Orientation. On Tuesday, all 12 of the 1st year Bonners along with 5 student Bonner leaders left Macalester to Camp Friendship, 1.5 hours north of Saint Paul. We managed to survive 4 hours of team building exercises and ropes courses, bonding over the pain of physical work rather than accomplishment. 😀 I also discovered a new talent: anding in hula hoops accurately after swinging on a rope swing during a game. (Too bad I can’t make money off of that talent.) Overall, the retreat was very enjoyable and the view of the lake cannot be compared to anywhere else. The only downside was the camp food.
After a day of touring the Twin Cities yesterday, we finally ate dinner at Cheng Heng, a local Cambodian restaurant. I feasted on vegetarian spring rolls, stir fry noodles with tofu, and steamed rice. Two large plates of food later, this is how my plate looked like.
With the end of dinner, our entire group of 1st year Bonners decided to hold a showing of Kung Fu Panda at the “Roommates'” room (the dorm room that’s home to 2 Bonners). We brought food and pillows to enjoy the movie but in reality, all of us ended up socializing more than watching the movie…
Today was Day 4, which marked the last day of Bonner Pre-Orientation. We spent the last hours meeting with Macalester’s “VIPs” and learning about ethics and service. One of the highlights of the day was the visit to the Minnesota History Center. We looked at the Hmong exhibit and learned about the 2nd largest Hmong population in the US.
At the end of today, I, along with the rest of the 1st year Bonners, was officiated initiated into the Bonner family, through a very “official” process of using a Hogwarts-like sorting hat. I was sorted into the Avocado Shakes family (don’t ask me about the name- I don’t know) and became closer to other upperclassmen Bonners. Seeing everyone at the all-Bonner gathering made me feel very welcomed into the program. I can actually visualize myself being close friends with quite a few other Bonners.
Overall, I am enjoying my time at college so far. Tomorrow marks the 1st day of official orientation with the entire first year class of Macalester.
I am currently spending the night at the Holiday Inn because my mom flew into Saint Paul today with 2 more suitcases for my dorm. (Side note: I managed to ride the public transit bus by myself to the hotel and I’ve been feeling a bit proud of myself)
Day 4: Done.