Friday, April 19, 2013

An Adult Field Trip

Yesterday, 26 professionals boarded a bus as part of the Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Rockford class and headed out on a field trip to our state's Capitol. It was my first field trip in a LONG time. Y'all know that I love making lists, so I figured what better way to share what I learned yesterday than with a list?

What I learned on my adult field trip:
  • Almost missing the bus is as stressful at 34 as it is at 10 years old. The only difference is that I'm speeding to it in my Jeep versus running like an idiot with a huge backpack flopping from side to side, while everyone who was actually on time laughs at me through the windows.
  • The Capitol building is gorgeous. If you haven't been and live in IL, check it out.
  • Our Senator, Syverson, is smart, eloquent, friendly and very funny. I could've listened to him all day.
  • Getting personal face to face time with your Senator and House Reps is quite an honor. #insidescoop #Bigtime
  • We, as voters and tax payers, don't have all of the information. I learned A LOT about the ins and outs of some of our upcoming bills to be voted on this summer. There are wins and consequences to every decisions, and frankly, we the people, aren't the experts (my words, not theirs).
  • Watching the House vote live, which we did, was NUTS. It's chaos. And not even organized chaos. It honestly looks like a 3rd grade classroom when there's a substitute teacher. People are walking around, chatting it up with their friends, looking at email, shouting out whatever strikes their fancy, sass talking each other during debates, etc... Our guide assured us that each Representative knew how they were going to vote long before they take the floor, and to not be alarmed if it seemed unorganized. Thankfully we had that warning otherwise I would've been yelling over the gallery for the Reps to sit down, zip it, and focus on our laws! "Hey you two from Moline, stop watching kittens being tickled on YouTube and focus! We have Bills to pass here! Don't make us come down there!"
  • I think I want the hubs to run for Senate. For real. 
  • I was shocked by how many young women were on the House floor. I can't imagine having that job at my age.
  • Adult beverages are served on an adult field trip on the ride home. Don't worry, we had a charted bus with a driver. It's all good.
  • Nothing bonds a group of Leadership classmates and the future of our town quite like a cooler full of Summer Shandy's and Miller Lites. Who knew? Why didn't we do this the first month to really get to know each other?
  • Apparently whipping a koozie out of your purse is not the norm outside of the south. Again, who knew?! Half of the bus thought I might have a drinking problem and the other half thought it was the coolest thing they've ever seen. I assured them that- 1) I do not have a drinking problem, but that I simply hate cold hands and/or warm beverages 2) You never know when a party might break out. I, for one, as a future leader, take preparedness seriously. #Kooziesforever #KoozieHandsWarmHeart
  • When someone starts calling you the "koozie girl" on a 3 hours bus ride, others who have been drinking may start to think he's calling you "Hey, Jacuzzi girl", which are two VERY different things. Yikes! #QuestionableLeadership #NotAJacuzziGirl!
And lastly, when I told my husband before I headed out "they said there'd be adult beverages on the bus on the way home" he sincerely asked "want me to pick you up from the bus so you don't have to worry about driving home?"...Umm:
  1. My response "I'm not going to get hammered, babe! It's still a field trip for my LEADERSHIP class, but thanks, I think?"
  2. Maybe people really do think I have a drinking problem?! Maybe I better cut back from my 2 drink limit to 1. Ya know, just to be safe. Geez.

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